Arsenal are reportedly in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk over the possibility of signing Mykola Matviyenko.
If you’ve been following Shakhtar lately, or at least seen them in the Champions League clashes they had with Manchester City this season, you probably know who this player is and have some general idea of what can be expected of him. Matviyenko is a defender, 23 years old, preferring to use his left foot on the ball and to play in the heart of the back line, though he is also fully capable of playing on either defensive flank. Standing 6′ tall, he is quite good in the air while boasting decent pace and skill with the ball on the ground too.
He has so far made 21 appearances for his club, of which 20 were starts, including all six in UEFA’s elite competition. At the time, current Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta sat in the City dugout beside Pep Guardiola, and he will have seen this lad play first-hand.
The Gunners have been heavily linked with Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig, a player of similar mould, as well as Jerome Boateng of Bayern Munich, representing a far more experienced option for which they had made initial inquiries, but both of those trails seem to have gone cold lately.
But Arsenal’s need to add to their defensive ranks is as hot as ever, as we have seen once more at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday. One poor performance is often followed by another when it comes to Shkodran Mustafi. Both Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac have been injured recently and Arteta was forced to utilize a teenage winger in Bukayo Saka in the left defensive flank. Hector Bellerin has only just returned from a long injury absence. And now David Luiz is suspended following the red card he received against Chelsea.
As reported by Sky Sports, the Gunners would prefer a loan deal for Matviyenko at the moment, but Shakhtar apparently demand no less than £30 million for his services.