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Arsenal eager to sign Shakhtar Donetsk defender Mykola Matviyenko: Things to know about him

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Bengaluru, Jan 29: Arsenal so far have had a turbulent time in the Premier League and going by their squad assessment so far, the North London side surely need some reinforcement in the coming January window.

Their biggest concerned area has been the backline despite signing two names over there, Celtic’s left-back Kieran Tierney and Chelsea’s David Luiz.

They now look to repair the damage again in January and have been linked with several names. The latest names that have been going around is Ukranian defender Mykola Matviyenko.

The 23-year-old reportedly have been approached by Arsenal over a loan deal with an obligation to buy in the Summer. Rated at £30m by his side Shakhtar, the Gunners are eager to manager a loan deal due to lack of bigger fund. They hence are reportedly ready to pay an initial £4.5m loan fee with the remainder of the sum in the summer.

It is fair to say that Mykola Matviyenko is not a familiar name in English football but that doesn't mean he isn't worth the puff. He is highly rated back in Ukraine and here are the four things you need to know about him:

A regular in the national side:

Since making his debut back in 2017, Matviyenko has been a regular presence for Ukraine. He has made 20 appearances so far in the side and has been one of their best players in the Euro qualifying campaign. Ukraine had conceded just four goals in the group fixture, topping the group. Along with Italy, they had the joint-second best defensive record in the qualifying stage. Euro 2020 is likely to be his first major international tournament.

A creative presence in the backline:

Although he plays in the left-hand side of defence but his attributes suggest that he great at moving the ball forward and breaking up play. He could be a major factor in the side during an attacking transition of counterattacks.

He has managed 26 key passes in 35 games this season while playing as a centre-back. In comparison to other top leagues, the Ukrainian league may be a bit humbled but surely this is pretty good numbers given he is a central defender.


The 23-year-old usually plays at the centre-back but can also operate as a left-back as well in defensive midfield. His comparative short height- standing at under six feet tall, makes him a mobile presence. He is faster getting around the pitch in comparison to the traditional defenders who generally are strong in the air.

Arteta analysed him earlier:

Arteta's interest on Matviyenko should not come as a surprise to Arsenal fans as apparently during Arteta's spell with Manchester City as an assistant coach, he was eager on bringing the Ukrainian defender in. The interest now seems to have carry forward.

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Story first published: Wednesday, January 29, 2020, 15:06 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 29, 2020
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