Zinchenko vows to fight for Man City place amid Chilwell interest

Getty Images
The Premier League champions continue to be linked with fresh faces, but a man already at the club hopes to be long-term competition to Benjamin Mendy

Oleksandr Zinchenko is aiming to prove to Pep Guardiola that he can offer long-term competition to Benjamin Mendy at left-back amid links with potential new signings for Manchester City.

Zinchenko played as a winger and attacking midfielder prior to becoming a squad player in City's senior side, but he has invariably been used as a left-back by Guardiola.

Serious injuries to Mendy both last season and this term have given Zinchenko opportunities to impress and he earned praise from Guardiola after playing the full 120 minutes in Sunday's Carabao Cup final penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea.

The Spaniard applauded his attitude and called him "incredible", with the Ukrainian having made a commendable 17 appearances as a back-up player.

Goal has confirmed City's interest in Leicester City's Ben Chilwell, with the club reportedly concerned about Mendy's susceptibility to injuries, but Zinchenko is battling to prove he can be the Frenchman's deputy instead.

"We will see what happens, but I am ready to fight for this place," said Zinchenko, who was close to joining Wolves at the start of the season.

"I want to learn from all of them in this club and I just try and take the best from them.

Article continues below

"Of course, there is a pleasure when the manager like Pep is talking about you like this, but I don't read the newspapers, I just have to be fully focused on my game.

"It was always my dream to play for this club. It is a big pleasure to be part of it and I want to try to do my best. I want to be here.

"When you play regularly you will get it and be in form and get this rhythm. Always you want to play more, but it is what it is. You have to work hard."