Manchester City star performs incredible U-turn after reportedly agreeing on Wolves move
What's the story?
Manchester City's Ukrainian youngster Oleksandr Zinchenko reportedly seemed to be all but set for a £16 million move to Premier League newcomers Wolverhampton Wanderers on deadline day, as per reports from ESPN.
The move was initially set to break Wolves' club transfer record, but for the arrival of Adama Traore for a reported fee of £18 million. The youngster, however, reportedly turned down the chance and decided to stay at City. This comes as a shock since the deal appeared to have been finalised several weeks before the transfer deadline.
In case you didn't know...
Manchester City signed Zinchenko from Russian side FC Ufa a couple of seasons ago and subsequently loaned him out to PSV Eindhoven for 2016/17 season. After an unsuccessful loan spell, he returned to the Etihad ahead of the 2017/18 season with his City career hanging by a thread.
Against all odds, the youngster had a breakthrough season at Manchester City last year, largely owing to the long-term injury of new signing Benjamin Mendy and a dearth of left-footed options for Pep Guardiola to deploy at the left back position.
This meant that the midfielder was called upon to play out of position and prove his versatility. Needless to say, he passed the test with flying colours. He quickly adapted to the role and became a key member of the squad, making a total of 8 appearances with a 92% pass accuracy.
The heart of the matter
Zinchenko, however, was always second fiddle to Fabian Delph, and with the return of Benjamin Mendy for the upcoming campaign, he will inevitably find himself even further down the pecking order. Not to mention the fact that this is not even his preferred position.
Perhaps, City's failed pursuit of Jorginho and Fred, coupled with the failure to sign a backup for Fernandinho (and not to forget the departure of club legend Yaya Toure) was a key factor in this decision.
In fact, City even attempted to fill that role by requesting the English authorities for a work permit for another City youngster. The Brazilian ace had signed with City last season and was immediately sent out on a season-long loan in Spain to sister club Girona.
In all likelihood, this unfulfilled gap in the City squad had a major role to play in Zinchenko's decision.
Even so, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Fabian Delph and (surprisingly) John Stones all available and seemingly capable in the manager's eyes to serve as a back up for the 33-year-old veteran, it seems unlikely that the Ukrainian will get the string of appearances he needs to fulfill his potential.
Video: Oleksandr Zinchenko - Rising Star
Whether or not Zinchenko's decision to call off his imminent move to Wolves will turn out to be a wise choice remains to be seen.