By Alan Hutton

14th Aug, 2022 | 1:28pm

Arsenal could axe Oleksandr Zinchenko after 'perfect' Mikel Arteta reveal - pundit

Alan Hutton has claimed it is only “a matter of time” before Kieran Tierney returns to the Arsenal starting XI.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Tottenham and Aston Villa defender said Tierney is “better” than Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Tierney has had to settle for a place on the bench for the Gunners’ first two Premier League games.

The Scotland international replaced Zinchenko for the final 20 minutes of the side’s 4-2 victory over Leicester on Saturday (13 August).

As quoted by The Athletic (12 August), Mikel Arteta said Tierney is in “perfect condition” after playing 20 minutes in their 2-0 victory against Crystal Palace last week (5 August).

The Arsenal manager added that the left-back is “ready to go”.

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When asked if Zinchenko could replace Tierney in the starting XI, Hutton told Football Insider: “I must admit when I saw he [Zinchenko] had signed I assumed it was for another area.

I’ve seen him play for Ukraine and Man City and he can play higher up the pitch, he can play in midfield. I think Kieran Tierney is outstanding, I think he’s only got better since he went down south so it’s unfortunate that he didn’t start the first game of the season.

Obviously we know he’s had his injury problems. I think it will be a matter of time before he comes in. I think he’s too good not to. Zinchenko is a terrific player as well and he’s versatile which I think helps Arteta and Kieran Tierney. Again, it’s a matter of time before he comes in because I think he’s better [than Zinchenko].

In other news, a pundit has backed Arsenal to offer Granit Xhaka new deal after ‘big’ reveal.