Ukraine’s Zinchenko ready to play for Man City at Evertonfévrier 25, 2022
Pep Guardiola has revealed Oleksandr Zinchenko will be available for Manchester City’s Premier League trip to Everton on Saturday but said the Ukraine international was understandably deeply worried about this crisis in his home country.
The 25-year-old Zinchenko attended a demonstration in Manchester city centre on Thursday evening following the invasion of his home country by Russian forces.
“He is worried,” Guardiola said. “What would we feel if in our country where we were born and have family and friends innocent people are being killed? How will you feel? I guess that’s what he feels. Of course, the team and the club is close to him, unconditionally of course.
“Oleks is an incredible, strong guy. Of course it’s not easy at the moment but playing in the training session yesterday he was brilliant so he’s ready to play in case he has to play.”
Guardiola said he had spoken both with the squad as a whole and with Zinchenko individually, noting too that club captain Fernandinho – who joined City from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013 – still has friends in Ukraine.
Earlier this week, Zinchenko – who has 45 caps for Ukraine – posted on Instagram to say: “The whole civilised world is worried about the situation in my country. I can’t stay back and I strive to put my point across.”
And Guardiola added that he had no problem with Zinchenko’s decision to attend Thursday’s protest.
“What would you do if someone abroad attacked the UK?” he said. “How would you react? How would you feel? It’s what he feels.
“Unfortunately around the world, there are many wars – this is a new one. It’s more than a pity because innocent people are dying when these innocent people just want to live in peace.”
West Ham have in contrast granted Ukrainian winger Andriy Yarmolenko compassionate leave so he will miss the weekend visit of Wolves.