It is no secret Arsenal are seeking to fortify their backline this month. It was at the peak of the club to-do list before David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi’s tragedy class against Chelsea but that mishap might just expedite the procedure.
Rumoured to also be a Manchester City transfer goal, the 23-year-old has captured the eye to the Ukranian winners this year, starring under new coach Luis Castro’s side in the Champions League.
Matviyenko appears open to a move, also.
“The Gunners’ hierarchy have contacted [Shakhtar], and we expect that these discussions will succeed.”
A fee has not been mooted yet but it is anticipated he’d be significantly more affordable than Upamecano. The Frenchman was originally rumoured to be Arsenal’s top goal.
Willian came at Chelsea through Anzhi Makhachkala but he made his name with Shakhtar. He has been a key part of the team today for seven seasons.
There is no reason Matviyenko could not be another Willian, instead of another Fred. The quality from the league may differ but when studying the centre-back, the main issue is to assess his profile. If his traits are transferable, there is very little risk involved.
Statistically, the 23-year-old shows up nicely. So far this term, Matviyenko is trying, normally, 70 moves per 90 from the league. Of those, 94 percent locate a team-mate. He is frugal in possession and that’s fantastic for Mikel Arteta’s approach to games.
He is decent in the air, too, winning 50 percent of his aerial conflicts. This would not place him in the top ten at the Premier League, with juggernauts such as Virgil van Dijk and Harry Maguire winning north of 65 percent. But it’s a fantastic foundation to build on, and it shows he has a presence about him under 6ft.
Matviyenko is quite proactive and his defensive style could be described as competitive. He is winning near five interceptions per 90 and stands up 8.8 chunk recoveries.
He places the distance on the right side of the pitch and floats a ball inside that area. Immediately, the Serbian participant on the left must rush out, others need to cover and there’s space for the Ukraine players to place themselves in.
With a single pass, the staff move from having very few choices to being in the last third with moves on and team-mates in great positions to get them. This diagonal pass is just one top centre-backs have in their own locker and top teams seem to utilise on events.
Matviyenko will not excite fans up to an Upamecano or a Konaté, but he is just as powerful for the Gunners. He could be what’s required to give Arteta that foundation required from the defensive third to create the attacking side of the match.