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Zinchenko believes there’s room at the top for Arsenal

Oleksandr Zinchenko reckons Arsenal’s pursuit of Premier League and European glory has proved they can live with the world’s leading clubs.

The Gunners maintained their bid for a first English title in 20 years with a 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Luton on Wednesday as they stayed in the hunt alongside Liverpool and reigning champions Manchester City.

Mikel Arteta’s side are also in the mix for the Champions League trophy, with the north London club facing German giants Bayern Munich in a two-legged quarter-final starting next week.

Arsenal have yet to be crowned champions of Europe, although they were beaten in the 2006 Champions League final by Barcelona.

But full-back Zinchenko believes the fact Arsenal have taken league points off both Liverpool and City this season is proof there is substance behind the club’s ambition to win major domestic and European honours.  

“Yeah, I won’t lie to you, 100 percent because it shows that we are ready to compete with the best teams in the world,” he said.

“It’s not easy to play against City away and also Liverpool away and the other teams as well — I don’t want to be disrespectful to the others. It shows that Arsenal are ready to fight for it.

“We know that we are fighting for something big this season,” he added after Martin Odegaard’s 10th goal of the season and an own-goal from Daiki Hashioka proved sufficient to defeat Luton at the Emirates following Arsenal’s goalless draw with City last weekend.

Arsenal led the title race for much of last season before fading away in the closing stages.

Ukraine international Zinchenko, who won four Premier League titles with City before moving to north London in 2022, said he hoped last season’s disappointment would help inspire Arsenal in their latest title quest. 

“We already have this experience from last season, where we were quite far from the others and then in the end we didn’t do what we wanted,” the 27-year-old said.

“This experience we need to take with us and then let’s see what is going to happen. This year all of us we’ve got more experience, we’ve played with each other much, much more and I think we’re improving.”

Arsenal begin the final eight matches of their Premier League season away to Brighton on Saturday.

The Gunners’ run-in also features fixtures against Champions League-chasing Aston Villa, London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham, and Manchester United.

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