Arsenal make Oleksandr Zinchenko captain on anniversary of Ukraine-Russia conflict
Arsenal have handed defender Oleksandr Zinchenko the captain's armband to mark the anniversary of the Ukraine-Russia conflict
Arsenal have made Oleksandr Zinchenko captain for today's Premier League game against Leicester City as a mark of respect on the anniversary of the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 and Friday marked a year since the war started.
Many fans on social media were surprised to see Zinchenko named as captain instead of midfielder Martin Odegaard when the line-ups were announced for the game at the King Power Stadium.
But the Premier League leaders said in a statement: "Alex Zinchenko is our captain today, as a mark of respect and love on the first anniversary of the conflict in Ukraine."
Zinchenko has impressed at Arsenal since signing from Manchester City last summer.
The versatile defender has played 52 games for Ukraine since 2015, scoring eight goals.
Although he came through the youth system at Shakhtar Donetsk, Zinchenko played for a season at Russian side FC Ufa before joining City in 2016.
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Ben Hayward is Weekend Editor for FourFourTwo. A European football writer with over 15 years’ experience, he has covered games all over the world - including three World Cups, several Champions League finals, Euros, Copa América - and has spent much of that time in Spain. He currently divides his time between Barcelona and London.