Manchester City youngster Oleksandr Zinchenko has stated his hope of gaining his first call-up for senior side, with the Ukrainian expected to start in Tuesday's Carabao Cup clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Ready to make the step up
The investment in Manchester City Football Academy is beginning to reap the rewards with Pep Guardiola having watch over some of the most talented youngsters in world football, and Tuesday's clash with the current Championship leaders will present a good opportunity for their fledglings to showcase their talents.
One of those is Zinchenko who has failed to have a first-team opportunity since joining from Shakhtar Donetsk back in July 2016, but was handed some experience in the summer as he played several pre-season matches and was an unused substitute in two matches so far.
Guardiola has hinted previously that Zinchenko could be used as an option at full-back with the long-term injury to Benjamin Mendy, the 20-year-old stated his hope to get his first start and that adapting to his possible new role has helped add "new aspects" to his overall game.
"I hope so,” Zinchenko told mancity.com on getting his first call-up. “We will see what happens but obviously it is what I am working towards.”
"I’ve been doing more in recent training sessions," the youngster stated on adapting to the left-back role. "And I’m starting to really understand the role now."
“A central midfielder should be able to play in every position and be smart in my opinion," the 20-year-old proclaimed. "Like Fernandinho – he can play anywhere and be equally as good."
"It is adding new aspects to my game which hopefully will improve me as a player," he said. "You have to be professional, work hard and try and improve every day."
“These guys are helping me," Zinchenko added. "And I really enjoy training with them.”
Out to help him beat the record
Tuesday's clash with Nuno Espírito Santo's men could see history made a the Etihad Stadium, with striker Sergio Agüero gunning to break the Citizen's all-time scoring record.
It is still quite surprising to see the Argentine back considering he was expected to be out for at least six weeks with a rib injury following his car accident, but returned to action on Saturday with the 3-0 win over Burnley.
It was Agüero who opened the scoring on Saturday with his penalty equalling Eric Brook's current record, fellow striker Gabriel Jesus has praised the efforts of the Argentine and that he "deserves" to be the top scorer a City.
"I get on with Sergio very well," he said on his relationship with the Argentine. "He's an amazing guy. All of us know what type of player he is."
"He's a fantastic person and I'm a fan of his," the Brazilian stated. "We help each other and that helps Manchester City."
"We both defend the shirt of this club, so we pull together on the pitch," the 20-year-old proclaimed. "The same way we get along off the pitch."
"I support him and I hope he can beat the record as soon as possible," Jesus concluded. "He deserves to become the top scorer of this club."