Manchester United icon Paul Scholes has voiced his criticism regarding Arsenal’s utilization of Oleksandr Zinchenko in midfield, labeling it as “an insult” to traditional central midfielders.

Zinchenko, originally a midfielder, was converted into a left-back by Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during their time together at Manchester City. Since joining Arsenal in 2022, Zinchenko has been a regular feature in midfield, tasked with providing additional numbers in the center of the pitch.

However, Scholes expressed his disapproval of this role, taking to Instagram during Arsenal’s match against Nottingham Forest to voice his opinion.

“Having a full-back operate in central midfield undermines the role of a traditional central midfielder,” Scholes wrote. “They should be instructed to return to their designated position.”

Scholes’ remarks prompted a response from his former Manchester United teammate and co-owner of Salford City, Phil Neville, who defended the versatility of full-backs, stating, “We full-backs are adaptable.”

Despite the controversy surrounding Zinchenko’s positional deployment, he played a crucial role in Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest, contributing to Gabriel Jesus’ opening goal. However, tensions arose post-match when Zinchenko engaged in a heated argument with teammate Ben White, subsequently needing intervention from manager Mikel Arteta.

Arteta, while downplaying the incident, emphasized the importance of players pushing each other to achieve excellence, attributing the heated exchange to post-match emotions.

Reflecting on the match, Arteta expressed satisfaction with Arsenal’s performance, highlighting their dominance on the field and their desire to rectify previous shortcomings. He stressed the importance of maintaining momentum in the league and praised the team’s overall display against Nottingham Forest.

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