Oleksandr Zinchenko has said he is eager to fight for the starting left-back spot at Manchester City amid rumours the Citizens are ready to enter the transfer market to strengthen the position.
Benjamin Mendy is finally set to return from injury, but he has played only 16 Premier League games in his two seasons at the club.
As a result, City are reportedly thinking about signing a new left-back in the summer to add depth to the position.
However, Zinchenko has said he is eager to make the position his own having thrived in recent matches under manager Pep Guardiola, per James Robson in the Evening Standard:
"We will see what happens, but I am ready to fight for this place. I want to learn from all of them in this club and I just try and take the best from them. Of course there is a pleasure when the manager like Pep is talking about you like this, but I don't read the newspapers, I just have to be fully focussed on my game."
Per Robson, Leicester City's Ben Chilwell has been touted as a potential target.
Zinchenko, 22, is naturally an attacking midfielder but has understandably found minutes hard to come by because of the incredible quality City have in the creative roles, with the likes of David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva almost impossible to displace.
Nailing down the left-back spot could ensure his future at the Etihad Stadium, but he may find himself with few opportunities if City bring in a new player to compete with Mendy.
Zinchenko wants to remain in Manchester and said it was "always my dream" to play for City, per Robson.
The Ukraine international has clearly made an impression on Guardiola, who recently praised him for his excellent attitude:
Sam Lee @Sammy_Goal
Guardiola's praise for Zinchenko, including: "The day after the games always it's difficult for the guys who don't play and most of the guys want to show me how disappointed they are, then the day before the game they are nice again. This guy is completely the opposite." https://t.co/9fRMnsjHue
And if he can prove to his manager that he can consistently compete with Mendy for the left-back spot, he would save City from having to bring in a new player.
Zinchenko has started four of City's last five games in all competitions.
It will be instructive to see whether he is again in the starting XI for Saturday's trip to Bournemouth, or whether Mendy gets a run-out after being on the bench for Wednesday's crucial 1-0 win over West Ham United.