10 Russian Summer Signings to Watch in 2017/18

Leandro Paredes – AS Roma to Zenit St. Petersburg, Fee – €23 million One area where Zenit struggled last season was the centre of midfield, as the departure of playmaking midfielder Axel Witsel before the second half of the season left a hole which Brazilian winter transfer window signing Hernani and fellow Brazilian Mauricio failed to fill. This is the whole 23-year-old Leandro Paredes is expected to fill. After breaking into Roma’s first team in the last season, Paredes played 27 Serie A … [Read more...]

Russian Transfers – Homeward Bound

Each year we read the same nonsense with Russian transfers. XXXX is on the way to an English or German club. It's a done deal. It's in the final stages. A month ago CSKA Moscow's Golovin was about to join Arsenal. That was June 10th. Three days later the same news outlet reported Arsenal's Russian scout, Pavel Kucherov, said He is not talented enough for the European level and it’s unrealistic to discuss his transfer to a top Premier League club. Fanboys and journos went into overdrive with a … [Read more...]

Gatoch Panom to Anzhi – An Ethiopian Trailblazer

Earlier this summer, Anzhi Makhachkala made a surprise transfer when after a succesful trial period, they signed Ethiopian international midfielder Gatoch Panom from Ethiopian Coffee in the nation's top flight. In moving to Russia, Panom became the 45th player to move directly from an African club to Russia since 1998, and it's the 4th time Anzhi have made such a move. And while the transfer might not be huge news in Russia, it means a great deal to Ethiopia, a nation not famed for it's … [Read more...]

The €12m Men and Their Free Transfers to Zenit

€7 million and €5 million. That, according to Transfermarkt, is the value of Dmitry Poloz and Aleksandr Erokhin. Of course, this is an underestimation given the circumstances on the Russian market. Two Russian internationals, who have just finished the season of their careers with FC Rostov, with two more years left of their contract can’t cost that little, given the limit on foreign players and the lack of quality players with Russian passport. Nevertheless, there is only one club in the … [Read more...]

Manolas and Driussi – Zenit Closing in on Significant Transfers

Roberto Mancini has now been Zenit St. Petersburg’s head coach for a few weeks, and he is starting to leave a mark on the squad. Over the previous weeks, the Blue-White-Sky Blues have already closed the signings of midfielder Christian Noboa and wingback Denis Terentiev from FC Rostov as well as midfielder Daler Kuzyaev from Akhmat Grozny. Although good players in the Russian Football Premier League, these transfers were, perhaps with the exception of Noboa who isone of the best midfielders … [Read more...]

Evaluating the performance of Rubin’s €40m summer signings

Last summer Rubin Kazan spent €40m, according to Transfermarkt, on a whole host of big name signings from Europe, but it was to no avail as under the management of Spaniard Javi Gracia, Rubin struggled to finish in 9th place, with many of their signings -  though not all of them - failing to make an impact during the season. So just how well spent was that €40m? Alex Song - Free transfer from FC Barcelona Perhaps the most high profile of all the players who joined, with experience at … [Read more...]

Which Players Have a Future at Mancini’s Zenit?

For the second season in a row, Zenit St. Petersburg missed out on qualification to Europe’s finest club tournament, the Champions League. The disappointing results in the Russian Football Premier League cost head coach Mircea Lucescu his job, and he has been replaced by Roberto Mancini. The ambitious Italian has a history of being aggressive in the transfer market, proved by the fact that he during his time with Inter brought in players such as Luis Figo, Esteban Cambiasso, Walter Samuel and … [Read more...]

Does Russian Football Make Average Foreigners Look Good?

When Zenit St. Petersburg signed Yoann Mollo from Krylia Sovetov earlier this year, both Zenit fans and observers from Mollo's home nation France raised their eyebrows. The fans of Zenit thought that Mollo was not at the level of their club, only shining at Krylia as he was the focal point in their counter attacking style of play, and therefore took the lead in most of their attacking play. French observers, fans of his former club Saint Etienne, for example, struggled to believe that a player … [Read more...]

5 Russians Who Could Move to Europe’s Top Leagues This Summer

After Russia reached the semi-finals of Euro 2008, it was only natural that many of their players were sought after by European clubs. By August of the following year, Andrei Arshavin, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Yuri Zhirkov had all made their way over to the Premier League. Almost ten years have passed since that tournament, and since Arshavin’s four goals at Anfield, Russian players have had little to boast about in Europe. Currently, there are only two players in … [Read more...]

Russian Clubs are Once Again Pursuing African Talents

Russian Football Premier League sides have, on occasion, been known to venture into Africa and sign players directly from the continent, something which many other top flight leagues will not risk due to their unproven ability to adapt to a new league and nation. Signing young and unproven players from Africa gives the club the opportunity to get new players at low prices and low wages, meaning the upside is huge if they suceed and the risk is small. When signing 18-year-old Ivorian striker … [Read more...]