Dmitry Barinov – Lokomotiv’s Overlooked Leader

Since the introduction of the limit on foreign players, the Premier League has clearly had problems in developing young players and taking them to next level, that is senior football. Many talents have seen their career ruined by money, lack of ambition and lack of trust from their coaches.

However, with the ruble’s fall things have changed. Clubs have been slowly forced to sell their best players and to start relying on homemade talents. For instance, Aleksandr Golovin and Aleksey Miranchuk both started their rises since the respective departures of Ahmed Musa and Mbark Boussoufa.

The latest example is Lokomotiv Moscow’s Dmitry Barinov, who, in record time, has turned into one a Red-Green fan favourite. This is his fourth season in Loko’s main team and year after year he’s improved immensely. This season he’s already recorded more minutes and playing time than in all the preceding ones.

Barinov, or “Bara” as he’s called by his teammates, has always been known for his character and his fighting spirit. It is obvious to any observer that he always gives his all and a little bit extra, and that he is ready to lose a leg in the process of helping his club to victory. Therefore, it was no coincidence that it was a goal by exactly Barinov that started Lokomotiv’s comeback against Spartak Moscow, which eventually gave them three points earlier this season. After the goal, Bara ran to the fan sector and encouraged them to sing even louder in their support for the team. If anyone had doubts about his passion and leadership skills, this changed their minds.

Barinov will grow into a strong player, if he keeps going like that.

This is the strong and heavy opinion in the nation of former Lokomotiv and Russian National Team star striker Ruslan Pimenov about the emerging star.

Being considered a polyvalent player, Bara has been used in various positions by Yuri Semin this season: centre-back, right-back and central midfielder. His natural role is in the middle of the field, but his qualities lead him to play also in the defensive line. With excellent passing skills, good footballing vision and a great attitude, the 21-year-old midfielder looks to be one of the hottest talents in Russia right now. Especially following his big performances against top opponents like CSKA Moscow and Spartak, when he was ranked among the men of the matches.

He’s also been regularly called up by all Russian youth teams, establishing himself as a key player of his age. In 2015 he showed his character by scoring the winning penalty that gifted to Russia the European Under 19 Championship.

The big question is of course what the future holds for Barinov. At the beginning of the season, he received a lot of playing time, partly because of captain Vedran Corluka’s injury and partly because of Semin’s 3-5-2 lineup. Since then, Lokomotiv have returned to a more offensive 4-2-3-1 formation, and this is hurting Bara’s chances for playing time. There is now one spot fewer in the central defence, and Igor Denisov and Dmitry Tarasov are sitting heavily on the two central midfield spots. However, the same Semin stated in February that ‘Barinov is not a bench player, but a starter’.

Unfortunately, the limited playing time is hurting his chances of achieving his dream of playing in the World Cup on home soil next summer and trying an adventure abroad. In a recent interview, he stated he would agree to move to Leonid Slutsky’s Hull City or to any middle-table European side to taste that type of football.

Hard but not impossible. At just 20, he’s already one of Lokomotiv leaders in the dressing room, but he needs to play more regularly to fulfil his potential. The season is still long and everyone at Cherkizovo is quite sure he’ll get his chances. Hence, the time is still in favour of Bara, who has a bright future ahead from now on.


Author: Stefano Conforti

Half Russian, half Italian. Football writer and Lokomotiv Moscow supporter. Founder of the FCLMblog, the only blog about Lokomotiv outside Russia, and FCLMmagazine, which is the first magazine in English for an Eastern Europe football club. I’m interested in everything related to Russia and the post-Soviet world.

Leave a Reply