“The goal scoring machine”, players from PSG, Man City and Roma
Andrey Lunev (Bayer; Russia)
Lunev left Zenit last summer to join Bayer on a free agent basis. He failed to beat Lukas Hradecki on the spot, which was to be expected. Andrey featured in only two games: 0-1 against Ferencvaros in the Europa League group stage, and 2-1 against Freiburg in the Bundesliga last weekend. We wish Lunev plenty of playing minutes next season.
Karl Starfelt (Celtic; Sweden)
Starfelt was sold by Rubin to Celtic a year ago, and the Swedish defender became a key player in the Scottish outfit’s defence from the outset: 49 games and 4397 minutes played. For his solid defensive play Sturfelt was rewarded with his first professional career titles – Karl won the Scottish league title and the local League Cup. If he keeps this up, he will attract the attention of APL clubs who keep an eye out for players from the neighbouring league. Virgil van Dijk, for example, started his British phase at Celtic.
Samuel Gigot (Marseille; France)
Gigot was very much his boy at Spartak, becoming friends with Gikiya and becoming a fan favourite, whom he bade farewell to after winning the Russian Cup with a traditional “Auf! This summer Samuel begins a new stage in his career: at the age of 28, he will make his debut in the top division of his native championship, and in the ranks of the popular Marseille who strongly promoted the newcomer.
Filip Uremovic (Hertha; Croatia)
Another former Rubin defender signed a long-term contract (until 2026) with Berlin’s Hertha. Another our acquaintance Sandro Schwarz, who took charge of the Old Lady after his departure from Dinamo Moscow, will coach Uremovic. It is possible that before the end of the summer some more of the former RPL players will move to Hertha: there have been rumours about Chider Ejuk, Alex Kralja and Sebastian Szymanski.
Aleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City; Ukraine)
Zinchenko’s professional career began at Ufa, although it may be hard to believe now that Alexander has reached such heights: he played 127 games for Manchester City, won the English Premier League four times and played in the Champions League final. In total, he has already won 10 trophies under Pep Guardiola.
Leandro Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain; Argentina)
Paredes has no shortage of trophies since his departure from Zenit: Leandro won eight titles with PSG, including three French league titles, and won the domestic America Cup with Argentina. Like Zinchenko, he has played and lost in the UEFA Champions League final, coming within a step of winning the main trophy in European football. And now without a compatriot coach, Pochettino’s sacking could also have an impact on Paredes’ fate at PSG.
Alexander Golovin (Monaco; Russia)
Golovin has played in Ligue 1 for four years now: the Russian midfielder made 131 appearances for Monaco, 17+25 goals plus assists. A good statistic, Alexander is a player in the starting line-up of one of the strongest clubs in Ligue 1, but unfortunately injuries are a limiting factor in his progress.
Gus Thiel (PSV; Netherlands)
Spartak paid 18m euros for Thiel three years ago and are now delighted to have sold the Dutchman to PSV for at least 3m. Spartak would have made several times that amount if the economic and political situation had been different because Guus had a great season at Feyenoord, scoring 21 goals in 49 games, reaching the Conference Cup final and also making the Dutch national team.
Eldor Shomurodov (Roma; Uzbekistan)
Former Rostov forward Eldor Shomurodov, who plays for Roma and listens to the advice of Jose Mourinho, won the final that Gus Thiel lost. Rostov sold Shomurodov to Genoa in 2020, and 10 months later Eldor signed for Roma, where he is mainly a substitute, but brings tangible value in that capacity.
Serdar Azmoun ( Bayer; Iran)
Azmoun joined teammate Andrei Lunev in January and is still going through an adaptation period at Bayer, sitting on the bench next to his old acquaintance. In the second half of the season Serdar spent a total of 391 minutes on the field (4 appearances in the starting line-up and 7 substitute appearances), scored 1 goal and made 1 assist. There should be more in the future. Why else would he have left Zenit?
Sebastian Driussi (Austin; Argentina)
Driussi, on the other hand, fully justifies his departure from Zenit. Sergey Semak has not always seen Sebastian in the starting line-up, and if he has, he usually plays on the flank of midfield where the Argentine does not feel too comfortable. In ‘Austin’ Driussi is a true star, and not only of his team, but also the entire league. Seba leads the MLS scoring list with 10 goals in 18 games, and his team is fighting for the lead in the Western Conference. Driussi scored another goal against Colorado last night, Austin won 3-2 and the official MLS account called the former Zenit forward a “goal scoring machine”.
Who else? Stanislav Kritzyuk (Gil Vicente), Ayrton (Flamengo), Ivan Marcano (Porto), Luis Neto (Sporting), Mihajlo Ristic (Benfica), Emil Bohinen (Salernitana), Kristoffer Olsson (Anderlecht), Alex Miranchuk (Atalanta), Nikola Vlasic (West Ham), Remi Cabella (Montpellier), Maximilian Filipp (Wolfsburg), Solomon Rondon (Everton), Ezequel Ponce (Elche), Hulk (Atletico Mineiro), Felipe Caicedo (Inter).