CSKA Moscow midfielder, Aleksandr Golovin has been linked with a move to Arsenal so we thought we’d have a look at what could he bring to Arsenal.
Read more: Arsenal scout: Golovin not ready for Arsenal move
Golovin came through the youth ranks of CSKA Moscow and joined the senior squad in the summer of 2015.
The 21-year-old has made 70 appearances for the Moscow club in his two senior seasons and is establishing himself as a first choice midfielder.
During the 2016/17 season, Golovin made 37 appearances for CSKA, scoring three goals and making four assists.
The young Russian is a very versatile player and was used in multiple positions last season.
His most natural position is in central midfield, whether that is the a role of attacking or defensive midfielder.
He is adapted to playing on the flanks as well, making nine appearances on the left and one on the right. With very good pace and tactical positioning, he is a great asset for CSKA.
Golovin’s tactical awareness and defensive contribution make him a very useful player in the middle of the pitch. Defensively, he makes an average of three tackles per game, combined with 1.6 interceptions and often breaks opposition attacks up before they get close to the penalty box.
While going forward, he is very good at holding the ball and often makes runs with the ball to open up space and wait for supporting players. With an average of 79.8 successful passes per game, he isn’t very good at keeping possession, but compensates that with very good through balls to create chances.
Although not the tallest player on the pitch at 5″9′, he should have better aerial ability and it’s something he will need to work on.
His passing success rate is just below 80% as mentioned and if he were to join a passing team like Arsenal, that’s something he will need to significantly improve.
Regarding his defensive contribution, although he does a lot of work for his defenders, he commits a lot of fouls, 2.3 on average, putting his defence under pressure from set-pieces.
What if he joins Arsenal
Golovin is one of the top talents in Russia and has a very bright future ahead of him.
His versatility and mature performances have given CSKA an extra edge to their game and the youngster seems to make everyone around him play better.
He’s still some kind of unrefined diamond and will need to do plenty of work on the training pitch. He will also need a manager to define one position for him to excel in rather than shuffling him around the pitch every few games.
Golovin is quite different to any of the current Arsenal midfielders as he tends to hold the ball for a long time and make forward runs a lot. His approach would likely change when/if he does join Arsenal.
According to transfermarkt.com, Golovin is priced at €3m but CSKA are believed to asking for at least €10m for the youngster.
A leap from the Russian to the English league certainly wouldn’t be an easy one, and the youngster could perhaps use a loan to a weaker side in Premier League or in the Championship in order to get the feel for football in the country.