Russian players who can go to the top RPL clubs: Agalarov, Sarveli, Lomaev, Samoshnikov, Glebov, Melekhin

This summer, the top RPL clubs are more active than before in the domestic, Russian market. So, for example, Zenit signed Zelimkhan Bakaev for free, despite the large number of attacking players in the squad (Erokhin, Claudinho, Malcolm, Sergeev, Mostovoy), and Spartak took Anton Zinkovsky. At the same time, there are several more clear candidates for promotion in the national championship. We tell you who in the near future can replenish the leading teams.

Ivan Lomaev, goalkeeper, Wings of the Soviets

The 2021/2022 season was the first for Lomaev in the RPL. He played 28 matches (nine clean sheets) and conceded 34 goals. “Krylya Sovetov” took sixth place in the championship of Russia in terms of conceded goals, and this is mainly the merit of the 23-year-old goalkeeper. Lomaev is one of the best goalkeepers in the league in terms of play on exits. In addition, Ivan takes an active part in the development of attacks and will not “fry” when pressing the opponent. A good example is Lomaev’s save after Claudinho’s hit.

Of the RPL teams in need of a strong keeper, Zenit comes to mind first. In recent years, this position has been problematic for Sergei Semak, and the arrival of Stanislav Krytsyuk has not improved the situation. However, this does not prevent Zenit from winning the championship every year. The acquisition of Lomaev for the future is an excellent solution for any top RPL club. Only in other teams there are no problems with the starting number one. Lomaev’s contract with Wings of the Soviets runs until the summer of 2023.

Suitable for: Zenith.

Ivan Kuzmichev, defender, Ural

Kuzmichev made an impressive jump from PFL to RPL in one season. Last season, the central defender made 24 appearances in all competitions and scored two assists. The 21-year-old player perfectly combines positional play with ball attacks. In addition, Kuzmichev qualitatively plays with his head, is reliable when playing to intercept, but he can miss opening behind his back and allows himself to be beaten when changing movements. Ivan could also strengthen Zenit: the blue-white-blues have only three central defenders in the clip (Lovren, Chistyakov, Alip), and the arrival of young Kuzmichev Semaku would increase competition in the team. According to the latest information, Dynamo is more interested in the player.

Ivan Kuzmichev (Ural)

Photo: RIA Novosti

Suitable for: Zenit and Dynamo.

Viktor Melekhin, defender, Rostov

The 18-year-old defender had a strong second part of the season, playing 13 starts. Melekhin is a tenacious defensive player, puts his body well when tackling the ball, does not get lost when pressing the opponent and is accurate in long passes. Perhaps it is too early for the defender to change the club – after all, he has only 17 matches in the RPL. However, if Sochi needs a center defense player with a Russian passport, then it is worth making a choice in favor of Melekhin.

Suitable for: Sochi.




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Maxim Osipenko, defender, Rostov

Osipenko made his debut in the RPL with Tambov, but became the leader in the Karpin team, where he moved for € 250 thousand. The defender began the 2021/2022 season with a captain’s armband and scored a goal against Zenit in the second round. In total, Osipenko played 29 matches from the first to the last minute and, in addition to the ball with blue-white-blue, scored the winning goal for Lokomotiv. Yes, Maxim has problems with the choice of position, but he compensates for this shortcoming with an excellent game “on the second floor”, a long pass and a tough tackle. In April, there was information that Zenit wanted to take Osipenko in case Lovren left, but these were just rumors. However, it is possible that they are still being transformed into a transfer. Two years ago, one defender, Chistyakov, already followed this route.

Suitable for: Zenith.

Maxim Osipenko (Rostov)

Photo: Artyom Gusev, “Championship”

Danil Stepanov, defender, Arsenal

The 22-year-old left-back made his RPL debut in the 2018/2019 season. Stepanov belonged to Rubin, and for playing time he went to Rotor, which moved up in the class. There, the footballer played 22 matches, scored a goal and an assist. In December 2021, Arsenal bought the player from the Kazan club, and Stepanov turned out to be almost the only bright spot of the Tula club this season. The defender closed the left edge and often joined the attack (one goal, four assists).

Such a player, apparently, would fit CSKA. The army team on the left flank of the defense was one Shchennikov, whose playing time in recent seasons has declined sharply. Although, to play in a top club, Danila still needs to “grow meat”. Stepanov’s contract with Arsenal runs until the summer of 2025.

Best for: CSKA.

Yuri Gorshkov, defender, Wings of the Soviets

A similar situation – CSKA would have come up. Gorshkov has been closing the left edge of Krylya Sovetov for two seasons. Before moving to the Samara club, he played a hundred matches for Chertanovo. In March, it was reported that the 23-year-old player could go to Spartak to replace Ayrton, but now there is Rybus. The main difference between Gorshkov’s game and Stepanov’s is that he plays more wide and more often connects to attacks (five effective actions, including goals from Sochi and Spartak). His contract with the “Wings of the Soviets” is calculated until the summer of next year.

Best for: CSKA.

Ilya Samoshnikov, defender, Rubin

Samoshnikov is the main goal of CSKA, and this is not surprising. Unlike Stepanov and Gorshkov, Ilya spent two great seasons and made his debut for the national team in September 2021. In the last season, the footballer played 27 matches in all competitions and scored one goal. According to SE, Rubin will try to get €2-3 million for the defender. Samoshnikov dribbles the ball at high speed, shifts to the half-flank and plays 1 in 1 in defense.

Leonid Slutsky

Rubin head coach

“Is there any certainty that Dupin and Samoshnikov will start the season at Rubin? No, there is no such certainty.

Best for: CSKA.




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Danil Glebov, midfielder, Rostov

“Glebov is on the lists of all top RPL teams” – this quote belongs to the player’s agent Pavel Banatin. At the same time, both Zenit and CSKA stated that they had not negotiated for the Rostov midfielder. The 22-year-old defender had the best season of his career: he played all 30 matches, scored four goals and made five assists. Glebov works well in pressing, makes a lot of movements without the ball, hits well from a distance and aggressively goes into the tackle. Here is an example of his long-range strike.

If we talk about the future top club for Glebov, then there are few options here – Zenit or Dynamo. In the Semak team, the midfielder can replace the departed Ozdoev, while for the blue and white Danil will be an excellent replacement for Moro.

Suitable for: Zenit and Dynamo.

Hamid Agalarov, forward, Ufa

Everything is clear with the best scorer of the Russian championship of the 2021/2022 season. He can’t stay at Ufa and needs to keep growing. It looks like Agalarov will move to Sochi. Vadim Garanin has practically no leaders in attack after Cassierra’s transfer to Zenit, which is about to be completed.

Suitable for: Sochi.

Hamid Agalarov (Ufa)

Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, Championship




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Vladislav Sarveli, forward, Wings of the Soviets

In the 2021/2022 season, Sarveli scored nine goals and made three assists. In the last FNL draw, he scored almost half as much. According to the Championship, Vladislav is interested in Sochi. “Sarveli is being considered as a replacement for Cassierra, who is close to moving to Zenit. After this transfer, Sochi can intensify negotiations on Sarveli, ”added the source of the Championship.

Suitable for: Sochi.

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