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The composition of Zenit in the season 2022/2023 – why the team has so many players


Zenith has an indecently large squad. What should Peter do with such an abundance of players

Dmitry Zimin

None of the competitors have such a quantity.

In the summer, Zenit took four players. And everyone – in a potential basis. Rodrigao and Cassierra are already there, and two Brazilians – Ivan and Mantua – are unlikely to have come to sit on the bench. According to the plans of the management, the transfer of another player is possible – a central defender on the left is no worse than that of Rakitsky. And only after that Peter will take a break. Although there is already a feeling that the reigning champions have a good deal of powerful players in the application.

What should Alip and Adamov do?

Semak never hid the fact that it is important for him to have several tactical options. In the first two rounds, the coach used a four-back formation. First, Chistyakov and Rodrigao came out in the center, and in the second game, Lovren and Rodrigao. In both combinations, Zenit looked good. All three players are clearly not going to give up their place at the start – that’s the first dangerous moment. Zenit has three great central defenders, Alip sits in the reserve, who in this configuration turns into the fourth option. Plus, it’s worth waiting for the fifth central defender with a powerful left. If this happens, then Zenit will have a slightly absurd situation: with a scheme with two central players, three defenders of a good level will be in reserve. Almost no European top club can afford this. At the same time, they are not going to part with anyone.

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Arsen Adamov found himself in the saddest situation. Six months ago, they paid € 5 million for the guy, but Semak can’t find a place for him. The coach admits that a scheme with three central defenders is most suitable for a football player. And, apparently, does not really understand how to use it in other configurations. Of course, Adamov wants to play. But, as far as I understand, the coach convinces him that the chance may be presented to him in the future. After all, the season is long.

Arsen Adamov

Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, Championship

On the flanks of defense, Peter is also in order – Karavaev and Sutormin can play on the right. Due to the enumeration of players, Kuzyaev was even sent there recently. Now he and Karavaev will be treated. Therefore, Sutormin will take the position for some time. On the left, Douglas has no alternative. And Krugovoi sits on the safety net. At the same time, the Brazilian can play in the center of defense. Like the conditional Barrios. So by the end of the transfer window, Peter may have seven players in the center of defense. Powerful! Maybe we will see a scheme with three central defenders?

Mostovoy will not leave, will there still be an attacker?

One of the important features of Semak is that the coach does not like to part with the clip players. Even if they don’t play. The story of Kravtsov is indicative – Sergey hardly let him go in the winter. And I was not particularly happy with the summer transfer. Semak can be understood – the interests of the club are a priority for him, and not specific players. Including this helped him win four cups. And sign a contract to conquer a few more.

It is precisely because of this very feature that Mostovoy will not leave Zenith anywhere. Although the coach has plenty of choice on the flanks. Just look at these names – Claudinho, Malcolm, Bakaev, Mantuan – four players in approximately similar positions. Yes, Andrei was in the starting lineup in the game against Wings and had a great match. But is there any certainty that this will be the case for the whole season? Someone will say that in such competition it will grow. Not excluded. But there is a risk and just sit on the bench. And grow back.

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Barrios, Wendel will play in the center of midfield. Nearby – Kuzyaev and Erokhin. A decent choice.

Andrey Mostovoy

Photo: Elena Razina, Championship

With such a choice of players, it is even surprising that two important positions are not such a great quantitative choice. There are only three strong options at the gate – Odoevsky, Ivan and Kerzhakov. And in the attack, in general, sadness – only two people – Sergeev and Cassierra. Although, if desired, even Erokhin can advance to the center.

With such a composition, Zenit will go for the fifth title. Maximum insurance even against monkeypox. Because if suddenly half of the roster cannot play, there is a powerful reserve. And it is unlikely that Peter will let anyone go.


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