Over the weekend Arsenal were tipped to make a £10 million offer for CSKA Moscow’s 21-year-old midfielder Aleksandr Golovin.
That link has since been shot down by the Gunners’ scout in the region, Pavel Kucherov, who thinks the player isn’t ready for life in the Premier League.
In an interview with Sport Express, Kucherov, who has worked for Arsene Wenger since 2014, revealed that he’d not been asked to scout the player and that a move was unrealistic.
Here’s an extract of the interview, translated from the Russian by Reddit user @medved_
What have you heard about Golovin’s potential transfer to Arsenal?
This was a surprise for me. Usually, these things aren’t publicised and are kept private. It’s always nice when there is interest in a footballer from Russia, a country that does not have many players in Europe. This is especially the case when there is substance to this interest, but we won’t speak about the end destination.
What do you mean?
I mean that this player is not talented enough for European level and it’s unrealistic to discuss his transfer to a top EPL club.
You are not of a high opinion of him?
I didn’t say that, but to make it to a top Premier League club, Alexander would need to improve his football in general, as well as his physical, psychological and mental attributes. I don’t believe any former CSKA player has previously established themselves in a top English club and if Golovin wants to prove himself in England, he will have to do it step by step. Because of high competition, he would be getting little playing time to prove himself.
Andrey Arshavin managed it. How is Golovin different from the former national team captain?
Arshavin of those years was a footballer of a completely different level which Golovin has not yet reached. He is more talented than Golovin of today. At the moment, as I’ve previously said, the CSKA midfielder would not be able to make a difference at the top EPL clubs.
Is a transfer followed by a loan back to CSKA possible?
It’s the right strategy for a top club that wants to buy a player like and develop him. Only this approach will give the player a chance and prove himself in the EPL, although if Arsenal will decide to proceed with this transfer, I don’t think it would be the right move to keep the player in the Russian league. He would not be developing there in the same way he would in England or Germany and he definitely needs to move to a club of different level and pressure where he can take the next step towards making it at the club that is buying his transfer.
Who would Golovin compete with at Arsenal?
Alexis Sanchez who you just saw in yesterday’s Russia-Chile friendly. There are also very fast and strong English guys, so the competition is high. I think the issue is Golovin himself and his technical, tactical and most importantly physical abilities.
Have you been asked on your opinion of him at Arsenal?
No I have not.
You can read the rest of the translation, here.