Premier League Watch
Despite a minimal Premier League presence on the opening day of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russia substitute Denis Cheryshev (above) will have gained plaudits after his two superbly taken goals helped the hosts to an emphatic 5-0 victory.
The 27-year-old’s first goal was well taken, as he faked a shot – fooling two helpless Saudi Arabia defenders in the process – and emphatically smashed home past goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf. His second was even better; after collecting a knockdown from the powerful striker Artem Dzyuba, Cheryshev exquisitely guided the ball into the top corner with the outside of his boot. A delicious effort.
Rarely for a Russian international, the Villarreal left-winger has never played domestic football outside Spain, having been out on loan at various La Liga sides from parent club Real Madrid before finally signing for his current club in the summer of 2016. His ability to drive down the outside of opposing full-backs has seemed an outdated trait in recent times, the modern trend being for wide players to cut inside and shoot. However, for teams such as Burnley, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Southampton – all of whom can operate with more traditional number nines who pose a real aerial threat – Cheryshev could make an ideal summer signing.
A common criticism of overseas wingers who come to the Premier League is their unwillingness to make frequent recovery runs. Cheryshev showed a genuine desire to track back and help his defensive unit, however – and this is a trait that Sean Dyche at Burnley particularly demands of his wide players. In his 73 minutes on the field, Cheryshev recovered the ball six times – an impressive figure for an attack-minded winger.
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