January 31, 2023

Crystal Palace interested in Russian star

For many, the idea of taking anything to do with Russia – at a sporting level or otherwise – would seem strange. The current wartime climate that exists around their movement in Ukraine has meant many feel uncomfortable working with Russians. However, in football, just about anything will go if it is allowed – and for that reason, it should not be a surprise to see many clubs looking to take advantage of the situation.

Already, clubs in Ukraine – especially Shakhtar Donetsk – have seen many of their most exciting talents sold to other teams in Europe. Unable to play for much of this season and likely next season, Ukrainian football is at a standstill. Many teams, then, have managed to move in and grab exciting young talent from these teams for a fraction of their real value.

And while Russian football is still playing on, the removal of their teams from UEFA competition could see some players heading for the exit door. One player being heavily linked with a move to England is Dynamo Moscow star Daniil Fomin. The player has been linked with Crystal Palace FC recently, though teams in Germany – including European spot finishers SC Freiburg – are believed to be keen on making the move happen.

Could the ‘Russian Lampard’ thrive in England?

The midfielder has been getting rave reviews for some time, starring in a Dynamo side that is slowly but surely rebuilding its reputation. As one of the former powers of Soviet football, Dynamo have struggled to retain that success in the post-USSR era. However, they still have a penchant for producing interesting talent – and Fomin might be the most exciting they have produced in some time.

The midfielder is an impressive playmaker but he is most noted for his ability to score goals from distance. With Conor Gallagher almost certain to stay at Chelsea next year, Palace are getting creative in their search for targets. Fomin might feel controversial due to his nationality, but take that out of the discussion and he fits the target profile of a Palace player very well.

Young, with the potential to improve, and coming from a potentially undervalued market? He fits the Palace criteria to a T. He would make an excellent signing, and at 25 he would be just what the club is looking for to help fill the gap in midfield. An impressive twelve goals and five assists in the previous season show that he is someone who can score goals on a regular basis.

However, caution is needed – Fomin takes penalties for Moscow, for example. Many compare him to Lampard in his ability to find a half-yard of space to get a shot off, or being able to track the ball and stand in the right position for a rebound, he is simply not at the class of the former England man.

Still, at 25, he is a player who is definitely worth a punt. With a fee of around £10m expected to be enough to land the Russian, Palace would likely need to move fast if they want to land the hotshot Russian.