Why Crystal Palace should go all out to land Artem Dzyuba in January
According to a report from the Liverpool Echo, Premier League trio Crystal Palace, Everton and Wolves scouted striker Artem Dzyuba during Russia’s 2-1 win over Scotland on Thursday. The 31-year-old ended up playing the full game for his country and scored in a crucial Euro 2020 qualifier.
Artem Dzyuba plies his trade for Zenit Saint Petersburg where he was in sensational form last season, bagging 13 goals and assisting on 17 more in 37 games.
For his national team, his record is phenomenal; he has netted 21 goals in 37 appearances for Russia, including three in last year’s World Cup when the country hosted the mega event.
The burly striker’s contract with Zenit expires at the end of the season but the Russian club are willing to extend his contract, the report adds. However, out of three clubs apparently interested in Dzyuba, Palace are in need of a prolific goalscorer.
Crystal Palace have struggled for goals in the last couple of seasons. Christian Benteke continues to be out of depth for the club, leaving Wilfried Zaha with the responsibility of scoring goals regularly. And while Zaha’s burden has been somewhat eased by Jordan Ayew, the Eagles still lack a reliable presence up top.
Well, Dzyuba could be the answer to Palace’s problems in front of the goal. At 31, Dzyuba isn’t a spring chicken and would not be one for the future, but could have his uses.
Standing at 6ft 5in, the Russian international is a strong, powerful and intimidating presence which makes him very difficult to knock off the ball. He is excellent in holding up the ball, protecting it and bringing his teammates into the game.
The former Rostov man isn’t the quickest of centre-forwards but he makes it up with his innate understanding of the game and lethal finishing in the box.
The 31-year-old uses his brute force to bully defenders and is an absolute workhorse of a striker. And needless to say, Dzuyba is a real force in the air that makes him an asset for his team from set-pieces.
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With Zaha and Townsend on opposite flanks, Dzuyba could thrive in a Palace shirt. He is the ultimate definition of a real handful and has the tools to be a hit in the Premier League.
Plus, the big Russian is great at linking up play and his arrival at Selhurst Park would allow Zaha to move to a preferred wide role.
Roy Hodgson needs to bring in an extra attacker to spearhead the attack in January and Dzuyba may provide the answer for Palace’s problems this season.