Wolves were among several Premier League clubs to send scouts to watch Russia striker Artem Dzyuba in action at Hampden Park on Friday night.
Russian publication Riafan.ru reported [via Birmingham Live] that Wolves had assigned scouts to attend the Scotland v Russia Euro 2020 qualifier in Glasgow to assess the Zenit St Petersburg target man.
According to Riafan.ru, the 31-year-old is believed to have left a positive impression with his performance having scored Russia’s first goal in a 2-1 victory, and Everton and Crystal Palace were also scouting him.
Riafan.ru added that Dzyuba, whose Zenit contract expires next summer, had recently switched to Jorge Mendes’ Gestifute agency, which represents several Wolves players including Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota.
Veteran striker Dzyuba has a fine scoring record at national team level, with 21 goals in 37 caps for Russia (0.57 goals per game), while his 394 club appearances have yielded 132 goals (0.34 goals per game).
He has represented five clubs in his homeland and has been a Zenit player since 2015 (aside from a brief loan spell at Arsenal Tula) but has never played with a club outside Russia. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
The 31-year-old has begun the new season with four goals and four assists from nine games, an average of 0.44 goals and assists per game.
Fellow Molineux forward Jota has three goals and five assists from his 10 appearances this term, averaging 0.3 goals and 0.5 assists per game.
Unsurprisingly for a striker of 6 ft 7 (1.97m) in height, Dzyuba possesses a threat in the air, winning 4.4 aerial duels per game this season compared to 1.5 per game for Jimenez, while Jota has not won any this term [via WhoScored].
Since the start of the 2018/19 season, six of Dzyuba’s 17 club goals (35.3%) have come with his head. In the same timeframe, Jimenez has scored only two headed goals out of 25 (8%), while none of Jota’s 13 goals were headers.
Dzyuba may be 31, but Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo has previous in buying players of a similar age profile – Rui Patricio was 30 when he came to the club last summer and has been their first choice goalkeeper ever since, making 46 appearances in that time.
Also, the Zenit and Russia striker’s form suggests that he would bring a frequent goals and assists threat if he came to Wolves, with his heading ability possibly giving them a more direct route to goal if chasing a game late on.
Even if he only came for a season or two, Dzyuba seems like a forward who could score and set up enough goals to make a lasting impression at Molineux.
Wolves fans, do you think Dzyuba would be a good signing if the club follow up their interest in him? Comment below with your views!
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