Hey guys. With Kevin's permission, I've decided to use my knowledge of the Russian Premier League to help out with Daniel Levy's Imaginary Shortlist. I have a few particular players in mind that I may cover over the coming days, but I'd like to begin with a player who was linked to Spurs almost daily over the summer, Alan Dzagoev.
Name: Alan Yezbarovich Dzagoev
Team: CSKA Moscow
League: SOGAZ Football Championship (Russia)
Primary position: Wide attacking midfielder
Can also play: Central attacking midfielder, striker
Dzagoev is very widely renowned within Russia as a brilliant creative player who can break down stubborn defences with a single pass, yet he is also a very capable goalscorer as well. Having been forced out to the right by the form of Keisuke Honda and Rasmus Elm, Dzagoev has still pitched in with 3 goals and 4 assists in 13 league appearances this season and he was by far Russia's best player when he performed on the right for them over the summer at Euro 2012, so it is clear that the Ossetic superstar could have a future on the wing.
Dzagoev has been very prominent since he made his debut in 2008. That season he was joint fourth goalscorer in the league with 8 goals, an impressive return for an 18 year old. However, Dzagoev has yet to live up to that stunning debut season, and he has scored one goal less in each season than he did in the previous. This statistic seems concerning at first, but he has been impressive in every season assists-wise, with his lowest tally in that category coming in 2009, with 7.
Dzagoev could probably fit comfortably into Spurs side as a winger, but the main issue in recent seasons has been his discipline. Although he shows no sign of any poor attitude off the pitch, his aggression on the pitch is very concerning, having been banned for 5 matches after punching Dinamo's defender, Luke Wilkshere, in the face after a poor challenge from the Australian earlier in the season.
Likely price: £20 million
Probability that valuation is wrong: Moderate. His price will fluctuate in the market after his amazing summer and then crazy antics in the match against Dynamo. This is an average figure. It could swing from £15 million to £25 million.
Team's willingness to sell: Moderate. Leonid Slutskiy seems to be growing tired of the 22-year-old's poor attitude on the pitch and a reasonable bid might persuade him to part ways with the youngster.
Fit at Tottenham Hotspur: If Andre Villas-Boas decides that Aaron Lennon is not the future for Tottenham's right wing, Dzagoev would be a great upgrade. His attitude would need to be sorted, but he could prove to be a key player for Spurs.
Possibility he ends up at Spurs: Moderate. Spurs were linked heavily with him over the summer, but most of the hype seems to have cooled off. AS Roma now look favourites to sign him, but Spurs could still be in with a shout.
Grade if this transfer goes through at likely price: A-