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The most completed team in Russia has practically no problems with the composition. Looking back, Sergei Semak probably remembers with a shudder the first season or two, when there were a lot of unnecessary players on the contracts.

Some did not match the tasks (Robert Mack), others were not motivated (Leandro Paredes), others were always injured (Claudio Marchisio), the fourth did not fit in style (Oleg Shatov), ​​the fifth simply took other people’s places (Mathias Kranevitter). The roster was incredibly inflated.

For four years, Semak, with the help of management, cleared the rubble, and the number and quality of players can be called more or less optimal, assembled according to the vision of the coach. However, life does not stand still. Some players leave, others grow old, others degrade, so reinforcement is required even in ideal teams.


Today, the St. Petersburg team needs the main work on the transfer market precisely to strengthen this zone. The appearance of a good central defender will automatically strengthen the left side, from where Douglas Santos was forced to pull out.

At the moment, the coach has only one reliable profile defender for this position – Dmitry Chistyakov. Yaroslav Rakitskiy is gone, Dejan Lovren is always injured and does not really want to return to the field at all, Nuraly Alip does not convince. At the same time, Semak began to play in three central ones, moving players here from the flanks, which does not have the best effect on the reliability of the rear, so ideally it would be to find a couple of players.

It is difficult to judge the foreign market, but in Russia, the Brazilian Rodrigao from Sochi would definitely help the Petersburgers. Friendly relations between the clubs are quite capable of resolving all issues on this transfer. With him, the team can be calm for the second floor of their penalty area. In addition, he will fit perfectly into the Brazilian legion. The limit on legionnaires will not become a problem, especially since it has been expanded since the new season.


Just ahead, the blue-white-blues will soon close the hole at the expense of the Sochi football player. Forward Mateo Cassierra has one foot in St. Petersburg, and one cannot but admit that this is a top transfer. Last season, the Colombian showed a very high level and stable performance. He has the necessary plasticity, speed and technique. Plus, with his arrival, the South American colony of the flagship of Russian football will become even larger. There is a risk in this, but so far it has paid off.

After FIFA allowed foreigners to suspend contracts, the situation with Yuri Alberto suddenly hung up, whom Corinthians wants to return to his homeland. If this does not happen, with the arrival of Cassierra, the offensive line (and Semak plays two forwards) will be fully staffed. Otherwise, another attacker will be required. But for now, this is all in theory, so let’s formulate the task as follows – to keep Alberto.


After the termination of the contract with Stanislav Kritsyuk, Zenit was left with one experienced goalkeeper – Mikhail Kerzhakov. Here, the coaching staff must decide whether they trust enough 19-year-old Daniil Odoevsky as his understudy. From the outside, it seems that in a season without European cups, St. Petersburg may well get by with this bunch, although in general a stronger number one team is needed.


It is also worth considering how much playing time these players will get in such a truncated season. Arsen can help in the center of defense until a better option is found, but in general, he, along with Alexei Sutormin, claims to be the understudy of Vyacheslav Karavaev. In this situation, one looks redundant. Last season, Mr. 50 thousand rubles could well have replaced Malcolm on the right flank of the attack, but with the arrival of Zelimkhan Bakaev, this door is closing.

As for Alexander Erokhin, he looks alien in the company of South Americans and Bakaev with Ivan Sergeev. He is a good player, but too atypical for Semak and this mobile team. Already last season, he spent only 925 minutes in the RPL (just over 10 full matches), and this will probably be even less. At 32, sitting on the bench is already sad.

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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!