Unless you’re an avid follower of Zenit Saint Petersburg or the Russian Premier League, chances are you’ve never heard of Zenit’s troublesome striker before.
Having started his professional career at Dynamo Moscow, the Russian forward scored 19 goals in 114 games, the first of which made him the youngest goalscorer in Dynamo Moscow’s history in the Russian Premier League, aged just 17.
Following impressive performances, Anzhi Makhachkala were prompted to trigger his release clause of €19 million, however, the withdrawal of financial support from Anzhi’s owner, Suleyman Kerimov meant that after just two weeks, Kokorin was sold back to Dynamo.
Hitting double figures in both campaigns that followed for Dynamo, led to Arsenal being heavily linked to the player and it was thought he would be on his way to the Emirates in January of 2016. It was eventually announced that Zenit had purchased the frontman for just under €2 million in what looked to be a shrewd deal.
Kokorin, notorious in Russia for flaunting his lavish lifestyle & expensive cars, wasn’t exactly a popular figure at the beginning of his move to Zenit. Finding himself demoted to the youth team on one occasion after spending over €200,000 on drinks and a private boat party, the forward wasn’t exactly a popular figure with the Zenit fan base, and many would’ve been quite content with seeing him sold on.
Fast forward to the beginning of this season, and Kokorin finds himself top of the goal-scoring charts, with an impressive six goals in seven games. Add to this his three assists and four MOTM awards, followed by a further two goals in Zenit’s Europa League qualification match to beat FC Utrecht 2-1 on aggregate. Russia fans will be hoping he has matured and left the playboy lifestyle behind, and that he carries on this form for next year’s world cup on his home turf to take them all the way.
Do you think Kokorin can be a star at the 2018 World Cup?
Leave your thoughts and comments below. Don’t forget to vote in our poll below too!
Featured Image Source: Mikhail Slain
Image Source: https://my.mail.ru/mail/michael_62/photo/23/3582.html
Attribution: By Mikhail Slain (foto.mail.ru) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Image found via WikimediaCommons and may be removed upon request