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Everton linked to Russian World Cup star

That would be a giant no. Don’t do it. Just don’t.

FC Zenit Saint Petersburg vs FC Rostov Rostov-on-Don - Russian Premier League Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images

A few sources have linked Everton to Russian World Cup star Artem Dzyuba. Ignore them. The original source seems to be this article from Russian source RT, but this move makes no sense on several levels.

First of all, Artem Dzyuba is 30 years old. At 30 he has no experience outside the Russian Premier League, so he is completely unproven in top leagues and he never was a fast player.

Second, his main qualification for coming to Everton appears to be an extremely enjoyable to watch World Cup where he had three goals and two assists for Russia in their surprise advancement to the quarterfinals.

Since that time, he has looked far more human. The 6’5” forward has one goal in four Nations League B matches, a goal and assist in four Europa League matches, and five goals and two assists in sixteen Russian Premier League matches - the same league where Nikola Vlasic has four goals and two assists in fewer games. That’s just not the kind of dominance we would need from someone making that big a leap in league quality.

Third, the forward’s age is a big sticking factor, especially when we look at the type of player Director of Football Marcel Brands has brought in last summer, with 25 being by far the oldest.

Finally, tactically the idea with Dzyuba would seem to be repeating what Gylfi Sigurdsson had with Fernando Llorente at Swansea. That pairing basically by themselves kept the Welsh club up two years ago. However, our ambitions are far more than Swansea’s ever have been, and Artem is not nearly as proven in any respect as the Spanish forward.

And surely Everton are not planning to go back to the days of when Duncan Ferguson was the lead-footed totem pole striker and the rest of the team focused on lumping the ball forward up to him. The Premier League has moved on past that era.

This whole thing kind of has the feel of “Everton need a striker, here’s a guy we’ve heard of, let’s link them”. I really don’t think it’s going to happen.