From Russia with goals: the Premier League’s Russian History

Given the size of Russia, you’d probably expect that they’ve had an enormous amount of players who have made it to the Premier League from their population of over 144million. 

However, it seems that football may not be the most popular sport amongst Russians – with just a handful of their natives making a Premier League appearance. Still, they’ve been pretty decent as Arsenal fans will remember.

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It’s strange that there hasn’t been more Russian players in the Premier League when you consider the ability of the likes of Andrey Arshavin, who was unplayable for Arsenal at times.

You would expect that there would be some players in that mould who were looking to emulate the successes of Arshavin for the Gunners, but currently, as evident with the performance of the Russian team are the European Championships, the quality of Russian footballers looks to have regressed.

It’s a shame really given that some players have actually been entertaining to watch with their unique styles – usually the tank type of striker like Pavel Pogrebnyak to players with immense striking ability like Roman Pavlyuchenko – almost like a hybrid target man.

With the Russian leagues imposing restrictions on how many foreign players are allowed to play for each team, it’s likely that we will soon see the rise of a world class player from Russia with their youth being provided further opportunities, but Russians must wait before they start their ‘hypetrains’ over mediocre players like Aleksandr Kokorin; the Zenit forward has been massively underwhelming.