The past 2 seasons of the Russian Premier League has seen Fedor Smolov take top spot as the top scorer. You may not think that is too special but when you realise his most prolific season before that was 8 goals it raises some eyebrows. The 27-year-old has never been regarded as a prolific goalscorer before his move to Krasnodar in 2015 which has seemingly made his career. He was considered by many in Russia to be a joke of a player but it has all changed and this sudden run of great form does bring up the question as to what has happened to him?
In his 2 seasons with Krasnodar he has bagged himself 38 goals in 51 games which is a fantastic return for a player who in his previous 7 seasons managed just 13 goals. The 2015/16 Russian player of the year has been a key figure for Krasnodar not only domestically but in continental competition he has also been turning heads which a few years ago no one would have expected. His return of 6 goals in 9 games in the Europa League is very positive as well. This floury of goals has ultimately lead to various clubs around Europe putting the striker on their radar and rightly so as since he has ‘hit his prime’ he has been one of Russia’s best strikers.
Standing at 6’1″ Smolov is a striker who has superb movement both in and around the box. He is also very good technically and is solid with the ball at his feet. Smolov is always getting himself into positions in which central defenders do not like to go so he can be a real handful for any team. Not only is his movement to score goals for himself great but his ability to make runs to allow his team mates to get into spaces and link up with them is tremendous and he should be given credit for his team work.
Since his time at Krasnodar, Fedor Smolov has cemented his place back into the Russian national team and he has bagged himself 6 goals in just 12 starts for his nation. Although Smolov has been pushed out wide for some games as because of his technical ability he is well suited to also play out wide. He recently scored for Russia in their opening Confederations Cup against New Zealand so it just shows he can do it on the big stage so lets hope he will be in Stanislav Cherchesov’s plan for 2018 when they host the World Cup. With reports linking Smolov away from Krasnodar this season it is unclear where he will be playing next season but whoever signs him will have a fantastic player on their hands who if picked for the world cup will definitely be one to watch.