Notice: Undefined variable: new_article_url in /var/www/vhosts/footballcritic.com/httpdocs/article.php on line 46

Notice: Undefined variable: new_article_url in /var/www/vhosts/footballcritic.com/httpdocs/article.php on line 49

Notice: Undefined variable: new_article_url in /var/www/vhosts/footballcritic.com/httpdocs/article.php on line 53
Player Focus: Artem Dzyuba, more than just a target man
Player Focus

Player Focus: Artem Dzyuba, more than just a target man

The lumbering frontman is in sensational form at the moment for club and country. What is the story behind his numbers?

 
11:00am on Friday 18th October 2019
By
Paul Macdonald

When you look down the top FC Rated players on our homepage at the moment (remember, our rating is based on a player's last 1800 minutes of football, and is nothing to do with reputation or prior achievements), one name stands out. In among Messi, Ronaldo, Lewandowski and Sancho we have... Artem Dzyuba.

Dzyuba is not the easiest on the eye. He has a lumbering, archetypal big-man-up-top physique that is no longer in style. You rarely see a 6 ft 4 inch forward these days, and even less with a team playing directly to their strengths, but despite now being into his 30's, the Russian is in a rich vein of form for both club and country.

And the stereotype is perhaps a touch unjust. Yes, he averages 5.5 aerials won in all competitions so far this season, and it would be wrong to think he doesn't use his large frame as the central tenet of his attacking play. But his touch and in particular his selflessness for creating chances for team-mates - in the recent match against Cyprus he created four big chances in a single game - represents a more all-round player than his appearance would suggest.

BEST PERFORMANCES

UEQOct 13, 2019W
  • 90'
  • 10

    At international level, Dzyuba has destroyed the opposition. Scotland and Cyprus will never want to see him again as he recorded two perfect 10s in dismantling them 4-0 and 5-0, scoring three and providing three assists in those two matches. At club level, he has become indispensable and when he performs, Zenit perform. There's no arguing with the breakdown of Dzyuba's numbers; in his last 20 appearances he has been borderline unplayable.

    KEY STATS (LAST 1800 MINS UNTIL 18 OCT)

    GOALS: 14

    ASSISTS: 11

    TOUCHES IN BOX (P90): 10

    BIG CHANCES CREATED: 16

    SHOTS (P90): 3.45

    SHOTS ON TARGET %: 36.25%

    SHOTS TO GOALS %: 20.3%

    DECISIVE GOALS: 7 (What does Decisive mean?)

    25 direct goal contributions - just one penalty among them, while creating almost a big chance per game, and scoring with one in five of his shots. He is still lurking in the penalty area, ready to nod the ball home, while also playing a superb back-to-goal game, but it is in his subtlety that we find a different side to Dzyuba.

    BEST MOMENTS

    Watch the perfectly-weighted slide back into Amzoun's path for this Champions League goal in Lyon, while this is a virtuoso display in the destruction of Rubin Kazan, registering two assists, while provided a further two secondary assists as well as creating three big chances.

    That's the performance of a player as interested as bringing team-mates into play than he is from ram-raiding defenders. It's clear he hasn't always been like this. Perhaps the decision to appoint him Russia captain his invigorated his interest, while maybe, finally, he is working with coaches and team-mates that understand his game. What is clear is that despite first impressions, both Zenit and Russia are playing good stuff this season and Dzyuba is absolutely at the heart of both.

    It's unlikely Dzyuba will keep this up. It's unquestionably the best run of his career, but just enjoy watching this retro throwback all the way through to Euro 2020.

    Latest news

    Premier League

    Premier League Table: Man City move top after Chelsea defeat

    The English champions went top of the Premier League table on Saturday after a convincing 3-1 win over Watford

    • 15 hours
    Standings

    La Liga Table: Real Madrid go eight points clear with Sociedad win

    Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid go eight points clear at the top of La Liga after beating Real Sociedad 2-0 on Saturday evening

    • 15 hours
    Predicted XI

    Rangnick era begins - How Man Utd could line up against Crystal Palace

    Ralf Rangnick will be in the Old Trafford dugout for the first time as Manchester United welcome Crystal Palace

    • 1 day
    Predicted XI

    How Real Madrid could line up against Real Sociedad in La Liga

    Real Madrid are on a superb run of seven wins in a row in all competitions

    • 2 days
    Predicted XI

    Dembele to start? - How Barcelona could line up against Betis

    Ousmane Dembele could be in line for a start as Xavi's side look to make it three wins on the bounce in La Liga

    • 2 days
    Predicted XI

    Laporte to return - How Man City could line up against Watford

    Aymeric Laporte will make a welcomed return to the starting XI for Manchester City after serving a suspension

    • 2 days

    Most read