Manchester United legend and cult hero Andrei Kanchelskis has told Dynamo Moscow striker Aleksandr Kokorin to join Arsenal in January. Talks between the Gunners and Dynamo have been suggested to be on-going since Arsenal tried to sign the 24-year-old during the summer, but now according to Russian news outlet Izvestia, Arsenal have agreed personal terms with the Russian international and a move will take place in January.
“The Russian championship is very weak and Aleksandr can progress at Arsenal,” Kanchelskis told The National.
“Arsenal are the best option for Aleksandr’s career. If he is prepared to work a lot, he will not have any problems.
“He will not be like (Arsenal’s former Russian forward) Andrei Arshavin and will become a top class forward for the London club.”
Kokorin has never played outside of Russia starting his youth career with Locomotiv Moscow before switching to Dynamo where he made his first senior team appearance on 4 October 2008.
He soon started to make a name for himself which led to Anzhi Makhachkala meeting his release clause of £13 million in the summer of 2013 (via Independent), but he never played a single game for the club due to injury. By August, Anzhi club owner Suleyman Kerimov had suffered a major meltdown of his business interests, forcing him to sell off all the clubs top-wage earners in a fire-sale, allowing Dynamo to re-sign Kokorin for an undisclosed fee.
Kokorin should prove to be a versatile player for Arsenal, he’s capable of playing as an attacking midfielder or a central striker. With his place firmly embedded in the Russian national team, Arsenal could very well have done themselves a smart piece of business.