Artem Dzyuba has joined Russian outfit Lokomotiv Moscow after Rangers director Ross Wilson rubbished suggestions of the veteran striker moving to Ibrox, as reported by Sport24.
Even at 34, and with a turning circle the size of the Isle of Wight, Dzyuba may still have plenty left in the tank. Just last season, he scored 13 times for Zenit St Petersburg after all, adding yet another Russian Premier League title to his enviable collection.
And while Rangers had little interest in offering the 55-cap targetman a fresh start Ibrox, Lokomotiv Moscow obviously feel that they are capable of getting a tune out of their all-new, skyscraper-sized number nine.
“I arrived, ready and insanely happy,” Dzyuba said after arriving at Lokomotiv’s training camp this week. “I’m looking forward to it. Now is not the time for words, but the time for action.
“Therefore, we will try in every possible way to prove to the non-believers that Dzyuba is still the same.”
Artem Dzyuba was never an option for Rangers
Dzyuba signs a deal until the end of the season, three months after leaving Turkish outfit Adana Demirspor. Lokomotiv are a lowly 14th in the 16-team Russian top-flight. And, with just 20 goals from their 17 outings so far, head coach Mikhail Galaktionov will be hoping that Dzyuba’s vast experience and predatory instincts can be the difference between survival and relegation.
“Dzyuba? It’s not for us,” Ross Wilson, Rangers’ sporting director, told RB Sport last month when quizzed about the prospect of signing a man who scored three of his 30 international goals against Scotland.
Dzyuba will wear the number seven shirt at Lokomotiv between now and the end of May. It remains to be seen, however, how quickly the one-time Tottenham Hotspur target can get up to speed again after months of inactivity.
“If Dziuba joined immediately from Zenit, and was in the form that we remember, I would say that this is a good transfer. There would be no questions (about it),” former Lokomotiv president Olga Smorodskaya tells Euro Football.
“He is an experienced player, and he should help the team. Moreover, Lokomotiv has problems with their forwards.
“But the problem is that we haven’t seen Artem in action for a long time. We don’t know how he has trained, and what form he is in now.”