Scout Report – Sardar Azmoun
It looks like Liverpool could reignite their interest in Rubin Kazan forward Sardar Azmoun in the summer. The 23-year-old Azmoun has prompted speculation on social media by posting a picture of himself and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp on Instagram.
The Iranian striker was reportedly a target for Liverpool last year but he chose to stay put at Rubin Kazan. With Azmoun set to be a hot prospect after the World Cup in Russia, let’s take a closer look at his profile.
Born on 1 January 1995, Azmoun started playing club football when he was just 9 years old. He began his career at Oghab Gonbad in 2004. Azmoun also played volleyball and was invited to Iran’s national under-15 volleyball team. However, he stuck to his desire of playing football and after some years, joined Shamoushak Gorgan before going to Etka Gorgan.
At the age of 15, he joined Sepahan’s youth ranks and following some eye-catching displays in Iran’s youth team, the forward garnered attention from European clubs, especially Russian outfit Rubin Kazan. Azmoun signed for Rubin Kazan when he was 17, becoming the first Iranian to play in the Russian Premier League.
After spending three years with Kazan, Azmoun signed a three-and-a-half-month loan deal with FC Rostov on 26 February 2015. Ahead of the 2016-17 season, it was initially thought Azmoun would return to Rubin Kazan. However, Rostov triggered the buyout clause in Azmoun’s contract. Rubin denied this clause and claimed Azmoun was their player.
There were off the pitch complications but it was settled eventually with Azmoun staying with Rostov. His impressive displays with Rostov saw him get linked with Celtic, Everton and Valencia. However, in June last year, he returned to Rubin Kazan.
On the international stage, Azmoun made his senior national team debut in 2014 in a friendly match against Montenegro. He was a prolific goal-scorer in Iran’s youth teams and has managed to replicate a similar form for the senior team, scoring a staggering 22 goals in just 30 appearances till date.
What Does He Offer?
Dubbed ‘the Iranian Messi’, Azmoun is an incredibly exciting young striker. The Iranian international has leapt to fame and is enjoying the prime of his career, having had his best form in 2016. Azmoun is primarily a centre-forward but is adept at playing on the wings or as a second striker as well. However, his goalscoring prowess shows that he must be played up front for maximum results.
With blistering pace to burn, he is known to terrorise defences with his constant running but he is not a one-trick pony either. The forward is a brilliant dribbler, tricky, agile and is equally strong on both legs. With the ball at his feet, the Rubin Kazan man is capable of delivering magic moments.
Azmoun is a 6’1″ striker who has a wide variety of skills; from being adept at playing on the wings to being a threat during counter-attacks, the Iranian has everything under his belt which every young player dreams to have.
He is above 6 feet and can bully opposition defences with his strength and power. The former Rostov man is good at hold-up play and can dominate in the air. He is also a clinical finisher, which is a rare commodity for strikers at early 20’s.
The only marked weakness in his game is the fact that he tends to give away a lot of cheap fouls and as a result, accumulates a lot of cards. However, he can iron out those flaws out of his game in the future.
What Does The Future Hold?
Since returning back to Rubin Kazan at the start of the season, Azmoun has failed to live up to the hype. He has only scored a solitary goal in 19 appearances. Jurgen Klopp must have started making plans for summer and in the process has identified Azmoun as a player to boost his squad.
However, Azmoun has no experience of the English top flight and might struggle. He could generate interest after the World Cup, and if the Reds are still keeping tabs on Azmoun, they should be laying the platform for a move in the summer.
Whatever is the case, the talented Iranian should think twice before making his next move.