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Arsenal target Alexsandr Golovin impresses for Russia in 5-0 rout of Saudi Arabia to launch 2018 World Cup as bookies slash price on signing for Unai Emery

PUBLISHED: 18:37 14 June 2018 | UPDATED: 18:41 14 June 2018

Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal vies with Aleksandr Golovin of CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Europa League game between Arsenal v CSKA Moscow at the Emirates Stadium, Islington, London. Picture: DANNY LOO

Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal vies with Aleksandr Golovin of CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Europa League game between Arsenal v CSKA Moscow at the Emirates Stadium, Islington, London. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

The World Cup has kicked-off with Arsenal target Alexsandr Golovin starting the tournament with an impressive performance in the 5-0 rout of hapless Saudi Arabia – with bookies cutting their prices for the player to join Arsenal.

GOAL!!! Aleksandr Golovin of CSKA Moscow equalises for CSKA in the UEFA Europa League game between Arsenal v CSKA Moscow at the Emirates Stadium, Islington, London. Picture: DANNY LOOGOAL!!! Aleksandr Golovin of CSKA Moscow equalises for CSKA in the UEFA Europa League game between Arsenal v CSKA Moscow at the Emirates Stadium, Islington, London. Picture: DANNY LOO

Golovin played for CSKA Moscow against Arsenal in the Europa League quarter final, scoring the Moscovites goal during the 4-1 defeat at the Emirates in March.

Golovin, 21, had been said to be courted by Arsenal at the time of the two-legged tie which saw the Gunners qualify for the semi-finals after a 2-2 draw in Moscow.

Arsenal boss at the time Arsene Wenger had said Golovin was ‘very interesting’ and had high praise for the creative midfielder, however the coub did not follow up their initial interest.

Alan Alger from Betway told the Islington Gazette after the 5-0 rout in Moscow on Thursday: “Golovin was said to be on Arsenal’s radar and a superb performance in the opening game of the World Cup has seen his odds slashed to 4/1 to join the Gunners before the end of the transfer window.”

GOAL!!! Aleksandr Golovin of CSKA Moscow equalises for CSKA in the UEFA Europa League game between Arsenal v CSKA Moscow at the Emirates Stadium, Islington, London. Picture: DANNY LOOGOAL!!! Aleksandr Golovin of CSKA Moscow equalises for CSKA in the UEFA Europa League game between Arsenal v CSKA Moscow at the Emirates Stadium, Islington, London. Picture: DANNY LOO

Siberian-borm Golovin played futsal as a youngster which helps explain his excellent close-control and technique.

He joined FC Novokuznetsk in 2009 before joining CSKA three years later as a 16-year-old.

He came to prominence in the UEFA Youth League in 2013-14 making six appearances scoring two goals with two assists which enabled him to make his debut for CSKA a year later.

His exciting talents led him to the Russia U19s at the 2015 European Championships where his vision and technical ability made his stand out as the team reached the final, narrolwy failing to lift the trophy and replicate his success with the U17s two years previously.

GOAL!!! Aleksandr Golovin of CSKA Moscow celebrates the equalising goal in the UEFA Europa League game between Arsenal v CSKA Moscow at the Emirates Stadium, Islington, London. Picture: DANNY LOOGOAL!!! Aleksandr Golovin of CSKA Moscow celebrates the equalising goal in the UEFA Europa League game between Arsenal v CSKA Moscow at the Emirates Stadium, Islington, London. Picture: DANNY LOO

That season he made his first appearance for the Russian national side after coming on as a substitute against Belarus, before scoring his first international goal only 16 minutes later – following it up a second strike on his second appearance against Lithuania.

With Wenger now departed it remains to be seen if new boss Unai Emery will want to make the talented Russian his first marquee signing, but if he does enter the frame he will have to fight off interest from Stamford Bridge suitors Chelsea, who are also keen on Golovin.

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