Anzhi Makhachkala Firesale: Which Stars Could Catch Premier League Eyes?

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterAugust 7, 2013

Anzhi Makhachkala Firesale: Which Stars Could Catch Premier League Eyes?

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    So, who wants an Anzhi Makhachkala player?

    Eurosport have confirmed owner Suleyman Kerimov has put the entire first-team squad up for sale, suggesting the club will instead focus on developing young academy stars after failing to achieve "instant success."

    Here, we look at potential targets for Premier League clubs still sniffing around for reinforcements. We've excluded those who have recently joined the club, such as Christopher Samba and Igor Denisov, and focused on those who've been kicking around for a while.

    Who would you like your club to take a punt on? 

Lacina Traore

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    Lacina Traore is a gargantuan man, standing at 6'8" and possessing the requisite muscle to bully central defenders no matter their shape or size.

    He's one of a glut of Ivorian strikers currently coming into their prime and, as a result, struggles to get regular first-team football with the Elephants.

    But don't let that dissuade you from the fact that this monstrous man is blossoming into a well-rounded striking prospect, and he'd take to the Premier League like a duck to water.

    From CFR Cluj to Anzhi Makhachkala, via Kuban Krasnodar, he's already tallied up approximately €24 million worth of transfer fees at the age of 23—expect another €10 million, at a minimum, to be added should he move again. 

Willian

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    Willian shocked Europe when he left Shakhtar Donetsk for Anzhi Makhachkala in January 2013, effectively swapping UEFA Champions League round of 16 football for frosty, sometimes unkept pitches.

    The Brazilian would easily slot into one of the top teams in Europe, and it's puzzling as to why he hasn't made a move sooner—his international career was virtually non-existent with the Hirnyky, and moving to Russia was never going to improve the situation.

    Former teammate and compatriot Fernandinho has switched Donetsk for Manchester in a bid to make Luiz Felipe Scolari's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad, and Willian should consider a similar tactic.

    Any Premier League team would be lucky to have him. 

Samuel Eto'o

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    There's definitely one top Premier League side who need a world-class striker, and if they can afford Wayne Rooney, why not Samuel Eto'o?

    At 32 years of age he's no longer fresh but remains a lethal weapon in and around the box. His time on the left and right side of 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 formations—at Barcelona and Internazionale, respectively—have taught him the all-round game Arsene Wenger adores.

    He won't command a high transfer fee given his age and wages, and if a Premier League club can afford to shell out on a short-term contract, they'd be mad not to give the Cameroonian a shot. 

Jucilei

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    Jucilei may not carry the profile of Samuel Eto'o or Willian, but he's an important member of an Anzhi Makhachkala team that thrives on powerful work in the midfield.

    The Brazilian is incredibly versatile but prefers a central midfield berth, combining huge size and power with decent technical skills and a defensive conscious.

    He's far from one of the higher earners and would represent a great target for midtable Premier League clubs, but his lack of appearances for Brazil could cause work permit concerns. 

Lassana Diarra

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    Remember Lassana Diarra?

    Ill-fated spells with Chelsea and Arsenal led him to Portsmouth, where an FA Cup win "more than justified his decision" to join the South Coast club.

    Financial difficulties dictated a transfer to Real Madrid, where he became known as the todocampista—jack of all trades—thanks to his ability to play in several positions and varied style of play.

    At Anzhi Makhachkala he's been a mainstay after losing his place in Madrid to Sami Khedira, but now Diarra seems a certainty to move on. His game hasn't changed, mixing technical ability and positional understanding with immense physicality, and he'd walk into many Premier League teams.