Russia went all the way to the quarterfinals of the Fifa World Cup defying pre-tournament fears of putting up abject performances. However, to everyone's surprise, the hosts were one of the most attacking and fluid teams in the tournament, owing to their dominance in midfield.
One of the key midfielders for Russia was Aleksandr Golovin, who was the youngest member of the squad. Following his performances, he has now been rewarded with a £27m move from Russia's CSKA Moscow to French side AS Monaco.
The latter came second in the previous season of Ligue 1 and ended up being as a semi-finalist in the UEFA Champions League, two years ago. The team had also defeated PSG in a league match that season. Currently, Monaco is rapidly becoming a force to reckon with in the European circuit.
So far in the transfer market, the French club has sold forward Thomas Lemar for 52.4 million euros to Atletico Madrid. They have also sold World Cup sensation Kylian Mbappe to PSG for a staggering 159.3million euros. They would definitely look to buy a few world class players with the money earned.
The fact that their highest acquisition yet has been Golovin is indicative of how much they value him. The club saw off interest from both Chelsea and Juventus to purchase the services of the 22-year-old star. Chelsea, in particular, were quite determined to get him. However, their former technical director Michael Emenalo, who joined Monaco late last year, reportedly persuaded Golovin to come to France instead of England.
As per Monaco chief Vadim Vasilyev, the recent acquisition of Jorginho by Chelsea lessened their chances of getting him. Chelsea have multiple options in midfield with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, N'Golo Kante, Ross Barkley and Danny Drinkwater. Vasilyev believes that Golovin would get more first-team chances at his club.
That is pretty much what any football player wants - to be playing a decisive part in his team's on-field performances. Golovin would want to replicate the form that he showed for his home country. He can now ply his trade in an emerging European powerhouse team which might make him an even better prospect in the future.