VfB Stuttgart target Sergey Tkachev (you can find the player’s full biography here) is staying in Russia, as the midfielder, who recently terminated his contract with Kuban Krasnodar, has signed a deal with CSKA Moscow.
Sport-Express reported on January 11 that Tkachev was very close to completing a deal with the Bundesliga club, but instead Tkachev chose to return to Moscow—where he had played for CSKA’s city rival Lokomotiv between 2013 and 2015.
According to CSKA’s official homepage, Tkachev has signed a four-year deal with the former Red Army club. Tkachev was an important member at Kuban— playing 17 games and scoring three goals in the Russian Football Premier League this season.
CSKA Moscow are currently first in the Russian Football Premier League, but the club had struggled before the winter break. It was expected, therefore, that CSKA would make some significant changes during the winter, as the club will try to hold on to first place in the league, in order to secure a sixth Russian championship.
The Russian paper Sport-Express, meanwhile, believes that Tkachev could indeed be CSKA’s missing puzzle piece for their title push this coming spring. Furthermore, the paper believes that Tkachev has the potential to become a player similar to Zenit’s Hulk.
Indeed, much like the Brazilian Hulk, Tkachev—who is 184cm tall and weighs 80kg—has a strong physical presence on the pitch, and at the same time has the technical ability to score magical goals out of nowhere. The similarities between the two players have also been evident to fans, and when he played in Ukraine, the fans of Sevastopol and Metalist would often shout “Hulk! Hulk! Hulk!” when he was on the ball.
While many observers believed that Tkachev would have benefitted from a move to the Bundesliga where he could have developed his game to a higher tactical and technical level, a move to CSKA Moscow makes sense. CSKA are coached by Leonid Slutsky, who also trains the Russian national team and, according to Tkachev, it was Slutsky who convinced Tkachev to move to CSKA rather than to Stuttgart: “Slutsky called himself to convince me. I already had one foot in the German Bundesliga, the family was preparing for the move, but a few days ago there was a call from the coach of CSKA. And I changed my heart at once.”
Of course, the fact that Slutsky coaches the Russian national team must have been a major factor in Tkachev’s decision, as Tkachev hopes to play a major role at the European Championships next summer in France.