CSKA assistant coach Viktor Onopko has claimed that Monaco has signed “one of the best young players in Europe” in Aleksandr Golovin.
The Ligue 1 side sealed the signature of the Russia starlet on Friday despite reported interest from Chelsea, snapping him up on a five-year contract for a reported 30 million Euros.
According to Onopko, a stalwart of Russian football who played in the 1994 and 2002 World Cups, Golovin is no ordinary player both in terms of his ability and his personality.
“He obviously had something extra,” Onopko told Goal of the 22-year-old. “It was also obvious that he was hard-headed and he improved very quickly.
“Thanks to his will, his seriousness, his ability to listen and to work, he has become simply one of the best young players in Europe.”
Golovin turned heads around the world with his impressive performances on the left wing and as an attacking midfielder during Russia’s run to the World Cup quarter-finals. However, Onopko has suggested that he can contribute elsewhere on the pitch too.
“He is an offensive player of course, but he is also very good at doing the difficult work when the team does not have the ball. He defends well and he’s very good on the tactical work,” the 48-year-old claimed.
“He can play in the centre or as a winger just as well because he is a tireless workman. Attacking and creating chances are still the things he does best.
“He can perform well in many positions and nowadays we see very few players as adaptable as him. Having a player like him is ideal for a coach because he can use him in many positions and in different schemes.”
Golovin bagged a goal and two assists at the World Cup, but also put in 3.3 tackles per game, according to WhoScored.