‘He was at Valencia a little bit longer than I was’ jokes Gary Neville, who believes Russia’s Denis Cheryshev would be ‘perfect for English football’ after blistering World Cup opening
- Denis Cheryshev inspired Russia to a 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia in Moscow
- The Villarreal winger netted two excellent goals after replacing Alan Dzagoev
- Gary Neville worked with Cheryshev during his short stint at Valencia in 2015-16
- ITV pundit Neville believes the player would be a good fit in the Premier League
Gary Neville believes Denis Cheryshev has the attributes necessary to shine in the Premier League after the Villarreal winger helped World Cup hosts Russia get off to a fantastic start against Saudi Arabia in Group A on Thursday.
Cheryshev began the 5-0 rout on the bench at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, but entered the fray after just 24 minutes following a serious-looking hamstring injury suffered by CSKA Moscow star Alan Dzagoev.
He immediately impressed and made a substantial impact just before half-time, doubling Russia’s lead after an early Yuri Gazinskiy header had settled any lingering nerves among the home supporters.
Denis Cheryshev netted two great goals in Russia’s 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia in Moscow
ITV pundit Gary Neville thinks the Villarreal winger would be perfect for English football
It was a goal of some quality too as Cheryshev nonchalantly flicked the ball past two stricken Saudi defenders in Mohammed Al-Breik and Omar Hawsawi before rifling the ball past goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf to finish off a swift counter-attack.
If that was not quite enough, he struck again in second-half stoppage-time with a tremendous curling strike off the outside of the left boot that came just before Aleksandr Golovin’s glorious last-gasp free-kick.
The 27-year-old was previously linked with English clubs after failing to establish himself at Real Madrid and Neville, who worked with Cheryshev during his short and ill-fated stint in charge at Valencia in 2015-16, believes he could be an ideal fit for the Premier League.
‘Yeah he came on loan (to Valencia) for about four, five months. He was there a little bit longer than I was,’ Neville joked.
Neville joked that loanee Cheryshev spent longer than he did at Valencia in 2015-16
‘He’s a throwback actually. You think about how the modern winger, about how they always make the runs and are like strikers, he actually is a throwback.
‘He’s very left-footed. You saw it on the goal, he always wants to pull it back onto his left foot. I though actually he’d be perfect for English football because his energy up and down the left-hand side is absolutely brilliant.
‘The touch (for the first goal) actually where he just dinks it over is subtlety that I’m not quite sure he’s famous for. He’s more famous for that energy up and down. But he’s a really good player and a good lad.’