Everton reportedly scouted Zenit St. Petersburg striker Artem Dzyuba during Russia’s Euros 2020 qualifying game against Scotland last Friday, and the 31-year-old surely caught their attention after registering a goal in the 2-1 victory.
The 6ft 5in hitman was too much to handle for the Scots and he also had the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Crystal Palace running the rule over him.
Dzyuba has admitted that he is aware of Everton’s interest in him, though, and he was hoping something worked out during the summer transfer window after he rejected a chance to enter into talks with them last January.
“I signed a contract with Jorge Mendes and his company. Back in the winter transfer window, there was a chance for me to leave Zenit. I understand Everton were interested in my services. But I didn’t want to leave,” the striking powerhouse told Sport24 (via Championat).
“Back then, we had a chance to win the Russian Superleague title, and we did so. So, I can say that I did the right thing.
“In the summer, I also hoped something would happen, but it didn’t. There were just talks, so I am now at Zenit and I am very pleased with that.”
Everton brought in Moise Kean from Juventus, but manager Marco Silva could be looking to add depth to the striking department in January, and Dzyuba would be the perfect choice.
With 130 goals in 392 games for the likes of Spartak Moscow, Rostov and Zenit over the course of 13 seasons, the Russian has established himself as a proven goalscorer, and Everton could do with his experience and aerial threat.
Dzyuba scored three goals during last year’s World Cup, and is now Russia’s top frontman, with 21 goals from 37 outings.
The Toffees need to go direct once in a while given the crossing expertise of their full-backs, and a striker like the Zenit star will definitely deliver the goods.