Russian winger Denis Cheryshev looks like being the surprise package of the World Cup this summer. The 27-year-old had not scored for his country before the tournament but now has three goals in two games with Russia seemingly heading into the next round.
His form is certainly a shock, considering he was mostly used as a substitute for Villarreal last season.
For fans of one Premier League club, however, he will not be an unknown. Everton have been linked with the Russian talent for a number of years and on several different occasions.
Rewind to the winter of 2012 and Everton made a €6 million bid to sign the player. He had just made his debut for the Russian national team under Fabio Capello and was in Jose Mourinho’s first-team plans at Real Madrid. As reported by Marca, the bid was rejected, Real Madrid had high hopes for the youngster.
Six months later he had signed a new deal at Real as Everton’s approach fell on deaf ears.
Then, in the summer of 2015, Everton moved again. Cheryshev had just enjoyed a successful loan spell with Villarreal and the Toffees were to rival Liverpool for his signature.
They reportedly failed in a last-ditch bid to sign the player, after a move for Andriy Yarmolenko had not materialised.
But despite Everton’s three previous attempts at signing the player, fans at Goodison Park were never truly left to regret such failings.
Cheryshev struggled to make it at Real Madrid and is now doing the same with the Yellow Submarine.
But Everton are seeing his raw talent in full show at the World Cup this summer. Currently joint top-scorer with Cristiano Ronaldo, this looks like a player Everton would now love at their disposal.
Maybe a fourth approach should be in the offing.