Russia are through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup after defeating Spain on penalties in Moscow. But whilst it might be a good tournament so far for the team, one of their players has not had the best of campaigns. Fyodor Smolov has not covered himself in the glory many anticipated.
For West Ham fans, it is a validation of their decision not to push for the player.
The Hammers have long been linked with a move for the attacker. Back in January, it was reported by Sky Sports that West Ham were in talks to sign the Russian attacker. Then, the Sun reported that a £15 million deal was close. That was in March, with Sky Sports also reporting the player wanted a deal tied up before the World Cup began.
That never happened and, based on his displays in Russia, West Ham have been right to leave him.
Smolov started the tournament as the nation’s leading striker but he struggled to make an impact in the opening game against Saudi Arabia.
Artem Dzyuba came on, scored, and has been the number one striker ever since with Smolov coming on from the bench.
He has not looked like a player who would thrive in the Premier League. He looks too slow, too deliberate and West Ham will be glad they did not pay £15 million for a player whose career in Russia suggested he was worth it.