By David Horrocks, MSc Football Coaching & Analysis Programme Leader at Etihad Campus, Mike Phelan and UCFB Alumni James Radclffe

David has recently submitted a PhD thesis on elite performance completed with players and staff from Manchester United Football Club. The thesis has two published papers to date: Manchester United and Serial Winning, and Gary Neville – A Case Study. David also has a first class degree in Sport Psychology from the University of Central Lancashire.

Each time the world cup comes around, new stars are born, the transfer market goes crazy and the world is an open mic stage to stardom for every footballer involved. Who will be this year’s previously unidentified flying object and earn a big money transfer to one of Europe’s football powerhouses just like Colombia’s James Rodriguez did in Brazil 2012.

The Sensible Soccer World Cup blog will bring scouting know how direct from the battlefield of English Premier League recruitment directors and chief scouts. The blog will be opening the lid on just who is being watched ahead of Russia’s six-week footballing bonanza.

Aleksandr Golovin
Aleksandr Golovin – A member of the 2013 Russian U17 European Championship winning side and 2015 European Championship U/19 runners up, Golovin already has that vital experience of international finals and of winning.

Currently plying his trade for CSKA Moscow Golovin can also boast Champions League and Europa League experience on his fledgling CV. With over 100 senior appearances to his name and with all that at only age 21 it is little wonder recent internet and press reports have linked the midfielder with moves to Manchester United, Arsenal and Juventus. Golovin appears to be the brightest talent of the new generation of Russian footballers emerging from that victorious 2013 under 17 Russian squad.

The youngster also appears an intelligent proposition and has played attacking and deeper midfield roles while also filling in on the left when required.

The video linked with this report also shows his dead ball prowess as he thumps and bends an unstoppable dead ball strike past a helpless Petr Cech earlier this year. He does have goals in his makeup and considering he is still learning the sky could well be the limit for this talented youngster. He won’t come cheap but longevity, room for development and potential sell on values could all be attractive insurance policies not to mention the fact he appears a robust, reliable and constantly available player.

First sight of Golovin could well be Thursday evening as Russia open up the tournament against Saudi Arabia. The scene couldn’t be set better for the youngster with Russia being the home nation, a reasonably favourable fixture schedule with games two and three against Egypt and Uruguay and as previously mentioned he’s already a winner at international tournament level. The stars could be aligned.