Just a fortnight ago, Aleksandr Golovin was linked with a move to Manchester United.
Fast-forward to the World Cup opener, his Russia side blew Saudi Arabia away in a 5-0 drubbing.
The star of the show? Golovin. In the first-half he was deployed out wide, using his pace and passing ability to carve out openings for his teammates. He picked up an assist.
Things actually got better for Golovin when his compatriot, Alan Dzagoev, was hauled off with injury. It allowed the 22-year-old to play through the middle. From then on, he ran the show, pulling the strings thanks to his excellent decision-making and quick thinking.
As the game was winding down, Golovin’s performance was capped off with a simply stunning free-kick to seal the deal. If United fans didn’t know about him before, they certainly do now. It was a mightily impressive 90 minutes from the Russian – and one that probably drove his price up pretty considerably.
Sure, it was ‘only’ Saudi Arabia, but Russia themselves haven’t been playing well of late. To put in a 10/10 display like that, under such immense pressure, deserves credit. As you’d imagine, United fans were buzzing all over social media. Check out the best tweets below:
That was an Aleksandr Golovin masterclass. He'd be a brilliant acquisition for #mufc based off that performance. Can see why Jose Mourinho is interested.
— OldTraffordFaithful (@OTFaithful) June 14, 2018
don't want griezmann anymore hope we go for golovin now ?????
— AND THAT'S DALOT (@LouiseODonoghu2) June 14, 2018
All of a sudden everyone is talking about Golovin. But when Mourinho scouted him againt Austria, english press ran with the Arnatovic story coa they have no clue what manutd want to do. Coaches have an idea of the team they want …let them coach #MUFC @ELEGBETE1
— Mazi Obikili (@smugobikili) June 14, 2018
— vasanth VB ? (@bvb_vasanth) June 14, 2018
Mourinho was there at the game today. Scouted Golovin vs Austria too. Good chance we move for him. Will be much cheaper than Savic. Fits better too along with Pogba. #mufc ???
— IceColdToto (@manunited4everr) June 14, 2018
Golovin value before this match Max £20M
After the match £50M+ now #MUFC
— TeamBeqa (@Utdlnterest) June 14, 2018
For a game that promised to be fairly dull, that was a solid start to the 2018 #WorldCup
Also, that Golovin looked alright didn't he. #MUFC
— Owen McMahon (@omcmahonmedia) June 14, 2018