UEFA.com’s weekly wonderkid: Fedor Chalov

The Russian champions have been in need of a tonic after a difficult time in UEFA Champions League Group E. Fedor Chalov has certainly given them that, having progressed from youth team to first team, where he is already making his mark.

Name: Fedor Chalov
Club: CSKA Moskva
Debut: 21 September 2016 v Yenisey Krasnoyarsk (Russian Cup)
Position: striker
Nationality: Russian
Born: 10 April 1998
Preferred foot: right
Height: 180cm

They say …
“Fedor has everything a forward needs; speed, dribbling ability, a good scoring instinct – he has it all.”
Pavel Koval, Chalov’s first coach in CSKA’s youth academy

“Chalov is a good forward, you cannot argue with that. He and Timur Zhamaletdinov complement each other really well.”
Aleksandr Grishin, CSKA youth team coach

©AFP/Getty Images

Fedor Chalov (right) on his Champions League debut

“Chalov is doing well. It is clear how hard he works in training. He is growing, too. If he continues like this, he’ll go a long way.”
Alan Dzagoev, CSKA midfielder

Background …
The Moscow-born Chalov took his first tentative steps at Dinamo Moskva with elder brother Daniil (now a defender with Mordovia Saransk). However, Fedor joined CSKA aged eight and has played, and scored freely, for all the club’s youth teams. He has also represented Russia’s Under-17 side and notched three goals at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.

Chalov duly caught CSKA coach Leonid Slutski’s eye and, in September, the forward made his debut in a 2-1 Russian Cup defeat at Yenisey Krasnoyarsk. Two Premier-Liga outings later, he played 90 minutes of Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League. “He was good enough,” observed Slutski.

Playing style …
Chalov is quick off the mark, has a good shot and works hard for the team. CSKA coaches note that he is mature for his age and praise his positioning sense and  commitment.

©Getty Images

Fedor Chalov has scored five Youth League goals this term

Shades of …
The teenager names former CSKA ace Vágner Love as one of his childhood heroes, but in fact tries to model his game more on Luis Suárez.

Eureka moment …
Chalov really fired the imagination in November with four goals, including a seven-minute hat-trick, in CSKA’s 5-0 stroll at Monaco in the UEFA Youth League. The tyro was the key reason Aleksandr Grishin’s side won their group before matchday six.

Best-case scenario …
With Lacina Traoré and Carlos Strandberg unable to meet boss Slutski’s expectations, Chalov has been presented with a golden opportunity.

He says …
“In football, you need to prove your worth every day. You can rest on your laurels only after having a career like one of the greats. For a young player like me, you have to work hard and score goals rather than read newspaper reports about yourself.”

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