It seems that Komlichenko needs to leave Dynamo. The career of the Russian national team striker is fading


Komlichenko stopped scoring from the field

It seems that Komlichenko needs to leave Dynamo. The career of the Russian national team striker is fading

Once Nikolai was considered the second striker in the country after Dzyuba, and now he is losing the competition to Tyukavin and Grulev. Why?


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Year and a half ago Komlichenko was one of the most coveted forwards in the Russian market. To him, the second season in a row tore apart the Czech league, asked the price of all, without exception, the top clubs of the RPL. When Nikolai signed a contract with Dynamo and had a shock during the winter preseason, the blue and white were envied: the textured striker looked really powerful.

At some point, he was quoted much higher than Sobolev, and such layouts were observed even in the Russian national team: for Cherchesova Komlichenko became the number two striker after Dziuba… Now Nikolai is far, far from the national team. 2020 turned out badly for him, and 2021 started in the same way. In Dynamo, the once formidable striker today is at best the third option in the attack after Grulev and Tyukavin

And so far there are no prerequisites for a change in the situation.

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Reason # 1. Specific functions when entering the field and too few moments

The first problem that can be traced in the football of today’s Komlichenko is his very vague role. As a rule, Schwartz releases Nikolai in the final sections either to try to save the match, or, conversely, to calm the game in case of a losing score. And if Komlichenko also comes out paired with Igbun (a common story), football is generally simplified to the limit.

The 25-year-old striker knows how to fight well, gives a good volume – on average for the season he has 28.65 duels in 90 minutes with a success rate of 38.5%; of them – 11.7 at the top with a success rate of 45.5%. That is, in a little less than half of the cases, he gets to the riding ball first. But at the same time Komlichenko is not a typical targetman, in the same “Mlada Boleslav” he was not used in this role. Komlichenko does not know how to save difficult balls the way Dziuba does, and his touch discounts are too unstable.

Photo: Edgar Breshchanov, “Championship”

When fighting in a brace, Komlichenko often sinks too deep, the zones in front are filled either by another striker or someone from the flanks. And in fact, Nikolai always plays away from the gate. For example, in the last three RPL matches against Ufa, Krasnodar and Spartak, Nikolay never touched the ball in the penalty area in a total of 82 minutes. And in total for the season with Schwartz, he has 2.27 touches in the penalty area per game. This is the worst figure in the line-up: Igbun – 2.33, Tyukavin – 5.29, Grulev – 3.35. RPL leaders – from 5.8 and above.

Komlichenko’s number of chances dropped dramatically. The xG / 90 indicator still looks decent due to the penalty (0.34 in 90 minutes, although this is still much below the norm for him), and in NPxG (expected goals excluding shots from the 11-meter mark) Komlichenko has a complete failure, he scored moments for only one and a half goals. We are talking about a striker who in the Czech Republic scored almost one xG per game (for example, in the 2018/2019 season – 29 goals at 27.1 xG).

Komlichenko makes few correct openings in the necessary zones, almost does not run behind the backs, poorly improves the position for a blow in the cluster. All that he does today at Dynamo is a fight, a fight, and again a fight. Which, however, is depreciated with further decisions.

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Reason # 2. Missing Confidence – Rarely Good Chances Not Realizing

Psychology is the most important factor for any attacker. If there are no heads, then very often internal wrapping and self-torture begin. The gates suddenly become small, the goalkeepers are large, and the openings disappear abruptly. Based on what we see now, approximately the same thing is happening with Komlichenko. And even the rare good moments he gets are stubbornly not materialized.

Photo: Edgar Breshchanov, “Championship”

With Wings in the Cup, there was a close-range header after a free-kick. With “Akhmat” – two unfulfilled chances and a bad decision in a quick attack “3 v 2”. In every match there are episodes when it seems that you can aggressively run into the zone, but Komlichenko remains in place and asks for the ball at his feet.

In the Czech Republic, Komlichenko’s performance was outstanding – there the team used his strengths (and the main one among them is not size and struggle at all), he stuffed statistics. Now the specifics have dropped to a minimum. And so far Nikolai does not understand how to solve the problem. Schwartz, apparently, too.

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Reason number 3. In Dynamo, the rate is on youth, it will be difficult to win the competition against Tyukavin and Grulev

We are all delighted with the playful play of talented youth. Zakharyan stands out especially, but it is also impossible to pass by Tyukavin. The forward born in 2002 is considered one of the strongest in the country in terms of his age, he gave a powerful start in the RPL and showed a lot of great qualities: opening, first touch, the ability to put his back and turn around in a struggle. Plus there is a useful Grulev, who is no worse than Komlichenko doing work in the quick and the fight, and from the point of view of decisions in the play looks even more preferable.

A bet on these two strikers brings results – Dynamo plays fun and effective football, even if there is understandable instability. The fans are happy, the team is at the top, the transfer value of young players is growing. And for today everything goes to the point that the chosen course will be preserved. He’s too seductive. And who in such a situation will refuse Tyukavin and will bother with the problematic, already 25-year-old Komlichenko, who has stopped scoring?

Of course, everything can change at any time. But the striker already actually lost a whole year – another one may no longer slow down his career, but break it. The coming summer will be the moment for further choice. I really want the once most hammered Russian striker to make the right decision.

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