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Haikin moved to the English club. An unexpected choice but easy to explain

Date: June 5, 2023 Time: 03:32:19

Russian players do not usually prefer to try their luck in the European championships, but there are still exceptions, which are usually goalkeepers. A few years ago, Nikita Khaikin became the brightest representative of the Russian goalkeeper workshop, who twice won the Norwegian championship, and also showed himself well in matches of the European Cup.

However, in January 2023, Khaikin was left without a club by refusing to renew his contract with Boude-Glimt. At various times, he was rumored to be associated with Zenit, Everton, Roma, MLS clubs and other teams, but he eventually signed a contract with Bristol. Let’s analyze Khaikin’s unexpected decision.

What is this club?

Bristol City are a run-of-the-mill English club that have been hanging out in the Championship (the second strongest division) since 2015, and that’s not to say they’re successful. For clarity, let’s look at the above results:

2015/16 – 18th place;

2016/17 – 17th place;

2017/18 – 11th place;

2018/19 – 8th place;

2019/20 – 12th place;

2020/21 – 19th place;

2021/22 – 17th place.

Ultimately, the club has only reached the top 10 once and has been on the verge of relegation in other seasons. No need to talk about promotion to the Premier League.

Photo source: Bristol City FC

This season, Bristol’s results have not improved, the club is in 17th place. 29 points for the leader, 7 points for the relegation zone.

Haikin doesn’t deserve a better club?

Against the background of clubs previously interested in him, Bristol clearly seems the weaker option, but there is an explanation for this.

In fact, Khaikin began his career in England, where he studied at various academies in the country, and later did not hide his desire to return. Currently there is no club in the Premier League that needs a strong goalkeeper, and therefore Nikita did not hesitate and went to the team from the lower divisions, which is the best option for two reasons:

1. Two goalkeepers left Bristol in the current transfer market, one of which was practically the main one. Max O’Leary is the only contender for a starting job whose game is far from ideal. Khaikin is not guaranteed a place in the base, but there are all the prerequisites for him to spend the rest of the season at the gate. Perhaps this point became the key to the negotiations between Bristol and Nikita.

Photo source: Bristol City FC

2. And now the most important thing is the duration of the contract. Khaikin signed the contract only until the summer of 2023, that is, only until the end of the current season. Bristol is an intermediate option and a great opportunity to make yourself known in England without risking anything at all. From Bristol it will be much easier to get into the shortlists of Premier League clubs than Haykin would have done from Norway.

“He plays with his head, he has no physical data. I think he can pull the Premier League, but he will need time. I will worry about him, ”estimated Khaikin Vitaly Kafanov, the goalkeeping coach of the Russian national team.

And if Kafanov believes in Khaikin, it means that the 27-year-old goalkeeper really has the potential to grow and move into the Premier League. He only remains to squeeze 100% out of you in the next six months.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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