Russian legend Andrey Arshavin sees similarities between Sergei Pinyaev and Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo amid interest from the Premier League giants in the fresh-faced winger.

When going head-to-head with Sergei Pinyaev during a friendly between Russia and Iraq back in March, Osama Rashid was left in no doubt.

This was a ‘Manchester United player’ in-waiting.

“Pinyaev trained at Manchester United? Wow! Then it is clear why he plays so well,” Rashid said; the Lokomotiv Moscow wonderkid still on the Red Devils’ radar after enjoying a brief trial at the Old Trafford outfit back in 2019.

“I think, over time, he will move there and will break the Premier League.”

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18-year-old Pinyaev became the youngest goalscorer in the history of the Russian national team in that Iraq friendly. And that rather sums him up. Everything the teenager does, he does in a hurry.

Pinyaev is now the same age as Cristiano Ronaldo was when United took a £12 punt on a buck-toothed, blonde-tipped teenager two decades ago.

And while Lokomotov’s number nine has often been likened to arguably the greatest Russian footballer of the modern era, Arshavin himself sees far more similarities between Pinyaev and the last Manchester United player to claim the Ballon D’Or. 

“I have said many times that he has qualities. The main thing is still his speed. He flies like a rocket,” Arshavin tells Such Football on YouTube. “He understands when it is necessary to pass the ball

“It seems to me that I was more of a subtle player. I was more tied to my head and decision-making. I don’t liken him with myself.

“For me, Sergey is Cristiano Ronaldo. The way he plays, his style, he looks more like the Portuguese.”

According to Russian website Meta Ratings, Manchester United sent scouts to watch Pinyaev again as recently as 2022.

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