UEFA.com wonderkid: Ignatyev, the Krasnodar Kerzhakov

"A natural-born striker" according to his coach at Krasnodar, ex-USSR star Igor Shalimov, Ivan Ignatyev is top scorer in this season's UEFA Youth League.

©FC Krasnodar

Name: Ivan Ignatyev
Club: Krasnodar
Position: forward
Nationality: Russia
Age: 19 (born 6 January 1999)
Preferred foot: right
Height: 180cm

They say ...

"We are happy with Vanya. He plays football the right way. He is a natural-born striker."
Igor Shalimov, Krasnodar coach

"Ignatyev has the potential to break Aleksandr Kerzhakov's scoring records in Russia. Some are born boys, some are born girls; Vanya was born to score."
Aleksei Zimin, former Krasnodar sporting director

"Ignatyev is an aggressive striker. He is not afraid to take on defenders, dribble and take risks. It is not often you see something like that among our young players."
Mikhail Galaktionov, former Russia U17 head coach

Story so far ...

Ivan Ignatyev on the rise with Krasnodar
Ivan Ignatyev on the rise with Krasnodar©AFP

Having struck 13 times in 13 matches for Russia's Under-18s, Ignatyev confirmed his potential by topping the goalscorers chart in Russia's premier domestic youth competition with 21 goals in 2016/17. He has hit 16 more in Russia this term – averaging a goal every 62 minutes – as well as ten in the UEFA Youth League. Will he improve that tally in the spring? Depends. The predatory Ignatyev may even pounce for a place in Krasnodar's senior ranks.

Call him ...

'Vanya' – the standard nickname for all Ivans, which may be confusing given Krasnodar already have a Wanderson and Romanian Andrei Ivan in their squad. Failing that, try 'The Krasnodar Kerzhakov'.

He says ...

"It is nice to be top scorer [in the UEFA Youth League]. But I try to play for the team first and foremost – team success is my priority."

Top