Arsenal linked with a move for the 'Iranian Messi'

Arsenal Logo

The Gunners have been credited with an interest in Sardar Azmoun, the 19-year-old currently making waves in Russian football with Rubin Kazan.

Arsenal have been linked with a move for the 'Iranian Lionel Messi', with the Rubin Kazan attacker Sardar Azmoun revealing the club have spoken to him about a deal.

Azmoun has enjoyed a breakthrough year with Rubin this season after working his way through the youth ranks of various Iranian teams and is now being handed his chance to shine by manager Rinat Bilyaletdinov.

The 19-year-old's comparisons with Messi stem from his excellent close control and dribbling technique, facets of his game which have yielded two goals and two assists from his 10 first-team appearances.

Here are three facts about the little-known Azmoun and why he could soon be making an impression on these shores if Arsenal follow up their initial interest.

1) League debut goal 

Azmoun struck on his first outing with Rubin in the 5-1 drubbing of Anzhi Makhachkala earlier on in the campaign despite only having 17 minutes on the field. 

He had already netted in only his second senior appearance for the club in a Europa League qualifier in a 3-0 win over Norwegian outfit Molde FK.

2) Goalscoring pedigree

At international level, Azmoun shot to prominence after finishing as the top scorer at the 2012 Commonwealth of Independent States Cup, scoring 7 goals in six games despite Iran only reaching the quarter-final stage.

3) Sport runs in the family

The Rubin forward is also the son of Khalil Azmoun, former Iranian national team volleyball player and coach of the Iranian volleyball side Javaheri Gonbad.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch