Main events of the off-season
There are even more bosses in Lokomotiv. German functionary and trainer Ralf Rangnick became the head of the club’s sports and development. On the official website it is written that he will be engaged in strategic planning and sports development, as well as the work of the vertical of club teams, the academy and the training of the reserve. In general, nothing specific, general phrases. It is not yet clear what Rangnik will do, whose salary (according to the Championship) will amount to more than four million euros.
Thomas Zorn joined Lokomotiv with Ralph Rangnick. After leaving Spartak, he gave a few neat interviews, organized training camps for the national team in Austria before the Euro, did not particularly shine. Thomas took over the position of technical director at Loko. However, there is still no news about this on the site. And what he will do in the club is also unclear.
Neither the chairman of the board of directors of the club, Alexander Plutnik, nor the general director of Loko, Vladimir Leonchenko, gave a single interview about the arrival of new leaders. And in general, they never clearly explained their decisions. They seem to be afraid of questions.
A month and a half before the arrival of Rangnik, Lokomotiv extended the contract with head coach Marko Nikolic for three years. How much this correlates with Rangnick’s is unclear.
Loko captain Vedran Chorluka finished his career. Initially, he joined the coaching staff of Marko Nikolic, but left the club a week before the start of the season. Horvat said that he made this decision for family reasons.
Lokomotiv lost two young players: Maxim Mukhin and Nikita Iosifov. The first was bought by CSKA for a meager penalty (the club officially denies this), the second was signed by Villarreal as a free agent.
Lokomotiv has no cool purchases, and there are very few transfer rumors around the team. It is not clear whether this is due to the fact that the club’s management is very quiet, or because it does not work at all. But we know for sure that Lokomotiv wanted to sign Naira Tiknizyan (stayed with CSKA and re-signed the contract) and Sergey Pinyaev (will soon move to Wings of the Soviets).
Lokomotiv bought 22-year-old right-back Maxim Nenakhov and 18-year-old Minsk midfielder Kirill Zinovich from Akhmat.
Expectations and challenges
The club did not officially set goals for the season, but it is clear that the goal is top-2. Lokomotiv needs money from the Champions League. If it is not there next season, then it will be very difficult with finances. As we already wrote, the club took out a loan of 2 billion rubles from VTB. This is exactly the amount that any member of the Champions League will definitely receive.
Taking into account the outflow of young players and the lack of serious purchases, it will be very difficult for Lokomotiv to compete even for silver.
Season start calendar
- 24.07. Arsenal (d)
- 31.07. CSKA (g)
- 06.08. Ufa (d)
- 15.08. Zenit (h)
- 22.08. Krasnodar (h)
- 28.08. Dinamo (g).
Lokomotiv has a very difficult calendar in July and August. But at the same time, there is only one flight – to Ufa in the third round. All other matches are in Moscow, although with