The summer transfer window in Russia closed on September 14, however, the participants in our championship can still sign newcomers – free agents. It looks like one or two RPL clubs will take advantage of this opportunity. The agent of the Moroccan national team winger Oussama Idrissi announced interest in the services of his client from Zenit and Krasnodar. In addition, it became known about Lokomotiv’s negotiations with former French national team midfielder Josua Gilavogi. Let’s talk about these players.
How the new French forward debuted at Zenit
An ideal debut for Isidoro! Zenit approaches first place
Oussama Idrissi: the Dutch star who failed in Spain
Idrissi, 27, is a former Sevilla player. He became a free agent on September 1, when he agreed with the Spanish club to terminate his contract, which was valid until the summer of 2025. Oussama belonged to Sevilla for three years (he was bought from the Dutch AZ Alkmaar for 12 million euros), but most of the time he played on loan for other teams.
By the way, the winger, born and raised in Holland, could have ended up in Russia four years ago. Then Idrissi had a very strong season with AZ and caught the attention of Krasnodar. The AD website wrote that the winger agreed to move to the Russian club and accepted the proposed contract. However, Krasnodar did not reach an agreement with Alkmaar. This information was confirmed by the then Bulls coach Murad Musaev.
“Yes, we were interested in him before his successful season at AZ, after which he left for Seville. It is very difficult to negotiate with AZ, you know how much Spartak paid for Guus Thiel. AZ sets a high price and is not willing to move even 50,000 euros. They asked for 10 million euros for Idrissi; We thought he was expensive because he just had one great season. AZ was not even willing to comply, the final price was set immediately,” Musaev said in an interview for Sports.ru.
Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
A year after the failed move to Krasnodar, Idrissi moved to Seville. At the end of the 2019/2020 season, the winger joined the symbolic Eredivisie team, so it is not surprising that he went to the top flight. Another thing was strange: just six months later, Sevilla sent Oussama back to Holland and loaned him to Ajax. Idrissi only managed to participate in 10 matches in the first division, the Spanish Cup and the Champions League, and in the Champions League group stage match with Rennes he gave one assist. Ajax chose him to replace Quincy Promes, who was sold to Spartak.
Idrissi won the championship and the Dutch Cup with the Amsterdam team, six months later he returned to Seville, where the 2021/2022 season began, but after another six months he was loaned to the Spanish Cádiz. He then played his last seven games with the Seville team. He took no effective action.
Idrissi played the entire previous 2022/2023 season on loan at Feyenoord. With Oussama, the team won the gold medal in the Dutch championship six years later and reached the quarterfinals of the Europa League. In the LE playoffs, in March-April 2023, the winger scored a double against Shakhtar and gave an assist against Roma. In total, Idrissi scored seven goals and provided eight assists in 38 games in all competitions.
In the youth and youth categories, Idrissi played for the Dutch national team. However, as an adult he made a decision in favor of the homeland of his ancestors: since 2019 he has played for the Moroccan national team. However, Ossama had a break of three and a half years when he did not make the national team. He only returned in June 2023, after having played two games. Idrissi did not qualify for the 2022 World Cup. But in any case he would have missed the World Cup, as he was suffering from a hamstring injury from the beginning of October to the end of December.
Josua Gilavogi: Deschamps believed in him and Simeone did not believe in him
Gilavogui, 32, received free agent status on the first day of July, when he said goodbye to Wolfsburg. The Frenchman spent nine seasons at the German club. The “Wolves” formalized his transfer in August 2014 as a two-year loan with an option to buy: the cost of the transaction was 9.8 million euros.
Jozua is a well-known footballer in Europe, with extensive international experience. The Saint-Etienne graduate had a brilliant start to his career in his native club and at the age of 22 he made his debut in the French first team. In June and September 2013, Didier Deschamps used the defensive midfielder in five games, including two in the qualifying round for the 2014 World Cup. But after that, Gilyavogi played for the national team only twice.
That same year, Jozua was sold to Atlético for 10 million euros, but six months later he returned on loan to Saint-Etienne and six months later he went to Wolfsburg. For Diego Simeone, the Frenchman only played seven games, one of them with Zenit (1-1) in Saint Petersburg in the Champions League.
Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
In nine seasons at Wolfsburg, Giljavogi played 207 Bundesliga games, scoring nine goals and providing four assists. In addition, the defensive midfielder played with the team in the Champions League and the Europa League – 16 matches in the group stage and playoffs in both tournaments. In League of Legends, the Frenchman reached the quarterfinals with the team in 2015 and the Champions League in 2016. Do you remember that surprising confrontation between Wolfsburg and Real Madrid? Then, the Germans won the first match at home 2-0, but Cristiano Ronaldo took their ticket to the semi-finals. The Portuguese scored a hat-trick in Madrid and achieved a “creamy” 3-0 victory. Gilavogi was replaced at the Santiago Bernabéu shortly after the third goal by striker Bas Dost. However, the Germans could not save the game.
In January 2022, Jozua was loaned to Bordeaux for six months and then returned, but played less. Last season: 11 games as a starter and 12 as a substitute in the Bundesliga. However, Lokomotiv could also use the French all-rounder in the central defender position, as the Railways lack an experienced leader.
According to Ivan Karpov, Lokomotiv offers Gilyavogi a contract under the “1+1” scheme with a salary of 1.35 million euros per season. The extra time option will work if the Frenchman plays 65% of the games. The midfielder himself wants a two-year contract with a salary of 2.5 million euros and, according to the source, Jozua has other options, in particular with clubs in Saudi Arabia.
L’Équipe previously reported that Gilavogui could move to Al-Shabab. Jozua himself admitted in an interview with a popular French publication:
“I think my time in Europe is probably over. I decided to leave because I want to find a team where I can have more playing time. I thank the Wolfsburg fans for their love, here I learned to be professional.”