Leicester City are reportedly keeping close tabs on FC Zorya Luhansk goalkeeper, Andriy Lunin. The 19-year-old plays in the Ukrainian Premier League and has made 33 total appearances this season while registering 10 clean sheets.
Even at such an early age, Lunin has established himself as one of the best shot-stoppers in the country by a fair margin. Being admired by some of the Premier League’s elites is not at all a shock and could almost be anticipated after the season he has just had.
Football scouts travel to far ends of the earth in search of talents and very rarely can they dig such hidden gems like Lunin. The 6 feet 3 inch-man is lighting up the Ukrainian top-flight with his remarkable athletic saves. He is indeed a unique talent and quite deservedly has cemented his spot in Zorya’s starting XI. The Ukrainian outfit is known for developing some of the best talents in Europe and Lunin could be their big ticket to world recognition.
Lunin’s career did not just jump to worldwide recognition without any prior hitches. He has rather pushed into the line of fire by his old club, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk which is known as Dnipro FC now.
At just 17 years old, Lunin had to take the responsibilities of a starting keeper when his club was facing bankruptcy issues. The owner, Ihor Kolomoyskyi’s was refusing to pay the club’s outstanding debts which in turn placed the side in a very difficult spot.
Nevertheless, Lunin faced the challenge head on and came out on top. It was almost an impossible task for an inexperienced keeper to play against some of the best professionals and still thrive. The teenager became a sensation pretty quickly due to his adaptability and fighting nature.
The likes of Jordan Pickford and Marc-André ter Stegen, the former with Sunderland and ter Stegen with Borussia Mönchengladbach, for example, used the relegation battle to prove their worth to some of the European elites and are currently thriving with some of the best clubs in the top-flight.
Lunin’s game is still developing and there is still time for him to be counted amongst the top names of Europe and facing better competition in the more illustrious leagues will aid that development. Leicester will certainly be able to provide that but what would that mean for their long-serving goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel or backup option, Ben Hammer for that matter.
Ideally, nabbing a promising young talent like Lunin is a wonderful move for a promising future but Schmeichel still has years of football left in him. The Danish international is now 31 and is still one of the best keepers in the Premier League.
Maybe Claude Puel will have to let go of either Hammer and Jakupovic to make way for the teenager’s arrival.