Weeks after Marcelo Gallardo admitted that River Plate had been unable to turn down a big offer for leading scorer Sebastián Driussi, Zenit St. Petersburg finally confirm the arrival of the 21-year-old on a four-year deal.
The Russian club already captured Argentinian midfielder Leandro Paredes from Roma and have now added Driussi to manager Roberto Mancini’s ambitious squad.
As the club confirmed the reported €15 million signing on their official website, Mancini was quizzed about the signing at a pre-season press conference: “”Driussi? He’s a good buy.”
— FC Zenit in English (@fczenit_en) July 8, 2017
Driussi’s tremendous form in front of goal had seen interest from Sampdoria, Roma, Inter and Tottenham but Zenit have won the race and will be adding one of the biggest talents in Argentine football to their ranks.
The 21-year-old has scored 17 goals in the league and another three in the Copa Libertadores this season, marking what has been a spectacular breakthrough year under the guidance of Marcelo Gallardo.
Always considered a bright talent from River’s academy after scoring plenty of goals at youth level and for Argentina, when Driussi first came into Gallardo’s first team set-up it was often as a versatile squad member, who would fill in out wide when needed rather than as a central striker.
Whether the youngster would ever make his mark wasn’t clear and even before the start of this season there was talk of a loan move elsewhere in Argentina. However, played alongside Lucas Alario, Driussi has been outstanding, his tireless workrate and deadly finishing perhaps the result of Gallardo having him study tapes of Barcelona forward Luis Suárez.
Driussi won six major titles with River and in the middle of another Copa Libertadores challenge the club will have been reluctant to lose their most prolific striker. However, with the youngster’s release clause met, Los Millonarios expected to pocket €15 million after tax and Ignacio Scocco already brought in as a replacement, Gallardo is already moving on.