FIFA’s regulation in allowing the foreign players in Ukraine and Russia to terminate their contract temporarily to move elsewhere does not seem to gain full support from European top leagues. Only two out of five of them are in favour of those unfortunate players while the rest are not.
Five European top flights with highest coefficient ranks do not seem to share the same view regarding the stranded foreign players in Ukraine and Russia domestic leagues. FIFA’s peculiar policy on bolstering the squad to accommodate them has been ruled out by English Premier League, Bundesliga and Italian Serie A due to the sporting integrity issue, as the leagues have been at the final phase of the competition. Only Spanish La Liga and French Ligue 1 adopt such new rule. As a result, only a few could sign on loan for the European top leagues. Others either have to join the non elite leagues or worse, stay in the current teams, especially the ones in Russia. The deadline for registering these new signings was on April 7.
Here are those who managed to leave Ukraine and Russia for La Liga and Ligue 1.
- Vinicius Tobias. He is 18-year old right back who just signed on loan to Real Madrid. The Brazilian youngster agreed to stay in Bernabeu until the end of 2022/23 season with the option for moving permanently from his current club, Shakhtar Donetsk. However, he will not be joining Carlo Ancelotti’s squad yet but be included in Real Madrid Castilla or B team under the former star in 1990s and early 2000s, Raul Gonzales.
- Tete. He is 22-year old winger who joined Shakhtar in 2019. The former Gremio man has completed his move on loan to Lyon. He is a great addition for Peter Bosz’s squad as he has scored nine goals this season in the domestic campaign plus one goal in the Champions League.
- Remy Cabella. The 32-year old versatile forward is the top performer in Krasnodar. He contributed four goals and six assists before terminating his contract to return to Montpellier, his former club before moving to Newcastle United and Marseille. His last club in Ligue 1 was St.Etienne in 2019.
- Didier Lamkel Ze. He is 25-year old Cameroonian winger who can feature as frontman as well. He was actually Royal Antwerp loanee while joining Russian side, Khimki in 2021. Fortunately, he could return to his former club and has recently signed for Ligue 1 relegation struggler, FC Metz.
Here are some of those who moved elsewhere in Europe or outside the continent.
- Jordan Larsson. The 24-year old striker is the son of legendary Swedish forward, Henrik Larsson. He has agreed to return to Sweden and signed for AIK Solna on loan till June before going back to Spartak Moscow.
- Andres Dreyer. He is 23-year old versatile winger who scored eight goals this season for Rubin Kazan. The Danish international who has just capped twice moved to FC Midtjylland on loan till the end of the season.
- Viktor Claesson. The 30-year old winger opted to leave Russia permanently by joining FC Copenhagen. He was the key man by scoring 32 goals during his five-year stint in FC Krasnodar. Claesson made important contributions while helping Sweden to qualify in World Cup 2018 and EURO 2020.
- Gregorz Krychowiak. The former Sevilla and PSG man eventually also signed for AEK Athens on loan having spent a year in FC Krasnodar. The 32-year old defensive midfielder has been the key figure in Poland and named in the final squad in EURO 2016 & 2020 and World Cup 2018.
- Moritz Bauer. The 30-year old right back also escaped from FC Ufa to join Switzerland’s Servette in a free transfer. He has just made six appearances for Austria.
- Kvhicha Kvaratskhelia. The 21-year old versatile winger has been Napoli’s target since joining Rubin Kazan. Apparently, Il Partenopei might have a shot in signing him in the summer since the Georgia international has left Russia to return to his former side, Dinamo Batumi.
- Tomasz Kedziora. The 27 year-old centre back is the key figure in Dynamo Kiev. Unfortunately, the Poland international has to return to Lech Poznan in the remaining season.
- Valentin Cojocaru. The 26-year old Romanian goalkeeper managed to attract Feyenoord to sign him on loan this season. He has earned the national team call-up in 2016 and featured in 14 games with 8 clean sheets for Dnipro-1.
- Kento Hashimoto. He is the key player for FC Rostov this season. However, the 28-year old defensive midfielder opted for returning to J-League by joining Vissel Kobe instead of staying in Europe. The Japanese international has earned 13 caps so far.
- Pablo. The 30-year old centre back just signed for Lokomotiv Moscow in January 2021. Last March, the former Bordeaux man chose to leave Russia permanently by joining Flamengo. The Brasilian featured in 11 games this season.
- Hwang In-Beom. The 25-year old midfielder has decided to return to his homeland by signing for FC Seoul on loan. The Korean international with 31 caps was one of the key figures in Rubin Kazan this season. He made 17 appearances and registered two goals and three assists.
- Ayrton Lucas. The 24 year old versatile wing back has managed to leave Spartak Moscow to move to Flamengo on loan till December this year.
- Trio Brasilian in Shakhtar, Detinho, Junior Moraes and Marlos, opted for signing Brasilian sides, Ceara, Corinthias and Atletico Paranense respectively on free transfer.
Meanwhile, some notable names such as the former AC Milan man Diego Laxalt, Turkey international who helped Lille won Ligue 1 last season Yusuf Yazici and the former Chelsea wing back under Conte’s reign, Victor Moses have been either not so lucky to find the new clubs or preferred to stay in Russia during this tough time. They are currently still playing for Dynamo, CSKA and Spartak Moscow for their ongoing domestic campaign for the rest of the season.