Balazs Dzsudzsák: The Magic Magyar Set For Liverpool
“Inter along with Liverpool wanted to add Balázs to their squad” were the words of Dzsudzsák’s agent as soon as the January transfer window had shut. A move away from Moscow seemed almost certain during the winter break but Dinamo’s reluctance to let the Hungarian international leave on loan proved a stumbling block for negotiations.
Balázs Dzsudzsák has been at Dinamo Moscow for just over a year after making the shock move from the oil-rich Anzhi Makhachkala last January who he joined just the July before. The move made Dzsudzsák the most expensive Hungarian of all time at a hefty €19 million – a reported €7 million more than what Anzhi paid for him just 7 months previous.
The left winger’s short time at Anzhi was plagued by injury and left him only turning out in three competitive games. The move to Moscow came as a shock to everyone, but with Yuri Zhirkov signing from Chelsea, the move sort of made sense.
Since joining Dinamo, Dzsudzsák has had a turbulent time with the pressure of the price tag seemingly acting as a harness around his usually trusty left boot. His integration into the team was no problem, and on his debut he set up the equalising goal against CSKA in a 1-1 draw but from there his form fluctuated, just like his club’s.
Dan Petrescu was hired as the new coach at the start of August and things started horrendously for the former Chelsea man. Seven losses in his first eight league games coupled with an early Europa League exit had Petrescu hanging by a thread while Dzsudzsák was no longer a permanent member of the side.
The Dzsudzsák who scored 24 goals in one season at PSV from the left wing looked to be no more and a forlorn, uninspired and seemingly frightened figure had replaced him. The switch to Russia had quickly become a nightmare for Hungary’s golden boy.
After such an incredible four seasons at PSV where he scored 55 goals in 156 appearances, Dzsudzsák’s career looked to be heading for the rocks, as predicted by many (myself included) back in 2011 when he made the move to Russia.
Money was obviously a huge motivation in Dzsudzsák’s move, but at the age of 24 when teams like Juventus and Liverpool are sniffing around, you surely have to place greater importance on the footballing reasons.
However, Dzsudzsák’s form picked up and it wasn’t a coincidence that Dinamo’s did too. Since the shocking start to the season, Dinamo have won nine of their last eleven league games, with Dzsudzsák driving the team on with seven assists and four goals.
But the pressure hasn’t eased on the Hungarian international: back in October the foreign players were threatened to be ousted by the fans who wanted all non-Russians out of their club. During a training session, paintballs rained down on the players filled with leaflets listing the players they wanted gone: Dzsudzsák and Kevin Kuranyi were those included.
This lead to Dzsudzsák publicly announcing that he wants to leave Russia.
The Russian experience hasn’t been a good one for the darling of Hungarian football. The summer of 2011 was greeted with much optimism by Magyar Foci fans who wanted to see their very own David Beckham move to a major European club, but instead the money came calling and Dzsduzsák went a-following.
The fact remains that Dzsudzsák still has fantastic talent and a lot of potential. The past few months have seen glimpses of the Hungarian’s best form, which has lifted Dinamo up to 9th in the Russian Premier League and he has put some outstanding performances in for Hungary, reaching 50 caps in the process.
The man born in Debrecen has an outstanding shot on him with his left or right foot and can play on either wing either as an inverted winger or like an old-fashioned wide man. He has unbelievable pace and drifts past players with ease. He takes corners, free kicks and penalties. He is simply the complete attacking player.
His form at PSV made him one of the most exciting prospects on the European market but the move to Russia has dented his fledging reputation. The money that has been thrown around will be nice for his bank account, but after 2 and a half years of footballing frustration Dzsudzsák knows that it’s about that make or break time in his career. A move to Liverpool or Inter in the summer may be just what he needs.
Tomasz Mortimer runs www.hungarianfootball.com
Follow Tomasz on Twitter: @HungariaFootbal