March 22, 2023

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Haikin’s club in England: never been to the Premier League, ruffled Pep’s City, started the season briskly



Nikita Khaikin is now a Bristol City player. The 27-year-old Russian goalkeeper mentally left Bodé-Glimt and signed a contract in the English Championship.

Haikin signing details: Came before end of season, very happy to be back in England

Bristol City signed the goalkeeper as a free agent. The contract is until the end of the season, will expire in June 2023.

It is curious that Khaikin was presented on the Bristol website as a British citizen. At the same time, there is a Russian stage of a youth career and a call to the national team is mentioned.

Khaikin has British citizenship thanks to his father: in the early 2000s he received political asylum there, Nikita himself studied at the academies of Chelsea, Portsmouth and Reading. But in his adult career he played only for clubs from Israel and Norway.

The goalkeeper himself is delighted: “I always wanted to return to England, so I am very happy. There are excellent conditions here. Looking forward to testing myself in such a competitive league.”

What we know about Bristol: never been to the Premier League, although he was close 15 years ago, drove Pep’s Man City in the League Cup

In a couple of minutes – the main thing about the new Khaikin club.

• “Bristol” has been in the elite of English football for a very long time, although it was founded at the end of the century before last. Mostly in the early 1900s. In 1907, the team was closest to the championship – they lost only three points to Newcastle. The best achievement in the FA Cup – the 1909 final, lost to Manchester United (0: 1). But in 1934 they took the Welsh Cup. English clubs flew there until the 1990s.

• In the Premier League era – that is, since 1992 – Bristol had not yet played in the elite. The most real chance was in 2008: fourth place in the Championship, victory in the play-off semi-final against Crystal Palace, but followed 0-1 by Hull in the decisive match.

• 13 of Bristol’s last 15 seasons have been in the Championship. In 2013, he flew out, a couple of years later he returned back and almost immediately after he was already one step away from the Premier League. But mostly located closer to the end of the standings. Last season, he finished 17th out of 24 teams, but did not fight for survival – he finished with a margin of 18 points.

• In 2018, Bristol sparkled in the League Cup, reaching the semi-finals and tormenting Man City, only losing 90+2 (1-2) away because of Agüero’s goal and even equalizing at home after 0-2 , but missed by 90+6.

This season, the team is still in the same 17th place, but so far only seven points from the relegation zone. The club flew out of the League Cup, Swansea went through in the FA Cup in a replay and on Saturday, January 28, they will play with West Bromwich.

They started the season well: they were fourth after eight rounds, but they failed in autumn – only two wins in 13 matches. So they slipped, although in 2023 so far without defeat. Only three Championship teams play better than Bristol in the first half (only five lost out of 28), only three are worse in the second (only six won out of 28).

Who meets Haikin at Bristol: ex-coach and Leicester legend, De Bruyne’s partner at Wolfsburg, participant in the 2022 World Cup

The name of the head coach immediately catches the eye – this is Nigel Pearson, familiar from Leicester and the unexpected dismissal from Watford, when he pulled the team from the bottom of the Premier League. February will be two years since Pearson has been with Bristol City.

What is interesting in the composition?

Bristol has been spending almost nothing on transfers lately – the pandemic has hit, there is no extra money. So signing Haikin as a free agent is trending. According to Transfermarkt, in the last 2.5 seasons, only one player came to Bristol for money – and he was worth 1.6 million euros. The rest are leases and people without contracts.

The most profitable of recent sales: Adam Webster, Lloyd Kelly and Josh Brownhill sold for a total of 50 million euros.

Transfer news important for understanding the role of Nikita Khaykin: goalkeeper Daniel Bentley has just been sold to Wolverhampton. Who will now be the main one – a pupil of Max O’Leary, who has been with the club since the age of ten, or Haykin – is still unclear.

Also on the team is ex-Chelsea defender Tomas Kalas, who has been on loan for nearly a decade.

There is Swiss defender Timm Klose , who, together with Kevin de Bruyne and Ivan Perisic, won the German Cup and Super Cup with Wolfsburg, and played in the Premier League for Norwich.

A few years ago, the club invested in the 18-year-old Monaco midfielder An-Noah Massengo , they paid 8 million euros. This is a guy who made his debut in Ligue 1 without a name on the jersey . But he did not want to renew the contract and has not played since October.

Here Andy King is the legend of Leicester, who won with the club in League 1, and in the Championship and in the Premier League.

Forward Entoin Semenho went to the 2022 World Cup – the only one from the club. He came on as a substitute in two matches for the Ghana national team.

The team’s top scorer right now is the striker from Bermuda. Nahka  Wells  has nine balls and is in the top 10 in the league.