One to Watch - Michael Mifsud
Barnsley loanee Michael Mifsud has been singled out by Vital QPR as the One to Watch ahead of the clash on Saturday.
The experienced Maltese international has made 60 appearances for his national side scoring 20 goals, that`s one in every three games for a nation that could be described as minnows in world football.
Mifsud started out life at local side Silema Wanderers where for a brief period he played alongside current Barnsley team-mate and compatriot Daniel Bogdanovic.
He made his debut for the Maltese outfit in 1997 a season in which he made seven appearances scoring a solitary goal, it was the next few seasons where he began to kick on and establish himself as a goalscoring talent in his homeland.
A further eight goals in 22 appearances added to his tally, while in 1999-00 he scored 21 goals in 25 appearances for Silema as fans at the Ta' Qali Stadium, were beginning to see his true potential. The word spread further afield as Manchester United offered him a trial in 1999.
Back to the Maltese league however and Mifsud bagged an unprecedented 30 goals in 25 appearances for the Wanderers, prompting an international call up and a move to mainland Europe. German Bundesliga side Kaiserslautern came calling and he impressed in the youth sides and reserves scoring two goals from several appearances from the bench.
His lack of first team football prompted the German outfit to release him and he returned to Silema in order to push them on to the title with eight goals in 12 appearances. In that summer he made the move to Norwegian outfit Lillestrøm where he impressed with 11 goals in 19 appearances for LSK. Mifsud was voted the best foreign player in the Norwegian Tippeligaen.
Mifsud also played against Newcastle United in the Inter-toto Cup as West Bromwich Albion midfielder Robert Koren handed the Norwegian side a shock lead at St James` Park.
Despite his goalscoring delight in the Norwegian top flight Mifsud`s desire to play in a more prevalent European league eventually prompted him to move, this came despite Lillestrøm rejecting an offer from Coventry City before his contract expired.
Eventually after his contract was up he did sign for the Sky Blues under Micky Adams, who was ironically sacked two days after to signing him. Nevetheless a stunning solo effort from the bench on his Coventry debut against Plymouth helped announce his arrival and further goals against Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley helped him make his name in the Championship under Iain Dowie.
His performances the following season helped add to a growing reputation at the Ricoh Arena as the forward now nicknamed The Mosquito was wowing the Coventry crowds. 17 goals in 2007/08 saw him hit a brace in a shock League Cup victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford, where a new nickname was bestowed on him by the Gazzetta dello Sport naming him Il Messi Di Malta.
A low point of the season came as he was given his marching orders live on Sky for a calculated elbow - a decision which the cameras caught emphatically. He bounced back to score two goals against West Brom and a brace in the FA Cup triumph over Blackburn Rovers earning him Player of the Third Round.
Despite his good goalscoring form he went 19 games without a goal towards the end of the season as he was re-deployed on the wing. He was voted runner up to player of the year Jay Tabb receiving 16% of the overall vote from Sky Blue supporters
During the close season Bristol City game calling and Mifsud appeared to be on his way to Ashton Gate. In mysterious circumstances however the deal broke down after the player met with Gary Johnson.
Johnson said: 'I don't think he's right for us. I know people will be shocked by that and this is not me trying to enhance my reputation for interview techniques.
'I can't commit £1.5million of the club's money to people that I don't think can be committed to the club over three years."
So far this campaign he had only bagged two goals for the Sky Blues and was long-rumoured to be on his way out of the Ricoh Arena, and it finally came albeit on loan on transfer deadline day. On February 2 the deal was announced that he had moved to Barnsley on loan until the end of the season
This far he has played three games for the Tykes but is yet to score for his new side as he bids to impress current boss Simon Davey.
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