One to Watch - Marek Saganowski
SOUTHAMPTON forward Marek Saganowski has been outlined by Vital QPR as the one to watch this weekend.
The 30-year-old forward born in Łódź, Poland has become an integral figure in Southampton`s recent revival, as they bid to beat the drop into League One.
He began his career as a sprightly 16-year-old with home town team ŁKS Łódź and his early appearances did enough to impress Feyenoord boss Arie Hann who took him on loan. Later he forayed into the Bundesliga with Hamburg, but no goals in either spell saw him return to Poland.
After a brief period with the Polish giants, he suffered significant injuries in a car crash leaving him on the sidelines for an extended period. His steady return to action didn`t yield many goals and subsequently made the switch to Wisła Płock in 2000 before moving to Odra Wodzisław in the following season.
Two relatively poor spells saw him move once more across Poland to Legia Warszawa in 2003, and it was here that he re-discovered some of his promising early form. 41 goals in 67 appearances for the Ekstraklasa side captured the attention of sides across Europe.
Portuguese outfit Vitoria Guimaraes came calling and Saganowski made 32 appearances scoring 12 goals in a solitary season at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques. Guimaraes couldn`t hold on to the forward as he moved to north to French outfit Troyes for £1m.
Goal for Vitoria v Bolton Wanderers
After only six appearances for Troyes the Polish forward was on the move once again as George Burley snapped him up for Championship side Southampton in a bid to help them in their promotion push.
He made his debut in a defeat at home to Derby County, but ten goals in 13 appearances helped push the Saints into a playoff place, this included a hatrick in a 6-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers. Southampton lost out to the aforementioned Derby in the playoff semi-final with former QPR loanee Iñigo Idiakez missing the crucial spot kick.
He signed permanently at St Mary`s in 2007 but couldn`t recapture his prior form with only three goals in 30 Championship appearances. One of those goals proved to be crucial however in a slender 3-2 win over Sheffield United to keep Nigel Pearson`s side in the Championship.
Cost cutting measures were a primary reason as to why Saganowski was shipped out to Danish Superliga side Aalborg on loan, where he scored his first goal against Brønshøj BK in the Danish Cup. Former QPR assistant manager was his boss at Aalborg but three days after his Champions League goal against Villarreal, Rioch was given his marching orders.
Subsequently Saganowski`s side beat Celtic at home and picked up a stunning draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford. In January of this year he returned to St Mary`s under the guidance of Mark Wotte and has flourished upon his return.
11 games have yielded six goals for the Polish forward who is looking to fire the Saints to safety once again as the Championship dog-fight comes to a head.
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