One to Watch - Danny Graham
Name: Danny Graham
Date of Birth: 12/8/1985
Former Clubs: Middlesbrough, Darlington, Derby, Leeds United, Blackpool, Carlisle United, Watford
League Appearances (Goals): 253 (84)
International Appearances (Goals): 0 (0)
Stat of the Day: Danny Graham became the 30th player in Premier League history to score a goal and an own goal in the same match
I, along with the majority of other QPR fans, was pretty delighted when Danny Graham failed to score in his first five Premier League matches. What a waste of £3.5 million. He has since scored 5 in his last 10 games, whilst QPR`s attempt at signing a Championship striker, Jay Bothroyd, has only mustered up five shots on target, let alone five goals, leaving QPR fans thinking what could have been . I must admit, I wasn`t too disheartened when we missed out on Danny Graham in the summer - now I can`t help but think how effective a Helguson and Graham partnership would be up front.
Of course the 26-year-old will never be a leading Premier League goalscorer, or a full international; but the striker adds another dimension to Swansea - he can head the ball, hold it up, pass, and most importantly score goals. He was the focal point of a Watford side that ended QPR`s unbeaten record last season, scoring twice in a 3-1 victory at Loftus Road, and will be surely eyeing up the visit of the Rs as another opportunity to enhance his top flight reputation. If he doesn`t score, Wayne Routledge will take care of that, don`t you worry.
Graham initially started his professional career at Middlesbrough, coming through the ranks at their academy. An impressive run of form in the U 19 side saw him progress to the first team in March 2003, however he failed to cement a first-team spot in the starting lineup and was sent out on loan to numerous clubs. Two goals in nine appearances for Darlington was followed by loan spells at Derby County and Leeds United; however, failing to net a single goal he found himself back at Middlesbrough.
He managed to score for Boro against Coventry and Charlton in the League Cup and League, respectively, however in July 2006 the club announced they would be willing to let the once hot-prospect leave. A short spell on loan at Blackpool followed, however he then moved on loan to League 1 side Carlisle. An impressive loan period where he netted 7 times in 11 appearances saw him eventually make a permanent move to The Cumbrians in June 2007.
Graham came to prominence at Carlisle and finally looked to be fulfilling his potential. He managed to score 40 times and soon became a Brunton Park favourite. Carlisle tried to renew Graham`s contract, however he eventually joined Watford on a free transfer in 2009, after amassing 29 goals in 89 league appearances for the club. Graham`s reputation soon gathered speed at Vicarage Road as he finished top goalscorer for the club with 14 goals in his first season. Last season was his most successful to date - 27 goals in all competitions from 49 appearances, the npower Championship`s top goalscorer, numerous monthly accolades and runner-up to QPR`s Adel Taarabt for the division`s Player of the Year award.