One to Watch - Pavel Pogrebnyak
Name: Pavel Pogrebnyak
Date of Birth: 8/11/1983
Former Clubs: Spartak Moscow, Baltika Kaliningrad, Khimki, Shinnik Yaroslavl, Tom Tomsk, Zenit St. Petersburg, VfB Stuttgart, Fulham
League Appearances (Goals): 261 (84)
International Appearances (Goals): 33 (8)
Stat of the Day: As of 22nd August 2012, Pogrebnyak had scored seven Premier League goals despite only attempting nine shots on target
Player Profile: The problem with identifying Pogrebnyak as the One to Watch for Wednesday`s fixture is that firstly I don`t know whether he will actually play and secondly his name is really hard to spell. It is clear football club owners favour their own, as we all know too well; Italians buy Italians and Russians buy Russians. Anton Zingarevich snatched Pogrebnyak from Fulham`s grasp at the last second over the summer and despite only netting once in his first four games, the 6ft 1in striker will sooner rather than later be continuing his respectable track record at European level.
Russia has not exactly been the finest exporter of talent to these shores - Pavlyuchenko, Arshavin, Zhirkov and Bilyaletdinov to name a few, have all failed in etching their name in Premier League history. Pogrebnyak has cited the Russian mentality as the main reason for the numerous Russian failures though and has already assured fans his love towards the Premier League and dedication to avoiding falling into the same trap of his compatriots. Reading and QPR may possess different attitudes towards the Capital One Cup, but rest assured if starting, Pogrebnyak will certainly be Reading`s dangerman.
Pavel Pogrebnyak joined Spartak Moscow at the age of six and made his first team debut in 2002. He enjoyed numerous loan spells as a youngster at clubs I have never heard of. His goalscoring threat was clearly evident and despite having failed to make the grade at Spartak he made his breakthrough at Tom Tomsk in 2006 where he netted 13 times in 26 matches.
Zenit St. Petersburg moved to swoop for the Russian in 2007, as he soon helped them to the Russian Premier League chipping in with 13 goals. Along with Luca Toni, Pogrebnyak was the joint top-scorer in the 2007/2008 UEFA Cup, scoring 10 goals and helping Zenit to reach the final. A move to Blackburn Rovers was seemingly on the cards, however the move never materialised and Pogrebnyak signed for VfB Stuttgart in 2009, having scored almost one in every two appearances during his time at the Russian giants; 39 in 90 more precisely.
Upon joining Stuttgart, Pogrebnyak was heralded as the replacement for Stuttgart`s talisman Mario Gomez, however such high expectations meant the Russian ultimately failed in filling the significant void. Pogrebnyak only managed 8 goals in 39 appearances in his debut season, and the rest of his time in Germany was halted by inconsistency and persistent knee problems. In January 2012 Pogrebnyak moved to Fulham on loan and got off to a flying start scoring 5 times in his first 3 appearances. His finished with six goals in 12 appearances at Craven Cottage and eventually signed for Reading over the summer on a free transfer.
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