With Robbie Keane off to Liverpool, and Dimitar Berbatov looking ready to pack his bags too, Tottenham Hotspur must sign a striker. Roman Pavlyuchenko appears to be their saviour for this task.
"I can confirm I'm joining the Spurs," the Spartak Moscow player told local media. "Right now I'm getting my visa and as soon as it is ready I will fly to England to sign a contract."
The Russian made himself well known this year. First, he scored two goals against England in a Euro 2008 qualifying match. Russia won the game two-one, and it led to England being eventually left out of the tournament.
Then, in Euro 2008, he led his country to the semi-finals with three goals in five matches. The 26-year-old was one of the top scorers in the tournament. These performances got the attention of many clubs around Europe, and Roman was destined for a move.
Tottenham first attemped to sign Andrei Arshavin (the other Russian that made a huge impact at Euro 2008), but Zenit St Petersburg rejected the offer. Pavlyuchenko has the skill, but can he adapt to the English Premier League style?
More importantly, can he replace Dimitar Berbatov and be the go-to guy on the team? I believe he can. Giovanni Dos Santos certainly can't be counted upon to be the premier striker for the team. I can see Pavlyuchenko and Luka Modric doing some damage together.
It won't be easy surpassing the work of Berbatov though. The Bulgarian struck 12 goals, along with 11 assists in 30 games for a strong debut season in the EPL. Last season, he followed that up with 15 strikes, and 11 assists in 33 games. And, who can forget the four-goal effort against Reading FC on December 29, 2007?
However, Pavlyuchenko was the leading scorer in the Russian League last season, and could very well carry that out to the EPL. He's got great vision, smooth finishing, and incredible stamina. The match against Holland at Euro 2008 saw him play nearly the entire game without losing a step.
The training in Russia is tough, but Roman has shown he can play with the best of them. If he continues to work hard, and stays in the same great shape, I don't see why he can't make an impact in the EPL.
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