Pavel Pogrebnyak: Fulham Forward Is Premier League Perfect

Yoosof Farah@@YoosofFarahSenior Writer IIIMarch 5, 2012

Pavel Pogrebnyak: Premier League Perfect
Pavel Pogrebnyak: Premier League PerfectScott Heavey/Getty Images

Pavel Pogrebnyak proved himself as the perfect Premier League striker with his hat trick in Fulham's emphatic 5-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Craven Cottage.

The 28-year-old, signed on an initial loan deal from Bundesliga side Vfb Stuttgart, has scored in each of his three matches for Fulham so far, taking his tally to five goals in three games, having netted winners against Stoke City and Queens Park Rangers.

Of course, he's not the best striker in England's top-flight—that honour goes to Robin Van Persie—but since signing for the Cottagers, he has proven he's the perfect type of forward for the league.

When EPL sides such as Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea look to bolster their attacking options this summer, Russia international Pogrebnyak is exactly the kind of player they should seek to sign.

Just one look at the former Spartak Moscow and Zenit St. Petersburg striker will tell you he's made for the Premier League.

Tall and strong (188 cm. tall and weighing 91 kg), Pogrebnyak has the densely-packed biceps and pectorals (among other upper-body muscles groups used) to hold up play and shrug off defenders' challenges on the ball.

The Russian also has the strong quadriceps (and other leg muscles) to beat defenders for pace, race into penalty area and get on the end of chances.

His muscle mass makes him one of the heaviest players in the league—but given his pace, shot power, upper body strength and aerial ability, it also makes him one of the best athletes.

And aside from his athletic ability, Pogrebnyak is a player who makes his shots count.

In the Premier League more so than other European leagues, players tend to waste their efforts on goal, making sure they at least do something to work the goalkeeper than nothing at all.

For a lot of strikers, it means they usually end up without scoring, wasting the chances they had earlier in the game before finding out that no more opportunities will end up coming their way.

Pogrebnyak, on the other hand, waits for the right chance and seems to have an "If I don't score, so be it" attitude.

That's why he hasn't a big success at Stuttgart, but why he's doing so well at Fulham.

He waits for the right chance on goal, then takes it, which is why he's scored five goals from seven shots in his entire Fulham career—the model of efficiency.

There'll be games when the Cottagers don't make many chances and their midfield aren't on form, and that's when Pogrebnyak probably won't score.

But if the midfield is in working order, then it's almost guaranteed the Russian will get a sniff of goal, and thus be likely to find the back of the net, given that he has the finishing ability, which has seen him carve out a career at the highest level in Russia and Germany.

And the other main thing—besides the fact Pogrebnyak is enjoying himself in London and clearly getting the love he needs at Fulham—is seeing the Russian striker do well is his shooting style.

He's a player who likes to attack the ball, running in at pace to finish off a chance, more so than do all the work himself.

Pogrebnyak isn't a good decision-maker—which again led to his downfall in the Bundesliga—but he has a better striker's instinct than most in the game, so the quick, all-action attacking plays of the Premier League suit his style perfectly.

When you compare Pogrebnyak to Fernando Torres or Andy Carroll, the mind boggles as to why Liverpool and Chelsea overlooked a player like the Russian, who's doing a much better job, is more suited to the league and was available for a lot less money.

Martin Jol did incredibly well with this signing, and it's no wonder he's rather anxious to secure the striker on a permanent deal.

The right fit for Fulham and the English top-flight, Pavel Pogrebnyak is the model striker for the Premier League, and a player of his mould is exactly the type of signing clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle United should try to make.