🙌 Tottenham cult heroes: Roman Pavlyuchenko

Onefootball

Alex Mott

Article image: 🙌 Tottenham cult heroes: Roman Pavlyuchenko

Received wisdom in football circles states that the worst time to buy a player is immediately after they do well at a tournament.

For four weeks a player lights up the world, inflating his price and without proper scouting, there’s no way to tell whether they’re the real deal or just a flash in the pan.

Liverpool found that out to their cost with El Hadji Diouf, James Rodriguez never lived up to his World Cup hype at Real Madrid, while Manchester United were left red-faced when they signed Kleberson.

But it can go the other way – a post-tournament arrival can have the desired effect, as Roman Pavlyuchenko proved at Tottenham.

A look back at Pavlyuchenko’s career shows Spurs as the odd one out, a brief moment where he wasn’t in his Russian comfort zone but instead leading the line for one of England’s biggest clubs.

It wasn’t quite the fairytale everyone had hoped when Harry Redknapp’s side agreed a €15m with Spartak Moscow in the summer of 2008.

Over three and a half years, the towering forward netted just 21 Premier League goals, but it was his performances in the Champions League that really cemented his place in the hearts of Spurs fans.

It was his away goal at Young Boys that all but secured their place in the group stages for the first time back in 2010

And Pavlyuchenko was at the heart of one of Tottenham’s best ever nights as they beat Inter 3-1 at White Hart Lane, with the Russian netting the third to round of a historic night in north London.

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Despite boasting a better goals-to-game ratio than Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Robbie Keane, Pavlyuchenko slipped down the pecking order and by December 2011 had earned just 18 minutes playing time in the Premier League.

Just a month later, big Pav was off, back to Russia, with one eye on getting in the national side for that’s summer’s European Championships.

It was a three-and-a-half year spell that promised much, delivered in part, but left a big impression on everyone at Tottenham.