It looks like Roman Pavlyuchenko’s days at White Hart Lane are numbered, with just two substitute appearances to his name this season in the league it seems his patience has finally run out.
The Russian hitman has scored 20 goals in 75 league appearances at Tottenham, but that has failed to impress Harry Redknapp who is always on the lookout for more firepower up front as he clearly feels Pavlyuchenko is not good enough to fire Spurs back to Champions League.
With Robbie Keane and Peter Crouch departing from North London this summer, the 29-year-old striker must have felt he was in with a chance of staking a claim for a starting place, but Emmanuel Adebayor has arrived on loan and seems to be Redknapp’s first choice ahead of Jermain Defoe and Pavlyuchenko.
With his contract running out in the summer, it’s unlikely he will accept a new one even if it is offered, so surely a January transfer is imminent and a return to his native Russia will be a preferred move for the striker who is hoping to feature in Euro 2012 for his country.
Redknapp has never criticised Pavlyuchenko’s work rate or attitude, which speaks a lot for the dedication of a player that is used to sitting on the bench. Some Europa League appearances and goals this season have even drawn praise from the manager but is this just to keep the Russian happy as once again he was an unused sub in the Premier League last weekend?
It is fair to say that Pavlyuchenko has not been given a fair chance at Spurs even with the lack of form strikers at times, and it is surely understandable that a player of his age wants first team football to enhance his international career. Whether Tottenham decide to sell him in January or just release him in the summer, the relationship between the two parties is becoming a sour one and it may become a very unwanted distraction for Redknapp in the coming weeks.
The former Spartak Moscow player’s agent has constantly voiced his concerns at the lack of first team football for his client and now Pavlyuchenko has added to that.
Pavlyuchenko told Russian newspaper Sport Express: “I don’t believe I can fight my way into the Tottenham starting line-up. Players can feel what the manager thinks about them, and I know that the manager doesn’t count on me these days.
“I don’t want to be the team’s fourth striker. I want to play in the big games in the Premier League, the Europa League, which I am playing in, doesn’t interest anyone here.
“I don’t know whether Redknapp is telling the truth when he says he doesn’t want to lose me. I guess he is not telling the truth, Redknapp says I’m not playing because my pre-season wasn’t good. I can’t understand that.
“Something must change. I must play in order not to miss Euro 2012, and there is a danger of missing such an important tournament, you don’t get into the national squad on past achievements. I will be 30 in December, and it could be my last big tournament.”
So, would you be sad to see the back of Pav?