Pre-Season Insider: Attacking Player to Watch

By: Ian Hart 5th August 2010


Bulgarian winger looking to revitalise his career with Bolton after tough time at City



Owen Coyle's decision to bring former Manchester City winger Martin Petrov to the Reebok this summer could prove to be a master-stroke if he continues the kind of form he has shown in pre-season, and remains injury-free.

The Bulgarian is obviously a very gifted player but fell down the pecking order at City behind several big money glamour names.

As a result he was released when his contract expired at the end of last season and Coyle moved to bring him to Bolton on a free transfer.

Petrov was signed at City by Sven-Goren Eriksson in July 2007, for £4.7m Euros, having previously played for the likes of CSKA Sofia, Wolfsburg and Atletico Madrid.

He arrived in this country with Brazilian Elano amid speculation that Eriksson had never seen either of them play and had purchased them on video evidence alone.

It didn't work out too badly for the Swedish former England coach though as, despite his aging legs, Petrov was soon making probing runs down the flanks creating, and scoring, goals.

In total Petrov, now 31, played 59 times for City and scored 9 times and picked up 14 assists for 55 Fantasy League points.

He played 34 times in that opening season under Eriksson but then under Mark Hughes and latterly Roberto Mancini, though a combination of injury and arrival of new players he found his chances limited.

Petrov has only featured 12 times over the last two seasons but looks certain to be a first team regular for Bolton, especially if his preseason form is anything to go by.

He scored one and created another on his debut during Wanderers' pre-season tour and also crossed for Kevin Davies to score in the following game.

Davies' aerial threat and Petrov's ability from crosses, both in open play and from deal ball situations, could become a potent weapon for Bolton this season and is likely to be a good source of points for both players.

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