Monday 19 December 2011
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says he does not want striker Roman Pavlyuchenko to leave White Hart Lane in the January transfer window.
The 30-year-old Russian came off the bench to score the winner in Spurs' 1-0 victory over Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday, his first League goal of the campaign.
Pavlyuchenko has slipped down the pecking order at Spurs this season, with Emmanuel Adebayor, Jermain Defoe and Rafael van der Vaart occupying attacking positions ahead of him.
And with Euro 2012 next summer, Pavlyuchenko is believed to be keen to find a club where he can play regular first-team football in the second half of the season.
"People say Pav is going and we're looking for a striker, but it is difficult to find anyone better"
- Harry Redknapp
But Redknapp said: "I understand that Pav wants to play and needs to play, but if he keeps scoring he will be playing.
"I'd like to keep him. People say Pav is going and we're looking for a striker, but it is difficult to find anyone better.
"We are very fortunate, we have four very good strikers at the club and I would like to keep them all."
Pavlyuchenko has not started a single League match for Tottenham this season, despite scoring 14 goals in all competitions last season, 10 the season before and 14 in his first campaign in 2008-09 after a £13.8m move from Spartak Moscow.
He has been linked with a move back to his homeland as he tries to make sure of a place in Russia coach Dick Advocaat's 23-man squad for the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.
Redknapp says Pavlyuchenko paid the price for a poor start to the season, but says he has all the attributes of a top-class centre-forward.
"He's top drawer but he's just been unlucky," added Redknapp. "He didn't start the season great. He hasn't really shown the form that he's capable of so he's slipped down the pecking order a bit.
"It's difficult. Some people are going to be upset they're not in the team, but if he's not playing he's always on the bench so it's not as if he's isolated. He's very much part of the first team.
"Pav's a fantastic player. He's got real talent, great ability. Technically he's fantastic - he's got a good left foot, a good right foot and is a great finisher. When he's at it he's top drawer."
Pavlyuchenko will be hoping to earn his first League start of the campaign when Tottenham entertain Chelsea at White Hart Lane on Thursday.