Sergei Rebrov promised so much when he arrived at Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2000.
The Ukrainian had been lethal in front of goal for Dynamo Kyiv for the previous eight years alongside a certain Andriy Shevchenko. Indeed, the £11million Spurs and Sir Alan Sugar spent on him to make him their club-record signing looked to be a good piece of business (Guardian).
He returned a rather modest first season tally of nine goals in 29 Premier League appearances although his troubles of adapting to English football appeared to continue.
Things were not helped for Rebrov when George Graham was sacked and replaced by Glenn Hoddle, as the former England manager did not see the forward as a key member of his side.
Hoddle utilised the Ukrainian from the substitutes bench more often than not and a year later, it seems Rebrov ran out of patience with him.
Speaking in an interview with BBC Sport in April 2002, he stated: “I want to move to a club where I feel like a player. Somewhere where the manager wants to see me as part of his squad. I want to believe Hoddle has faith in me but sometimes it is hard. This is the most difficult situation of my football career.”
Following that outburst, he found himself out on loan with Fenerbahce for the final two years of his Spurs contract where he managed just four goals in 38 top-flight appearances.
He subsequently returned to England and signed a one-year deal with West Ham United, however, he managed a paltry one goal in 27 appearances in the Championship before returning to Dynamo Kyiv and finding his form once again.
Towards the end of his career, Rebrov turned out for Rubin Kazan and amateur side Irpin before hanging up his boots and trying his hand at management, where he has been at the helm of Kyiv, Al-Ahli and now Ferencváros.
It would seem Hoddle’s arrival at Tottenham sent the forward’s career on a downhill spiral.
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