Pavel Pogrebnyak has quickly become one of the Premier League’s most eye-catching strikers.
The 19-year-old was a nother summer signing from Stuttgart and had the chance to impress under Alex Ferguson.
“In a few weeks he will come into his own,” Ferguson said at the time.
As a winger Pogrebnyak looked to have the potential to help United bounce back from Champions League disappointment. But he struggled and was left on the bench and felt the wrath of Ferguson and Scholes.
“I don’t need Scholesy,” Pogrebnyak lamented back in August. “There is no problem about that, you need to understand that.”
Barely three months later the former Stuttgart forward has emerged as a major attacking threat. He has helped himself to five goals in just eight league games so far this season — one of the most prolific scoring paces in the league.
“Pogba is a top player with great movement, a great goal scorer and a great prospect, so that’s what I wanted and that’s what I got,” said Ferguson.
Pogrebnyak admitted the experience under Ferguson was invaluable.
“I learned how to play, how to be a professional, the way things were done, and I learned how to behave as a professional,” he said.
And now the teenager is one of the most sought-after frontmen in Europe. He is likely to make his international debut for Russia in March.
“It’s difficult for a 19-year-old to choose his club,” said Russian coach Fabio Capello. “But Pogrebnyak has proved himself playing for club and country and has a lot of potential. He is a fantastic prospect and has impressed me with his first year at Stuttgart. He came to Russia with big expectations, but he quickly proved himself and I am glad he’s playing at my team.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.