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Pavel Yakovlev
Personal information
Full name Pavel Vladimirovich Yakovlev
Date of birth April 7, 1991 (1991-04-07) (age 18)
Place of birth    Lyubertsy, Russian SFSR
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Striker / winger
Club information
Current club FC Spartak Moscow
Number 44
Youth career
Saturn Moscow
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
2007–
2009–
FC Spartak Moscow (reserves)
FC Spartak Moscow

14 (4)   
National team
2009– Russia U-21

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 18:59, 22 November 2009 (UTC).
* Appearances (Goals)

Pavel Vladimirovich Yakovlev (Russian: Павел Владимирович Яковлев; born April 7, 1991 in Lyubertsy) is a Russian football player. As of June 2009, he plays for FC Spartak Moscow. He made his debut in the Russian Premier League on June 13, 2009 in a game against FC Khimki[1].

Although at school and in the reserves he played chiefly as a striker, in the main squad of Spartak he is often used as a winger.

Pavel Jakovlev is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting revelations of the 2009 Russian Premier League season. He is not only an excellent prospect for his club Spartak Moscow but for Russian football as a whole.

Contents

Youth career

He was born on April 7, 1991 in the town of Lyubertsy. He started playing football at the age of nine as a striker at a small football school in the suburbs of Moscow and was immediately noticeable for his excellent technical ability, pace and acceleration. Jakovlev eventually signed for Spartak Moscow who marked him out straight away as a hot prospect to nurture for the future.

Even as a boy, he possessed outstanding natural talent and was invited to train with the Saturn Moscow regional youth team. Nonetheless, following several training sessions, Saturn Moscow allowed him to leave. This is when Spartak Moscow stepped in and invited him to play for their youth team. They were so impressed with Jakovlev that, having played with the year group ahead of him, he became a Spartak Moscow player at the age of 15.

In his first season with the youth team during 2007, he played on only four occasions, failing to score. The following year in 2008, things progressed significantly and Jakovlev made 19 appearances, scoring 4 goals.

Spartak Moscow

In the 2009 season, he made his breakthrough. He made a fantastic start to the season with the youth team, scoring seven goals in 14 matches during the opening three months. Spartak then found themselves with few left midfield options due to injuries to Ivan Saenko and Cristian Maidena. Head coach Valery Karpin had little option but to call on a youth team player. Jakovlev, up until then had played only as a striker or left-sided forward but Karpin saw that he would make a good attacking midfielder due to his excellent technical ability, pace and natural left foot.

Jakovlev was only 18 years old when he was given his chance by Karpin but during the second half of the season he justified the decision by becoming an integral part of the Spartak Moscow squad. During that period, despite being a natural striker, Jakovlev played 14 matches as a left attacking midfielder in the Russian Premier League , scoring four goals and contributing one assist. This was an incredible return for a young forward playing on the left hand side for the first time.

Jakovlev's emerging success attracted attention and on May 5, 2009 he received his first call up to the Russian Under-21 team for a game against Latvia, where he scored on his debut. Although yet to represent the senior national team, Jakovlev has made five appearances in total for the under-21 team, winning on each occasion.

He possesses all of the characteristics needed to become a successful forward or attacking midfielder. He is very fast and has good acceleration with which to beat defenders. Jakovlev also has very good technical ability and beats defenders with ease in one on one situations due to his close control and ability to dribble at pace.

Another great attribute is Jakovlev's fearless attitude. He does not think twice to take on players or to try to change the game with a flash of creativity.

An example which really demonstrates Jakovlev's importance to the Spartak line-up over the last few months was his absence from the team in Spartak's final game of the season against Zenit St. Petersburg . Jakovlev was obligated to play for the youth team at the time in order to be eligible for a post season youth championship. In his absence, Spartak lost the crucial match and created no real chances against a Zenit side reduced to 10 players for the whole of the second half.

Although Jakovlev is a talented young footballer, he also has plenty to improve. He must develop more physical strength in order to compete with experienced opponents at a high level. He also needs to acquire more match practice in order to develop greater self-confidence in his game and to improve his decision-making on the pitch.

In general, the youngster has all the necessary ingredients to become a real star of Russian and European football. A lot will depend on next season, which will likely be more difficult now that he is a marked man. It is likely to be several years before we will see him play in a top European league.

Jakovlev is a serious young man whose main goal has always been to play professional football. When he began playing at Spartak Moscow, Yakovlev travelled for about three hours to get to training and another three hours home. His commitment is unquestioned.

Jakovlev is also a modest person who constantly strives to improve his game while remaining level headed.

International career

Yakovlev is a part of the Russia U-21 side that is competing in the 2011 European Under-21 Championship qualification.[2]

External links

References

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