Would a move to Iran save troubled £7 million ex-Tottenham stars career?

Niko Kranjcar

Niko Kranjcar has been involved in some fast times lately. Injury worries and apparent affairs with tennis legends wives; but should he join his old man in Iran?

When Portsmouth managed to secure a deal for Croatian international Niko Kranjcar it was a coup as many a club was chasing the young playmaker but Pompey managed to snap up the player on what must have been borrowed money considering they are now playing in League Two.

His performances on the South Coast were impressive and he soon earned himself a move to Tottenham Hotspur but after an impressive first campaign at The Lane; his second and third seasons at the club were less memorable.

He suffered several injury problems throughout his last two seasons at the club but also suffered at the form of his team-mates. The emergence of Gareth Bale put paid to his Premier League career and an inability to figure out his best position for English football was also an issue.

So last summer he was one of the players considered surplus to requirements at White Hart Lane and was put up for sale.

Ukrainian outfit Dynamo Kiev were going through a rebuilding process of their own in 2012 as they tried in vain to build a squad capable of tackling Shakhtar Donetsk in domestic competition.

Kranjcar cost Kiev £7 million and was quick to admit his pleasure at leaving his ‘disappointing’ time in North London behind. The move to Ukraine was supposed to be the rejuvenation of his career but that has so far not been the case.

Things started brightly for him as he bagged a couple of early braces but soon enough he found himself once again out of favour after October as he was increasingly hauled from the action and left on the bench with injury problems again making his impact intermittent.

Then in March he suffered a nasty looking knee injury while playing for Croatia in a World Cup Qualifying tie with Serbia which was supposed to keep him out for a month.

So far he has yet to recover from that injury and he goes into next season as something of a flop for £7 million. Once again he finds himself fighting for his place in the squad.

His career is not being helped by continued speculation regarding his life off the pitch. Reports in his homeland have accused him of an affair with tennis star Goran Ivanisevic's estranged wife which has been denied by all parties; but it is not the first of his misdemeanours reported in his Croatian homeland.

So what next for Kranjcar?

The rumour that has recently done the rounds regards Niko trying to get his career back on track under the tutelage of his old man Zlatko Kranjcar at Austrian outfit Rapid Vienna.

The one issue with that however is that Zlatko has already bequeathed his managerial expertise to his current club Sepahan of Iran next season; after an impressive campaign this year.

But could Niko join him in order to rediscover his love for the game after three unmemorable and difficult years?

Iran is certainly not a hotbed of footballing talent but former Aston Villa and Cardiff City defender Jlloyd Samuel has taken to life in the country and Zlatko is currently the boss of one of the best teams in the Pro League; meaning Niko would at least be likely to win trophies.

Either way it is certainly an interesting scenario and when it comes to the post Spurs careers of the players who left in the summer; none have been more entertaining and tumultuous than that of the Croatian international.

image: © apasciuto

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