Who is Kiril Despodov? Five facts about the Cardiff, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough linked player following in Stoichkov's footsteps

Hristo Stoichkov (R) of United Stars is seen during the ALL STARS 2017 charity football match organized by the ''Foundation Dimitar Berbatov'' and ''Foundation Luis Figo'' at the National...

Cardiff City, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough are all being credited with interest in the player.

Kiril Despodov of Bulgaria in action during football match between National Teams of Slovenia and Bulgaria in Final Tournament of UEFA Nations League 2019, on September 6, 2018 in SRC...

This week's Sunday Mirror claims Cardiff City, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough are all keen on the Bulgarian forward, Kiril Despodov.

But who exactly is the CSKA Sofia player? HITC Sport has the lowdown:

 

Where does he play?

Despite being described as a striker by the Sunday Mirror, it is out wide that Despodov has spent most of his career to date. He is also capable of operating as a secondary striker and is enjoying his best campaign for goals and assists (10 and 11 respectively) despite having appeared on just 22 occasions.

How old is he?

Despodov turned 22 as recently as last November, although he has been around for the best part of seven years now. He was 15 years and 183 days old when the Bulgarian legend, Hristo Stoichkov, gave his debut at Litex Lovech.

Stoichkov, you say?

Yes - a player Despodov has already been likened to, and whose footsteps he followed in on Monday, when crowned Bulgarian football's player of 2018. Stoichkov was the last player to receive the accolade, 29 years ago.

13 Dec 1992:  Hristo Stoichkov

He must be an international then?

Yes - winning five caps for Bulgaria, in which he has scored one goal. Despite his vast experience, Despodov only made his national team debut at the start of last year.

How much would he cost?

He is under contract until 2022, putting the ball firmly in the court of CSKA should Cardiff, Aston Villa or Middlesbrough come calling. According to the Sunday Mirror, Despodov is rated at £5 million.

Would Despodov be a good addition for Cardiff City, Aston Villa or Middlesbrough?

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