The words 'Bulgarian footballer' conjure up the magnificent but a bit mental Hristo Stoichkov, the brilliant but lazy Dimitar Berbatov, the fantastic when he fancied it Martin Petrov and Yordan Lechkov, who knocked the Germans out of the 1994 World Cup in America. So when Bolton Wanderers announced they had completed the loan signing of a promising 21-year-old Bulgarian, we can allow ourselves to get bit excited about it.
With Chung-Yong Lee departing for pastures new and Darren Pratley ruled out for up to two months, Bolton Wanderers vitally required midfield additions in the transfer window. Replacement has come, in part, in the form of a man described as 'the Bulgarian Lampard' when being linked with a move to the Premier League two summers ago. So can we expect a free-scoring midfielder, or an overweight bloke who's going out with a Bulgarian breakfast TV show?
Simeon Slavchev signs for Wanderers from Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon until the end of the season. He joined Sporting in May for 2.5 million Euros but has yet to make an appearance for the club, having represented Litex Lovech in his homeland.
Slavchev is a player who has a lot of promise. Litex fans loved him as he scored 14 goals in the season before he moved to Sporting and the Portuguese side were full of hope for him when he signed. He may have failed to make the mark in Portugal since the summer, but hopefully he can take his chance in the Championship in the next few months.
The 21-year-old box-to-box midfielder already has three caps for Bulgaria, making his debut in his country's World Cup qualifier against Czech Republic in October 2013. He also won the Bulgarian Young Player of the Year in the same year, so it certainly sounds like we could have a good player on our hands.
Our own @Murbroski spoke to a Bulgarian football fan for their take on Slavchev, and they were highly complimentary of his talents.
@Murbroski Good player. CM who likes to attack and score goals. In 13/14 season he scored 14 goals. 4th goalscorer in A Grupa.— Bulgarian Football (@bulgarianfooty) February 3, 2015
@Murbroski In may opinion he is close to Stiliyan Petrov's style of playing.— Bulgarian Football (@bulgarianfooty) February 3, 2015
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Murbroski">@Murbroski</a> He's product of Litex Lovech academy (for me the best academy in Bulgaria nowadays). Hope I helped.</p>— Bulgarian Football (@bulgarianfooty) <a href="https://twitter.com/bulgarianfooty/status/562577657733607424">February 3, 2015</a></blockquote>
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The young Bulgarian has previously been courted by Premier League sides Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur, whose Director of Football Franco Baldini was said to be a huge admirer of the midfielder before his move to Sporting.
Slavchev will wear the number 45 for Wanderers.
You can watch Slavchev in action here: