Fulham swoop for Croatia striker Petric

 

 

By Alex Byrom
Deputy Football Editor

 

 

Mladen Petric (pictured) worked under Fulham manager Martin Jol at his former club Hamburg


 

Fulham have snapped up Croatian striker Mladen Petric on a free transfer after his contract with German Bundesliga side Hamburg expired at the end of the season.

The 31-year-old, who has scored 12 goals in 44 international appearances, joins the Cottagers on a one-year deal – with a view to extend it for another season.

He previously played under Fulham boss Martin Jol during the Dutchman's time in charge at Hamburg.

"I'm very happy to be part of what is happening at Fulham," said Petric. "The club is doing very well."

Petric, one of the players that scored against Fulham for Hamburg in the semi-final of the Europa League in 2010, added: "I like [the] Premier League and it has always been one of my wishes to come here.

"I played with Hamburg against Fulham two years ago in the Europa League. It was very nice to play at Craven Cottage with a fantastic crowd and I have enjoyed a good relationship with every member of the club I have met since.

"I know the manager well and I know that he is always looking to strengthen his attacking options and I hope that we can do even better next season."

Petric started his senior career in Switzerland with FC Baden. He joined Grasshopper Zurich in 1999, making 114 appearances for the Zurich-based club before moving to rivals Basel in 2004 where he scored 38 goals in 72 appearances.

He spent the 2007-08 season at Borussia Dortmund before signing for Hamburg, for whom he scored 38 goals in 98 appearances.

Petric also scored the winning goal in Croatia's dramatic 3-2 victory over England at Wembley that ended Steve McClaren's side's hopes of reaching the finals of the 2008 European Championships – and cost him his job.

He now currently Fulham’s only striker – although Dembele and Dempsey can play there – after Andy Johnson left to team up with former manager Mark Hughes, following Bobby Zamora’s departure to the same club in January. Martin Jol also seems about to miss out on Russian Pavel Pogrebnyak, who is set to join Reading. 

 

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