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Zurab Khizanishvili

Defender

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Biography

Date of birth

06/10/1981

Signed

25/01/2010

Country

Georgia

Starting his career in his home country, Khizanishvili joined Dinamo Tbilisi for a season before moves to FC Tbilisi and Lokomotiv Tbilisi in order to improve his chances of first team football.

Come 2001, the Georgian was looking towards a career in England, but after unsuccessful trials with Arsenal, Fulham and West Ham, he opted instead for Scotland and SPL giants Dundee United.

A regular in the side, his performances were earning a lot of attention from other Scottish clubs, title contenders Rangers swooping in for his signature in June 2003.

He started off as a regular at the Ibrox making 38 appearances in his first season and 25 in the next prior to falling out of favour under Alex McLeish’s management.

In August 2005, Khizanishvili was loaned out to English club Blackburn Rovers for a season, during in which he scored his first professional league goal against Manchester City on the final day of the season.

In April the following year, he signed a permanent deal with Rovers alleged to be around the half a million mark. Used for the majority as injury cover or for suspended players, he only made 80(+13) appearances over six years at Ewood Park, leaving for a three-month loan deal at Newcastle in 2009.

In January 2010, he signed for Championship get-up Reading for the remainder of the season, playing centre-back alongside Matt Mills and if not injured at the time, Ivar Ingimarsson.

The resulting season, the Royals again signed the Tbilisi-born defender on a season’s loan, adorning him with the number 15 shirt in replace of midfielder James Harper who had left for Sheffield United.

He tallied 27 appearances that season including a start in the Play-off final against Swansea. Alongside Matt Mills in centre of defence they weren’t able to muster-up a winning performance as Swansea left Wembley 4-2 victors.

In July 2011 Khizanishvili left his parent club Blackburn for Turkish side Kayserispor, where he would spend three years before moving back to where it all started at Dinamo Tbilisi, aged 33.

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