Martin Petrov has officially returned to La Liga to join Espanyol, with Championship side Bolton confirming his departure on Thursday afternoon.
Petrov, who scored 12 goals in 85 games during his two-and-a-half year spell with Wanderers, joins the Catalan side on a short-term deal until the end of the season.
The Bulgarian winger has been training this week with his new team-mates, and spoke with reporters at Espanyol’s Ciudad Deportiva de Sant Adria on Monday, where he said he was looking forward to helping his new club stave off any relegation worries.
“I am coming from the second division in England and now I am going to play against the best players in the world,” Petrov said. “I cannot let this chance go by to show that I can play good football and help the team. My hopes are to not have any injuries over these six months and that the team stays in the Primera Division.”
Petrov was allowed to leave Bolton after starting only six Championship games so far this term. He said he was nevertheless in good shape to contribute straight away - starting with Friday’s home game against fellow strugglers Real Mallorca.
“I have trained hard,” Petrov said. “Also, when you do not play too often, you are training in order to win your starting place. I played with Bolton in the FA Cup last week (a 2-2 draw at Sunderland) and I felt good.”
Petrov said he was delighted to be reunited with recently installed Espanyol boss Javier Aguirre, whom he knows after spending the 2006-07 season under him at Atletico Madrid, although he played little due to injury.
“When I saw Aguirre, I told my agent I wanted to work with him again,” he said. “When I was injured at Atletico I talked a lot with him, and he was always very positive. Now, six years later, I have the chance to work with him again. We were speaking for five minutes and then I could not sleep that night. I did not expect that call.”
The attacker, who turned 34 on Tuesday, admitted he might not have the pace of his younger days but said he would bring experience, which should be useful in helping Espanyol out of the lower reaches of the table.
“At 34 I am not especially young and I do not have the force of a kid of 20,” he said. “But I can bring experience. In this team there are people like Simao (Sabrosa), (Joan) Capdevila and (Joan) Verdu. We must try to help the younger players.”
Espanyol president Joan Collet has also revealed that the club are hoping to also bring Colombian attacker Dorlan Pabon in on loan from Serie A side Parma.