Player Profile: Zurab Khizanishvili
Full Name: Zurab Khizanishvili
Date of Birth: 6th October 1981, Tbilisi
Squad Number: 3
Internationals: Capped at Full level for Georgia
Signed: August 2005 (loan) April 2006 (permanent)
Previous Clubs: Dinamo Tbilisi, FC Lokomotiv Tbilisi, Lokomotiv Tbilisi (all Georgia), Dundee & Glasgow Rangers
Zurab Khizanishvili started his career with a number of clubs in Tbilisi finally settling with Lokomotiv Tbilisi. Following some fine displays Lokomotiv lost the defender to then Scottish Premier League side Dundee in 2000 following a successful trail.
With pace and awareness it wouldn't be long before a bigger club came calling and that club was to be Glasgow Rangers. A move to Ibrox on a Bosman free transfer was sealed in 2003. Following a first season in which Khizanishvili proved to be a permanent fixture in the Rangers side he eventually fell out of favour.
Once becoming aware of his availability Mark Hughes snapped up the Georgian International on a season long loan deal for the 2005-2006 season, making the deal a full time one partway through his loan April 2006. As the transfer window was closed it couldn't technically become official until the re-opening of the summer transfer window during the summer of 2006 so it remained a loan move until then.
Yet another Rover who is supremely versatile being able to play in most positions along the back four. Although his concentration can let him down and he's not always shown the greatest of strength at times in the physically Premiership his comfort on the ball and range of passing has won over the Ewood faithful. With youth very much on his side looks certain to play a major role in Rovers' future for some time yet.
Zurab is a regular in the Georgian International set-up, almost always receiving a call up more often than not playing.
The early season injury to Ryan Nelsen coupled with Brett Emerton's conversion to right-back has seen Khizanishvili given his chance in the heart of the Rovers defence alongside Andre Ooijer with the big Georgian for the most part looking very comfortable so he will not want to relinquish his first team spot without a fight once The Admiral is back!
Blackburn Rovers appearances and goals up to the start of the 2006-2007 Season
League: 26 (2 as sub) - 1 goal
FA Cup: 2
League Cup: 4 - 1 goal
Other (European etc.): 0
TOTAL: 32 - 2 goals
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