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Louis Saha

Squad number 8
Position Striker
Joined on 31 August 2008
Joined from Manchester Utd
Transfer fee Pay-as-you-Play
Signed by David Moyes
Full debut v Blackburn (A)
24 September 2008
Contract duration 2 + 2 years
Contract expires June 2012
Left Everton 31 January 2012
Destination Tottenham Hotspur
Transfer fee Undisclosed, nominal
Born Paris (Fra)
Date of birth 8 August 1978
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)
Nickname(s) King Louis
Honours France International
First-class finisher
Skillful and Pacey
Injury prone
Too easily demotivated
Must be 100% fit

Soccerbase Datafile
Wikipedia Entry
Louis Saha arrived at Everton as something of a surprise... and a bit of a puzzle, just as the disastrous Summer 2008 Transfer Window was coming  to a close.  All-too easily labeled as yet another Manchester United reject, and possible patsy for yet more hard cash as part of the infamous Rooney deal, the transfer itself conveyed a certain lack of quality that had been promised despite his rather impressive goalscoring record in the Premier League.

To get a player of his calibre effectively for free, (strictly on some undisclosed pay-as-you-play deal) suggested that concerns about perennial proneness to injury would limit his availability to fill the famous Royal Blue No 9 shirt. And as if to underline these concerns, it was revealed after an extensive medical conducted on Deadline Day, that he was not fit to pay, suffering from a calf strain.

Nevertheless, the Frenchman, at one stage an established international, recovered fairly quickly from what was a minor injury compared to those that blighted his time at Old Trafford, starting six matches, making five substitute appearances and scoring three goals before succumbing to the inevitable at the end of November.

A striking crisis reared its head when Yakubu's 2008-09 season came to an abrupt end as he ruptured his Achilles tendon 10 minutes into an away match at Tottenham. Saha, who appeared to tweak his hamstring in the previous fixture at Wigan, was thrown into the fray to replace the Nigerian but hobbled off himself an hour later with a more serious tear to his muscle that would sideline him well past the New Year.

But when he came back into the side, he did it in style... even though David Moyes elected to use him sparingly and mostly as a second-half sub to protect him from further injury.   Stylish goals against West Brom and Middlesbrough raised questions about the continued reliance on Tim Cahill as a makeshift striker.

His goal return for the season wasn't too bad really, considering his injury problems and limited number of starts. It's unclear how chronic the injury situation is, and how much he (and we!) might benefit from him being fully fit.  But with 8 goals, he just missed out on being the club's top scorer in his debut season.

Big Louis capped off the season in fantastic style with a breathtaking goal inside just 26 seconds of the Wembley Final against Chelsea the fastest ever in an FA Cup Final but the floodgates remained shut as he missed a glorious chance to put the Blues back in the game with a simple header in the second half. 

Into his second season, and fitness issued seemed to improve significantly, with some excellent performances and  a flurry of more stunning goals,  but around Christmas 2009 his form dipped just as rumours broke of some astounding contract demands in the region of 60k/wk for 3 years.  Everton stalled and the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal reportedly stood by attentively.

A new contract was eventually forthcoming, though, signed in early February 2010 and Saha celebrated in style with two excellent goals in a fine win over Champions elect Chelsea.

But that proved to be the high-point of his season and his form once again seemed to inexplicably fall away with perfomances that lacked conviction and, perhaps, committment as the Blues failed to make up the gap between them and the European places. Saha finished the season with his best appearances record in 6 years but a tally of 15 goals in all competitions was disappointing in the final reckoning.  He failed to score throughoput the final three months of the season, after an excellent brace had beaten Chelsea in February.

Another season beckoned and another opportunity to produce the goods for Everton.  But Saha struggled throughout the 2010-11 season to play complete games for Everton, nevermind scoring goals, after claiming somewhat bizarrely that he had the legs of a 20-year-old after treating swelling in his knees through the age-old Gadelopue medicene-man therapy of applying leeches! 

The leeches didn't really do much good: it was almost a year before he scored his first goal of the season in the January 2011 win over Spurs.  Then, his best performance ever, with four goals in one amazing match against Blackpool... followed by only one more goal and another extended period in the treatment room.

In the close season, he attracted undue attention for saying he was sleeping in an oxygen tent by way of preparation for the new season. He finally appeared in pre-season as a second-half sub against Birmingham and promptly scored the winning goal.

2011-12 would mark the nadir of Saha's time at Everton. Managing just one League goal between August and January on the back of some increasingly questionable performances, the now 33 year-old striker was looking jaded and toothless despite enjoying his longest spell in the side without injury.

With his contract winding down towards expiry in the summer of 2012 and his manager lining up Nikica Jelavic from Rangers, he looked destined to spend the majority of the remainder of the season on the bench.

That was until a surprise offer from Tottenham Hotspur gave Saha a fresh opportunity back in London, one he was only too happy to take, leaving Goodison just before the transfer deadline for an undisclosed fee... or possibly a free transfer as quid pro quo for the return of Steven Pienaar, who arrived back on loan...

By Michael Kenrick and Lyndon Lloyd
Last updated January 2012

Everton Career
Season Squad
Apps (sub)
Apps (sub)
Apps (sub)
10 (14)
4 (1)
14 (15)
26 (6)
5 (2)
31 (8)
14 (8)
3 (1)
17 (9)
15 (3)
1 (1)
16 (4)
65 (31)
13 (5)
78 (36)


Previous Career
Season Team Appearances (sub) Goals
1998-2000 Metz (Fra) 20 (27) & 2 (0) 5 & 0
1998-1999 Newcastle United [Loan] 5 (6) & 2 (0) 1 & 0
2000-2004 Fulham 100 (17) & 20 (7) 53 & 11
2004-2008 Manchester United 52 (34) & 24 (14) 28 & 14


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