The international break got me thinking about our international contingent from over the years, and none is more varied, and full, as that from France.
Bolton Wanderers have had 22 Frenchmen play for them over the years ranging from world cup winners to Dorian Dervite. Former Bolton players who hail from France really do encompass the good, the bad and the David N’Gog.
Here is an XI put together using some of them, use the comments to suggest any Frenchman we have had who may enhance this team.
Bon was signed as a 17 year old from Bordeaux in 2002. He joined on a three year contract only to be released before the start of the 2004/05 season. It does not appear that Bon ended up making it after that in the game.
Mendy spent the 2002/03 season on loan at the club from Paris Saint-Germain and the fans warmed to him thanks to his pace and attacking intent. In 2008 he stated his desire to return to England to play for Manchester United, the poor guy ended up at Hull City though.
N’Gotty initially joined the club on loan for the 2001/02 season before making his move from Marseille permanent and staying with the club until 2006. He made around 150 appearances for Bolton and played an important role in first keeping the club in the top flight and then in pushing on towards Europe.
Laville joined the club in 2003 from Olympique Lyonnais where he spent the majority of his career and helped the team to major honours. He struck up a good partnership with Gudni Bergsson and would go on to make his move permanent. A serious leg injury ruled him out for a year after his permanent arrival and he was never able to reach the same level again.
Candela was a World Cup and European Championships winner with France while playing for Roma. He played for Bolton during 2005 but spent the majority of his career in Italy.
Ba only made 9 appearances in his one season at the club. Born in Dakar, Senegal he moved to France as an 18 year old and would go on to make a handful of appearances for the national side at the end of the 90s. His lack of impact at the Reebok was probably a good thing for the club shop who would not have made as much selling Ba shirts as they no doubt did off the next man.
In Big Sam’s latest Paddy Power video he declared the Frenchman to be his best ever signing. The world cup winner was something of a pioneer. He was the first real star, down on his luck, to rock up at the club, paving the way for the mini-galacticos era. Everything which needs saying about Le God already has been on this site.
Kakuta spent the first half of the 2011/12 season on loan at Bolton. He played for a number of French youth teams before starting to play for the Democratic Republic of Congo this year, I mean is playing international football really that important for the man from Lille? As a player he will likely always be better known for his controversial move to Chelsea, a club who can’t even pay Exeter City for a 16 year old but I digress.
Saint Nicholas joined the club as our record signing. After a slow start he announced himself to the Premier League with a fantastic brace against old club Arsenal. At one point the most expensive player ever based on collective transfer fees, he really was always a Wanderer.
N’Gog was brought in to replace Johan Elmander but was about as much use as a fish on a bike. Even dropping down to the Championship couldn’t bring out his ‘massive potential’ and an odd move to Swansea City came to nothing as the man disappeared off the face of the earth quicker than a fat kid chasing the ice cream truck.
Andre played for Bolton on loan in 2003 but failed to register a goal. One of his achievements was playing for Brittany in an international apparently, a bit odd. He came on loan from Nantes but didn’t make the same impact as fellow Nantes old boy Ivan Klasnic would make years later.