Louis Saha

Saha: A career history

by Stuart Vose

We review hitman's career so far.

French international Louis Saha began his career at FC Metz, making his debut in 1997. His raw potential earned him a loan move to Newcastle United two years later where he played a total of 11 games, scoring once.

Saha would enjoy a more successful return to the English football with Fulham in 2000, netting a total of 63 goals during a four year spell in London, including 27 goals which fired the Cottagers into the Premier League in 2000-01.

His lethal finishing, pace and livewire style earned him a move to Manchester United for a reported £12.8m in the 2004 January transfer window, after scoring 15 goals for Fulham, and Saha continued his prolific strike rate for the remainder of the season netting seven goals in 10 appearances for Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

His first call-up to the French national side soon followed, with Saha's goalscoring performance on his debut against Belgium in a 2-0 victory in February earning him a place in the France squad for Euro 2004 in Portugal later that summer.

Although the 2004-05 season was disrupted by injuries, Saha still impressed during his 22 appearances, but it was the following campaign where the Frenchman imposed himself on the first team at Old Trafford. In total he found the net a total of 15 times, including the second goal in United's 4-0 Carling Cup final victory over Wigan.

That summer, Saha was part of the France side that reached the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final, but he was suspended for the final against Italy after receiving a yellow card during the semi-final victory over Portugal.

Ruud van Nistelrooy's departure to Real Madrid saw Saha become the preferred strike partner for Wayne Rooney during the 2006-07 season and despite injuries taking their toll, Saha once again reached double figures with 15 goals.

The form of Cristiano Ronaldo, Rooney and Carlos Tevez along with injuries restricted Saha's impact the following season, and he Frenchman moved to Everton in the summer of 2008 for an undisclosed fee, after scoring 42 goals in 120 appearances during his time at Old Trafford.

Unable to make his first appearance until September due to injury, Saha scored his first goal for Everton against former club Fulham two months later. But he scored some vital goals for the Toffees during their FA Cup run, including the fastest FA Cup final goal against Chelsea after just 25 seconds in a 2-1 defeat.

He found his feet in the 2009-10 season, netting 13 league goals and signing a new two-year contract with the club continuing his form into the following campaign during which would see a run of eight goals in five starts and Saha claim his first hat-trick in English football in a 5-3 victory over Blackpool.

Another stop-start season would follow, but in January 2012 Saha would make a shock move to Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer after scoring 35 goals in 115 appearances for Everton.

The 34-year-old marked his full debut for Spurs with two goals in a 5-0 victory over former club Newcastle. Although Saha appeared to be finding his best form, he was not offered a new deal at the end of the season and was released.

His form at White Hart Lane would see him return to the international fold, playing in France's 2-1 victory over Germany in February 2012 after an absence of six years.