Fulham (England), Newcastle United (England), Manchester United
League Cup winner (Manchester United)
Louis Laurent Saha (born August 8, 1978 in Paris, France) is a
French international footballer who plays for the English club,
He made his English football debut while on loan at Newcastle
United on January 9, 1999, but made the greatest impact of his
career when, during 2000, he was transferred to Fulham from F.C.
Metz for £2.1million. During a spell of nearly four years at the
club, he scored 63 goals in total.
In January 2004 he moved to Manchester United for £12.82million,
and was handed the number 9 shirt which had been vacant since
the departure of Andy Cole two years earlier. Saha scored from a
heavily deflected free-kick on his United debut in a 3-2 win
over Southampton F.C. on 30 January 2004. In February 2004, Saha
capped another debut appearance with a goal, on this occasion
for the French national team, in a 2-0 victory against Belgium.
Saha ended the season with 7 goals from 13 appearances for
United and he looked to have developed a promising partnership
with Ruud Van Nistelrooy.
However, the arrival of Alan Smith (from Leeds United for
£6million) and then Wayne Rooney (from Everton for £20million)
pushed Saha down the pecking order and he was linked with a move
away from the club less than a year after arriving. His 2004/05
season was badly hit by a succession of injuries and he managed
only two goals. 2005/06 also began with injury setbacks but Saha
has silenced his critics with a series of strong performances
since his return to first-team action in November 2005.
An up-and-coming member of the French national team, Saha was a
part of the squad at the 2004 European Football Championship. He
is a friend of national team-mate Thierry Henry.