Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Diouf Chased by Blackburn, Wigan

Sunderland forward and Senegal internationl El Hadji Diouf has revealed that English premier league clubs Blackburn Rovers and Wigan Athletic are chasing him.

Remember when this guy was one of the most sought-after talents in football? Especially after the 2002 World Cup and Senegal's shock upset of '98 champions France?

My, how times have changed ...

Take a look at this excerpt from Diouf's Wikipedia page:

Liverpool bought Diouf from Lens for £10 million, prior to Senegal's impressive 2002 World Cup run. Then coach Gérard Houllier put his faith in Diouf and made the choice to sign him and not take up the option of permanently signing loan star Nicolas Anelka. Diouf was originally signed as a striker but ended up being utilised mainly on the right wing. Diouf scored just six goals in his first season including three in the Worthington Cup. Liverpool went on to defeat Manchester United 2-0 in the final at the Millennium Stadium that year, ensuring he got a medal.

In the 2003/04 season, he became the first Liverpool player to wear the number nine shirt to fail to score a goal in an entire season. He made 33 appearances and went over 14 months without a goal. Despite his impressive start to his Liverpool career where he scored a brace on his Anfield debut against Southampton F.C, he only managed 6 goals in 80 appearances, failing to live up to expectations. His spell at Liverpool was marred with controversy, most notably when he spat at a Celtic fan in a UEFA Cup tie. After a series of disciplinary problems Diouf was then off-loaded by new manager Rafael Benítez on a season's loan to Bolton Wanderers.

Yikes ... not the most impressive of records.

Nevertheless, he's gotten chances. He's been at Bolton, where did did quite well. And now he's at Sunderland, where first team chances have dried up after the departure of coach Roy Keane.

When he's played, he hasn't done much. He's goal-less in his last 13 outings and doesn't appear to feature in the long-term plans of current Sunderland manager Ricky Sbragia.

Diouf believes he may be forced to leave during the January transfer window, and admits there would be no shortage of takers for his services.(Diouf's got quite the belief in himself, eh?)

Blackburn have already shown an interest, with Rovers manager Sam Allardyce having worked with Diouf during their days at Bolton, while ambitious Wigan are also keeping tabs on his availability.

"Sam Allardyce wants me to join him and Wigan's manager (Steve Bruce) has called me as well," said the 27-year-old forward.

"I am not allowed to make two transfers during the same season (oh ya?) but can leave if the clubs agree.

"I signed a four-year contract with Sunderland and don't want to leave on bad terms. I hope they will find a solution."

MY POV: Diouf's got talent but he can be a head case. That's why he's mired at the bottom rung of the Premier League and not with the upper echelon. Why would anyone want this guy on their team? He seems your typical self-obsessed superstar athlete ... unfortunately, he doesn't deliver like a superstar athlete.

He had a good run. But I'd stay far away from this spitting diva.