Date:Friday September 8 2006
Blackburn Rovers' latest recruit Shabani Nonda comes to the club with a glowing report from Mark Hughes, but who is he and what will he bring to the club?
Hughes is obviously delighted with his loan capture "To be able to bring Shabani Nonda in is a real coup and I'm really looking forward to working with him and seeing how he supplements the other forwards we have here," but some Rovers fans (although judging from the latest poll's findings very few!) despite having complete faith in Sparky may take more convincing.
Shabani Nonda, a DR Congo International striker, was born on 6th March 1977, actually in Bujumbura, Burundi but his citizenship of the Democratic Republic of the Congo qualifies him for the country.
To be honest with you all Nonda's past is something that is very hard to look into, away from the field anyway, on it however it is a very different story. Information, if only on his goalscoring record, which lets face it is what we want to know really is quite readily available.
A three-year spell with FC Zurich between 1995 and 1998 saw him score 36 goals in 75 appearances. This type of goalscoring record brought him to the attention of other European teams.
A move to French football, with top flight club Rennes would come in 1998. A two-year spell with the club situated in north-western France would see a strike rate of exactly one goal every other game with Nonda hitting the net 31 times from 62 appearances. This kind of strike rate alerted some of Europe's top club sides, and as would be inevitable Nonda would eventually move on.
A big money, £13-15 million move across France to the rich man's tax haven of Monaco would take place in 2000. Despite some injury problems between 2003 and 2005, a terrible knee injury in a game in 2003 in particular, Nonda would be part of a successful Monaco side. He would be a League Cup runner-up in 2001, League Winner in 2003 and a Champions League runner-up in 2004.
The Congolese star would win the Golden Boot in the 2002/2003 season with 26 goals in 35 games. In his five-year stay at Monaco, in which Champions League football would be a regular feature he scored 57 goals in 116 games in total, yet again very nearly a goal every other game.
His time in French football came to an end when an even bigger European superpower, Italian giants Roma came calling in 2005. A frustrating season of injuries and lack of first team football would see the forward limited to just 16 games, he would manage to score 4 goals though, two of which came in European competition.
One thing that is certain is the player is fully fit as he came through a rigorous medical check-up.
It remains to be seen as to whether or not 29-year-old Nonda can recapture his top form, but a positive point to look at is he really does have to impress so should give everything he has, as by doing so he will earn himself a longer contract at Ewood. If he fails, with his future in the Italian capital in doubt he could fade away into obscurity.
Whatever your opinion look at the move like this Shefki Kuqi's transfer has more than covered the costs of Nonda's loan, if he performs, at least some of the transfer fee is also covered. If we are all totally honest as much as we may have liked Kuqi, and maybe wanted him to stay he had no history of football at the highest level, Nonda has only ever really played at the very top, and what's more he has delivered.
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Date:Friday September 8 2006
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