Zakuani playing for Peterborough United in 2011
|Full name||Gabriel Abdala Zakuani|
|Date of birth||31 May 1986|
|Place of birth||Kinshasa, Zaire|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|2007||→ Stoke City (loan)||9||(0)|
|2007–2008||→ Stoke City (loan)||19||(0)|
|2008–2009||→ Peterborough United (loan)||32||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:22, 4 March 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Zakuani began his career with Leyton Orient and was a vital member of the side which gained promotion in 2005–06 and also knocked Premier League side Fulham out of the FA Cup. He was signed by Fulham in August 2006 but failed to make an impact at Craven Cottage and he spent half the 2006–07 season and the whole of the 2007–08 season on loan at Stoke City with whom he helped gain promotion to the Premier League. He signed for Peterborough United in 2008–09 initially on loan before making the move permanent. With the "Posh" Zakuani gained promotion in 2008–09 but were then relegated in 2009–10. They gained an instant return by beating Huddersfield Town 3–0 in the 2011 League One play-off final.
Born in Kinshasa, Zakuani moved to London as a young child. Leyton Orient spotted him playing in one of his school matches as a 14-year old and signed him. After two seasons in Orient's youth team, Zakuani was given his first-team debut against Bournemouth in March 2003, aged 16. In the 2004–05 and 2005–06 seasons he become a regular in Martin Ling's plans, making the central defence position his own and scoring three goals in almost 100 first team appearances for Orient.
In January 2006, Zakuani was part of the Leyton Orient side that defeated Premier League, Fulham 2–1 in the FA Cup third round. His performance attracted the attention of the West London side, who signed him in July that year for a fee of £1m, rising to £1.5m depending on appearances, on a four-year contract. The fee represented a club record for Leyton Orient.
Loans to Stoke City
Zakuani signed for Stoke City on loan for the remainder of the 2006–07 season. Despite being a centre back, Zakuani also deputised as a right-back during his loan spell. He made his debut for Stoke in a 2–0 win away at Derby County in February 2007. He went on to make another eight appearances for Stoke during the 2006–07 season as City narrowly missed out on a play-off place.
On 31 August 2007, Zakuani re-signed for Stoke on loan for the rest of the 2007–08 season. This time he made 19 appearances as Stoke were promoted to the Premier League. Zakuani later admitted he would like to make a permanent move to Stoke: "The gaffer [Tony Pulis] said he'd like me here so I'll wait and see what happens in the summer. Obviously Stoke would be my first choice but you always think where you will be wanted the most." Despite this, a move never happened.
Gabriel Zakuani was then sent to Peterborough United on a three-month loan. On 25 November 2008 it was confirmed that he would make his loan move permanent when the transfer window re-opened on 1 January 2009, for a fee in the region of £375,000.
On 8 July 2012, Gabriel Zakuani was given captaincy of Peterborough United, where he will succeed Grant McCann. On 12 November 2012, Zakuani was transfer listed and fined following a breach of club discipline following a night out in Peterborough. Zakuani wrote on Twitter, explaining: "I went out on a weekend whether there's no midweek game, those that know me know I don't drink or smoke, I was up at 8am for church the next day. Honestly, at the time I didn't feel I did anything wrong as I was home around 2am, I wasn't arrested, no fighting or anti social behaviour." He has since been taken off the transfer list and had his fine repealed. As a result of not being transfer list, Zakuani was available for the next match. Zakuani says the incident changed his attitude and vowed to stay behind more in training.
At the end of the 2012-13 season, which resulted Peterborough United relegation, Zakuani was placed on the transfer list for the second time after rejecting a three-year contract with the club, due to his increasing international commitment.
Return to Peterborough United
On 8 June 2014 Zakuani made a return to Peterborough, signing a two-year contract stating — "I missed the club and this feels like a homecoming. I feel like there is unfinished business here. I want to get this club back to the Championship."
He was called up by the national squad for the 2013 African Cup of Nations and played his first match for DR Congo in over seven years coming on as a sub in a 2–2 draw with Ghana in the first group B match. He did not play in the second match but made his first start and played the full 90 minutes against Mali in the third. The match finished 1–1 but this wasn't enough for DR Congo to qualify as they were eliminated in the group stages.
His brother Steve is a former professional footballer who came through the Arsenal academy, before playing collegiate soccer with the Akron Zips in the USL Premier Development League with Cleveland Internationals. He then graduated to Major League Soccer and played for Seattle Sounders FC and Portland Timbers before retiring, citing injuries. In 2007, Zakuani appeared in Dizzee Rascal's music video for his single "Flex".
- As of 5 April 2014
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other[A]||Total|
|Leyton Orient||2002–03||Third Division||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Stoke City (loan)||2006–07||Championship||9||0||0||0||0||0||–||9||0|
|Peterborough United||2008–09||League One||32||1||5||0||0||0||0||0||37||1|
- A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Football League play-offs and Football League Trophy.
- Leyton Orient
- Stoke City
- Peterborough United
- "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/07/2011 and 31/07/2011" (PDF). The Football Association. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- Gabriel Zakuani at National-Football-Teams.com
- "Bournemouth 3–1 Leyton Orient". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- "Fulham swoop for Orient's Zakuani". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- "Stoke snap up Hendrie and Zakuani". BBC Sport. 30 January 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2007.
- "Derby v Stoke". Soccerbase. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
- "Gabbi's Back!". Stoke City Official Website. 31 August 2007. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
- "Zakuani joins Stoke City". Fulham Official Website. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
- "Zakuani plans to stop on at Stoke". BBC Sport. 25 March 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
- "Zakuani loaned". Fulham Official Website. 11 September 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- "Zakuani agrees Peterborough terms". BBC. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2008.
- "Zakuani Named Posh Skipper". Peterborough United Official Website. 6 July 2012. Archived from the original on 18 April 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- "Peterborough United fine and transfer-list four players". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
- "Nightclub boss DEFENDS Zakuani after Posh transfer list skipper over alleged incident". Daily Mail. 13 November 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- "Championship: Peterborough take captain Gabriel Zakuani off transfer list". Sky Sports. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- "Gabby Zakuani cites hard work and a change of attitude as reasons for his return". Sky Sports. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- "Championship: Gabriel Zakuani rejects new Peterborough deal". Sky Sports. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- "Gabby Zakuani: Peterborough United defender joins Kalloni". BBC Sport. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- "Gabriel Zakuani: Peterborough United re-sign defender". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- "Gabriel Zakuani". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 May 2013.