Anthony Knockaert

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Anthony Knockaert
Anthony Knockaert 2018.jpg
Knockaert playing for Brighton & Hove Albion in 2018
Personal information
Full name Anthony Patrick Knockaert[1]
Date of birth (1991-11-20) 20 November 1991 (age 26)
Place of birth Roubaix, France
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)[2]
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
Brighton & Hove Albion
Number 11
Youth career
1997–1999 Wasquehal
1999–2001 Leers
2001–2004 Lens
2004–2007 Mouscron
2007–2009 Lesquin
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2012 Guingamp 59 (13)
2012–2015 Leicester City 93 (13)
2015–2016 Standard Liège 20 (5)
2016– Brighton & Hove Albion 101 (23)
National team
2011–2012 France U20 10 (4)
2012 France U21 3 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11:46, 5 September 2018 (UTC)

Anthony Patrick Knockaert (born 20 November 1991) is a French professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion.

Club career[edit]

Guingamp[edit]

Anthony Patrick Knockaert, who was born in Roubaix, began his professional career with Guingamp, having previously spent his youth career at Wasquehal, Leers, Lens, Mouscron and Lesquin.[3] While progressing in the youth at Lesquin, he almost joined Leeds United in September 2008, but both parties could not agree terms after Lens intervened in the transfer and the fee would involved in compensation.[4] At some point on progressing his youth career, Knockaert thought about considering quitting football after being told by the Lens' management that he was released because he was small at the time.[5]

It was not until the summer of 2009 when he moved to Guingamp, where he signed his first professional contract.[6] It was not until on 30 July 2010 when he made his Guingamp debut in the first round of the Coupe de la Ligue, scoring in a 2–1 win over Grenoble.[7] After playing 120 minutes, in a 3–2 win over Evian in the second round of the Coupe de la Ligue,[8] he scored his second goal in the Coupe de la Ligue, in a 3–2 win over on 22 September 2010.[9] Seven days later, on 29 September 2010, he made his league debut, making his first start and played 69 minutes before being substituted, in a 5–0 win over Gap.[10] Soon after, he signed a three-year contract with the club on 6 October 2010[11] Knockaert then scored his first league goals, in a 6–0 win over Maccabi Paris Métropole on 22 April 2011.[12] After helping the club's promotion to Ligue 2, he made 27 appearances scoring 4 times in all competitions.

In the 2011–12 season, Knockaert started the season well when he scored twice in a 2–0 win over Vannes in the second round of the Coupe de la Ligue on 9 August 2011.[13] Weeks later, on 9 September 2011, he scored his first goal of the season, in a 2–1 loss against Reims.[14] It was not until on 17 October 2011 when he scored again, in a 4–1 win over AS Monaco.[15] In the ten matches between on 19 December 2011 and 16 March 2012, he scored six times against Sedan,[16] Istres,[17] Boulogne,[18] Le Havre,[19] Troyes[20] and Lens.[21] Knockaert then scored three more goals later in the season, scoring twice against Metz[22] and once against Clermont.[23] He finished the 2011–12 season making 38 appearances and scoring thirteen times in all competitions.

At the end of the season, Knockaert's performance at Guingamp attracted interests from clubs around Europe, such as, English side Newcastle United,[24] Portuguese side Benfica,[25] as well as, being linked with his native country side Montpellier.[26]

Leicester City[edit]

Knockaert warming up for Leicester City in 2013

On 1 August 2012, Knockaert moved to Leicester City on a three-year contract.[27] The transfer fee was undisclosed before the transfer fee was revealed as £2.5 million.[28]

Knockaert made his Leicester City debut on 18 August 2012, where he came on as a substitute for Lloyd Dyer in the second half, in a 2–0 win over Peterborough United.[29] he then scored his first goal for Leicester with a free-kick against Burton Albion in the League Cup on 28 August 2012.[30] His first league goals came in a 2–0 win at Huddersfield Town on 2 October 2012. The first was a 35-yard shot into the top corner, while the second saw him flick the ball in from behind with his left heel, after a cross from left-back Paul Konchesky.[31] By the end 2012, he scored two more goals against Ipswich Town[32] and Barnsley.[33] On 1 January 2013, he scored another two league goals for the club in the reverse fixture against Huddersfield Town with Leicester City winning 6–1[34] and then scored another by the end of January, with a 2–1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.[35] On 4 May 2013, he scored the winning goal in a 3–2 victory over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground that got Leicester City into a playoff place.[36][37] Following his performance against Forest, which also contained an assist for Andy King's 50th Leicester goal, Knockaert was named in the Championship Team of the Week, alongside King.[38] However, in the 2013 Playoff semi-final second leg, with the aggregate scores level he won a penalty for Leicester City deep into stoppage time. He opted to take the penalty himself but it was saved by Watford goalkeeper Manuel Almunia who also saved the follow-up.[39] With the ball still in play, and with Knockaert standing still and making no effort to win back the ball, Watford broke quickly and scored just seconds later to go through. Despite this, he went on to win both Young Player of the Year and Goal of the Season against Huddersfield Town[40] and finished his first season making 47 appearances and scoring nine times in all competitions.

In the 2013–14 season, Knockaert scored his first goal of the 2013–14 season in the 5–2 League Cup victory away to Carlisle United[41] and scored again in the second round of the League Cup with a 30-yard free kick at home to Derby County and then assisted Danny Drinkwater's winning goal in a 2nd half come back in the 3rd round victory.[42] Despite his good performances, he did not score his first league goal until Leicester's 3–0 away win against Watford.[43] After scoring three more goals from December to early-January against Sheffield Wednesday,[44] Bolton Wanderers[45] and Millwall,[46] He was a regular member of a settled side that went unbeaten from early December until 5 April, when promotion was assured after losses by third placed QPR and fourth placed Derby County. Knockaert had scored the winning goal from a free-kick in a Friday night fixture the day before, at home to Sheffield Wednesday.[47] He went on to finish the 2014–15 season making 50 appearances and scoring 7 times in all competitions.

In the 2014–15 season, Knockaert made his first Premier League appearance in the opening game of the season, where he played 64 minutes before being substituted, in a 2–2 draw against Everton.[48] However, he struggled to regain his first team place, due to performances of Nick Powell, Marc Albrighton and Danny Simpson.[49] In effort to fight for the first team place, he was sent to play for the club's reserves, which he did for the most of the season.[50] Despite being rumoured to be loaned out to clubs in the Championship throughout the season, manager Pearson blocked his loan move from happening unless the squad was strengthened.[51] Nevertheless, Knockaert made 11 appearances in the 2014–15 season in all competitions.

At the end of the 2014–15 season, Knockaert's contract was set to expire and began talks with the club over a new contract,[52] with manager Pearson revealing that he was given a "fair contract offer".[53] However, he rejected a contract, revealing he had been offered a four-year contract.[54] Despite this, Knockaert made a farewell message to Leicester City supporters upon leaving the club, stating that he would not forget the club.[55]

Standard Liège[edit]

On 4 June 2015, it was announced that Knockaert had joined Standard Liège on a free transfer.[56] It came after the club had begun to open talks with Knockaert the month before.[57]

Knockaert started well on his Standard Liège debut when he scored his first goal for the club despite losing 2–1 to Kortrijk in the opening game of the season.[58] Five days later, he scored again, but this time in an UEFA Europa League match against Željezničar Sarajevo, as well as, setting up a goal in a 2–1 win.[59] Following this, he scored again in the league on 15 August 2015, in a 1–1 draw against Mouscron[60] and scoring two weeks later, in a UEFA Europa League against Molde in the return leg, in a 3–1 win, but was eliminated following an away goal from Molde.[61] Despite this, he scored three more goals by the end of 2015 against Gent,[62] Genk[63] and Mechelen.[64] However, in a match against Oud-Heverlee Leuven on 26 September 2015, Knockaert reacted furiously via Twitter when he substituted during the second half, in a 2–2 draw.[65] Following, he soon apologised the way he behaved and vowed to be calmer next time.[66]

Between July 2015 and January 2016, Knockaert made 20 appearances and scored 5 goals in 2015–16 for the club despite missing out a game, due to suspension after picking a yellow card for the fifth time this season against Anderlecht on 8 November 2015.[67][68] On 6 January 2016, Standard confirmed they had accepted an offer from Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion with the player set to travel to England to agree personal terms.[69]

Brighton & Hove Albion[edit]

2015–16 season[edit]

On 7 January 2016, Brighton & Hove Albion confirmed the signing of Knockaert for an undisclosed fee on a three-year contract.[70] Upon joining the club, he said the move interested him, citing the club's ambition as the reason he returned to England.[71]

Knockaert made his Brighton debut five days after signing with the club on 12 January 2016, playing the full 90 minutes in a 2–0 defeat against Rotherham United.[72] He soon began to have an impact at Brighton, setting up two assists for his team in a 2–1 win over Huddersfield Town on 23 January 2016.[73] He scored his first goal for Brighton in a 3–0 win over Brentford on 5 February 2016.[74]

Knockaert was a key performer for Brighton in April 2016, scoring against Burnley,[75] Fulham[76] and twice against Queens Park Rangers, as the club pushed for automatic promotion.[77] His performances in April earned him the Player of the Month award.[78] Despite Brighton's unsuccessful attempt to reach promotion to the Premier League after losing in the play-offs, Knockaert impressed for the club, making 16 appearances and scoring 5 times.

2016–17 season[edit]

In the 2016–17 season, Knockaert was linked with a move to recently relegated side Newcastle United, but Brighton rejected their bid.[79] He began the season well, scoring three goals for Brighton in their first five matches against Nottingham Forest,[80] Rotherham United[81] and Reading.[82] He also began playing in advanced role behind Tomer Hemed up front.[83] He scored again for Brighton on 13 September 2016, in a 1–0 win over Huddersfield Town.[84] In October 2016, Knockaert scored against Sheffield Wednesday,[85] and also contributed to Brighton's 5–0 drubbing of Norwich City.[86]

On 3 March 2017, Knockaert signed a new four-year contract extension with the club, expiring in June 2021.[87] On 9 April 2017, he was named EFL's Championship Player of the Year having scored 13 goals in 40 games at that stage of the season.[88]

2017–18 season[edit]

Knockaert scored his first Premier League goal for Brighton on 15 October 2017, in a 1–1 home draw against Everton.[89] He scored his second Premier League goal for Brighton on 1 January 2018, the opening goal in a 2–2 draw against AFC Bournemouth.[90]

International career[edit]

After representing France U20, Knockaert was called up by France U21 for the first time[91][92] and made his France U21 debut, scoring in a 2–1 win over Chile U20 on 10 September 2012.[93] He went on to make two more France U21 appearance against Norway U21 on 12 October 2012[94] and 16 October 2012.[95]

Personal life[edit]

In 2015, Knockaert was given a personal leave by the club after his father, Patrick, became ill.[96] The following year, when his father died on 3 November 2016, he sat out of the match against Bristol City.[97] It was not the first time he suffered a tragedy: he lost his elder brother, Steve, in 2011 and after scoring in a 3–0 win against Nottingham Forest, Knockaert dedicated his goal to his late brother.[98]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 1 September 2018
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Guingamp 2010–11[99] Championnat National 23 2 0 0 4 3 27 5
2011–12[99] Ligue 2 36 11 2 0 2 2 40 13
Total 59 13 2 0 6 5 67 18
Leicester City 2012–13[100] Championship 42 8 2 0 1 1 2[a] 0 47 9
2013–14[101] Championship 42 5 1 0 5 2 48 7
2014–15[102] Premier League 9 0 1 0 1 0 11 0
Total 93 13 4 0 7 3 2 0 106 16
Standard Liège 2015–16[103] Belgian Pro League 20 5 3 0 4[b] 2 27 7
Brighton & Hove Albion 2015–16[104] Championship 19 5 0 0 0 0 2[a] 0 21 5
2016–17[105] Championship 45 15 0 0 0 0 45 15
2017–18[106] Premier League 33 3 2 0 2 0 37 3
2018–19[107] Premier League 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Total 101 23 2 0 2 0 2 0 107 23
Career total 273 54 11 0 15 8 8 2 307 64
  1. ^ a b Appearances in Football League play-offs
  2. ^ Appearances in UEFA Europa League

Honours[edit]

Guingamp

Leicester City

Brighton & Hove Albion


Individual

Brighton & Hove Albion


References[edit]

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External links[edit]