Gabriel Zakuani

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Gabriel Zakuani
Gabriel Zakuani.jpg
Zakuani playing for Peterborough United in 2011
Personal information
Full name Gabriel Abdala Zakuani[1]
Date of birth (1986-05-31) 31 May 1986 (age 31)
Place of birth Kinshasa, Zaire
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Gillingham
Number 6
Youth career
2000–2003 Leyton Orient
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2006 Leyton Orient 87 (3)
2006–2009 Fulham 0 (0)
2007 Stoke City (loan) 9 (0)
2007–2008 Stoke City (loan) 19 (0)
2008–2009 Peterborough United (loan) 32 (1)
2009–2014 Peterborough United 148 (4)
2014 Kalloni 15 (1)
2014–2016 Peterborough United 45 (4)
2016–2017 Northampton Town 21 (2)
2017 Gillingham 0 (0)
National team
2005– DR Congo 25 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:34, 9 May 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19:50, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Gabriel Abdala Zakuani (born 31 May 1986) is a Congolese professional footballer, who plays for Gillingham as a defender.

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, spending 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. After spending two seasons in the Championship, Peterborough suffered relegation at the end of the 2012–13 season. In January 2014, Zakuani decided to join Superleague Greece side Kalloni. He returned, however, to Peterborough in June 2014.

Club career[edit]

Leyton Orient[edit]

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.[2] In the 2004–05 and 2005–06 seasons, he became 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.[3]

Fulham[edit]

Zakuani only played twice for Fulham in his three-year spell with the club, in the League Cup against Wycombe Wanderers and in the FA Cup against Leicester City.

Loans to Stoke City[edit]

Zakuani signed for Stoke City on loan for the remainder of the 2006–07 season.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6][7] 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."[8] Despite this, a move never happened.

Peterborough United[edit]

Gabriel Zakuani was then sent to Peterborough United on a three-month loan.[9] 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.[10]

On 8 July 2012, Gabriel Zakuani was given captaincy of Peterborough United, where he would succeed Grant McCann.[11] On 12 November 2012, Zakuani was transfer listed and fined following a breach of club discipline following a night out in Peterborough.[12] 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."[13] 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.[14] Zakuani says the incident changed his attitude, and he vowed to stay behind more in training.[15]

At the end of the 2012–13 season, which resulted in 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.[16]

Kalloni[edit]

On 2 January 2014, Zakuani signed a contract with Kalloni, who are competing in Superleague Greece, the top flight of Greek football.[17]

Return to Peterborough United[edit]

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."[18]

Northampton Town[edit]

Zakuani signed for Northampton Town in June 2016.[19] He scored his first goal for Northampton in a 4–2 win at Shrewsbury Town on 22 October 2016.[20]

Gillingham[edit]

Zakuani signed for League One side Gillingham on a one-year deal on 7 June 2017, after rejecting a new contract offer from Northampton Town.[21] He made his full debut in the 0–0 draw away to Doncaster Rovers on the opening day of the 2017–18 League One season.[22]

International career[edit]

He was called up by the national squad for the 2013 African Cup of Nations and played his first match for DR Congo in more than 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.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

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".

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 12 September 2017
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
Leyton Orient 2002–03[23] Third Division 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2003–04[24] Third Division 10 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 11 2
2004–05[25] League Two 33 0 1 0 1 0 1[a] 0 36 0
2005–06[26] League Two 43 1 5 0 1 0 1[a] 0 50 1
Total 87 3 7 0 2 0 2 0 98 3
Fulham 2006–07[27] Premier League 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 0
Stoke City (loan) 2006–07[27] Championship 9 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
2007–08[28] Championship 19 0 1 0 0 0 20 0
Total 28 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 29 0
Peterborough United 2008–09[29] League One 32 1 5 0 0 0 0 0 37 1
2009–10[30] Championship 29 0 0 0 3 0 32 0
2010–11[31] League One 30 2 3 0 1 0 4[b] 0 38 2
2011–12[32] Championship 41 1 1 0 1 0 43 1
2012–13[33] Championship 33 1 0 0 1 0 34 1
2013–14[34] League One 15 0 0 0 2 1 1[a] 0 18 1
Total 180 5 9 0 8 1 5 0 202 6
Kalloni 2013–14[35] Superleague Greece 15 1 1 0 16 1
Peterborough United 2014–15[36] League One 22 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 23 1
2015–16[37] League One 23 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 26 2
Total 45 3 3 0 1 0 0 0 49 3
Northampton Town 2016–17[38] League One 21 2 2 0 2 0 0 0 25 2
Gillingham 2017–18[39] League One 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
Career total 382 14 24 0 14 1 7 0 427 15
  1. ^ a b c Appearances in the Football League Trophy
  2. ^ One appearance in the Football League Trophy and two in the League One play-offs

Honours[edit]

Leyton Orient
Stoke City
Peterborough United

References[edit]

  1. ^ "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/07/2011 and 31/07/2011" (PDF). The Football Association. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "Bournemouth 3–1 Leyton Orient". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Fulham swoop for Orient's Zakuani". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Stoke snap up Hendrie and Zakuani". BBC Sport. 30 January 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2007. 
  5. ^ "Derby v Stoke". Soccerbase. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  6. ^ "Gabbi's Back!". Stoke City Official Website. 31 August 2007. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2007. 
  7. ^ "Zakuani joins Stoke City". Fulham Official Website. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Zakuani plans to stop on at Stoke". BBC Sport. 25 March 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  9. ^ "Zakuani loaned". Fulham Official Website. 11 September 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Zakuani agrees Peterborough terms". BBC. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  11. ^ "Zakuani Named Posh Skipper". Peterborough United Official Website. 6 July 2012. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  12. ^ "Peterborough United fine and transfer-list four players". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Nightclub boss DEFENDS Zakuani after Posh transfer list skipper over alleged incident". Daily Mail. 13 November 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "Championship: Peterborough take captain Gabriel Zakuani off transfer list". Sky Sports. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Gabby Zakuani cites hard work and a change of attitude as reasons for his return". Sky Sports. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "Championship: Gabriel Zakuani rejects new Peterborough deal". Sky Sports. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Gabby Zakuani: Peterborough United defender joins Kalloni". BBC Sport. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  18. ^ "Gabriel Zakuani: Peterborough United re-sign defender". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "Northampton Town: Gabriel Zakuani and Jak McCourt arrive at Sixfields". BBC Sport. 24 June 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016. 
  20. ^ "Shrewsbury 2–4 Northampton". BBC Sport. 22 October 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016. 
  21. ^ "GABRIEL ZAKUANI JOINS THE GILLS". Retrieved 2017-06-07. 
  22. ^ "Doncaster Rovers 0-0 Gillingham". BBC Sport. 2017-08-05. Retrieved 2017-08-10. 
  23. ^ "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  24. ^ "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  25. ^ "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  26. ^ "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  27. ^ a b "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  28. ^ "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  29. ^ "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  30. ^ "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  31. ^ "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  32. ^ "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  33. ^ "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  34. ^ "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  35. ^ Gabriel Zakuani at Soccerway. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  36. ^ "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  37. ^ "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  38. ^ "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  39. ^ "Games played by Gabriel Zakuani in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017. 

External links[edit]