Gradel playing for Côte d'Ivoire in 2012.
|Full name||Max-Alain Gradel|
|Date of birth||30 November 1987|
|Place of birth||Abidjan, Ivory Coast|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Winger / Forward|
|2007–2008||→ Bournemouth (loan)||34||(9)|
|2009||→ Leeds United (loan)||14||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:53, 25 April 2016 (UTC).
Max received his first call up to the Côte d'Ivoire national team in November 2010. He made his debut for the national side on 5 June 2011. On 30 April 2011, Gradel won both the Fans Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year awards at Leeds.
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Career statistics
- 4 Honours
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Lewisham College Football Academy was Max Gradel's first stop after coming from Paris, France, in 2004, under the tutelage of (then) Head Coach Aaron Jacob, who was one of his early mentors. He attended the Bon Giourno Cup in the Netherlands and the team went on to win the trophy conceding no goals, with Max scoring 12 of 17. He was due to attend the Dallas Cup with the team but was offered a Pro contract and made the decision not to go. "Everything started at Lewisham College," says Max. "We were all good players in the Football Academy; I think I made it a bit by chance."
Max began playing football when he was two years old in the Ivory Coast. After leaving Lewisham College, Max was offered trials with Arsenal, Chelsea, West Ham and Leicester and spent four months with Arsenal before signing with Leicester. From there he moved to Leeds United where he played regularly for the Championship side.
The winger was given a squad number for the 2007–08 season. On 5 May 2007, he signed his first professional contract with Leicester along with seven other players, including Eric Odhiambo, Andy King and Carl Pentney.
Loan at Bournemouth
On 6 August, manager Martin Allen made Gradel and Conrad Logan available for loan for the forthcoming season. On 9 August 2007 Gradel joined Bournemouth on an initial one-month loan, which was extended for the season on transfer deadline day (31 August). However, he was unable to play as many games with the Cherries as he had hoped due to the death of his mother in early October. As a result, he was told by Bournemouth manager Kevin Bond that he could take all the time he needed to return to England.
He returned to Leicester early on 3 January 2008, although Bond stated he wanted to take him back to Bournemouth on loan again, a move which was completed for the rest of the season on 11 January. Gradel's form at Bournemouth earned him a new three-year deal at Leicester, which he signed on 6 February.
Return to Leicester and promotion
He made his league debut for Leicester against Milton Keynes Dons on 9 August 2008, setting up a goal as Leicester won 2–0 at the Walkers Stadium. On 14 August, Gradel signed a new contract that would last until June 2012. He scored his first senior goal in a 2–1 FA Cup defeat to Crystal Palace on 14 January 2009, and his first league goal in a 2–2 draw against MK Dons on 28 February, scoring an equalising free-kick at injury time. His free kick away at MK Dons won the Goal of the Season award at the Leicester City Supporters Club Awards on 23 April. Gradel made 32 appearances in all competitions as Leicester secured their promotion as league champions. In the following season however, Gradel made just one substitute appearance in the League Cup.
||This article's section called "Leeds United" about a living person needs additional citations for verification. (October 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
On 19 October 2009, Gradel joined Leeds United on loan for a month. He made his debut as a substitute in a 2–1 win over Norwich City that same evening. Gradel scored his first goal for Leeds on 31 October against Yeovil Town within minutes after coming on as a substitute, which prompted chants from the crowd of "Grayson sign him up".
Leeds manager Simon Grayson said he wanted to extend Gradel's loan move beyond the initial month. Gradel himself stated he would like to extend the loan deal at Leeds and even hinted he would be happy to move to Leeds on a permanent deal. Leicester refused Leeds permission to play Gradel in their FA Cup game against Oldham Athletic. Gradel started his first game for Leeds in the 3–1 win against Grimsby Town, contributing to Leeds' first goal as his cross was diverted by Olly Lancashire into his own net. The game would have been the last of Gradel's initial one-month loan. The loan was extended to 2 January 2010 on 13 November.
Gradel scored the winning goal for Leeds in the 89th minute against Leyton Orient after coming off the bench for Leeds. He made his first start in the league for Leeds against Oldham. He provided two assists in the same game for Neil Kilkenny's and Luciano Becchio's goals. Gradel scored three minutes after coming on for Leeds as a substitute in the West Yorkshire derby against Huddersfield Town. He made his second league start for Leeds in the game against Brentford, due to the suspension of Robert Snodgrass.
Gradel replaced Jermaine Beckford as a substitute against Southampton, and he made an immediate impact in the same game, minutes after coming on Snodgrass curled a shot into the top right corner to seal Leeds' win. Gradel handed in a transfer request on his return to Leicester, and he was signed by Leeds United on a 2 1⁄2-year contract on 25 January for an undisclosed fee. His first appearance as an under contract Leeds player came as a second-half substitute in the 3–0 defeat to Swindon Town.
After being unavailable for Leeds' FA Cup loss against Tottenham Hotspur, Gradel came back into the Leeds squad and the starting lineup against Hartlepool United in Leeds' 2–2 draw. He retained his place in the starting 11 for the next game against Carlisle United in the Trophy second leg game, which Leeds won 3–2 but were knocked out 6–5 on a penalty shootout, with Gradel converting his penalty for Leeds. After Jermaine Beckford returned from injury Gradel dropped back to Leeds' bench.
Gradel received the man of the match award against Yeovil Town in Leeds' 2–1 win. In the following game Gradel kept his place up front and scored for Leeds against Southend United in a 2–0 win. Then, he followed it up in the next match scoring in a 3–1 away win against Carlisle United, with Gradel opening up the scoring and Luciano Becchio scoring a brace. Gradel's sixth goal for Leeds came in Leeds' 4–1 win against MK Dons. Gradel was sent off for violent conduct in Leeds United's final match of the 2009–10 season against Bristol Rovers when after a moment of madness he got himself sent off then refused to leave the pitch in the first half of the match, but Leeds won the game 2–1 and were promoted to The Championship.
Gradel played his first game back at Elland Road since his red card against Bristol Rovers, with him putting in an impressive performance when Leeds completed their pre-season campaign on 31 July with a 3–1 win over Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers at Elland Road. Gradel scored a goal in the game by scoring a long range effort. Due to Gradel's red card the previous season and his refusal to leave the pitch he missed the first four games of the season through suspension.
Gradel returned from his four match suspension in the second round of the League Cup when he made his first start of the season against his former club Leicester. He managed to gain an assist in the game, providing a cross for Davide Somma's goal. His first league appearance came in the following game, when he came on as a second-half substitute in the 1–0 win away to Watford. Gradel made his first league start of the season, when Lloyd Sam was dropped for the game against Swansea City on 11 September. Gradel scored his first goal of the Championship season against Scunthorpe United. Gradel scored his second goal of the season against Coventry City after scoring a penalty. Gradel's third goal of the season came against Norwich City. Gradel scored his fourth goal of the season against Burnley which started Leeds's comeback to win 3–2 after being 2–0 down. On 18 December, Gradel scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season when he scored both goals in Leeds' 2–0 win over league leaders Queens Park Rangers. Gradel scored his 7th goal of the season against his former club Leicester City with a header
Gradel's form for Leeds has seen him attract interest from Premiership clubs Gradel scored his 8th goal of the season against Portsmouth. Newcastle United showed an interest in Gradel and manager Simon Grayson confirmed that he wasn't looking to sell the in-form Gradel. After an impressive December, Gradel was named as one of the nominee's for The Championship player of the month. 8 January, Gradel won a penalty against Arsenal which was dispatched by Robert Snodgrass as Leeds earned an impressive 1–1 draw. 15 January, Gradel scored his 9th goal of the season against Scunthorpe United Gradel scored his 10th goal of the season against Bristol City. On 22 February, he scored his 11th and 12th goals of the season in the home fixture against Barnsley. Gradel's 13th and 14th goals of the season came in the same game in the 5–2 win against Doncaster Rovers. Gradel's impressive form for Leeds during the 2010–11 season earned special praise by manager Simon Grayson. On 2 April, Gradel scored his 15th and 16th goals of the season against Nottingham Forest. Gradel scored his 17th goal of the season against Derby County in Leeds' 2–1 loss. On 30 April, Gradel won Leeds' 2010–11 Player Of The Year Award and also the Players Player Of The Year Award at Leeds annual Player award ceremony. After winning the award Gradel announced that he wanted to stay at Leeds to help them reach The Premiership. Gradel also revealed he would like to extend his contract at Leeds. Gradel scored his 18th goal of the season in the final match in Leeds' 2–1 win against Queens Park Rangers. In the summer of 2011 Gradel was believed to have been interesting German club Hamburger SV.
With several clubs interested in Gradel and much speculation on his future, he confirmed on 24 July that he was looking to stay with Leeds. On 2 August, Gradel confirmed he wanted to stay at Leeds, but the club had yet to offer him a new contract. It was revealed on 4 August, Gradel would miss the League Cup match against Bradford City as he had been called up to the Ivorian squad. Gradel scored a late penalty in the first game of the 2011–12 season against Southampton, however it proved to be only a consolation goal as Leeds lost 3–1. Gradel was sent off early on for two bookable offences in a defeat against Middlesbrough; teammate Jonny Howson was also sent off for Leeds in the same match. Gradel came back into the starting lineup after serving his one match suspension against West Ham on 21 August, Gradel missed a penalty for Leeds in the same game. Gradel's final game for Leeds came in the 2–1 loss against Ipswich Town.
On 30 August 2011 Gradel joined French club Saint-Étienne for an undisclosed fee, reported to be £3 million. He signed a four-year contract with the club. He was handed the number 9 shirt upon his arrival at the club. In the 2014/2015 season, Gradel was Saint Etienne's top scorer in Ligue 1 with 17 goals, also providing 3 assists.
On 4 August 2015, after a four-year spell in France, Gradel returned to England to join former side and Premier League newcomers Bournemouth on a four-year deal, for a reported fee of £7 million. As part of the deal Gradel's old club Leeds United received a percentage of the transfer fee due to a 10% sell on clause.
On 29 August, Gradel tore a cruciate ligament in his knee during the match against Leicester City, with the injury ruling him out for around six months. On 27 February 2016, Gradel made his return to the team, coming on as a substitute in the 21st minute for Junior Stanislas in a 0–0 draw against Watford. Gradel scored his first goal after his return to the club in a 3–2 win over Swansea City on 12 March 2016.
Gradel revealed that by moving to Leeds he was hoping to increase his international prospects to play for the Côte d'Ivoire national team and maybe earn a place in their 2010 FIFA World Cup squad. He was called up to the Côte d'Ivoire squad for the first time on 11 November 2010 for the fixture against Poland. On 21 March 2011, Gradel received his second call up to the squad, this time to face Benin in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. In June 2011, Gradel was called up to the squad to face Benin on 5 June 2011. This match ended in a 6–2 win to Côte d'Ivoire, in which Gradel came on in the 54th min to make his debut.
Gradel was a part of the Côte d'Ivoire squad that finished runner-up to Zambia at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and was also a member of les Éléphants' 2014 FIFA World Cup squad, where he made one appearance in the 2–1 loss to Colombia.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
- Scores and results list Ivory Coast's goal tally first.
|1.||15 August 2012||Lokomotiv Stadium, Moscow, Russia||Russia||
|2.||8 September 2012||Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan, Ivory Coast||Senegal||
||2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
|3.||5 March 2014||King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium||Belgium||
|4.||11 October 2014||Stade des Martyrs, Kinshasa, DR Congo||DR Congo||
||2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
|5.||14 November 2014||Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan, Ivory Coast||Sierra Leone||
||2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
|6.||24 January 2015||Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea||Mali||
||2015 Africa Cup of Nations|
|7.||28 January 2015||Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea||Cameroon||
||2015 Africa Cup of Nations|
|8.||29 March 2015||Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan, Ivory Coast||Equatorial Guinea||
- Leicester City
- Leeds United
- Ivory Coast
- Leeds United Player of the Year: 2010–11: Fans Player of The Year Award he's also won player of the year for
- Leeds United Player of the Year: 2010–11: Players Player of the Year Award
- "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/10/2009 and 31/10/2009" (PDF). The Football Association. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
- "List of Players" (PDF). Confederation of African Football (CAF). Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "Premier League Player Profile Max Gradel". Barclays Premier League. 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
- "News | News | News | Max Called Up For Polish Trip". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "Benin – Ivory Coast Game Result, Statistics on 05/06/2011 – Soccer Database Wettpoint". Fussball.wettpoint.com. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | Max Scoops Up The Gongs". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "Young Stars Make The Grade". Leicester City F.C. 2007-05-05. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- "Duo Available". Leicester City F.C. 2007-08-06. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
- "Gradel On The Move". Leicester City F.C. 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
- "Gradel Loan Extended". Leicester City F.C. 2007-08-31. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
- "Club 100% Behind Max". A.F.C. Bournemouth. 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
- "Cherries Rue Loan Departures". Sky Sports. 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2008-01-03.
- "Bournemouth re-sign Foxes' Gradel". BBC Sport. 2008-01-11. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
- "Gradel Pens New Foxes Deal". Leicester City F.C. 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- "Leicester 2–0 MK Dons". BBC Sport. 2008-08-09. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
- "Gradel Extends City Stay". Leicester City F.C. 2008-08-14. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
- "Crystal Palace 2–1 Leicester". BBC Sport. 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
- "MK Dons 2–2 Leicester". BBC Sport. 2009-02-28. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
- "Trio honoured at awards". Leicester City F.C. 2009-04-23. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- "Leicester 2008/2009 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
- "Leeds United sign Max Gradel from Leicester City". BBC Sport. 2010-01-25. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
- "Gradel joins Leeds on loan deal". BBC Sport. 2009-10-20. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
- "Leeds United 2–1 Norwich". BBC Sport. 2009-10-19. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
- "Loan ace Max Gradel is a star with a flurry". Yorkshire Evening Post. 2009-11-03. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
- "Leeds look to extend Gradel loan". BBC Sport. 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
- "Gradel and Vokes miss FA Cup tie". BBC Sport. 2009-11-02. Retrieved 2010-08-08.
- "Leeds United 3–1 Grimsby". BBC Sport. 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2010-08-08.
- "Gradel loan deal extended". Leeds United F.C. 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2010-08-08.
- "Leeds take Max-imum points at home to Leyton". The Scratching Shed. 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- "Leeds United 1–0 Southampton". BBC Sport. 2009-12-19. Retrieved 2010-08-08.
- "Gradel Hands In Transfer Request". LCFC.co.uk. 22 Jan 2010. Retrieved 2 Mar 2011.
- "Carlisle 2–3 Leeds Utd (4–4 agg)". BBC News. 2010-02-09.
- "Leeds United 4–1 MK Dons". BBC Sport. 2010-04-24. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
- Fletcher, Paul (2010-05-08). "Leeds 2–1 Bristol Rovers". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
- "Match report: Leeds United v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Sport". Yorkshire Evening Post. 31 July 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "Banned Max Gradel still part of Leeds United's plans". BBC Sport. 2010-07-05. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
- "News | News | News | United March To Swansea Victory". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | Howson Hat-Trick Seals Away Success". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | United Victorious At Coventry". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | Honours End Even At Norwich". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | United Complete Stunning Comeback At Burnley". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | United Topple League Leaders". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | Boxing Day Draw For United". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "Wigan Athletic: Wigan after new striker". ClubCall.com. 27 December 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | United Hit By Late Leveller". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "Grayson denies Gradel exit talks". BBC News. 2010-12-30.
- "Magpies plotting Gradel swoop". Sky Sports. 4 January 2011.
- "Leeds – LUFC Gradel up for monthly award". Leeds.vitalfootball.co.uk. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | Late Leveller Denies United Arsenal Scalp". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | Iron Flattened At Elland Road". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | United Victorious At Ashton Gate". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | United Held In Six-Goal Derby Clash". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | High Five For United Against Donny". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "Grayson praises Gradel show". Sky Sports. 2011-03-05.
- "News | News | News | United Put Four Past Forest". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | Grayson Blasts Naive Showing". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | Max Says An Emotional Thanks". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- Sky Sports http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11688_6911080,00.html. Missing or empty
- "News | News | News | United Upset The Champions". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- Wobschall, Leon (4 June 2011). "Leeds United: Snodgrass not going anywhere – Latest Whites News". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- Sky Sports http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11688_7059144,00.html. Missing or empty
- "West Ham Fulham Swansea Newcastle target Max Gradel insists Leeds have not yet offered new contract – Transfer News". MirrorFootball.co.uk. 2 August 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- Sky Sports http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11095_7078300,00.html. Missing or empty
- "News | News | News | Max Back In International Frame". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_1/14351913.stm%7CSouthampton 3 – 1 Leeds BBC
- "News | News | News | United Crash At Southampton". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "Leeds 0 – 1 Middlesbrough". BBC. 13 August 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- "West Ham Vs Leeds". BBC. 21 August 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- "News | News | News | 10 MAN UNITED SUNK AT THE LAST". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- Pearson, James (31 August 2010). "Gradel seals St Etienne switch". Sky Sports. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "AFC Bournemouth sign Max Gradel from St Etienne". AFC Bournemouth. 4 August 2015.
- "Gradel joins Bournemouth from Saint-Etienne". FIFA. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
- "Leeds United: Whites cash in on Gradel's Bournemouth switch". Yorkshire Evening Post. 4 August 2015.
- "Max Gradel: Bournemouth winger faces lengthy knee injury lay-off". BBC Sport. 1 September 2015.
- "Watford 0–0 Bournemouth". BBC Sport. 27 February 2016.
- "Bournemouth 3-2 Swansea". BBC Sport. BBC. 12 March 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
- "Leeds United: Gradel eyes Ivory Coast call up – Latest Whites News". Yorkshire Evening Post. 29 January 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "News | News | News | Two More Set For International Duty". Leeds United. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- Wobschall, Leon (6 June 2011). "Leeds United: Gradel's hoping for Ivory Coast debut – Latest Whites News". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "Ivory Coast beats Israel 4–3 in friendly – Football news". Mail.com. 10 August 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- "15 Max GRADEL". FIFA. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Ivory Coast 1-1 Mali". BBC. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- Max Gradel career statistics at Soccerbase
- Max Gradel profile at Soccerway