Wanderers' French connections

A comprehensive overview of Frenchmen to have worn the white of Wanderers

Following confirmation of Dorian Dervite's transfer to the club, the former Tottenham Hotspur centre-half will become the 21st Frenchman to play for Wanderers in their history.

Listed below are ten players of French nationality who have featured for the Whites in recent years.

Bruno N’Gotty

Initially arriving at the club on loan from French side Marseille in September 2001, N’Gotty joined Wanderers on a permanent basis in January 2002.

The centre-half went on to spend a total of five seasons at the Reebok Stadium, making 155 appearances and scoring 7 goals in the process including strikes against Manchester United, Seville and Chelsea.

Youri Djorkaeff

A man who had tasted success in both the World Cup and European Championships prior to joining the Whites, the charismatic Djorkaeff swapped Kaiserslautern for the Reebok in February 2002.

Instantly endearing himself to the Bolton faithful, the midfielder helped the club secure their Premier League status shortly after arriving in England on a free transfer and turned out for Wanderers on 81 occasions during his two-and-a-half year stint in the North West, notching 21 goals.

Vincent Candela

Like Djorkaeff before him, Candela arrived at BL6 on loan in January 2005 boasting winners’ medals for both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2000.

Having previously starred for the likes of Toulouse and Roma, the Frenchman made a total of 12 appearances for the club during his brief stay in England before joining Udinese following the expiration of his deal with the Serie A outfit.

Nicolas Anelka

Boasting an impressive back catalogue of former clubs which included the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Liverpool, Anelka’s £8 million move to the Reebok in August 2006 was, at the time, the club’s record transfer.

Despite being forced to wait until November for his first league goal in a Bolton shirt, the striker’s brace against the Gunners was just the beginning as he went on to average just over a goal every three games with 23 strikes in 61 appearances.

Gael Kakuta

Having joined Chelsea’s youth academy as a 16-year-old from French outfit Lens, Kakuta joined Wanderers on loan in August 2011 and opened his account for the club in a third round League Cup tie against Aston Villa a month later.

The youngsters however failed to hold down a regular starting berth at the Reebok, making just six appearances in a Bolton shirt before returning to Stamford Bridge at the end of the year.

David Ngog 

A product of Paris Saint-Germain’s youth set-up, Wanderers brought the frontman to BL6 from Liverpool in the summer of 2011 with the Frenchman scoring his first goal for the club against Wigan Athletic in October of the same year.

After two-and-a-half years, 91 appearances and 16 goals in all competitions however, Ngog brought the curtain down on his Bolton career with a move to Premier League outfit Swansea City in January 2014.

Sébastien Puygrenier 

A stalwart defender, Puygrenier enjoyed a brief stint with Wanderers during the second half of the 2008/09 campaign on loan from Zenit St Petersburg, making seven appearances in total.

Upon his arrival at the club, the centre-half scored his one and only goal in a Bolton shirt just two weeks later in a 3-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at the Reebok Stadium.

Florent Laville

A player whose promising career was cruelly savaged by injury, Laville initially arrived at BL6 on loan from Lyon in January 2003 having previously won the Ligue 1 title and Trophée des Champions with the French giants.

The versatile defender settled into life at the Reebok and was subsequently offered a permanent deal in the close season, but a serious leg injury sustained just five games into his first season as an official Bolton player was to hamper his progression and ultimately led to his retirement in 2005.

Ibrahim Ba

With experience of playing for Italian giants AC Milan under his belt prior to his move to the Whites in September 2003, Ba slotted into a squad which at the time boasted an impressive calibre of continental figures.

Largely limited to substitute appearances during his time with the club, the midfielder did feature heavily in Wanderers’ run to the Carling Cup Final with six of his 16 appearances coming in the competition.

Bernard Mendy

Joining the club on loan from French side Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2002, Mendy developed a reputation as a reliable figure in the Bolton midfield, making a solid 23 appearances during his season long stint in the North West.

Following the conclusion of his contract in France at the end of the campaign however, the midfielder swapped the Reebok for the KC Stadium as he joined newly promoted Hull City.

Pierre-Yves André

Signing for the club alongside fellow countryman Florent Laville on January transfer deadline day in 2003, striker André was brought to Wanderers on loan from Nantes to replace the recently departed Michael Ricketts.

His brief stint in England however didn’t go as planned with the frontman being limited to just nine substitute appearances as the Whites staved off relegation on the final day of the campaign against Middlesbrough.

Other French players to have plied their trade in the white of Wanderers include: Gerald Cid, Jeremy Bon, Bédi Buval, Djibril Diawara, Martin Djetou, Mario Espartero, Fabrice Fernandes, Gérald Forschelet and Franck Passi.
Read Time: 5 mins