28. Charles N’Zogbia

Date of Birth: 28 May 1986
Place of Birth: Harfleur, France
Nationality: France
Position: Winger
Year Signed: 2011
Signed From: Wigan Athletic
Fee Paid: £9,500,000

While at the academy of Le Harve, Charles N’Zogbia was spotted by Newcastle United scouts who then arranged for the winger to have a trial with the club. After a successful trial, Newcastle tried to sign N’Zogbia but due to the fact the player was under an ‘educational contract’, they eventually had to pay in the region of £250,000 for the players services. N’Zogbia went on to be the last player to be signed by the late Sir Bobby Robson.

N’Zogbia made his debut for the Geordie’s in a 3-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers on 11th September 2004. The following season he became a first team regular scoring 5 goals in 41 appearances. Despite interest from Arsenal the French man signed a new contract to keep him at Newcastle for a further 3 years.

During the 2006-07 season he became unpopular with then manager Glen Roader, as Damien Duff was preferred and suffered a long term injury which ruled him out for two months. On the final day of the season he was left out of the squad at Watford after refusing to be a substitute.

Charles went on to play 158 games for Newcastle before announcing in the January 2009 transfer window that he wanted to leave the club ‘to reach a higher level of ambition’. Following a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City on 29 January, then manager Joe Kinnear angered N’Zogbia by mispronouncing his name as “insomnia”. The French man then released a statement apologising to fans but stated he wouldn’t play for the club for as long as Kinnear was in charge.

An hour before the January 2009 deadline Newcastle had agreed a deal with Wigan Athletic worth £6,000,000 with Ryan Taylor going the other way. N’Zogbia signed a three and half year deal. He went on to score his first goal for the Latic’s in a 2-1 away win at Sunderland.

The following season he had a real impact which was topped off when he scored the winner in a stunning 3-2 victory over Arsenal after they were losing 2-0. The result secured Wigans Premier League safety and N’Zogbia was named Players player and Supporters Player of the Year.

In May 2010, Birmingham City had agreed a deal allowing N’Zogbia to join for £9,000,000 depending on the player agreeing personal terms. The move fell through as the player couldn’t agree personal terms and instead stayed at Wigan. He went on to play a vital role at the club, once again playing a big part in keeping the Latic’s in the Premier League. Interest in the winger was very high and despite manager Roberto Martinez denying that they would sell any of there top players, Chairman Dave Whelan stated he would leave due to him being in the last year of his contract.

On July 15th 2010, Aston Villa had a £9,000,000 rejected for the player, with Dave Whelan claiming they wanted £10,000,000. Villa later made a £9,500,000 which was accepted. On July 29th N’Zogbia passed his medical and agreed personal terms with Aston Villa. He signed a five year deal and was given the number 10 shirt.

The 2013-14 season saw N’Zogbia become part of Paul Lambert’s famous ‘Bomb Squad’. These were a selection of players that the manager no longer wanted at the club – most believed it was due to the high wages the players earned. The following season the ‘Bomb Squad’ was dismantled with all players being given a ‘fresh start’ at the football club.

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