Sheffield United striker Henri Camara has been outlined as the One to Watch ahead of Sunday’s clash.
Name: Henri Camara
Date of Birth: 10-05-1977 (Dakar, Senegal)
Former Clubs: Strasbourg, Xamax, Grasshoppers Zurich, Sedan, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Celtic (L), Southampton (L), Wigan Athletic, West Ham United (L), Stoke City (L)
Appearances (Goals): 255 (83)
International Appearances (Goals): 89 (31)
The journeyman striker started life coming through the ranks of his local club ASC Diaraf, before getting the chance to sign for RC Strasbourg in France.
It didn’t take long for him to move on from the French side, moving over to Switzerland to play for Neuchâtel Xamax, where he impressed in his first season for the side.
Swiss giants Grasshoppers of Zurich came calling and while he made only 11 appearances he was part of the side that went on to be Swiss Champions in 2001.
Camara however still had a point to prove in France, signing for Sedan – a place where he scored 22 goals in 60 appearances for the French outfit. Unfortunately for them they were relegated and in a move that has become familiar for Henri – he requested a move.
He penned a deal with recently promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League, and despite seeing his career at Molineux get off to a shaky start with a solitary goal in 23 games, he scored six in nine games towards the end of the season.
It wasn’t enough for Wolves who were relegated under Dave Jones and the Senegalese striker repeated his vanishing act, by not showing up for pre-season training and requesting a move away from Molineux.
Despite rejecting a bid from Bolton Wanderers, Wolves let his go to Celtic on loan where despite vowing to replace the sizeable boots of Henrik Larsson he flattered to deceive with eight goals in 18 games seeing his spell terminated.
Another deal was negotiated so that he could play for Premier League Southampton on loan, but they were relegated on a dramatic final day with a home defeat to third placed Manchester United.
So once again Camara searched for a new club and found it at Wigan Athletic – Paul Jewell paying Wolves the princely sum of £3m for the Senegalese international’s services. He helped see off current club Sheffield United in a Premier League relegation battle as David Unsworth’s penalty saw the Blades drop back to the Championship at the first time of asking.
Jewell’s shock resignation saw Camara in the cold under new manager Steve Bruce, who despite letting him go out on loan to West Ham United, reassured Camara that his career at the JJB Stadium wouldn’t be finished.
Ten appearances without a goal for the Hammers saw him return to the Latics on poor form. He bounced back however to score several goals for Wigan where he also previously made an appearance in the 2006 League Cup Final.
Another brief loan period ensued at Stoke City, where he missed a sitter against Sunderland on his debut – and from then on the writing was on the wall, as he made three further appearances for Potters before being released by Wigan at the end of the 2008-09 season.
Camara courted the interest of Hull City, but when Phil Brown rejected the opportunity to sign the journeyman, he penned a deal with Sheffield United – a side he had previously rejected.
The striker made his debut in a stunning 4-3 defeat at home to Cardiff City before scoring his first goals against Peterborough United and Leicester City in his eight appearances thus far. He was an unused substitute as Rangers and the Blades drew one a-piece in December.
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