When Jeremie Aliadiere came through the ranks at Arsenal FC he found himself immediately compared to the clubs then star striker, Thierry Henry. Perhaps it was his nationality, but in reality the comparison came from both players penchant for attacking from the left hand side, [referring to come in to their favoured right side.
But one area where the pair were evidently not similar would have to be in regards to luck. Aliadiere’s career in North London was blighted by several knee injuries - with that ailment carrying on beyond his Arsenal career.
When he left Middlesbrough and disappeared from the game for year back in 2010 many believed him to have retired, finally succumbing to the knee problems that had plagued his once promising career.
But, with the help of former boss Arsene Wenger and his connections with French side Lorient, he was given another chance at the game - when Les Merlus signed him in 2011.
Since then he has finally looked like the player we all hoped he would become when he emerged at Arsenal. Last season he scored 19 goals in 34 appearances for the club, as they finished a respectable eight in Ligue 1.
But for a while it seemed he would be on his way this summer. Lyon were strongly linked with his signature, while St Etienne and Marseille were also said to be carrying a torch for the 30-year-old.
At one point it was even reported the striker was to go on strike, in order to force a move - reports subsequently dismissed by the player himself.
And he categorically put an end to any rumour or conjecture over his future this week, speaking to French press he stated:
"My mind is clear. I'll stay in Lorient. I can't wait, for me the transfer window is over. It was not until my return [from London] that I learned through my agent and the president. I wonder who could say I was in Lyon?"
Aliadiere obviously feels indebted to the club for gambling on his fitness when most other teams were ignoring him as an option.
This weekend he celebrated his commitment to the cause in his first game of the season, by scoring a goal even Thierry Henry would have been proud of.
Drawing 1-1 with Nantes at home, Lorient needed a goal. Step up Aliadiere, who bent a free-kick from 25 yards just out of the reach of the opposing keeper, before embarking on a passionate celebration.
It certainly is good to see this once promising career, ravaged by injury, finally fulfilling its potential.
You can see the goal by clicking this link through to the official Ligue 1 YouTube account…
image: © p_a_h