Bryan Dabo spent six months on loan without playing a single minute, but he has turned his career around upon his return to France.
To say French midfielder Bryan Dabo has enjoyed a bizarre career so far would be an understatement, but now the former Blackburn Rovers loanee has reinvented himself back at Montpellier and looks to have finally blossomed into the player he always threatened to be.
Blackburn Rovers were in the English Championship when Dabo arrived on loan, and although he was a larger than life character, he never played for the Lancashire club. In an article with L’Equipe on Saturday he explained why:
“The coach was very honest; he told me he preferred to use players that he could rely on next season.”
Dabo would sit on the bench eight times under Gary Bower but was never given the chance to show what he could do in the English game.
His last game for Montpellier before the loan move came on 8th December 2013; he wouldn’t play first-team football again for anyone for 12 months - next appearing for La Paillade on 6th December 2014 in an away game against Rennes.
When Montpellier were on the way to the 2011/12 Ligue 1 title, Dabo didn’t feature, but he did play 16 times for the French champions in the following season. Bizarrely he only played 50 minutes in the next campaign.
He said of that spell: "With Jean Fernandez, there was zero feeling, we never had any dialogue, and I had the impression that he was stuck with me.
“The period in England made me grow up. I said I have to have the mind-set of a killer!”
This season, Dabo has played 12 games and has even popped up with two goals. He explained to L’Equipe that if he hadn’t endured the difficult times as a youngster, he wouldn’t be in the positive position he is in now.
Now, after failing at Blackburn Rovers, Dabo is set to receive a new contract in the south of France. At least this story looks like it will have a happy ending.