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£9m West Ham flop ready to kickstart troubled career ... in Kazakhstan

Savio Nsereko, just 24-years-old, is now playing for FC Atyrau in the Kazakh Premier League after spells in Italy, Bulgaria, Israel, Germany and Romania.

West Ham broke their transfer record in order to bring Andy Carroll to the club on a permanent deal last summer - at a fee worth £15 million.

But a previous holder of the record as West Ham’s most expensive signing is now living a forgettable football career.

Gianfranco Zola and Gianluca Nani splurged £9 million on 19-year-old German youth international Savio Nsereko in January 2009.

But his career has been a series of disappointing moves and controversial incidents so far.

After just ten games for The Hammers he failed to score and left for Fiorentina. In that time he was consistently AWOL, out on loan and generally misbehaving at La Viola.

He spent time on loan with Bologna, Juve Stabia and 1860 Munich whilst also sampling football in Bulgaria and Romania with Chernomerets Burgas and FC Vaslui respectively.

After yet another unsuccessful stint back in Germany with SpVgg Unterhaching the one time under-20 international went down the football ladder, to play for Viktoria Koln in German football’s fourth tier.

He once again faltered and still hasn’t found the net since he was playing for Brescia as a teenager - and he made more headlines for all the wrong reasons. In 2012 he spent three weeks in a Thai jail after faking a kidnapping to extort money from a family member.

Midway through last year however, and it appeared he was getting yet another second chance - as it was being reported the player had agreed a free transfer move to Israeli side Hapoel Ironi Akko.

But despite what seemed likely to be a good deal all around it was soon announced that Nsereko had failed to earn a contract with the club.

With Nsereko on the football scrapheap - his career seemingly looked over - at just 24-years-old.

But at the end of the year he was dealt a lifeline from an unlikely location - Kazakhstan.

Nsereko signed for Kazakh Premier League side FC Atyrau in December 2013 - and is now in pre-season training for the side ahead of their seventh season in a row in the top-flight.

The campaign gets under way in March and Nsereko will be hoping to finally prove he is not one of the greatest flops in footballing history.

It would have only taken him 10 teams and six countries to do so.

image: © Tom Cuppens

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