Gaël Kakuta

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Gaël Kakuta
0Full Name Gaël Kakuta
0Date of Birth 21 June 1991
0Place of Birth Lille, France
0Position Attacking midfielder
0Chelsea career 2007 - 2015
0Debut 21 November 2009
0Games (goals) 16 (0)
0Other clubs RC Lens
Fulham (loan)
Bolton Wanderers (loan)
Dijon (loan)
Vitesse Arnhem (loan)
Lazio (loan)
Rayo Vallecano (loan)
Sevilla FC

Gaël Kakuta (born 21 June 1991) is an attacking midfielder who formerly played for Chelsea. He is perhaps best known in the wider footballing world for being at the centre of a 2009 transfer scandal where Chelsea were temporarily banned from making transfers.


Before Chelsea

Coming through the RC Lens academy in his native France, the Lille-born youngster could easily have seen Coupe de France time in 2007-08 if he was to stay, but the allure and attraction of Chelsea was enough for the youngster to come over.

Chelsea career

Upon arriving at Celsea, Gaël was set into his favoured ‘number 10′ role and hit the ground running. Week after week his name would either appear on the scoresheet or in the assists column.

The FA Youth Cup was also kind in 2007-08, Gaël proving to be the star of the tournament, notching a hat-trick at Port Vale and a stunning 50 yard solo run goal at Aston Villa on the way to the Final. The prestigious nature of the tournament ensured that people were talking about a boy Chelsea fans had been noticing ever since he’d scored on his Reserve debut back in October as a late sub. His second season was injury-stricken though, and after impressing after a summer shoulder injury, he suffered a devastating broken and dislocated ankle in a friendly against the Glenn Hoddle Academy, ruling him out of the remainder of the season.

In September 2009, Chelsea were banned from making transfers for two transfer windows and Kakuta was banned for four months after FIFA found them both guilty of forcing a breach of contract when the player joined the club in 2007. Their reasoning was that the player was under contract at the time and had illegally transferred out of it. The club appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and had the bans temporarily suspended, allowing Gaël to make his Chelsea debut on November 21st against Wolves, where his brief 20 minute spell earned widespread acclaim. He started his first match against APOEL in the Champions League and was a key part in Didier Drogba's opening goal. In February 2010 Chelsea and Gaël were both cleared of any wrongdoing, with it being agreed that the player was not under contract, and therefore free to move clubs.

Following two substitute appearances at the start of the 2010-11 season, Gaël started a League Cup match against Newcastle United but was replace by Salomon Kalou at half time. He soon started another match, playing an hour against Marseille in the Champions League group stage. The youngster was again replaced at half time during a 0-0 draw against Aston Villa, and following further substitute appearances, and a start against MŠK Žilina, he was loaned to Fulham in January until the end of the season, where he made seven appearances, scoring once.

Kakuta joined Bolton Wanderers on loan for the first half of the 2011-12 season, but struggled to make an impact, making just six appearances in his spell at the club. He joined French club Dijon for the second half of the season where he was much more successful, scoring 5 goals in 14 appearances for the Burgandy side.

He spent the 2012-13 season on loan again, this time in the Netherlands for Vitesse Arnhem. As part of the relationship between Chelsea and Vitesse, a number of young Blues have spent time on loan at the Geldredome and Kakuta was joined by Tomas Kalas and Patrick van Aanholt during his time there. After an initially slow start, Gael became a regular for a team chasing for the title and weighed in with a goal and seven assists as they qualified for the Europa League.

A second spell at Vitesse followed for 2013-14 but after an injury-hit start to the campaign, he lost his place to fellow Blues loanee Christian Atsu and struggled for regular action before the winter break. A January switch to Lazio promised more in terms of playing time but instead went even worse as he made just two appearances during his time in Italy.

He then joined Rayo Vallecano on loan for the 2014-15 season and after a hugely successful campaign in which he made 35 consecutive league starts, scoring five goals, he earned himself a four-year contract at Europa League winners Sevilla, joining them on June 19th 2015.


Gaël represented France at Under-17, Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 levels whilst at Chelsea. In July 2010 he was named the Golden Player of the European Under-19 Championships in northern France, after scoring twice during the competition, assisting the winning goal in the Final, and being one of the tournament's truly outstanding talents.

He remains eligible to play for DR Congo but has continually rejected their advances.

Career Statistics

Youth, Reserve and Under-21 Football

Season Under-18 NextGen Under-21 Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2007-08 19 10 - - 8 1 27 11
2008-09 5 2 - - 2 0 7 0
2009-10 0 0 - - 10 3 10 3
2001-11 0 0 - - 2 0 2 0
2001-11 0 0 - - 1 0 1 0
Total 24 12 - - 23 4 47 16

Senior Club Football

Season Club Prem FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2009-10 Chelsea 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 4 0
2010-11 Chelsea 5 0 1 0 1 0 5 0 0 0 12 0
2010-11 Fulham (loan) 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2011-12 Bolton Wanderers (loan) 4 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 6 1
2011-12 Dijon (loan) 14 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 4
2012-13 Vitesse Arnhem (loan) 22 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 26 1
2013-14 Vitesse Arnhem (loan) 12 1 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 14 3
2013-14 Lazio (loan) 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
2014-15 Rayo Vallecano (loan) 35 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 35 5
Chelsea 6 0 2 0 2 0 6 0 0 0 16 0
Total 101 12 8 2 4 1 8 0 0 0 114 15

(Statistics accurate as of the end of the 2014-15 season)



Post-Chelsea Career

Gaël's signed a four-year deal with Sevilla in June 2015.

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