|Anthony Le Tallec|
|Date of Birth||
3 October 1984
|Place of Birth||
Anthony Le Tallec (born 3 October 1984) is a French footballer who played for Liverpool from 2001 to 2008. Much of Le Tallec's time at Liverpool was spent loaned out to other clubs on season-long loans. He made 32 appearances in total for Liverpool, scoring just once.
After impressing then manager Gerard Houllier with his performances at the UEFA European Under-16 Football Championship and the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Le Tallec was signed by Liverpool - along with his cousin Florent Sinama-Pongolle - in the summer of 2001 from Le Havre. The cousins were both loaned back to Le Havre for two seasons to continue their development.
Le Tallec returned from his loan in the 2003-04 season and took up a place on the Liverpool bench. His debut for the Reds came on 13 September 2003 in a 3-1 win against Blackburn Rovers, where he came on as an 84th minute substitute for Steven Gerrard. He scored his first goal in a Liverpool shirt in a UEFA Cup first round second leg match against Slovenian side Olimpija Ljubljana, in a 3-0 victory on 15 October 2003. The young Frenchman was used sparingly for the majority of the season, starting just eight games.
In a bid for regular first team football, Le Tallec joined St. Ettiene at the start of the 2004-05 season on a season long loan. However he was recalled having played just seven games for the French side, due to injuries to Liverpool strikers. Le Tallec again failed to break through into the Liverpool first team, but did manage a starting place in the Champions League quarter-final first leg match against Juventus on 5 April 2005, which Liverpool won 2-1.
Becoming frustrated with his limited starting opportunities at Liverpool, Le Tallec went on loan to fellow Premier League side Sunderland for the duration of the 2005-06 season. Upon joining the Wearside club, Le Tallec stated "I am a competitor and I want to play all the time, but with Liverpool it was impossible. I chose to come to Sunderland because I need to play every week".
Upon his return to Liverpool, Le Tallec wasn't given a squad number by Rafael Benitez and was promptly sent on another season-long loan for the 2006-07 season, this time with Ligue 1 side Sochaux on 20 August 2006. He said "Sochaux is an ideal club for me, it will allow me to grow and develop as a football player" upon signing for the French outfit. It is thought that the loan arrangement came with a opportunity to sign Le Tallec permanently, but Sochaux were unable to fulfill this due to the player's wages.
With his career at an Anfield seemingly over, Le Tallec was subject to strong interest from Scottish club Hearts, but eventually opted to join Le Mans for a season-long loan for the 2007-08 season, with a view to a permanent move. After the season-long loan had finished, Le Mans exercised their opportunity to sign Le Tallec on a permanent basis on 2 July 2008, bringing his Liverpool career to a halt. He had made 32 appearances in total for Liverpool from 2001-2008, scoring a solitary goal.
After departing, Le Tallec stated his joy at leaving Liverpool, saying "Since I have signed here, I feel much freer in my mind" and "I am not Liverpool's slave anymore, which played with me each year." Le Tallec looked back on his time at Liverpool as a waste, directing much of his disappointment towards manager Rafael Benitez, stating that "He was a hindrance to my career and I will never hold him in high esteem." and that "He did not behave as a good coach and I do not have any fond memories of the place because of him".
- UEFA Champions League: 2005
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