Out of interest I always look up where players are at when they leave the bubble that is Scottish football. Some of the countries the players now play in are bizarre and sometimes you wonder how they managed to get their move there.
Last week was transfer deadline day which always serves up a surprise or two and one of them is Inverness Caley Thistle keeper Owain Fon Williams who is off to America on loan to get some game time till the end of the season.
The Welshman has signed for North American side Indy Eleven based in Indianapolis. It seems like a huge difference from the Highlands of Scotland to the tall oaks of Indiana.
Below are my top six players that played in Scotland and now are playing in places I didn’t think they would be:
Six: Nick Blackman
The English striker had loan spells at Motherwell and Aberdeen which were quite successful. At the moment he is plying his trade in the Middle East on loan at Maccabi Tel Aviv from Championship club Derby County.
Five: Nikica Jelavić
Jelavić was a massive hit at Rangers scoring 30 goals in just 45 matches. He was the sort of player you thought would still be in the Premier League. The talented Croatian had a successful time at Everton before leaving to join Hull. After his spell for the Tigers he joined West Ham.
The striker ended his time in England by packing his bags and going out to China where football is growing increasingly due to the money being injected into it. Jelavic plays up top for Chinese Super League club Guizhou Zhicheng.
Four: Ben Gordon
The left back played in the Kilmarnock team that shone with their tiki-taka style of play under Mixu Paatelainen’s team that held fourth position in the Scottish Premier League.
This was before helping them beat Celtic to lift the Scottish League Cup under manager Kenny Shiels for the first time in the Ayrshire men’s history in his second spell on loan from Chelsea.
A few years later he had a season at Ross County then moved back down south with the desire to return to play in England. Now he’s playing in English Non-League football for Shaw Lane A.F.C which shows how quickly your football career can change.
Three: Grégory Tadé
The Frenchman started his senior career in Scotland at Forfar before heading to Stranraer, Clyde, Raith Rovers, Inverness Caley Thistle and St Johnstone. Tadé had a footballing high whilst playing in the Europa League qualifiers for the Saints.
He ended his time in Scotland by moving to former Romanian champions CFR Cluj then he went to Steaua Bucharest in 2015 but failed to bring his form to the capital club, only scoring four league goals in his time at the club. The Frenchman then changed his scenery again by signing for Qatar Sports Club.
Now he’s in Israel playing in Maccabi Petah Tikva’s front-line.
Two: Shunsuke Nakamura
Even at 39 years old the former Celtic free kick specialist still has his boots on back in his homeland. He haunts teams with his set pieces. Nakamura most famously netted one against Manchester United to give Celtic a historic UEFA Champions League and the one against Kilmarnock which helped Celtic win the SPL title in April 2007.
Once he left Celtic he went to Spain to play for Espanyol which proved to be an unsuccessful time for the Japanese international as he failed to become a first team starter.
After that he re-joined his first senior club in Japan called Yokohama F. Marinos. He left to go to Jubilo Iwata last year where he currently plays.
One: Fouad Bachirou
Bachirou started his career off at French giants Paris Saint-Germain where he played for their CFA side in the French division. He then moved to Greenock Morton where Bachirou become a fans favourite and was in the team that beat Celtic in the League Cup. The Frenchman then joined up with Billy Reid at Ostersunds FK after the Scotsman had wanted to take him to Hamilton Accies when the Frenchman was in Scotland. He was a key part of the club’s fairytale when they managed to gain promotion to Swedish top flight and reached the last 32 of the Europa League before Swedish giants Malmo spent 600,000 euros to take him to the club as the midfielder gained attention across Europe.
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