Steven N'Zonzi

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Steven N'Zonzi
Steven N'Zonzi.jpg
N'Zonzi playing for Blackburn Rovers in 2011.
Personal information
Full nameSteven N'Kemboanza Mike Christopher N'Zonzi[1]
Date of birth(1988-12-15) 15 December 1988 (age 23)
Place of birthColombes, France
Height1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Playing positionDefensive Midfielder
Club information
Current clubStoke City
Number15
Youth career
1999–2002Paris Saint-Germain
2002–2003CA Lisieux
2003–2004Caen
2004–2005Beauvais
2005–2007Amiens SC
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
2007–2009Amiens SC37(1)
2009–2012Blackburn Rovers86(5)
2012–Stoke City4(0)
National team
2009–2010France U-216(0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:32, 7 October 2012 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 29 April 2012
 
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Steven N'Zonzi
Steven N'Zonzi.jpg
N'Zonzi playing for Blackburn Rovers in 2011.
Personal information
Full nameSteven N'Kemboanza Mike Christopher N'Zonzi[1]
Date of birth(1988-12-15) 15 December 1988 (age 23)
Place of birthColombes, France
Height1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Playing positionDefensive Midfielder
Club information
Current clubStoke City
Number15
Youth career
1999–2002Paris Saint-Germain
2002–2003CA Lisieux
2003–2004Caen
2004–2005Beauvais
2005–2007Amiens SC
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
2007–2009Amiens SC37(1)
2009–2012Blackburn Rovers86(5)
2012–Stoke City4(0)
National team
2009–2010France U-216(0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:32, 7 October 2012 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 29 April 2012

Steven N'Kemboanza Mike Christopher N'Zonzi (born 15 December 1988) is a French footballer of Congolese descent who plays as a defensive midfielder for Premier League club Stoke City.

N'Zonzi began his career with Ligue 2 side Amiens SC impressing enough to earn a move to English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers in 2009 for £500,000. He spent three years at Ewood Park which ended with Rovers being relegated at the end of the 2011–12 season. He remained in the Premier League however joining Stoke City for £3 million.

He has represented France at Under 21 level and has been called up into the Democratic Republic of the Congo national football team but has yet to play a full international game.

Contents

Club career

Early career

N'Zonzi was born in Colombes, France and began his career playing for hometown club Racing Paris. In 1999, he joined the youth system of Paris Saint-Germain playing at the Camp des Loges, the club's youth academy. While at Paris Saint-Germain, N'Zonzi, due to his height, was initially installed in the club's academy as a striker and then as an attacking midfielder. After a three-year stint at the Ligue 1 club, he moved to the Basse-Normandie region joining CA Lisieux. He later had one-year stints at both SM Caen and AS Beauvais Oise before finally settling in with Amiens SC in 2005.

Amiens

After featuring in the Championnat de France amateur 2 for his first two years at the club, N'Zonzi made his professional debut on 24 November 2007 in a Coupe de France match against amateur club AS Raismes appearing as a substitute in the 74th minute. Amiens won the match 7–0. He earned his first start on 15 April 2008 playing the entire 90 minutes in a 1–0 loss to Bastia. Following the season, he signed his first professional contract and was officially promoted to the senior team.[2]

N'Zonzi was given the starting defensive midfielder role for the 2008–09 season and appeared in 36 total matches. He also scored his first professional goal in a 1–2 defeat to Strasbourg on 8 May 2009. The defeat to Strasbourg led to Amiens going winless in their final four matches, which led to the club suffering relegation to the Championnat National, France's third division of football. Despite the relegation, N'Zonzi was applauded for his play and he was linked with a move to the English Premier League, with Blackburn Rovers and Portsmouth showing a serious interest in the young Frenchman, who many hailed as the next Patrick Vieira.[3]

Blackburn Rovers

On 28 June 2009, it was reported that Blackburn Rovers had agreed a deal with Amiens to sign N'Zonzi.[4] He was expected to complete a move to Blackburn Rovers on the week beginning 29 June 2009. As anticipated, the move was completed on 30 June, signing for a fee believed to be in the region of £500,000, on a four-year contract.[5]

On 15 August 2009, N'Zonzi made his debut for Blackburn where he made his first start in a 2–0 loss against Manchester City and since making his debut, he has find himself into Sam Allardyce's plans. He scored his first goal for Rovers on 4 October 2009 against Arsenal in the 6–2 defeat.[6] After scoring his first goal, N'Zonzi admits he has been surprised at how quickly he has established himself in the side and is happy with his progress as he is determined to keep his place in the starting XI.[7] His second goal for the club was a 30-yard strike against Everton on 17 April 2010 in a 3–2 defeat at Ewood Park. On 3 May 2010, during the pre-match build up to the Arsenal game, he was announced as the Blackburn Rovers Player of the Year for the 2009–10 season, chosen by the fans.

In August 2010, N'Zonzi signed a new five-year deal with Blackburn, lasting until summer 2015. Rovers chairman John Williams said: "We are delighted to secure Steven for the long term. He was outstanding last year and the new deal is richly deserved." On 21 August 2011, Nzonzi scored his third goal for Blackburn with a header against Birmingham City in a 2–1 defeat at St Andrew's. Soon after N'Zonzi finding himself in a pecking order as a result with Phil Jones and Vince Grella are ahead of him in the battle to secure a midfield berth. This led Allardyce urged him to raise his game and recapture his form of last season.[8] Later on in his second season, Allardyce was sacked and replaced by Steve Kean. On 2 April 2011, N'Zonzi received his first red card of his career in a 0–0 draw against Arsenal two-footed challenge on Laurent Koscielny.[9] N'Zonzi was ban for 4 matches and on the 30 of April 2011, N'Zonzi made his return in a 1–0 win over Bolton Wanderers.

On 26 November 2011 against Stoke City, N'Zonzi was hit with a violent conduct charge for intentionally elbowing Ryan Shawcross in the face. N'Zonzi will serve a three-match ban after admitting an FA charge of violent conduct.[10] Reports speculates that N'Zonzi could head a number of high-profile departures which Kean need to sell in order to finance some of their planned arrivals .[11] However, N'Zonzi never moved during the winter transfer window. On 11 February 2012, N'Zonzi scored his first goal of the season and set up a goal for the club top scorer Yakubu Aiyegbeni in a 3–2 win over Queens Park Rangers.[12] On 24 March 2012, N'Zonzi scored his second goal of the season in a 2–1 loss against Bolton Wanderers.[13] At the end of the season, Blackburn were relegated for the first time in 11 seasons and N'Zonzi told manager Steve Kean he wants to leave.[14]

Stoke City

On 31 August N'Zonzi joined Stoke City for a fee of £3million.[15] He made his debut for Stoke in a 1–1 draw at home to Manchester City on 15 September 2012 and his performance earned him the man of the match award.[16]

International career

N'Zonzi earned his first call up to the France U-21 team by coach Erick Mombaerts on 1 October 2009 for their European Under-21 Championship qualification matches against Malta and Belgium. N'Zonzi made his debut in the Malta match appearing as a 58th minute substitute in a 2–0 victory on Friday 9 October 2009.[17] He earned his first under-21 international start in the match against Belgium, which ended 0–0.

In January 2011 he was called up to the Democratic Republic of the Congo but did not want to commit to the international team due to structural problems at the administrative level. He did not rule out playing for Congolese national team in the future.[18]

Career statistics

As of 7 October 2012
ClubSeasonLeagueFA CupLeague CupTotal
AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
Amiens2007–0830200050
2008–093411010361
Total3713010411
Blackburn Rovers2009–103320050382
2010–112111020241
2011–123221010342
Total8652080965
Stoke City2012–1340000040
Total40000040
Career total127650901416

References

  1. ^ "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/08/2010 and 31/08/2010" (PDF). The Football Association. http://www.thefa.com/TheFA/RulesandRegulations/~/media/Files/PDF/TheFA/PlayerRegistrations/August%202010.ashx/August%202010.pdf. Retrieved 14 October 2010. 
  2. ^ "Steven Nzonzi | SC Amiens | Team | 1st Team Profiles". Transfermarkt.co.uk. http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/en/spieler/73734/steven-nzonzi/aufeinenblick.html. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Rovers Pursue Young 'Vieira'". Blackburncitizen.co.uk. http://www.blackburncitizen.co.uk/sport/blackburnrovers/4430357.Blackburn_Rovers_eye_the__next_Vieira_/. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Transfer Clockwatch". Skysports.com. 31 August 2011. http://www.skysports.com/football/transfer_clockwatch/0,23710,14896,00.html. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "Nzonzi Signs". Rovers.co.uk. http://www.rovers.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10303~1705295,00.html. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "Arsenal 6–2 Blackburn". BBC Sport. 4 October 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8280477.stm. Retrieved 4 October 2009. 
  7. ^ "N'zonzi surprised by impact". Sky Sports. 7 October 2009. http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/5616121/. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Sam - N'Zonzi must improve". Sky Sports. 21 September 2010. http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/6391266/. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "Arsenal 0 - 0 Blackburn". BBC Sport. 2 April 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/9439731.stm. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Nzonzi admits FA charge". Sky Sports. 29 November 2011. http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/7341717/. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "N'Zonzi could lead exits". Sky Sports. 30 December 2011. http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/7401486/. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Blackburn 3-2 QPR". BBC Sport. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/16884321. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "Bolton 2-1 Blackburn". BBC Sport. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17412469. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  14. ^ "Steven Nzonzi asks to leave Blackburn Rovers". BBC Sport. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18885096. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  15. ^ "Nzonzi completes Stoke City move as Goodwillie leaves on loan". Lancashire Telegraph. http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/9905365.Nzonzi_completes_Stoke_City_move_as_Goodwillie_leaves_on_loan/?. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  16. ^ "Stoke 1-1 Man City". Sky Sports. http://www1.skysports.com/football/live/match/261599/report. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  17. ^ "Malta U21 0-2 France U21". Soccerway. http://www.soccerway.com/matches/2009/10/09/europe/uefa-u21-championship/malta-under-21/france-under-21/877179/. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  18. ^ "RDC - Sélection : N’Zonzi, « Je ne ferme pas la porte »". Congo Sport. 2011. http://congosport.net/article.php?id=1349&m=2. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 

External links