Aliadiere: A return to England? Why not?

The 30-year-old striker is finally showing the potential that persuaded Arsene Wenger to bring him to Arsenal as a teenager, after a career blighted by poor form and injuries
By Naim Beneddra

Jeremie Aliadiere insists that he has no regrets as far his time in England is concerned and is instead simply savouring "the best season of his career", with Ligue 1 outfit Lorient - and admitted he could return to the Premier League.

Great things had been expected of the former France Under-21 international, who was snapped up by Arsenal at the tender of age of 16. He never made the grade with the Gunners, scoring just one Premier League goal during a six-year stay that featured unsuccessful loan spells with Celtic, West Ham and Wolves.

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Aliadiere is now 30 and is yet to have a great time with the France national side. Some journalists recently backed his cause for Les Blues, especially after the poor form of Benzema against Spain but it is unlikely despite a great run.

The injury-prone striker scored 15 goals with Lorient this season, around 40% of Les Merlus's total. He flourishes under the guidance of Christian Gourcuff, a coach well known for getting the best of his players. He has the Algerian flag tattooed on his elbow and he is very proud of his origins. Algeria is never shy of calling players from abroad to play for its team and could offer a real alternative to Jeremie.

With an international dream beginning to take form, the nightmares of unemployment and injury are vanishing. Three years ago, he spent days sitting next to his phone, waiting for it to ring. Today he is still in the same situation, but the difference is that this time, a call could take him to the World Cup.
Aliadiere eventually moved on to Middlesbrough but he also failed to prove himself on Teeside before returning to France to join Lorient.

The 30-year-old has put injury problems behind him and says that a return to the Premier League could happen, but he does not feel it is necessary after a successful season including 15 goals.

"[A return to England?] Yes, why not," he told "But it's not something I'm concentrating on. Besides, it would depend on many things, including the club.

"But I remember the good memories. However, I do not feel a need to return to England.

"I learned a lot at Arsenal, and other teams.

"If things are going well for me this year, it's because of how I developed in England. It is perhaps because of my experiences in England that I am at the level I am today."

For the time being, Aliadiere is focusing his attention on helping in-form Lorient finish the season as well as possible.

However, he reveals that he does have one eye on next year's World Cup in Brazil, admitting that Algeria have approached him before about representing the Foxes.

"Yes, there was contact and I have not closed the door on that," he explained. "Because I am proud of my origins.

"And to play the World Cup, that would be an offer one could not refuse. It's a childhood dream of mine."