Fall From Grace: Newcastle’s Geremi

GeremiCameroon international Geremi has been in the news a lot recently over a feud between Newcastle United and the Turkish side MKE Ankaragucu. The Turks recently unveiled the midfielder as their new star signing, however sources at St. James Park are still claiming ownership of the player in what is already set to be one of the more amusing transfer stories of the year. Sit back and take a moment of reflection and you will realise that this is the same player who once wore the colours of Spanish giants Real Madrid and also the man who helped Chelsea gain back to back title successes. So what has happened to the Cameroonian to make him consider a move to European minnows Ankaragucu?

In 1999, Real Madrid secured the services of the promising 20 year old international Geremi. He had impressed in his early years playing for Turkish side Glenclerbirilgi and earned himself a move to the coveted Bernabeu. During his 3 years in Madrid, Geremi won two Champions League medals as well as perfecting his reputation as a skilful free kick taker and after spending a little too much time on the bench, he decided it was time for a new challenge.

Having already spent a year on loan in England with Premier League side Middlesbrough, Geremi became one of the first signings of the Roman Abramovich era at Chelsea as the west London club paid £6.9 million pounds for the midfielder’s services. He would feature heavily in his first few seasons in at his preferred position of right midfield and contributed greatly in Chelsea’s historic title winning season of 2004-05. He proved to be a valuable member of the squad in his four years at Stamford Bridge, often deputising in the right back position if the side were experiencing an injury crisis and whilst he was not a fan favourite as such, he was a much appreciated squad member.

In the summer of 2007, newly appointed Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce brought the former Real Madrid man to St. James’ Park, where he would spend a season as club captain before Kevin Keegan passed the armband onto Michael Owen. He was part of the Newcastle side that were relegated from the Premier League last season and a player who was often regularly spotted in the Champions League drifted out of many people’s minds.

At 31, Geremi is admittedly no spring chicken. However this is also the age of Didier Drogba, who has recently found himself in resurgent form and is at the peak of his game. Geremi on the other hand has fallen from the heights of Europe’s elite competition to the Championship, and now allegedly the Turkish league.

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