Martin Djetou

Martin Djetou is a former French-Ivorian versatile defender who was born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on 15th December 1974. Djetou began his career in France with Strasbourg, making his debut in 1992. He enjoyed a successful four year spell at Stade de la Meinau, lining up alongside the likes of Olivier Dacourt and Frank Leboeuf. In 1996 he signed for fellow Ligue 1 outfit Monaco. He helped the club to a league title win in his first season. In 1997/98 Djetou helped Monaco reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, knocking out Manchester United in the process. He did well under the guidance of manager Jean Tigana, playing alongside the likes of Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet, Fabien Barthez and Ali Bernarbia amongst others. Djetou was a Monaco regular until his departure in 2001. He also featured six times for France during this period. He was used as a substitute in his countries 4-0 victory over Turkey on November 15th 2000.

In March 2001 Djetou was strongly linked with a move to Fulham, who were managed by his former Monaco boss Tigana. After months of speculation he ended up joining Parma instead however. He spent just a single season in Serie A, making his debut in a Champions League qualifying defeat to Lille on August 8th 2001. On 13th January 2002 he scored his first goal for the club against Lecce.

In July 2002 Djetou did finally sign for Fulham, albeit on loan. He missed the first couple of months through injury however, making his debut as a substitute in a 1-0 home defeat to West Ham on 23rd October. Four days later he started for The Cottagers in a 4-2 loss at Southampton. He soon improved, and helped Fulham to a 14th place finish in 2002/03. He scored his first goal in a 1-0 win over Leeds on 7th December 2002. On 24th June 2003 Fulham announced Djetou had agreed to stay with the club for another year. Chris Coleman was now in charge at The Cottage, leading the club to a respectable 9th in the Premier League. Djetou formed a decent defensive partnership with Alain Goma, but was also used in midfield on occasions.

In the summer of 2004 Djetou was suspended from training at Parma after the clubs medical tests revealed a heart problem. The Italian club refused to release him from his contract, and no fee with Fulham could be agreed. He was also linked to West Brom, but nothing materialised there either. FIFA eventually granted Djetou permission to leave Parma for free after he went months without being paid. Shortly after Harry Redknapp arrived as Southampton manager in December 2004 he was granted a trial at St Marys. Redknapp said of Djetou "We just need to get him fit in the next week or two and see how we go. He'd be the type of player we're looking for". Saints never did offer him a permanent deal however, and the Frenchman would go on to have another unsuccessful trial at Crystal Palace. He eventually joined Nice in early 2005 on a short term deal.

In October 2005 Djetou signed for Sam Allardyce's Bolton. He made his debut in a Carling Cup tie against West Ham on 26th October 2005, a match that the Trotters won 1-0. Djetou's first Premiership appearance for the club came against former side Fulham on 27th November 2005. He left the Reebok Stadium in early 2006 having featured just five times. Djetou then returned to France for spells with lower league outfits Istres and Schiltigheim before hanging up his boots in 2007.