Wanderers secure former Ligue 1 and English Championship striker

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As Western Sydney Wanderers continue to bolster their A-League side, head coach Mark Rudan has announced his third signing of the week with the addition of Yeni N’gbakoto.

Western Sydney Wanderers Signings

  • Western Sydney Wanderers have signed attacker Yeni N’gbakoto.
  • N’gbakoto joins the A-League side with a decade of European experience.
  • Wanderers also added an Olyroo and Socceroo to their side this past week.

More Australian football news can be found on FTBL.

French-Congolese winger Yeni N’gbakoto is the latest addition to Western Sydney’s men’s side. The 30 year old joins Wanderers after having spent the last season with French Ligue 2 side Nancy.

N’gbakoto had started his professional career with Nancy’s Ligue 2 rivals FC Metz in 2010. After six seasons with that French side he moved to English Championship club Queens Park Rangers.

Two seasons in England was followed by a spell with Ligue 1 side Guingamp. He then headed to Greece to join Super League 1 side Panathinaikos before heading to Nancy last year.

In total the attacker has more than 185 domestic club appearances, having scored 44 goals. N’gbakoto is also dual nation French-Congolese player who has represented DR Congo at the senior level.

“Yeni will be bringing an intensity and speed that we need in our squad this season and is a fantastic asset to have in the attacking third,” said Wanderers head coach Mark Rudan.

“He has proven himself at multiple clubs in Europe at some of the highest leagues and that experience will be invaluable for the club this season.”

N’gbakoto echoed his eagerness to hit the ground running upon his arrival in Australia. He has signed a contract for the upcoming 2022-23 season.

“I was filled with enthusiasm by the sound of the project at the Wanderers as soon as my agent told me about it,” said N’gbakoto.

“I had spoken to players who played and are still playing in the A-Leagues who had told me good things about the competition.

“I also had a meeting with the Boss Mark who motivated me.

“His speech, his way of seeing football, his ambition and most importantly his relationship with the families of the club. He makes me feel comfortable and confident, and I am looking forward to playing under his leadership.”

The new addition was the third of the week for Western Sydney. Former Olyroos player Gabriel Cleur re-joined Wanderers after six seasons in Italy.

The 24-year-old made his professional debut in Europe with then Serie B side Virtus Entella in 2017. While he would remain signed to the club until the end of the 2021-22 season, Cleur would go on two loan spells to Serie C sides Siena And Alessandria. In total he made 76 appearances in all competitions during his Italian stay.

Cleur now returns to the club with whom he used to play as an academy player, having signed a three-year contract.

“I’m always in the mindset of trusting God’s plan and coming back to Australia was definitely one of those things that just happened to open up,” said Cleur upon signing.

“I grew up in Western Sydney, in the Fairfield / Wetherhill Park area and played my junior football at Marconi so the Wanderers was an easy choice for me.

“I have been following the league ever since I’ve left Australia, I watch games here and there, in the morning before training or during breakfast. So I have seen the league and the quality it has.

“People overseas may underestimate it at times but it is definitely a challenging league. I’ll be expecting a physical game and to come up against some individually skilful players in the attacking third.

“I was actually part of the Wanderers Youth League squad back in the day before I left to go overseas. It was at the time of the Asian Champions League and domestic league success so I have always have this impression and view of the Wanderers being one of the biggest teams in Australia.

“I hope that I can play my part in rebuilding and pushing for Finals and Asian football again. At an individual level, I want to keep on learning and gaining experience. “

Head Coach Mark Rudan also recruited domestically this week, signing Socceroo Oil Bozanic from A-League rivals Central Coast Mariners. He is no stranger to A-League fans, having also played for Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory and having last donned the Green and Gold in 2015.

Bozanic likewise joins Wanderers with international domestic club experience. During his career he has played for J1 League side Ventforet Kofu, Scottish Premiership side Heart of Midlothian, Swiss Super League’s Luzern and English clubs Aldershot Town and Cheltenham Town.

The 33 year old has signed a two year contract with Western Sydney Wanderers.

“Oli is a true professional and we are delighted that he has made the move to Western Sydney for the first time in his senior career,” Rudan said when announcing the signing.

“Oli brings more than just experience to our squad this season. He has a winning mentality, and his values ​​and ambitions align directly with what we are trying to achieve at the club.

“He is a natural leader and is a fantastic role model for the next generation of Wanderers.”

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