Wednesday 13 February 2013

On this day: Bolton sign World Cup winner

  • Youri Djorkaeff is presented to the media by the then Bolton manager Sam Allardyce

  • The French forward scored twice in the 2-1 win over Charlton in March 2002

  • His goals against Everton helped Bolton finish in eighth place in 2003/04

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

On this day: Review of February

13 Feb 2002: Youri Djorkaeff joins Bolton Wanderers

Bolton Wanderers signed French World Cup and Euro 2000 winner Youri Djorkaeff from Bundesliga side Kaiserslautern in one of the most notable transfers of the club's Premier League history.

Manager Sam Allardyce brought 33-year-old Djorkaeff to the club, just four years after the playmaker starred for France as they won the FIFA World Cup for the first time on home soil.

Upon his arrival, new boss Allardyce said "signing a player of Youri's calibre and class underlines our determination to stay in the Premiership", and it proved decisive as he scored four times in 12 appearances in the end-of-season run-in as Bolton stayed up by four points.

After penning a deal at the Reebok Stadium, the Frenchman said: "Sam Allardyce visited me in Germany, he told me he relied on me, and told me I would be in the first-team.

"I want to score goals and I've never felt as fit. I am really eager to discover this new challenge, help Bolton stay in the Premier League and regain my place in the international set-up for the World Cup."

Former Paris St Germain and Internazionale midfielder Djorkaeff, who Allardyce labelled as "perhaps the biggest signing in the club’s history", was a star performer in the following two seasons, scoring 15 Premier League goals in 63 appearances as the club finished two points clear of the drop in 2002/03 and then 8th in the 2003/04 campaign.

He enjoyed a brief stint at Blackburn Rovers in the 2004/05 season before retirement, but he will live long in the memory of Bolton fans after playing a key role in two great escapes and the club's second highest finish since the Premier League began.

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