U

- Utaka, John

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17 July 2002

In Rennes, he was THE attraction of the 2005 summer transfer window. John Utaka, twelve goals during the 2004-2005 season (including a hat-trick against Rennes) was arriving on the banks of the Vilaine, to bring his pace and strength to the team. Rather unconvincing in the first half of the 2005-2006 season, especially in front of the goals, “John U” showed all his potential following two hat tricks in two games, against Lens and Lyon. His rising form pulled Rennes forward for an incredible come back in the League table. A very inconstant player, the Nigerian knew some difficulties in his second season, but he still was one of Rennes’ best attacking assets, scoring twelve goals over the season. In July 2007, he was finally recruited by Portsmouth after long negotiations, for a fee of more than 10 millions euro.