Anthony Le Tallec
Birthdate: 3 October 1984
Birthplace: Hennebont , France
Other clubs: Le Havre (1995-2003), Saint-Etienne (loan 2004-05), Sunderland (loan 2005-06), Sochaux (loan 2006-07), Le Mans (loan 2007-08 + transfer 2008-10), Auxerre (2010-12), Valenciennes (2012-)
Bought from: Le Havre
Signed for LFC: 1500000 worth, 01.07.2003
International caps: U-21 14/8 caps/goals
Liverpool debut: 13.09.2003
Last appearance: 19.07.2005
Debut goal: 15.10.2003
Last goal: 15.10.2003
Contract expiry: 02.07.2008
Win ratio: 50% W: 16 D: 6 L: 10
LFC league games/goals: 17 / 0
Total LFC games/goals: 32 / 1
Le Tallec was an exciting prospect, who had excelled for France at junior level, when he arrived at Liverpool from Le Havre along with his teammate Florent Sinama-Pongolle. The highlight of Le Tallec's international career was being voted the second best player of the Under-17 World Cup which France won in 2001. He possessed good vision and a great range of passing and was a potential superstar in his role just behind the strikers. Le Tallec didn't live up to his promise and his frustration got the better off him at the prospect of lack of first-team opportunities at Liverpool. France's Under-21 coach, Raymond Domenech, was displeased with Le Tallec's and Pongolle's progress. “It is abnormal for boys of their age to play so rarely. It is a true problem. When I think their coach is a former coach from the national team! He is not allowed to sign them and not play them. It is a mess.” Le Tallec was sent out on loan in his last few seasons at Liverpool to Saint-Etienne, Sunderland, Sochaux and Le Mans. He left Anfield permanently in the summer of 2008 for Le Mans where he excelled and earned himself a move to Auxerre in 2010. Le Tallec has been used quite regularly, but has had trouble guaranteeing a place in the starting 11. He made as many substitute appearances as starts, 24 in total, as Auxerre were relegated into the French second division at the end of the 2011/12 season.
Le Tallec stayed with relegated Auxerre but not for the whole of the 2012/13 season. After appearing in eight matches for the club from Burgundy, he moved back to Ligue 1 with Valenciennes and played in twenty-one matches there before the end of the season.
Le Tallec was excited at the prospect of working with Gérard Houllier, but his move to Liverpool at such a young age stunted his progress as he explained to L'Equipe in 2010: "Everything started well for me at Liverpool but, unfortunately, the arrival of Rafa Benítez broke my entire career strategy. Even though I was able to get experience, I lost about four years. I arrived at Liverpool as an 18-year-old, but then had to join clubs that were, not weaker, but less rated. It was strange and sometimes it was difficult. What saved me was my passion for football."