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 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."
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. He remained at Valenciennes in 2013/14 but the club was relegated to Ligue 2 after collecting only 29 points from 38 matches. Le Tallec played in 17 of those league matches scoring twice (against Rennes and Toulouse). He also played in the home League Cup defeat by Troyes. In the summer of 2015 he moved to Greek top flight club Atromitos citing the possibility of Europa League football as a factor. His three appearances in the qualifiers came as a substitute but in the league he had a respectable season, scoring eight goals in 27 appearances. In the summer of 2017 Le Tallec moved to Romanian side Astra Giurgio and then in January 2018 returned to France with US Orleans. He scored seven goals in 2018-19 as they finished eighth in Ligue 2.
After just two games of 2019/20 Le Tallec joined Annecy of Championnat National 2, the regionalised fourth tier of French football. They won promotion to Le Championnat and he remained there for 2020/21, making thirteen appearances. At the end of the season after twenty years as a professional, he announced his retirement from playing.
|1||13.09.2003||Blackburn Rovers||Ewood Park||League|
BBC report on Liverpool 3-0 Olimpija on 15 October 2003.
From the press on 1st of October 2001.
"Looking back now it was the wrong decision for me to have made. I should have stayed here and fought for my place. I'm young and I just wanted to play. I have taken over the number 13 shirt - hopefully it won't be unlucky for me!"
Le Tallec went on loan to St Etienne in 2004
"We tried to sign Sinama and Le Tallec for Valencia. My scout said that he had seen two very good players - but Liverpool paid a lot of money for them so it came to nothing. We knew Le Tallec was the best player in the Under-17 World Cup, and Sinama was the top scorer. There's definitely the potential there - they are both good players.. They need to play at this level and then they will get more confidence."
"If you say to Sinama you must go the right side and leave a space for Kewell to go for the left side, and then he plays all the game on the right side and never touches the ball but leaves a space for Harry Kewell, then for me he's played well, but for you not very well. He needs to do the things that we talk about before. The only thing he can improve on is when he touches the ball, he needs to do more things and then afterwards he will have more confidence. Then all the supporters and journalists will say you played well."
Rafa in November 2004
|Club||Season||Club rank||League apps||League goals||Total apps||Total goals|
|Le Havre||2001-2002||France 2||24||6||24||6|
|Le Havre||2002-2003||France 1||30||2||30||2|
|Sunderland||2005-2006||England Premier League||27||3||31||5|
|Le Mans||2007-2008||France 1||26||5||26||5|
|Le Mans||2008-2009||France 1||34||6||34||6|
|Le Mans||2009-2010||France 1||36||8||36||8|
|Astra Giurgiu||2017-2018||Romania 1||18||1||24||2|
|US Orleans||2017-2018||France 2||9||1||9||1|
|US Orleans||2018-2019||France 2||26||7||31||7|
|US Orleans||2019-2020||France 2||2||0||2||0|
|Annecy FC||2019-2020||France 4||1||1||3||2|
|Annecy FC||2020-2021||France 3||13||1||15||2|