Despite appearing close to a Premier League switch in the summer, Jean Armel Kana-Biyik ended up moving to Toulouse—after his excellent showing at the weekend, the EPL’s loss looks like being Le TFC’s gain.
After being let go by Stade Rennais in the summer, Cameroon international defender Kana-Biyik courted interest from several different suitors.
Premier League sides West Ham United and Hull City were both linked with the player, who has the physique and the presence required to be a competent EPL defender. Also able to play on the left, he has the versatility to have been a useful option for Steve Bruce and his varied defensive approaches in particular.
AS Saint-Etienne were also interested in the player who despite not yet reaching his prime, still had ample Ligue 1 experience to contribute to the Stephanois’ backline. Corsican side SC Bastia were also rumoured to be close to securing the player’s signature.
However, even though he indicated his preference for a move to England, it was ultimately Toulouse who recruited the defender.
It hasn’t been an easy season, and with only eight games to go, Le TFC sit in the bottom three and in the midst of a relegation battle.
However, there were signs that they are turning a corner, not least when they beat fierce local rivals Girondins de Bordeaux 2-1 on Saturday.
It was Kana-Biyik who scored the winner with a powerful header [see below]—further indication that he has the kind of character that could have made (and could still make) him a success in the Premier League.