Manchester United fans will not look back on Eric Djemba-Djemba too fondly; hailed as the successor to Roy Keane, he was a massive disappointment and goes down as one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s poorest signings. He left United in 2005 after 2 disappointing years; but what happened to Eric after that?
Djemba-Djemba signed for Aston Villa from Manchester United for £1.5million at a loss of £2million in 2005. His first season in the Midlands was a struggle as he struggled to establish himself in the side as the likes of Gavin McCann and Steven Davis were preferred to the Cameroon international. He only made 10 appearances for Villa in the 2005-06 season. The following season there was a new manager as Martin O’Neill took over at Villa Park. Djemba-Djemba fell further down the pecking order and after one substitute appearance, he was sent on loan to Burnley for the rest of the season.
Djemba-Djemba returned to Villa after a mediocre spell at Burnley and in August 2007, Villa terminated his contract. After his disappointing spell in England, Djemba-Djemba signed on a free transfer for Qatar SC in Qatar. He spent one season in the Middle East where he found moderate success. After this, Djemba-Djemba returned to Europe when he signed for Danish club, Odense Boldklub where he has played since 2008. He made his debut for the club in an Intertoto Cup game against former club Aston Villa.
It is quite a fall from grace for Djemba-Djemba; he was once at one of the world’s most successful clubs with Manchester United, and now he turns out in the Danish league. At 28, he should be in the prime of his career, but it appears his best years are well behind him. Djemba-Djemba is still being considered for the Cameroon national team and has some hope of appearing at the World Cup in South Africa.