Nwankwo Kanu was a technically gifted Nigerian striker is remembered fondly by fans of the Premier League.
After arriving in England from Inter Milan, he spent five years playing under Arsene Wenger occasionally showing flashes of world-class ability but mostly being injured, and from there he moved to West Brom where he bagged 9 goals in two seasons at The Hawthornes before being released on a free.
From there he would move to Portsmouth, and this is where Harry Redknapp comes into the equation.
Speaking recently to KingFut.com, Redknapp told of how he thought Kanu was one of his best ever signings, as he took a big gamble on a very flaky player onto to see it pay off. Portsmouth were short on strikers and Harry called the big man up to see if he had been keeping fit, and sure enough, he had been:
I called him up and asked him what he was up to, I always wondered what he had done ever since he left West Brom.
I asked him if he was fit to play and to this he replied saying: “Yes, I just had a run around the park two weeks ago", so I gave him the address and asked him to come down to training.
A run around a park two weeks ago? Sounds exhausting.
I didn’t play him until the second half when we were 1-0 up. My assistants were against me playing him and were worried but I trusted the lad, he went on to score twice and missed a penalty for his hat-trick.
The most common thing I’d get from Kanu was a message every Monday morning with the exact same message, that at some points it felt pre-recorded.
“Boss, the King cannot come into training. I have an upset stomach"
The King. That is brilliant.
He would prove to be a valuable asset to Portsmouth before the club began it's painful descent down the leagues of English football, but he left a big impression everywhere he went.
It would have helped that he was absolutely massive, of course.