Gael Kakuta is a professional football player hailing from France who currently plays for Spanish La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna. The left-winger is on loan at Deportivo from parent club Henei China Fortune which operates in the Chinese Super League.
Kakuta began his youth career at the age of seven at local club US Lille-Moulins. Kakuta had watched his uncle turn out for the reserve team at Lille and decided to take up a career in football.
His first match in the youth team at his first club was a complete disaster as they lost 17-1. However, it did not put him off. In 1999, a year after the les bleus had won the FIFA World Cup at home, Kakuta was signed up by Lens for their youth team.
The move would attract the attentions of FIFA after it was reported by his old club Lens. On September 3, 2009, FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber announced that the player would be banned for four months and fined 780,000 Euros for a breach of his contract with Lens in order to sign for Chelsea. FIFA also banned Chelsea from signing any players in the next two transfer windows as they induced the player to break his contract at Lens. Further, the Blues were handed a fine of 130,000 Euros.
Chelsea issued a statement in due course and made an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn the decision. The CAS lifted the sanctions on both the player and the club in due course.
Soon after moving to Chelsea, Kakuta had been the topic of discussion among senior players including Michael Ballack, who played alongside the Frenchman. His rapid rise in the academy was marked by two awards in his first season with the youth team when he hit 12 goals in 24 appearances including a hat-trick against Port Vale.
His senior debut for Chelsea came on November 21, 2009 in a home match against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the English Premier League. His manager at the time, Carlo Ancelotti, regarded the player as the future of the club after he impressed whenever he was handed a chance by the manager. The player would go on to sign a five-year-contract with Chelsea in December 2010 but would never make a senior club appearance thereafter.
Kakuta was first loaned to Fulham in January 2011 before moving to Bolton Wanderers for the new season in August 2011. However, Bolton terminated his loan spell by the beginning of the winter transfer window at which time Chelsea loaned him to Dijon.