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Long forgotten Sunderland forward released; Available on a free for limited time only - anyone?

Anthony Le Tallec has just been released by Greek top-tier outfit Atromitos. Available for free this summer, could the former Sunderland forward do a job in the Championship? Anyone?

Sunderland v Manchester United Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

He was Sunderland's top scorer over a decade ago. And now he's available for free this summer. With the Black Cats in the market for firepower, would anyone take a punt on Anthony Le Tallec?

West Ham United v Sunderland
Anthony Le Tallec playing for Sunderland against West Ham in 2006
Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Most recently plying his trade in Greece, the attacking player has just been released by Atromitos F.C who play in the Greek Super League. The club based in the suburbs of Athens have just completed the season in 8th place - mid-table.

Le Tallec has been in Greece since 2015 having signed a two-year deal which has now come to an end. On joining Atromitos the player now 32-years-old cited the club's Europa League involvement as the influencing factor behind his move from the French leagues.

The French-born forward only spent a season at the Stadium of Light, playing 27 league games and scoring 4 times. That was a Premier League campaign which yielded just 26 goals-for, 3 wins and 15 points.

Sunderland v Fulham
One of Le Tallec's four goals - against Fulham
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Le Tallec arrived on loan from Liverpool during the summer of 2005 declaring that he had opted to leave Anfield after finding his opportunities limited under Rafa Benitez. After excelling as a youngster, the player had been labelled the 'next Zidane' by the media in France before being lured to England.

And for a Sunderland side with little to spend in their first season back in the top-tier since relegation two years prior, the French Under-21 international was an exciting prospect - a promising 20-year-old with something to prove.

But it just didn't really work out and Le Tallec was generally panned during his spell at the Stadium of Light. Perhaps criticism was a little harsh considering the standard of teammate he was playing with - John Stead and Andy Gray were regulars up front - but lacking the fight for a relegation struggle, the Liverpool prospect underwhelmed in the Premier League.

The player would later admit he regretted leaving Anfield to try his luck, with Sunderland just one of five clubs he moved to on loan during his spell signed to Liverpool. Le Tallec said in 2012:

It hurts when, after Liverpool, you play in smaller clubs. I did not realise I was in a great club. I have regrets. When I see Torres, Tevez, who are of the same generation, I say ****.

In truth, Le Tallec was more Januzaj than Torres based on his Sunderland showings. But the 6ft tall striker did score the winner in two of the Black Cats' three victories that season - against West Brom at the Hawthorns and versus Fulham at the Stadium of Light.

West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland
One of Le Tallec's four goals - against West Brom
Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images

After leaving Sunderland, Le Tallec was shifted out of Anfield for a further two seasons on loan before signing for French clubs Le Mans and then Auxerre. After a couple of years there he signed for Ligue 2 outfit Valenciennes before washing up in Greece.

How about a stint back in Sunderland. Le Tallec - he's now free and a player who knows the club - anyone?

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