Andy Carroll at Amiens? Yes, please.

7 forgotten ballers we can’t believe are now playing in Ligue 2

Former Newcastle, Southampton, Brentford, Wolves and Sevilla stars are among the forgotten names plying their trade in Ligue 2 this season.

The French second tier boasts some massive clubs, from promotion-chasing Saint-Etienne to struggling Bordeaux. And there are more than a few familiar faces playing their football away from the spotlight in France.

Here are seven forgotten stars who have been playing their football in Ligue 2 in 2023-24.

Andy Carroll

We love the fact that Big Andy is seeing out his twilight years surrounded by gothic architecture in northern France. Who saw a move to Amiens coming after he left relegated Reading last summer?

After an entire career in the English game, the ponytailed Geordie is doing something a bit different. He’s replaced fellow Magpies cult hero Papiss Cisse, who retired last year, up top.

Unfortunately it’s unlikely to be a late-career spell that will live long in the memory. Carroll has scored just four goals in 28 appearances this season for Amiens, who underwhelmingly sit bang in midtable, a long way adrift of Ligue 2’s play-offs.

Newcastle Former Players Quiz featuring (L-R) Jonjo Shelvey, Joselu, Florian Thauvin

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name the clubs these 20 former Newcastle stars are playing for in 2024?

Taylor Moore

You might not have heard of Moore, to be fair. The former England Under-20 international has had a solid if unremarkable career, with 46 Championship appearances across his seven-year stint with Bristol City amid six loans away – from Bury to Southend to Hearts.

But the 26-year-old defender has actually had taken an unusual path to be where he is today, having grown up in France, originally breaking through at Lens before he signed for the Robins.

Moore is now into the second Serie B stint of his career, having joined Valenciennes as a free agent last summer. But it’s been a pretty miserable return to French football – his club sit rock bottom of Ligue 2, 12 points adrift, and are already relegated to the third tier.

Yan Valery

If for no other reason, you’ll remember Valery from that annoying tendency of finding it impossible not to sing Amy Winehouse/The Zutons when he picked up the ball at Southampton. Alan Shearer couldn’t resist.

The Tunisian full-back left Saints for Angers (don’t look back?) in 2022. While former club Saints rattled through managers and ultimately ended up relegated, the situation was much the same at his new club; Angers finished dead last in Ligue 1 last term, having dismally won four and lost 28 of their 38 outings.

Alexandre Dujeux has done a decent job to steady the ship at the Stade Raymond Kopa this season and Valery’s Angers might bounce back straight back up.

With three games remaining, they’re just two points behind second-place Saint-Etienne. The race for automatic promotion looks set to go down to the wire.

READ NEXT: 7 forgotten ballers we can’t believe are still playing in Serie B

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every club in La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga & Ligue 1 in 2023-24?

Timothee Kolodziejczak

The French centre-back has had quite the eclectic career since his peak years, winning back-to-back Europa Leagues with Unai Emery’s Sevilla in the mid-2010s.

He signed for Borussia Monchengladbach and Schalke, making just one Bundesliga appearance for each, spent four years with Saint-Etienne and won a Mexican Apertura title with Liga MX giants Tigres back in 2016-17.

Nowadays he’s turning out for Paris Saint-Germain’s cooler – if we say so ourselves – neighbours Paris FC. They were actually formed in 1970 after splitting from PSG and are aiming to make it back up to the French top flight for the first time since 1978-79.

They’re currently fifth in the Ligue 2 table and look well-placed for a play-off spot. Fingers crossed for a Paris derby next season.

Nouha Dicko

Among Kolodziejczak’s team-mates in the French capital is Mali international Dicko, best remembered for turning out for a variety of Football League clubs throughout the 2010s.

Dicko was a key part of the Wolves squad that got promoted from League One a decade ago, and remained a peripheral part of Nuno Espirito Santo’s squad when they made it to the Premier League four years later. He also turned out for the likes of Wigan, Blackpool, Rotherham and Hull.

More recently he’s led the line for Yeni Malatyaspor and Gaziantep in the Turkish Super Lig and OFI in Greece, while he’s notched three goals and two assists in 13 Ligue 2 matches for Paris since joining in January.

Bojan, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Ashley Cole

READ: 9 Champions League winners that we can’t believe also played in the Championship

Yoann Barbet

If you’ve regularly watched the Championship over the past decade, you’ll recognise Barbet as a proper grizzled b*stard of a centre-back.

He made over 200 appearances in the English second tier with Brentford and QPR and forever has his place in the sh*thouse hall of fame for making fun of ex-Leeds midfield Samu Saiz’s lack of height back in 2017.

Nowadays he’s turning out for fallen giants Bordeaux, who sit in the lower reaches of the Ligue 2 table. He’s been an ever-present and scored an impressive tally of five goals this season.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin

Nothing quite sums up Everton’s dodgy recruitment in the Moshiri era quite like the time they spent £25million on Gbamin in 2019.

The Ivorian defensive midfielder made a grand total of six Premier League appearances for the Toffees and terminated his contract back in September.

A couple of months later he joined Dunkerque on a free transfer, signing a deal until the end of the season.

Dunkerque currently find themselves 16th in Ligue 2, but their four-point cushion over the relegation zone will probably see them safe in the second tier.