Born: Pithiviers, France, 10 January 1974
International caps: 23
International goals: 6
Signed: Olympique Lyonnais, 28 August 2001 (£11.5m)
Fulham debut: Fulham 1-3 Arsenal, 15 September 2001
Fulham appearances: 78
Fulham goals: 19
Honours: InterToto Cup (2002)
Sold: 1 September 2005, VfL Wolfsburg (£3m).
The signing of Steve Marlet was something of a saga – and probably cost Jean Tigana his job as Fulham’s manager. Mohamed Al-Fayed came to believe that the club had overpaid after buying Marlet, a regular in the French international side, for £11.5m in August 2001. It was certainly true that the former Olympique Lyonnais forward failed to translate his goalscoring form into the Premier League – but, given how long it took Thierry Henry to become a star in England, that was probably only to be expected.
Marlet also flourished when he was deployed as a winger rather than the focal point of Fulham’s attack, even if he only saw him star fleetingly in that role – he was man of the match on his final appearance for the club, as the Whites beat Middlesbrough 3-2 on the opening day of the 2003/04 campaign. He then insisted on leaving, to the consternation of Chris Coleman, and joined Wolfsburg on loan before making that move permanent.
Whilst he was far from fluent in league football, Marlet played a key part in Fulham’s FA Cup campaign in 2002 – scoring a vital last-gasp equaliser at Wycombe Wanderers to avoid an embarrassing third round exit. He then scored the second goal at York City in the following round and grabbed the only goal of the game in the quarter-final at West Brom. A FIFA probe eventually ordered Fulham to pay Lyon more money for Marlet and Al-Fayed’s legal action against Tigana, which the manager blamed for his failure to land the French managerial job, also failed.