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Emerson Thome


James

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703dadde81c3d0f7df505f7d330e388d.jpgIn late 1999, with the Owls threatened by relegation, he made the move to Chelsea for a fee of £2.7 million. He was to remain at Stamford Bridge for just nine months and 22 appearances, as he found it hard to break up the tried and tested central defensive partnership of Marcel Desailly and Frank Leboeuf. Just one game into the 2000-01 season Thome was sold to Premiership rivals Sunderland for a fee of around £4 million, quite a considerable profit for the Londoners. He was replaced by Winston Bogarde, a move widely regarded as one of the most disastrous transfers of all time. The sale of Thome was reputedly not sanctioned by Chelsea manager Gianluca Vialli who left the club a short time later.

After Chelsea

During his time at the Stadium of Light, Thome struggled with injuries and Sunderland were reluctant to extend his contract. A clause in his contract with Sunderland meant that a sizeable sum had to be paid to Chelsea after he played 50 matches. Sunderland were not willing to pay the extra appearance based fee, hence their reasons for not playing Thome towards the end of the 2002-2003 season, a campaign which ended in relegation.

In August 2003 he joined ambitious Bolton Wanderers on a free transfer, and became a regular starter for the Trotters as they finished in a healthy position in the Premier League, also reaching the final of the Carling Cup where they eventually lost to Middlesbrough. He was offered fresh terms to extend his stay with Bolton, but instead chose to move down a division to their near neighbours Wigan Athletic along with former team mate Per Frandsen. This proved a good move for Thome as the Latics where promoted to the Premiership for the first time in their history in 2005. However, Thome was loaned out to Derby County in November 2005 and was released from his contract at Wigan on 7 February 2006.

Thome then moved to Japan joining Vissel Kobe. Having been repeatedly troubled by injuries, on 29 November 2007 Thome announced that he would retire at the end of the season.

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