Anthony Knockaert


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1991 (26 years old)

Birth Place
Roubaix, France


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English Premier League

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Anthony Patrick Knockaert (born 20 November 1991) is a French professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion.

Anthony Patrick Knockaert, who was born in Roubaix, began his professional career with Guingamp, having previously spent his youth career at Wasquehal, Leers, Lens, Mouscron and Lesquin. While progressing in the youth at Lesquin, he almost joined Leeds United in September 2008, but both parties could not agree terms after Lens intervened in the transfer and the fee would involved in compensation. At some point on progressing his youth career, Knockaert thought about considering quitting football after being told by the Lens' management that he was released because he was small at the time.

It was not until the summer of 2009 when he moved to Guingamp, where he signed his first professional contract. It was not until on 30 July 2010 when he made his Guingamp debut in the first round of the Coupe de la Ligue, scoring in a 2–1 win over Grenoble. After playing 120 minutes, in a 3–2 win over Evian in the second round of the Coupe de la Ligue, he scored his second goal in the Coupe de la Ligue, in a 3–2 win over on 22 September 2010. Seven days later, on 29 September 2010, he made his league debut, making his first start and played 69 minutes before being substituted, in a 5–0 win over Gap. Soon after, he signed a three-year contract with the club on 6 October 2010 Knockaert then scored his first league goals, in a 6–0 win over Maccabi Paris Métropole on 22 April 2011. After helping the club's promotion to Ligue 2, he made 27 appearances scoring 4 times in all competitions.

In the 2011–12 season, Knockaert started the season well when he scored twice in a 2–0 win over Vannes in the second round of the Coupe de la Ligue on 9 August 2011. Weeks later, on 9 September 2011, he scored his first goal of the season, in a 2–1 loss against Reims. It was not until on 17 October 2011 when he scored again, in a 4–1 win over AS Monaco. In the ten matches between on 19 December 2011 and 16 March 2012, he scored six times against Sedan, Istres, Boulogne, Le Havre, Troyes and Lens. Knockaert then scored three more goals later in the season, scoring twice against Metz and once against Clermont. He finished the 2011–12 season making 38 appearances and scoring thirteen times in all competitions.

At the end of the season, Knockaert's performance at Guingamp attracted interests from clubs around Europe, such as, English side Newcastle United, Portuguese side Benfica, as well as, being linked with his native country side Montpellier.

On 7 January 2016, Brighton confirmed the signing of Knockaert for an undisclosed fee, signing a three-year contract, keeping him until 2019. Upon joining the club, he said the move interested him, citing the club's ambition as the reason he returned to England.

Knockaert made his Brighton debut five days later on 12 January 2016 after signing for the club, making his first start for the club and played the whole game, in a 2–0 loss against Rotherham United. After setting up two assists, in a 2–1 win over Huddersfield Town on 23 January 2016, he scored his first goal for Brighton in a 3–0 win over Brentford on 5 February 2016. It was not until April when he scored against Burnley, Fulham and Queens Park Rangers (twice). His performance in April earned him April's Player of the Month. Despite an unsuccessful attempt to reach promotion to the Premier League after losing in the play-offs, he made 16 appearances scoring 5 times.

In the 2016–17 season, Knockaert was a subject of a transfer from recently relegated side Newcastle United, who renewed their interests in signing him, but the club rejected the bid from them. He restarted well at the start of the season when he scored three goals in the first five matches against Nottingham Forest, Rotherham United and Reading. Knockaert also began playing in advanced role behind Tomer Hemed up front. He then scored his third goal of the season on 13 September 2016, in a 1–0 win over Huddersfield Town. and then scored two more goals by October against Sheffield Wednesday and Norwich City.

On 3 March 2017, Knockaert signed a new four-year contract extension with the club, expiring in June 2021. On 9 April 2017, he was named EFL's Championship Player of the Year having scored 13 goals in 40 games at that stage of the season.

After representing France U20, Knockaert was called up by France U21 for the first time and made his France U21 debut, scoring in a 2–1 win over Chile U20 on 10 September 2012. He went on to make two more France U21 appearance against Norway U21 on 12 October 2012 and 16 October 2012.

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