5. Gaël Bigirimana

 Position                                Age                       Nationality                            Born                                Twitter                
Midfielder              23                11.09.93      @BigiGOfficial   


Several of Stephen Robinson’s 2017 summer recruits were names previously little known to most ‘Well fans. The same however couldn’t be said about Gaël Bigirimana whose capture raised eyebrows amongst the Motherwell support and beyond.

Not so very long ago the Burundi international was playing in the English top flight having commanded a seven figure transfer fee.

Having moved to the UK in 2004 Gaël joined and progressed through the youth ranks at Coventry City. Graduating to the Sky Blues first team squad he made his senior debut on 6th Aug ’11 in the Championship as Coventry faced Midlands rivals Leicester.

After just a single season in the Coventry first team Bigirimana was signed by Newcastle in a deal reported to be around the £1m mark. Signing a five year deal Gaël was immediately involved in the Toon first team playing in all domestic competitions and also the Europa League.

The England U20 internationalist scored his first senior goal in that first season with the St James Park outfit netting Newcastle’s third in a 3-0 win over Wigan on 3rd December ’12.

Gaël’s career stalled somewhat over the course of the next couple of seasons, which included an ill-fated loan spell with Rangers where he didn’t play a single game.

In November 2015 Bigirimana returned to his first love Coventry City on an emergency loan deal. The loan was subsequently extended then extended once more .

In the summer of 2016 Gaël returned to Coventry on a permanent basis having secured his release from Newcastle. It was a mixed season as the Sky Blues suffered the despair of relegation mixed with the joy of a Wembley victory in the Football League Trophy where Bigirimana scored in the 2-1 win over Oxford.

Having spent a period in charge of Oldham, where he was able to watch Gaël at close quarters in England’s League One Stephen Robinson was only too well aware of the ability of the talented midfielder and he moved quickly to make him one of his first summer signings as he began his rebuild job at Fir Park.

Gaël made his ‘Well bow in the Betfred League Cup tie at Hampden Park against Queen’s Park and opened his goalscoring account in the same competition netting in the dramatic 3-2 extra-time win over Ross County in Dingwall.


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