Preston fans will be able to list off a whole host of strikers who thrived at Deepdale over the last 20 years; Joe Garner, David Nugent, Ricardo Fuller, Jon Macken, Richard Cresswell, the list goes on.

However, a number of strikers also came and went without much notice. Sylvain Ebanks-Blake, Jonathan Forte, Sam Hoskins, Bradley Fewster, Leon Clarke, Jake Jervis, Harry Bunn, Anthony Elding, Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu and Jemal Johnson would all fit into that bracket.

Another one would be Juvhel Tsoumou. Back in 2011, Phil Brown wanted another striker, but knew he had little money to spend. Tsoumou joined on trial after leaving Alemannia Aachen in Germany, and then earned a two-year deal, returning to Lancashire having been on the books at Blackburn Rovers.

Formerly of Eintracht Frankfurt, Tsoumou was a complete unknown. Arriving as a 20-year-old with little senior experience, Brown took a punt on Tsoumou to support Neil Mellor, Jamie Proctor and Iain Hume.

Juvhel Tsoumou at Plymouth Argyle. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Tsoumou won’t have lived long in the memory at Deepdale. He did score four goals, with three goals in three games against Huddersfield Town, Oldham Athletic and Bournemouth, but that’s about as good as it got. Strong and quick but lacking in any sort of technique, Tsoumou was the definition of raw.

After 11 games without a goal, Tsoumou was sent out on loan to Plymouth Argyle. After two goals in 11 for the Pilgrims, he was transfer listed by Graham Westley, and then released from his contract after less than a year at Deepdale.

So what became of Tsoumou?

Tsoumou has become a real nomad since leaving North End. Spells in Austria with TSV Hartberg and Waldhof Mannheim followed, with a stint in Slovakia with FK Senica sandwiched in-between. Then it was back to Germany with fourth-tier side Wacker Burghausen, where he enjoyed great success with 30 goals in 58 games.

The Tsoumou tour headed to Cyprus next, notching eight goals in 29 games for Ermis Aradippou, but things got interesting with a move to Romania. Tsoumou – now a Congo international – joined Hermannstadt in Romania’s top flight, and scored an impressive 10 goals.

Remarkably, Tsoumou has now earned the biggest move off the back of those goals. Last month, Tsoumou completed a move to Steaua Bucharest, joining as a free agent after impressing on trial.

Marcel Heller, Juvhel Tsoumou and Caio of Frankfurt. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

You’re reading that correctly. Tsoumou now plays for Romania’s most famous club, the 26-time Romanian champions, the 1986 European champions. Having seen Tsoumou look out of his depth in League One back in 2011, to see him at these heights now is quite remarkable.

It isn’t exactly going well though. Steaua are having a miserable season so far, as they missed out on a Europa League spot to Vitoria Guimaraes, sit 10th in Liga I and are already on their third manager of the season.

They haven’t lost since signing Tsoumou though, and he’s already grabbed two goals in six games. At 28, Tsoumou is now enjoying a career high in Romania – and his rise since leaving Preston is one of the most bizarre in recent memory.

Related Topics