Once close to signing for Aston Villa when he was at Le Havre, Harold Moukoudi ended up moving to England eventually, albeit on loan, to Middlesbrough F.C.
The young defender, who is now at Saint-Etienne, was sent to Riverside to get some football under his belt, which Jonathan Woodgate happily gave him for the short period the two were together.
He was eventually replaced by Neil Warnock, who managed save Middlesbrough from relegation, and while he didn’t play as much then, Moukoudi has nothing but fond memories from his time in the Championship.
Speaking to But! Football Club, the player was asked all about it, to which he replied: “It was very useful for me. I was able to play often. I was in the last eight games before Covid. I was attracted by England and I was served all of that at Boro! Woodgate trusted me. He said many good things about me. Coming from an ex-international like him, it touched me. He helped me regain my trust and I thank him for it”.
Moukoudi explains it was at Middlesbrough that he managed to ‘be happy’ again, feeling he put in some ‘very good performances’ even if the results didn’t follow.
As for what he liked in England, he explained: “Everything. The atmosphere. The stadiums. The game. Over there, pretty much no one sits back. It’s very attacking. Everyone can beat everyone in the Championship. When we welcomed Leeds, who were beating everyone, we weren’t favourites, but we only lost 1-0 after playing a great game. All the games are close. It’s vicious!”.
Also thanking the fans for always having the team’s back, the experience really stuck with Moukoudi, who doesn’t hide the idea of potentially returning to Riverside later on in his career.
He said: “Clearly. At either short or medium term. I loved it. Plus, it corresponds to my qualities, my characteristics”.