Lua Lua happy in Cyprus
COLCHESTER United legend Lomana Tresor Lua Lua will not be making a sensational return to the club, the EADT understands.
With the U’s in desperate need for a new striker and Lua Lua out-of-contract at Cypriot side Omonia, speculation had heightened that the 30-year-old might be set to return to the club where he first burst onto the scene as a teenager.
The DR Congo international – famous for his acrobatic celebrations – went on to sign for Newcastle, netting the U’s a record �2.25m, and later moved on to Portsmouth.
And following five years away from the English game – spending two spells at Greek giants Olympiacos either side of a year at Qatari side Al-Arabi and most recently a season in Cyprus – national reports emerged that he was about to make a return.
Hartlepool were one side that had been linked, but it was Colchester that were seen as the most obvious League One destination.
“The story about him coming back to England is just paper talk,” said a source close to the player. “He’s happy where he is (Cyprus) and he’s told me he plans on staying there.”
The EADT also understands that Lua Lua is not a name on the extensive list of transfer targets drawn up by manager John Ward and handed to owner Robbie Cowling.
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A club insider said: “You can never say never because of the history Lomana has with the club, but he has not been spoken about so far. Financially, Colchester could not compete with what he’ll get offered over there.”
Omonia are the most successful club in Cypriot history having won 20 league championships. Lua Lua scored four goals in 19 appearances as they finished second last season.
LUA-LUA’s TOP THREE U’s MOMENTS
Chesterfield 3 Colchester United 1 (Jan 9, 1999)
IT was perhaps not the most glamorous place to make your League debut, as a late substitute at Chesterfield’s old and rather run-down Saltergate ground, especially when your team are already heading towards a certain defeat.
But the little-known Lua Lua did light up a dismal afternoon in Derbyshire, for U’s fans, by scoring within four minutes of coming on. It was the start of a brief but spectacular Colchester career.
It was manager Steve Wignall who handed him that debut, just over a week before he parted company with the Essex club. But the seeds had already been sown for Lua Lua’s rise to stardom.
Swansea 0 Colchester United 2 (Aug 26, 2000)
SWANS boss John Hollins admitted that the U’s 19-year-old striker “is a bit special” after watching him score twice and so end a 23-game unbeaten stretch stemming back to the previous season’s promotion.
A buoyant Lua-Lua fired the opener at the Vetch Field with an unstoppable 15-yard shot, and then wrapped up the points by running uncontested from the half-way line to tuck home the second on 83 minutes.
He was almost unplayable during the game, and also rattled the bar on the hour mark.
QPR 1 Colchester United 4 (Sep 7)
THIS was widely-regarded as the performance that rubber-stamped Lua Lua’s move to Newcastle United, which was completed just a couple of weeks later.
Trailing 1-0 from the first leg of this Worthington Cup tie, the U’s produced one of the shocks of the round by turning the tie on its head in front of a disbelieving Loftus Road crowd on a memorable evening.
QPR boss Gerry Francis, although furious with his own team’s performance, admitted: “I have to say that Lua Lua was absolutely outstanding. We could not handle him. He murdered us.”
Lua Lua netted the first after just 10 minutes, benefiting from a mix-up between defender Matthew Rose and keeper Lee Harper, and added a second by netting from Karl Duguid’s cross just seven minutes later. He also set up the third, for Steve McGavin, before completing a memorable hat-trick with a quality third on 85 minutes.
Nor surprisingly, Lua Lua earned a standing ovation from even the home fans at the final whistle. He signed for Newcastle for a fee of �2.25m.