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Top-flight debut for ex-City academy defender after resurfacing in Ukraine

PUBLISHED: 10:41 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:42 05 April 2018

Adel Gafaiti during pre-season training with the Norwich City first team in 2014, alongside Elliott Bennett, left, and Nathan Redmond. Picture: Denise Bradley

Adel Gafaiti during pre-season training with the Norwich City first team in 2014, alongside Elliott Bennett, left, and Nathan Redmond. Picture: Denise Bradley

Former Norwich City academy defender Adel Gafaiti looks to have got his career back on track after making his debut in the Ukranian top flight.

Gafaiti joined from Rangers in the summer of 2012 following the Scottish club’s financial implosion, having started at Nancy in France. He was a regular for City’s development squad and made a League One appearance for Oldham during an unsuccessful loan during 2013/14, before being released in 2016.

Gafaiti scored City’s only goal in front of almost 10,000 fans at Carrow Road back in January 2015, during a 1-1 draw with Manchester United Under-21s, playing alongside team-mates including Remi Matthews, Cameron McGeehan and Todd Cantwell – and with future England international Jesse Lingard playing for the visitors.

Born in France but capped at under-20 level by Algeria the centre-back initially played for NC Oran in Algeria following his Canaries exit before spending time at regional level in France with Noisy-le-Sac and Rodeo.

However, on Saturday the 23-year-old made his debut for Ukranian Premier League side Zirka Kropyvnytskyi, playing all of a 0-0 home draw with Oleksandria.

Adel Gafaiti in action against Manchester United U21s in front of almost 10,000 fans at Carrow Road in January 2015. Picture: Matthew UsherAdel Gafaiti in action against Manchester United U21s in front of almost 10,000 fans at Carrow Road in January 2015. Picture: Matthew Usher

Posting on his @Adelg6 Instagram account he said: “First full professional game, first clean sheet, team fought well, seven more battles to go!”

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