Radhi Jaidi

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Radhi Jaidi is a former Tunisian central defender who was born in Tunis on 30th August 1975. Jaidi started his career at Esperance in his home country. Jaidi played a total of 288 times for the Tunisian giants during an 11 year spell between 1993 and 2004, scoring 20 times. Jaidi lifted the Tunisian League title 8 times for Esperance and was a regular for the national side. He won 101 caps after making his international debut in 1996.

Jaidi finally left Tunisia in 2004 to join Sam Allardyce's Bolton Wanderers. The powerfully built 6ft 3 inch defender fitted in perfectly with Bolton's physical style. He made his debut in English football for The Trotters against Southampton on August 25th, a match which Bolton won 2-1. As well as impressing at the back for Wanderers, Jaidi was a massive threat in Allardyce's attacking set pieces. He opened his goal scoring account for the club against Arsenal's 'Invincibles' on September 18th. He would go on to net a further four goals during 2004/05, including a late equaliser at eventual champions Chelsea. Following the conclusion of the campaign which saw Bolton finish 6th, Jaidi represented Tunisia in the summer's Confederations Cup.

Jaidi continued to play an important role for Bolton during 2005/06 making 24 appearances in total. He represented the club in Europe and scored a further three goals. His last came in what would turn out to be his final appearance for The Trotters at Middlesbrough in March. Jaidi started all three of Tunisia's World Cup matches in Germany during the summer of 2006 and hit a last minute equaliser to earn his country a draw against Saudi Arabia on June 14th.

Shortly after Tunisia's early exit from the World Cup Jaidi dropped down a division to join freshly relegated Birmingham City. Jaidi made his Brum debut on August 19th 2006 in a 2-1 win against Crystal Palace. He was involved in 42 matches for City that season and scored 6 times, helping the side make an immediate return to the top flight. The only negative note from that season was the two red cards he received in the space of two months.

Jaidi was in and out of the Birmingham side that were relegated back to the Championship during the 2007/08 season. He featured more often the following campaign however, as Birmingham bounced back to the Premiership yet again. He made his final appearance for the Blues on 3rd May 2009 in the final day decider against Reading, which Birmingham won 2-1.

Jaidi agreed terms with Southampton in early August 2009, and looked set to sign for Saints until the deal stalled due to work permit problems. Fortunately these issues were resolved by 2nd September when it was announced Jaidi had signed a two year contract with the club. Jaidi made his debut as a 78th minute sub at Charlton on September 12th. He made his first start a week later against Yeovil, before heading a 95th minute equaliser a week after that at Carlisle. He featured 34 times for the South coast club during 2009/10.

Jaidi's performances for Southampton only got better during the 2010/11 season. He formed a fantastic partnership with Jose Fonte and helped the club to the best defensive record in the division. Although he did make the occasional error, he was largely superb for the club, both defensively and in going forward at set plays. He scored 3 times during the campaign, against Huddersfield, Swindon and Charlton. On 17th May 2011 Jaidi signed a new one year contract with the club.

Jaidi looked sluggish in pre-season prior to 2011/12, then missed the first few months of the campaign through injury. He was on the bench for the FA Cup ties against Millwall in early 2012, but failed to make a single first team appearance during the season. Jaidi did feature for the club's development side on a few occasions. He made his playing comeback on 31st January against Reading at Staplewood.

Shortly after hanging up his boots in May 2012 Jaidi took up a new role at St Marys as overseas development officer. His job involves 'spreading the Southampton way around the world.' The decision to appoint Jaidi was taken with the club looking to expand it's scouting network to Africa, particularly in the East. From 2012/13 the Tunisian also spent a lot of his time coaching the U21 side.