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claude gnakpa_300New signing - Claude Gnakpa

Caley Thistle's French contingent has been strengthened by the arrival of Claude Gnakpa, who has signed on a short term contract from Walsall to the end of the season.

A winger who can also play in defence, the 6 feet 2 inch tall 28 year old has rejected loan opportunities in England to try his luck in the SPL.

Manager Terry Butcher says: "I have been tracking Claude for a good number of years, but never managed to get him so we're very pleased that he has flown north and put pen to paper.

"He's big, strong and pacy and can score goals, so he will be a very exciting asset to the Club. Claude joins Kenny Gillet and Gregory Tade to give us a triple French influence in our squad. Having already landed striker Sam Winnall from Wolves on loan, it gives us more depth in a pool which has continuously been depleted by serious injuries."

Gnakpa joined Luton Town from Peterborough United in the summer of 2008 and he fired 22 goals in 107 appearances for The Hatters.  This included scoring the winning goal in Luton's 2009 Football League Trophy final triumph when he struck five minutes into extra time to give his side a 3-2 win over Scunthorpe United at Wembley Stadium.

Claude was later named in the Conference select of the year for 2009/10 while still with Luton but he left that club last summer when Walsall came in with a signing offer. He has made 16 appearances for them, scoring once.

Born in Marseille, Gnakpa started with Montpellier and then Beaucaire before moving to Spain in 2003 to join Racing Santander, making 35 reserve team appearances. He moved on in 2005 to another Spanish side Alaves, where he had 20 reserve outings.

Switzerland was his next port of call for a short spell with FC Vaduz then Peterborough United signed him as a defender and he made 29 starts in his season with them, before Luton came in for him.

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