Royal Antwerp forward Didier Lamkel Ze has committed the ultimate transfer protest – by turning up for training in the shirt of their biggest rivals.
The Cameroon international has made no secret of the fact that he wants to leave the Belgian side to join Greek club Panathinaikos.
And to push home the point, he showed up at the club on Monday wearing the shirt of rivals Anderlecht.
The 24-year-old then took to Instagram to say that on Tuesday, he would go a step further and don the shirt of Antwerp’s great city rivals, Beerschot.
Sitting here this morning admiring the pettiness of Royal Antwerp forward Didier Lamkel Zé showing up to training in a rival Anderlecht shirt as he tries to force a move to Panathinaikos.
Of course they didn't let him in. pic.twitter.com/cp2mnHzIs8
— COPA90 (@Copa90) January 6, 2021
But in a change of heart, the encore to Monday’s show never came. Instead, Lamkel Ze issued an apology through the club’s official social media channels.
“I want to apologise to the club and to the Antwerp supporters, because they are magnificent and wonderful,” he said.
“If I reacted like this, it is because my head was somewhere else. It was not easy for me. I really, really want to apologise for this gesture.”
Lamkel Ze isn’t the first footballer to cause a scene over wanting a transfer, and he surely won’t be the last.
Who remembers when Peter Odemwingie tried to force a move from West Brom to Queens Park Rangers in 2013 by driving himself to Loftus Road on transfer deadline day?
And who recalls when Neymar refused to show up to Barcelona training in 2017, putting pressure on the club to sell him to PSG for a world record £200m fee?
There’s even an art to footballers trying to engineer a transfer away from their club. Just ask Robbie Savage, who wrote this 11-point guide to the dirty tricks footballers use to get the move they want.
Still, even Savage never turned up for training in a rival team’s shirt. Maybe that plan needs extending…