Étienne Capoue

Étienne Capoue
Capoue in training with Watford in 2015
Personal information
Full name Étienne Capoue[1]
Date of birth (1988-07-11) 11 July 1988
Place of birth Niort, France
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 12 in)[2]
Playing position Defensive midfielder[3]
Club information
Current team
Number 29
Youth career
1995–2002 Niort
2002–2004 Chauray
2004–2005 Angers
2005–2007 Toulouse
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2013 Toulouse 174 (13)
2013–2015 Tottenham Hotspur 24 (1)
2015– Watford 96 (8)
National team
2006 France U18 4 (0)
2006–2007 France U19 14 (3)
2008–2010 France U21 13 (0)
2012– France 7 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10:26, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18:52, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

Étienne Capoue (born 11 July 1988) is a French professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Watford. He can play as either a defensive midfielder or defender. Capoue was a French youth international having earned caps at under-18, under-19, and under-21 level. Capoue served as captain for a portion of his stint with the latter team. He is the younger brother of Boulogne player Aurélien Capoue.

Club career

Early career

Capoue was born in the commune of Niort in Deux-Sèvres and began his career playing for hometown club Chamois Niortais. In 2002, he departed the club and joined FC Chauray, a local club in Poitou-Charentes.[4] Capoue stayed at the club for two years before joining Angers SCO in Pays de la Loire. While playing in a youth league match against Toulouse, Capoue drew the attention of the club's scouts who offered the player a one-week trial. Prior to agreeing to the internship, he was also approached by Lille, Auxerre, and Bordeaux. Capoue chose Toulouse because of the club's training facilities and the good weather.[5]


Capoue began his club career with Toulouse in 2006 playing on the club's under-18 team. During the early portion of the 2007–08 season, he played on the club's Championnat de France amateur team in the fourth division making eight appearances. Midway through the season, Capoue was called up to the senior team by manager Alain Casanova. On 8 December 2007, he made his professional debut appearing as a substitute in a 1–0 victory over Lille.[6] The following week, Capoue made his first professional start against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes. Toulouse won the match 2–1 with Capoue playing 71 minutes.[7]

On 7 February 2008, Capoue, along with teammate Cheikh M'Bengue, signed his first professional contract agreeing to a three-year deal until 2011.[8] For the 2008–09 season, Casanova paired the young defensive midfielder with former youth teammate Moussa Sissoko and new signing Étienne Didot, who arrived from Rennes. The trio performed well in the midfield with Capoue flourishing making 36 total appearances. On 18 October 2008, Capoue scored his first professional goal against Bordeaux in a 2–1 defeat.[9] During the season, he also received 14 yellow cards in all competitions, second to only Siaka Tiéné of Valenciennes in the league. For his efforts, he was nominated for the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award and awarded a contract extension until 2013 by his club.[10][11]

During the 2009–10 season, Capoue appeared regularly in the first team and drew interest from Italian club Lazio and Premier League clubs Liverpool and Arsenal.[12][13] On 26 November 2009, Toulouse responded to the interest by reaching an agreement with Capoue on a one-year contract extension until 2014.[14] Capoue appeared in 41 total matches for the season collecting 17 total yellow cards, 13 of which came in Ligue 1, leading all players.[15]

In July 2013, Toulouse accepted a reported £9.5 million bid from Premier League side Cardiff City.[16] However, personal terms were not agreed and the deal was not finalised. On 15 August 2013, he completed an €11m (£9.3m) transfer to Tottenham Hotspur.[17][18]

Tottenham Hotspur

On 15 August 2013, Tottenham Hotspur officially announced the signing of Capoue. The day before the announcement of Capoue, Tottenham and France's first choice goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris told French paper L'Equipe that joining Tottenham is a big step in Capoue's career. He stated his delight to see the fellow countrymen join Tottenham.[19] Capoue made his debut for Spurs on 18 August 2013, replacing Mousa Dembélé in a 1–0 win away to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.[20]


On 6 July 2015, Capoue joined newly promoted Watford for a reported club-record transfer fee of £6.3 million (€9 million).[21][22]

He began his second season at Watford with four goals in his first six games, including the opening goal against Manchester United in a 3–1 win at Vicarage Road and another in a 4–2 comeback win against West Ham United.[23][24]

International career

Capoue was eligible to play for Guadeloupe, due to his father being from there.[25] Capoue has been active with France on the youth level. He has received caps with the under-18 and under-19 teams. Capoue made his youth international debut with the under-18 team on 14 March 2006 in a 2–1 victory over Germany.[26] He finished the under-18 campaign with four appearances. He made his debut with the under-19 team at the 2006 edition of the Sendaï Cup in Japan in the opening match against the Tōhoku region national team.[27] In the team's next group stage match against Japan, Capoue scored his first youth international goal in a 3–1 victory.[28] On 23 January 2007, he scored his second under-17 goal in a 2–0 win against Turkey.[29] During qualification for the 2007 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship, Capoue scored his only goal in a 3–1 positive result against Poland in the Elite Round.[30] At the UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship, Capoue missed the first two group stage matches, but appeared in the team final one against Russia and the team's semi-final defeat on penalties to Spain.[31][32]

On 15 August 2012, Capoue made his debut for the French senior team in a friendly match against Uruguay.[33] On 11 September 2012, he scored his first goal for France in a 3–1 World Cup qualifier win over Belarus at the Stade de France.[34]

Career statistics


As of match played 26 August 2018[35][36]
Club Division Season League Cup League Cup Other Total
Toulouse Ligue 1 2007–08 5000001060
2008–09 321301000361
2009–10 330102070430
2010–11 372101000392
2011–12 333001000341
2012–13 347202000387
Total 1741370708019613
Tottenham Hotspur Premier League 2013–14 121001050181
2014–15 120211030181
Total 241212080362
Watford Premier League 2015–16 330300000360
2016–17 377101000397
2017–18 221211100263
2018–19[37] 30000030
Total 96861210010410
Career total 2942215211116033625

International goals

Scores and results list France's goal tally first.[38]
11 September 2012Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France Belarus
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification


  1. "Barclays Premier League Squad Numbers 2013/14". Premier League. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  2. "Premier League Player Profile Etienne Capoue". Premier League. Barclays Premier League. 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  3. "Étienne Capoue". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  4. "Le TFC, c'est la famille!" (in French). Jeunes Citoyens Supporters. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  5. "Etienne Capoue prend son envol" (in French). La Depeche. 6 December 2006. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  6. "Toulouse v. Lille Match Report" (in French). Ligue de Football Professionnel. 8 December 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  7. "Paris SG v. Toulouse Match Report" (in French). Ligue de Football Professionnel. 15 December 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  8. "Capoue passe pro" (in French). L'Equipe. 7 February 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  9. "Bordeaux v. Toulouse Match Report" (in French). Ligue de Football Professionnel. 18 October 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  10. "Sissoko prolonge un an" (in French). Toulouse 7. 26 November 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  11. "En Espagne, ça joue" (in French). Radio Monte Carlo. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  12. "Capoue focused on Toulouse". Sky Sports. 8 October 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  13. "Capoue flattered by interest". Sky Sports. 23 February 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  14. "prolongation de contrat pour Sissoko, M'Bengue, Capoue et Nounkeu" (in French). Le Depeche. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  15. "Cartons par jouer" (in French). Ligue de Football Professionnel. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  16. "Cardiff City have Etienne Capoue bid accepted by Toulouse". BBC Sport. 27 July 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  17. David Hytner (9 August 2013). "Tottenham secure Etienne Capoue from Toulouse in €11m deal". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  18. David Ornstein (9 August 2013). "Etienne Capoue: Tottenham agree £9m deal for France midfielder". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  19. http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/422013/Spurs-shot-stopper-Hugo-Lloris-looking-forward-to-linking-up-with-Etienne-Capoue
  20. "Crystal Palace 0–1 Tottenham" BBC Sport. 18 August 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  21. "Etienne Capoue: Watford sign Tottenham midfielder". BBC Sport. 6 July 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  22. https://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/jul/06/watford-sign-etienne-capoue-tottenham-club-record-fee
  23. Smyth, Rob. "Watford 3–1 Manchester United". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  24. Morgan, Richard. "West Ham United 2–4 Watford: Hornets record first Premier League win of the season". Sky Sports. Sky Sports. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  25. "Capoue believes his 'very lazy' attitude is down to Caribbean roots". Mail Online. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  26. "La France remporte la première manche (2–1)" (in French). French Football Federation. 14 March 2006. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  27. "Victoire pour débuter (4–1)" (in French). French Football Federation. 31 August 2006. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  28. "Deuxième succès (3–1)" (in French). French Football Federation. 2 September 2006. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  29. "Joli succès tricolore (2–0)" (in French). French Football Federation. 23 January 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  30. "Débuts victorieux (3–1)" (in French). French Football Federation. 8 May 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  31. "France et Russie dos à dos (0–0)" (in French). French Football Federation. 21 July 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  32. "L'Espagne rejoint la Grèce (0–0, 4 tab 2)" (in French). French Football Federation. 24 July 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  33. "Etienne Capoue-LFP" LFP. 5 October 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  34. Étienne Capoue at Soccerbase
  35. "Games played by Étienne Capoue in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  36. Étienne Capoue at Soccerway. Retrieved 11 March 2014.

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