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 By Paul Murphy

Former Premier League striker Leroy Lita joins Thailand club Sisaket

Sisaket striker Leroy Lita
Leroy Lita last played in the English fourth tier for Yeovil Town in 2016.

Former English Premier League striker Leroy Lita has joined Sisaket FC in the Thai League as he begins a new challenge in a colourful career.

Lita has scored against both Manchester United and Chelsea, so he knows the way to goal against some of the top clubs in the world. He will now have to try and rediscover the scoring touch that prompted then-Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers to sign him for £1.75m in 2011.

Lita arrives in Thailand after some time out of the game, having left English League Two side Yeovil Town following a short-term deal in May 2016. He follows fellow Premier League forwards Florent Sinama Pongolle and Xisco in turning to Thailand to further their professional ambitions. 

The 32-year-old previously enjoyed spells with Reading and Swansea City, with arguably his best season coming with the Royals back in 2006-07 when he netted seven times in England's top tier.

Lita was also a consistent goalscorer in the English Championship, where he played for Reading and Middlesbrough, as well as having loan spells with several clubs, including Charlton Athletic, Norwich City and Sheffield Wednesday.

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Dusit Chalermsan recently took over as head coach of the Koupreys, and he will be determined to give the club a lift after a disappointing 13th-placed finish in 2016.

The signing of Lita is an indication of the club's ambitions, but the former England U21 international has not enjoyed the best of form since leaving Swansea in 2014. He has since had spells at Barnsley, Notts County (on loan), AO Chania in Greece and Yeovil, without recovering the scoring form of earlier in his career.

Dusit will be hoping that Lita's experience at a high level can help Sisaket reach new heights after stagnating for three years in Thailand's top league. They finished no better than 12th between 2014 and 2016, so fans of the club will be looking to the Englishman to steer the team towards a top 10 finish, at the very least.

Lita may soon come up against a former Reading team-mate in Kalifa Cisse, with the ex-Mali international defender, now playing with Bangkok Glass.

He also has something in common with Mark Burchill, who played for the Thai side when it was known as Esan United and finished sixth on the table back in 2012. Like Lita, former Scotland striker Burchill had loan spells with Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday in a career of many clubs.

Sisaket fans are now looking to another British forward to have an impact that lifts them from the lower end of the table, and closer to the likes of champions Muang Thong United and northeastern rivals Buriram United.

Bangkok-based Paul Murphy has lived in Asia for a decade, writing for ESPN FC since 2014. He is a former Daily Express sub-editor. @PaulMurphyBKK

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