Rovers loan for French ace

New boy: Fabien Robert shows off his Rovers shirt. PHOTO: STEVE UTTLEY
New boy: Fabien Robert shows off his Rovers shirt. PHOTO: STEVE UTTLEY

IT was a case of one midfielder in and one out at Doncaster Rovers on the final day of the January transfer window.

Rovers signed French midfielder Fabien Robert on loan from Lorient until the end of the season subject to registration and International clearance.

The 23 year-old is the youngest of three footballing brothers - the best known of which is 34-year-old Laurent who played for Newcastle United.

Robert’s preferred position is attacking midfielder, but he can also can play as a striker.

Leaving the club yesterday was long-serving midfielder Mark Wilson, who has joined Oxford United uintil the end of the season.

The 32-year-old’s contract, due to expire in the summer, was cancelled by mutual agreement.

Wilson spent a successful spell on loan at League One Walsall late last year.

Rovers agreed to the Saddlers’ request to extend his loan spell for a second month only to recall him within 72 hours due to injury problems.

Wilson was disappointed to have to leave the Saddlers, where he had been playing regularly, in such circumstances having realised that he didn’t feature in new manager Dean Saunders’ plans.

He never started a game under Saunders and made only the odd appearance on the bench - the last being in the 3-2 defeat at Millwall in late November where he came on as a late replacement.

Wilson started his career at Old Trafford before moving on to Middlesbrough. He spent a spell on loan at Doncaster during Dave Penney’s time in charge before moving to America to try his luck with FC Dallas.

He returned to England at the end of the American season and joined Rovers in November 2006 on an initial short-term contract.

Although rarely a regular when Rovers’ boss Sean O’Driscoll had a full compliment of central midfielders at his disposal - especially during the days when the Brian Stock-Richie Wellens partnership was as good as any outside the top flight, Scunthorpe-born Wilson still managed to chalk up 139 appearances.

Wilson was often recognised by O’Driscoll and No 2 Richard O’ Kelly as one of the hardest working and most dedicated players on the club’s books.

“I’ve had five good years with the club and some really happy times, but now it is time to move on and look to the future,” he said yesterday.