Emiliano Sala profile: Argentinian hotshot played his entire career in France and was beating Lionel Messi in goal charts earlier this season
- Cardiff’s Emiliano Sala was on a plane which disappeared from radar on Monday
- On Tuesday, the Premier League club said they have ‘genuine concerns’ for him
- The 28-year-old forward left Nantes to travel to Cardiff on Monday evening
- French police and Nantes Football Club confirmed Sala was on the Piper Malibu
Fears continue to grow for Cardiff’s newly signed club-record striker Emiliano Sala as the light aircraft he boarded to fly back to Wales has gone missing.
Premier League side Cardiff splashed out £15million on the 28-year-old forward as they look to stave off relegation to the second tier.
Here, Sportsmail takes a look at his career to date.
Emiliano Sala, centre wearing a black hooded top, posted this photograph on Monday of his ‘final goodbye’ to Nantes players hours before his plane went missing over the English Channel
Cardiff had been keeping close tabs on Sala throughout the current campaign and this season’s record of 12 goals in 19 Ligue 1 games made the Bluebirds spend big money on the Argentine.
In November, Sala was outscoring Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in the goal charts but still remained uncapped by Argentina.
With 10 goals for the season – Sala was his country’s most prolific striker ahead of fellow countrymen Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Mauro Icardi.
Manager Neil Warnock personally went to watch Sala in action on December 5 and saw the Premier League new boy score in the 30th minute.
Warnock was clearly impressed by the striker’s attributes as he convinced his board to sanction a club record move when the January transfer window opened.
Cardiff were not the only Premier League club tracking Sala as Leicester, Burnley, West Ham and Everton all expressed an interest in the highly coveted marksman.
The Premier League strugglers signed Sala on a three-and-a-half-year contact on Saturday.
Before agreeing to move to Wales, Sala had played his entire professional career in France.
Cardiff announced the signing of the striker from Nantes in a club record fee of £15million
Sala, pictured in front of the Eiffel Tower, played his entire career in France before his move
Sala poses with his mum on a beach in October 2017 – he captioned the photo: ‘Gracias mama’
He started his career at Bordeaux where he progressed through the ranks after originally joining their youth team in 2010.
Sala enjoyed loan spells at US Orleans, Niort and Caen during his time on Bordeaux’s books before joining Nantes in 2015 for less than £1million.
He has gone from strength to strength since signing for Nantes, scoring 42 goals in 117 league games during his four-year spell at the Ligue 1 club.
After finalising his move to Cardiff, Sala returned to his former club to say goodbye to his Nantes team-mates.
Sala’s most recent Instagram post is a picture of himself posing with his former colleagues.
Cardiff released an image of Sala posing with chief executive Ken Choo on Saturday as he was given a private tour of their facilities.
Sala is pictured while playing the guitar as he displays his passion for music as well as football
He is clearly a big dog lover with the striker captioning this image: ‘Nothing like going together next to each other’
Sala (far right) poses on the beach with his friends as he soaks up the rays in September 2018
HOMETOWN: Cululu las Colonias, Argentina
2011-2015 – Bordeaux
2012-13 – US Orleans (loan)
2013-14 – Niort (loan)
2015 – Caen (loan)
2015-19 – Nantes
2019 – Cardiff
Choo said of signing Sala: ‘It’s obviously been a long process to secure the services of Emiliano but I’m very pleased that we’re now in a position whereby we can confirm his signature.
‘We see Emiliano as a significant acquisition and welcome him wholeheartedly to the capital city of Wales.’
Sala said he couldn’t wait to start his career in the Premier League following his move to South Wales.
‘I’m very happy to be here,’ Sala told Cardiff’s official website.
‘It gives me great pleasure and I can’t wait to start training, meet my new team-mates and get down to work.
‘For me it feels special [to be the club’s record signing]. I have come here wanting to work and to help my team-mates and the club.
‘I can’t wait to get to work straight away and do everything I can.’