Lauren Bisan Etame Mayer
Cameroon) is a
footballer, who currently plays for English
FA Premier League team
Arsenal. He is commonly known by just his first name, Lauren.
His previous teams were
Seville B and
Spanish teams from various league tiers; his residency in Spain meant he qualified for a Spanish passport, meaning he is exempt from the post-Bosman ruling regulation that restricts the number of non-EU players to three per team in
UEFA competition matches.
Making his Arsenal debut against
Sunderland in August
2000, he spent much of his first English football season out with an injury, and, as summertime transfers rolled around, his name was put forward as one which was potentially disposable. This, coupled with a plan to usher
Hidetoshi Nakata to the Arsenal squad, meant the future initially looked bleak for Lauren, an unfair position for a football player to be in after such an attempt to make a name for himself.
By the time the 2001/02 season arrived, Lauren began to grow and became a vital part of the first team.
Though not picked for the Cameroon side for the
2002 African Nations Cup, he aided his team that year in completing a double of the
FA Cup and the
A selection to play in the
2002 World Cup group stages for all three matches, Cameroon failed to proceed beyond the group stage. An FA Cup winners' medal would follow in 2002/3, that year however being marked by a calf injury and a sustained absence from playing, until the high-profile FA Cup final against
His 2003/04 season was of a high quality, but was marred considerably by his, and others' part in abuse towards
Ruud van Nistelrooy. He was banned by the Football Association for four matches and fined £40,000, indicating his apparent central role in the abuse.
However, he made his 150th appearance for Arsenal during this season, an unbeaten season for the club which saw them achieve the title. As of 6 November 2005, Lauren and
Ashley Cole shared the exact statistics for club appearances and goals scored.