Midfield creator John Michael Seri joined Hull City in July 2022 after successfully helping Fulham gain promotion to the Premier League and a lengthy courtship that took Acun Illicali most of the summer to complete. He was introduced immediately to the heart of the Tigers’ midfield and rewarded manager Arveladze with an injury time winning goal in the opening match of the Championship season.
Jean Michael Seri was born in Grand-Bereby, a coastal city of 100,000 people on the south west coast of Ivory Coast. As a youngster he joined the newly formed Ivorian Football Academy and by the age of 16 he was playing for Africa Sports d’Abidjan. In 2010 he moved to ASEC Mimosas, Ivory Coast’s most decorated club side, and quickly broke into the first team.
In November 2012 he joined Portuguese giants FC Porto on loan, but he was confined to the B team for half a season in which he made 19 appearances and scored one goal. In August 2013 Seri made the permanent switch to FC Pacos de Ferreira, a locally based rival Primera Liga side to FC Porto. The Castores (translates as The Beavers) handed him first team football, his 34 senior appearances in his first season included six Europa League matches that featured a first senior goal against Romanian side Pandurii Targu Jiu. In the 2014/15 season Seri added a further 35 senior appearances and one goal, showing form that alerted clubs from across Europe.
In June 2015 he transferred to French Ligue 1 side OGC Nice and his hardworking and skillful style fitted well in French football. He scored three goals in 41 appearances in his first season with Les Aiglons and saw his called up for senior international duties by his country. Over the next two seasons he added a further 82 senior appearances and nine goals, by 2018 he was regarded as one of the European game’s hottest properties at a time when many clubs were searching for the diminutive hard-working francophone midfield figure made popular by N’golo Kante. Talk of a move to Spanish giants Barcelona passed and in July 2018 he joined newly promoted Premier League side Fulham.
A first team regular in his first season at Craven Cottage, making 34 senior appearances and scoring a first Premier League goal in August 2018 against Burnley, Seri was surplus to requirements as the Cottagers returned straight back to the Championship and spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Turkish giants Galatasaray. He scored twice in 37 appearances for Gala including six Champions League appearances befoer returning briefly to Fulham in the 2020 close season. After just two League Cup starts for Fulham in the opening weeks of the 2020/21 season, Seri returned to the French top flight and joined Bordeaux in January 2021 on a five month loan. He made 13 senior appearances for Bordeaux before again returning to Fulham immediately after a second relegation. He stayed around for the 2021/22 season and became an important part of the Cottagers’ midfield as they again won promotion to the Premier League – Seri made 34 appearances, taking his tally to 70 appearances and two goals when he scored a late season strike in a 7-0 drubbing of Luton Town. But as Fulham returned to the top flight once again Seri’s contract expired and after a long period of courting he became one of the marquee signings to announce the new regime of Acun Illicali at Hull City.
In 2011 Seri was called up to represent his country in the Under-23s Africa Cup of Nations, where he made three appearances. In September 2015 he made his debut for the Ivory Coast senior side in a 0-0 draw against Sierra Leone. He scored his first senior international goal in November 2015 against Liberia and was a regular choice for his country until 2019. After a two year break Seri returned to international duty in September 2021 and won his 42nd cap in June 2022 against Lesotho, scoring 4 goals in that time. He added a 43rd cap in September 2022, his first as a Tigers player, against Togo.
Nationality: Ivory Coast
Date/Place of Birth: 19 July 1991, Grand-Bereby, Ivory Coast
Hull City First Game: 30 July 2022, Bristol City H (Championship), 31 years, 11 days old
Hull City Final Game: [current player]
Africa Sports d’Abidjan (2007-2010), ASEC Mimosas (2010-2013), FC Porto (2012-2013, loan), FC Pacos de Ferreira (2013-2015), OGC Nice (2015-2018), Fulham (2018-2022), Galatasaray (2019-2020, loan), Bordeaux (2021, loan), Hull City (2022-current)
Hull City Record
Career: 6 apps, 1 goalsJean Michael Seri