It's the summer of 2017. Neil McCann had been busy in the transfer market preparing to put his own mark on this Dundee team following his appointment as our permanent manager but there was one thing missing - a prolific no.9 to spearhead our attack.
Following the loss of Kane Hemmings and Greg Stewart, Dundee had suffered massively at the top end of the park so every single Dundee fan were waiting with baited breath to see who he would bring in to become our new saviour. Then came the 'signing emoji’ on the 13th July at precisely 15:49.
We all knew it was going to be a striker but who would it be? Could the wild rumour that held no substance at all that Dimitar Berbatov was Dens bound be actually true? Of course it wouldn't, don't be so stupid.
Instead it would be announced that unknown Tunisian Sofien Moussa was the new hero in town.
With the excitement of seeing this exotic name added to the Dundee squad, it was time for the fans to feverishly check out his scoring credentials. Whatever euphoria we had over Moussa signing quickly evaporated when we found out that he wouldn’t be this acclaimed 30-odd goal a season hotshot but instead, we were left with a player who had amassed 17 goals in 7 years as a football player.
But still, we couldn't just judge him on his wiki page so like the good, non-judgemental, football fans that we are, we would wait until we seen him in action before casting our verdict on the striker.
Truth be told, first Impressions weren't that bad. He scored a double on his debut against Raith Rovers, nearly face-planting it into the away stand as he jumped on the wall to celebrate and this was followed by a goal against Buckie Thistle and a hat-trick at Cowdenbeath which included an overhead kick.
Then the warning signs started to show early on. He was almost non existent in the Dundee Derby in the Betfred League Cup then he found himself coming off the park injured in our opening day defeat to Ross County at Dens after another fruitless shift.
He would score what would turn out to be the winning penalty against St Johnstone but a few weeks later he gave every Dundee fan a glimpse of his horrendous decision making that would define him when he attempted a pass back from our halfway line when we were one-nil up against Hearts, only to see it go as far to Kyle Lafferty who would score from his 'assist.’ Luckily for us, we would still go on to win the match but this incident was enough for fans to question if he was up to the task.
Moussa would endure a three-month goal drought before he managed to find the back of the net again. These came courtesy of another spot kick, well two in fact during a 3-0 win at Dens against Patrick Thistle.
Would he actually kick on after this? Nope.
It would as a matter of fact be another two months before he would find the net again and guess what, that was from penalty spot in a 3-2 defeat away to Kilmarnock. By now, it had almost became comical that the man brought in as our main striker had yet to score from open play In the Premiership. Fear not though as that day would come when he scored the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Hearts at Dens. Yeah, he probably made more contact with the ball with his scrotum than any other body part but he had done it! Whoever was running the official Dundee Twitter page even softly mocked the player, though the tweet was deleted but not before it had been screenshot by jubilant fans.
Despite his misgivings, the fans were even more joyous for him than they have been for most players. Maybe we all felt he just needed this to kick-start his career. Maybe it was his glaikit smile that made us all think he was this really nice guy or the most plausible reason would be that we all just genuinely felt sorry on him.
A further two goals would come his way, both from open play, in a 2-1 victory over St Johnstone and that would be it for his goal-scoring exploits for 2017/18.
Seven Premiership goals was all we got from Moussa, a shockingly bad total for the Tunisian striker, or any striker who wears the No.9 shirt. In fact, he managed to pick up more yellow cards (nine) than goals in the Premiership! I don't think I need to remind the fans of the countless opportunities he passed up along the way because it reached the point that we would be expecting to see Sofien miss a 'sitter or two’ in nearly every game.
Tied down on a two-year contract, it was inevitable that McCann would still have him around the following season but thankfully he was able to identified that we needed more ammunition upfront. The thing is, he failed to rectify this correctly and as the new campaign kicked off, Sofien along with new addition Jean Mendy were our duo in attack, which would be more bumbling than dynamic.
Fortunately for the fans, appearances would become sparse for Moussa this season and following the sacking of McCann he would eventually released by new manager Jim McIntyre.
I doubt many fans produced any tears of the news of his release. His cameo appearance in our League Cup tie defeat against Ayr United which seen him pick up two yellow cards and a red in the space of around ten minutes, was enough for most to say they didn’t want to see him in a Dundee shirt again and even though he would feature after that, it was certainly the beginning of the end.
It’s hard to see what Neil McCann did in this player. For someone who’s whole career was spent attacking oppositions defences, putting his faith in someone with Moussa’s record was incredibly amateurish unless he genuinely believed he could turn him into a prolific striker.
Whatever the reason, with the amount of chances Moussa had handed to him on a plate, you could argue that Dundee would have finished better off last season if he showed more composure up front and possibly, just possibly, McCann could very well still have been in a job if he continued any scoring exploits. That however is "And if my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle" scenario but in all honesty, it would have took a lot more than Moussa banging in the goals and your aunt with baws to have saved him from the sack.
So, how would I sum up Sofien Moussa’s time at Dundee? The fact you could make a lengthy compilation of spurned chances that would last much longer than his actual goal compilation would probably do it no doubt.
From thinking we were signing Berbatov to landing Sofien Moussa. McCann promised he would become a 'cult figure' at Dens and that's exactly what happened, but all for the wrong reasons.