Gaël Bigirimana

Midfielder, Gaël Bigirimana arrived at Fir Park on a free transfer from Coventry City in June 2017. The 23 year old had been highly rated as a youngster making his first team bow at the age of 17 for the Sky Blues, his performances alerted the attention of many suitors but it was English Premiership side Newcastle United who managed to secure his services paying around £1 million. Naturally he found it hard to break into the first team fold at St James Park but he did gain some Premiership and European experience. He had spells out on loan, firstly he arrived at Ibrox in February 2015 when they took 5 players on loan as they tried to gain promotion from the Scottish Championship but Gaël never made an appearance for the club as his spell due to an apparent mystery illness that was never disclosed. He would later have more success at his first club Coventry on loan who he would subsequently sign him on a permanent basis upon his release from Newcastle.

At the Ricoh Arena he managed to secure regular first team football and scored as his side won 2-1 in the 2017 EFL Trophy Final but he suffered the agony of relegation to League Two as Coventry would find themselves in the fourth tier of English football, these depths hadn’t been sampled by the West Midlands club since 1959.

As Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson rebuilt the side for the 2017/18 season, Bigi was his second addition and was viewed as the creative spark the squad needed. In truth the Burundian struggled to settle immediately and Carl McHugh, Andy Rose and Allan Campbell would occupy the central midfield berths. Gaël would become the clubs most used substitute during the season as he struggled to command a regular start, when he did feature you could see he was gifted technically and had a fine passing range, by the players own omission he admitted he felt he could breeze through Scottish football in hope to secure a more lucrative move in the future.

Bigi made his Motherwell debut against Queen’s Park at Hampden in a League Cup tie which was won 5-1, he scored his first goal in the same competition three weeks later as the side knocked out Ross County 3-2 at Dingwall.

The 2017/18 season was viewed as a massive success for the club as they managed to get to two cup finals, Gaël was unfortunate in that he missed out in playing in the 2017 League Cup Final but he did play in a losing effort in the Scottish Cup Final where he came on as a substitute, his spectacular free kick smacked off the woodwork in what was the Steelmen’s best chance in the game.

It looked like he would be offloaded during the summer of 2018 as he wasn’t available for the League Cup group games but he resurfaced at the start go the Premiership season, he enjoyed some fine early form which included scoring a fine free kick in a win over Dundee at Dens Park. Despite having all the tools required to be a top footballer in Scotland it was his defensive duties that let him down. He eventually lost his place to David Turnbull who emerged for the youth setup and made a fantastic instance impact. Bigi certainly should have delivered more than he did but never the less he was a popular player amongst the fans.

When he arrived at Fir Park he had one international cap for Burundi, he added four more in his time with the club playing against Mali (twice), Gabon and finally South Sudan all of which came in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers.

On the 31st January 2019, only a matter of hours before the transfer window closed he signed a deal with Hibernian, manager Stephen Robinson later admitted he wanted to make funds available as the club wanted to offer deals to youngsters Barry Maguire, Jake Hastie and James Scott.

Gaël Bigirimana
5′ 9″
Date of Birth:
22nd October 1993
Place of Birth:
Bujumbura (Burundi)

Football Career:

Coventry City 2011 2012
Newcastle United 2012 2016
Rangers (Loan) 2015
Coventry City (Loan) 2015 2016
Coventry City 2016 2017
Motherwell 2017 2019
Hibernian 2019

Well Career:

Apps Goals
23 (23) 2
Scottish Cup:
0 (3) 0
League Cup:
6 (2) 1
0 0
29 (28) 3