July 23 2004. A date that will no doubt be familiar to long-term Everton fans who saw Tim Cahill complete his move to Goodison Park for a reported fee of just £2m.
The Australian arrived on Merseyside on the back of a fine few years at Championship side Millwall, scoring 57 goals in 249 total games for the club.
But even the most ardent of Everton fans may not have seen Cahill go on to become one of the club’s greatest players in recent history, and establish himself as a real icon.
The man signed by David Moyes played 276 matches for the Toffees, finding the back of the net 68 times and providing a further 29 assists. His goal record actually puts him third on the all-time list for top-scorers at Goodison Park, only behind Graeme Sharp who notched 74, and Romelu Lukaku who bagged 87.
It’s a real testament to Cahill and his abilities that he achieved that number despite playing in midfield, and it’s why Moyes really deserves more credit for bringing him to the club in the first place.
In today’s money, he would have cost just £3.09m, which when you think about the crazy world of transfer fees we live in at the moment, just seems like an absolute bargain.
This wasn’t a player who was banging the goals in left, right and centre in the Premier League, and attracting big attention and spotlight. He was doing it in the division below, and it was a credit to Moyes that he placed his faith in him and developed him into an elite goal-scoring midfielder at the top-flight level.
Cahill was a major reason behind Everton always looking to compete for those Europa League and Champions League spots whilst Moyes was in charge, and the 2004 move for him really defined the brilliance of the former Toffees manager.