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Everton: What happened to Francis Jeffers?

Everton’s academy and shrewd recruitment from the lower leagues has seen them make some astounding profits over the last few decades, with the likes of Wayne Rooney, John Stones, Ross Barkley and more all being sold on for big money.

These players, who often leave for better teams, do so with varying success, however, supporters would be lying if they didn’t admit to hoping their careers never reach the same heights once had done at Goodison Park.

Concerning never refinding their form, that was exactly the case with the 2001 sale of Francis Jeffers, who Arsenal signed as a youngster for £10m.

A whopping fee at the time, the poacher had impressed for the Toffees and was seemingly destined for the stars.

Having made his debut at 16, he scored six goals in 14 appearances as a 17-year-old as his stock rose. However, a string of injuries from 1999 til his eventual move would be a microcosm for the career that was to come.

He had scored 20 goals in 77 games as an academy graduate, but would only play 39 times once making the move to Arsene Wenger’s gifted side.

In fact, he would never come close to surpassing his appearance tally whilst on Merseyside for any of the clubs he played for.

He has been honest since his retirement about how his attitude and body failed him throughout a career that promised so much.

In a 2014 interview, Jeffers admitted to having plenty of regrets despite having a relatively full career, claiming: “I shouldn’t have ended up with one England cap and 250 appearances.”

He continued: “The lack of football and injuries, for me, is a recipe for disaster. I probably didn’t live my life right around those times and it is important when you are injured and not playing as much.

Should Franny Jeffers have reached the levels of Wayne Rooney?

Yes

Yes

No

No

“I was out, partying, living life, not training. Tossing it off in training because I always thought I wouldn’t play on Saturday anyway and now I look back with a lot of regrets.”

Although it does often give a twisted pleasure to see a former player fail, with this particular transfer it seems like the world was robbed of a huge talent.

Whilst Everton may have struck gold with the fee they received and his subsequent impact on the Gunners, there is an element of sadness to see such a hot prospect fizzle out without so much as a whimper.

Article title: Everton: What happened to Francis Jeffers?

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