Flop or not: Francis Jeffers…

WTTGT Writer: Jake Harvey

From To Fee League/Goals FA Cup/Goals LGE Cup/Goals Other/Goals
14/06/2001 10/08/2004 £8 m 4 (18) / 4 7 (1) / 3 1 (0) / 1 1 (7) / 0

Francis Jeffers, an incredible talent, or was it just that he was young in-form and English and brought media attention to him that led to a big money move to Highbury?

Did he get enough time at Arsenal to make his difference? Still young and naive, he was shipped back to Everton and then Charlton after spending most of his Arsenal days on the bench.

A dynamo in the box at Goodison, Jeffers failed to ever meet even an ordinary standard in the red and white of Arsenal. Dogged by expectancy, the £8 million signing seemed to crumble under the pressures and has dwindled in and out of football ever since.

A successful start to his career saw him net 18 goals for Everton but tides and fortunes drifted away as Jeffers netted a measly four in 22 appearances for the Gunners, two against non-league Farnborough.

Since leaving the Gunners, the scouse striker has had an array of clubs and never hit the heights he once achieved at Everton.

However, could Jeffers’ career have been different had he not entered an Arsenal side who had Thierry Henry and Sylvain Wiltord for firepower. The man so often dubbed ‘FA Cup ears’ once had a spark, an energy and ability to play without fear but it was lost after an ill-tempered spat with Walter Smith (then Everton boss).

A disappointing career and somewhat a forgotten man on the terraces in North London, but Jeffers had an undoubted talent and a keen eye for goal, the pressure to perform under the watchful eye and a heavy price tag over his 20 year old head saw the demise of what was once hoped to be a national wonder kid.

So where is the striker now? Unattached after unsuccessful spells at Motherwell, Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich and Newcastle Jets! A player that many in Merseyside will say had the ability to reach the very top, but was arrogant and impatient to succeed at a tender age.


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