Former Arsenal ace set for shock return

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Football News

Francis Jeffers may return to British football after being invited for a trial at Scottish Premier League outfit Motherwell reports BBC sport.

Managed by Stuart McCall, The Steelmen currently lie in 8th position in the SPL but are keen to add to their attacking options having struggled for goals this season, and see Jeffers as a perfect acquisition.

The former Arsenal hit man has recently returned from a short stint in Australia’s A-League where he played for Newcastle Jets on a ten-match guest contract – a far cry from the glory days where the ‘fox-in-the-box’ as he was known, started out with so much promise at Everton.

Making his debut at the tender age of sixteen, Jeffers scored 20 goals in 60 appearances for the Toffees before a well publicised falling out with then manager Walter Smith resulted in him being dropped from the team for the rest of the season.

Still, the early promise that he had shown during his time at Goodison Park persuaded Arsene Wenger to part with £8m to bring Jeffers to Arsenal in 2001 – making him one of the clubs most expensive signings at that time.


However, he failed to live up to the price tag, partly due to the fact he was dogged by injury and soon fell down the pecking order behind the likes of Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry and in 2003 was loaned back to Everton for a brief spell.

Jeffers scored only four goals in his entire time at Arsenal which was less than half of what defensive midfielder Gilles Grimandi achieved during his Gunners career.

Not a particularly good return for the ‘fox-in-the-box’ who to this day is the joint all-time leading scorer for England Under-21s with 13 goals, a record he shares with Alan Shearer.

The pinnacle of the Liverpudlian striker’s career came when he was given his full England debut in 2003 where he came off the bench to score in a 3-1 defeat to Australia. He received no further caps for the Three Lions as his career began to fall by the wayside.

Before his move to Australia and after spells at Charlton, Rangers, Blackburn, Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday, the journeyman Jeffers had unsuccessful trials at Blackpool and his old stomping ground Everton, before taking the decision to join the A-League on a temporary contract.

After making a positive impact in his first nine games both the player and club were looking to extend the contract but after failing to agree personal terms, Jeffers who is still only 30 is now preparing a move back to Britain in a bid to rejuvenate his fledgling career.

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