Franciso Santos da Silva Junior made his debut for Everton last night, thrown in at the deep end in the wet and soggy cup atmosphere of Elland Road where Everton were deservedly beaten by an excellent Leeds United performance.
So what can we tell you about him and how did he fare on his debut?
Francisco was born in the West African country of Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony which is the nation he has represented twice at Under-21 level. He served much of his football development in the Benfica youth academy before a short stint with Manchester City after catching the eye of scouts for their development squad. After moving on from City he impressed Everton during a trial and signed on a free transfer in February of this year, a four-and-a-half year deal that highlights the hopes The Toffees have for him.
Described on the official website as an ‘energetic box-to-box midfielder’ who is ‘equally comfortable going forwards or back’ and is comfortable on either foot and enjoys keeping possession of the football.
He impressed in the reserve set-up and scored against Morecambe in pre-season, a screaming 25-yeard effort. In July David Moyes admitted that the young Portuguese was playing his way into his first team plans after a promising pre-season campaign admitting that during the build-up to the new season he has ‘looked as good as anybody’.
How did he get on, well if we are being honest he struggled against Leeds. While he did show flashes of his ability on the ball and passing range he seemed to want more time than would ever be possible with Michael Brown on the opposing team who introduced him to English football with predictable ferocity. While he probably had a better game than other full-debutant Bryan Oviedo it would not have been the dream start he would have wanted but he should not be too flustered as this was always going to be a baptism of fire.
One thing is for sure he is going to need the support of fans, something he didn’t particulary have on Twitter last night…
Safe to say Francisco Junior's having a nightmare debut.
Elland Road is a cracking ground, but Everton were rubbish. Absolutely dire. Francisco Junior?
While Everton fans were obviously deflated at being knocked out of a cup competition, as they are desperate for silverware under Moyes in the long run Junior could become a very talented individual, however based on this performance improvement is definitely needed.
What do you make of Francisco Junior?
image: © zachleat