Joseph Yobo - The strongman

football16 March 2023 05:00
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Games/Clean sheets
Everton: 220/8
Norwich City: 8/0
Premier League titles (0): None

Yobo was a rock at the back for Everton over eight seasons at Goodison Park and a key part of the successful sides under David Moyes that qualified for the Champions League and reached the FA Cup final in 2009.

He was revered for his athletic performances, adding pace to the backline, and was mostly a regular throughout his stay, especially the 2006/07 season when he played every minute of all 38 league games.  

The Nigeria international joined Everton in 2002/03 from French side Marseille, initially on loan before that was turned into a £4-million permanent deal, the first signing at the club for then rookie coach Moyes.

He later captained Everton in the Europa League and had a succession of centre-back partners such as Sylvain Distin, Joleon Lescott, Phil Jagielka and Johnny Heitinga as he remained the consistent figure.

His influence on the team began to fade ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and after the tournament he left Merseyside for Turkey and Fenerbahce, initially on loan.

He spent four years in Istanbul before returning to the Premier League for a brief cameo at Norwich City in the second half of the 2013/14 season, where he made a further eight appearances. 

Yobo was a fan favourite at Goodison, with supporters appreciating not only his ability but his work-rate and he was for those eight years a model of consistency. 

He came close to lifting the FA Cup with Everton as he started the 2009 final, but The Toffees lost 2-1 to Chelsea at Wembley.