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Aaron Lennon 12

Coming into the January 2015 transfer window, Roberto Martinez had highlight another wide player as being the top of his list of positions that needed bolstering in his Everton squad.

With Christian Atsu taking time to make an impact after his loan move from Chelsea, Kevin Mirallas sidelined intermittently by injury and Aiden McGeady struggling with inconsistent form, the manager felt that he needed additional options out wide, not to mention an injection of speed to his otherwise one-paced squad.

Not since Gerard Deulofeu's recall to Barcelona had Everton possessed a pacey winger with the tendency to run at defences, so Martinez cast his eye to White Hart Lane and the out-of-favour Aaron Lennon.

A first-team regular for most of the decade following his move to Tottenham from Leeds United in 2005, Lennon had lost his starting berth under Mauricio Pochettino, with Andros Townsend preferred to the now 27 year-old Yorkshireman. He was approached by both Stoke City and Everton on transfer deadline day in February 2015 but opted, without hesitation it seems, for Goodison Park.

A one-time England international, Lennon offered speed and directness to an Everton side that had become bogged down by a pedestrian passing system in 2014-15 that was hampering their efforts to replicate Martinez's success in his first season in charge. He took time to start making an impact but he began to win Evertonians over with his work-rate and desire to impress and, after helping the Blues to a much-needed 3-0 win over Newcastle United in March 2015, Lennon scored the winner in the next Premier League fixture at Queens Park Rangers, his first Everton goal.

Given the success of his loan spell and his contendedness at having found a club willing to offer him first-team football, there was always a feeling through the summer 2015 transfer window that Everton would try and sign Lennon on a full-time basis and the winger was content to wait until the final day of the window to get his desired move away from White Hart Lane.

Facing the prospect of having to keep an out-of-faovour player on the books until January 2016 at the earliest, Tottenham were left with little option but to drop their reported £9m asking price by half and Lennon was duly signed right before the 6pm transfer deadline on 1 September, 2015, penning a 3-year deal.

It would take him a while during a very mixed season to carve out a role at Everton, particualrly given the early success of Gerard Deulofeu in his preferred right-wing role in the first half of the season.

A purple patch for Lennon in early 2016 in which he scored in three successive games and was arguably the Blues' best performer in all three matches threatened to not only reignite his career at Goodison but also revive Everton's flagging season.

Unfortunately, it would prove to be short-lived on both accounts and the winger struggled for form in tandem with the team as a whole as results worsened and Martinez was eventually sacked after the penultimate game of the campaign.

A new era loomed under Ronald Koeman, but Aaron Lennon continued to be a somewhat peripheral figure, never really reaching the heights needed for Everton to progress to the next level. Instead, he found himself in the headlines and the recipient of sympathy from the footballing world when he was hospitalised under the Mental Health Act in the spring of 2017 and underwent subsequent psychiatric treatment.

FactFile

Squad number 12
Position Winger
Nationality English
Born 16 April 1987
Place of Birth Leeds
Height 5' 5"
First Joined 2 February 2015
Joined from Tottenham Hotspur
Signed by Roberto Martinez
Transfer fee Loan
Re-joined 1 September 2015
Joined from Tottenham Hotspur
Signed by Roberto Martinez
Transfer fee £4.5m
Contract duration 3 years
Contract expires June 2018
Debut as sub v Liverpool (H)
7 February 2015
Full debut v Chelsea (A)
11 February 2015
Previous Clubs Leeds United
Tottenham Hotspur
» Soccerbase Datafile
» Wikipedia Entry

Everton Career

Season Squad No. League Apps (sub) League Goals Cup Apps (sub) Cup Goals Total Apps (sub) Total Goals
2014-15 25 12 (2) 2 0 (0) 0 12 (2) 2
2015-16 12 17 (8) 5 6 (0) 1 23 (8) 6
2016-17 12 6 (5) 0 2 (0) 1 8 (5) 1
2017-18 12 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0
  Totals 35 (15) 7 8 (0) 2 43 (15) 9

Previous Career

Season Team League Appearances (sub) Goals
2003-05 Leeds United 38 1
2005-15 Tottenham Hotspur 267 26


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