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EVERTON PAST PLAYER PROFILES

Nuno Jorge Pereira Silva Valente

Valente
Squad number 19
Position Left Back
Joined 28 August 2005
Joined from FC Porto (POR)
Signed by David Moyes
Transfer fee 1.5M
Full debut v Portsmouth (h)
10 September 2005
Contract duration 3 years; plus
1-year extension
Contract expires June 2009
Left Everton Released;
June 2009
Born Lisbon, Portugal
Date of birth 12 September 1974
Height 5' 11"
Nickname(s) Disco
Honours Championship (Port); Portuguese Cup, Champions League;
Uefa Cup;
Portugal Intl


STRENGTHS
International experience
Confident and composed
Crossing
 
WEAKNESSES
Adapting to English game
Struggles against pace


Soccerbase Datafile

The left-back spot at Everton had been something of a problem position ever since the departure of Andy Hinchcliffe, with neither Gary Naysmith nor Alessandro Pistone really proving that they could follow in the footsteps of 1980s great, Pat van den Hauwe.

When long-term injuries ruled both Naysmith and Pistone out of contention for the first half of 2005-06, David Moyes was forced into the transfer market for a left-sided full-back.  His search led to Portuguese international, Nuno Valente, on the recommendation of then Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho. The two had won the Champions League at FC Porto in 2004 but when that club exerted pressure on Valente (pronounced Vah-len-tay) to quit international football to concentrate on domestic duty in the Portuguese league, the defender felt the time to move on had come.

He had spent 6 months out with a knee injury picked up on duty with the Portuguese national team.  The doctors at Porto concluded that he couldn't play a long season (Portuguese championship, Portuguese Cup, Champions league and Portugal internationals) without having problems with his knee so the club asked him to choose between club and country. 

Enter Everton who stepped in with a £1.5M bid for the then 30-year-old and he signed a three-year deal at Goodison Park.

"I leave a little disillusioned with many people, but I will talk about that later," Valente told O Jogo at the time.  "This is a moment of great sadness for me after everything have done with Porto.  The club had its reasons and I respect them but I have mine as well and I have my opinion on that.  I want to thank the fans or the way they have treated me and I will continue to support them."

Some questioned the wisdom of signing a 30+ player on, no doubt, hefty wages, and it did indeed take Valente a while before he fully got the hang of playing in the Premiership. He seemed be be strapped for pace on his debut, and somewhat taken aback by the hectic pace of the Premiership and restrained by the somewhat negative playing style that was pervasive under Moyes at the time. 

Perfectly capable of playing a decent pass out of defense he started hitting it long instead and in his early outings rarely ventured beyond the halfway line. Once he did adjust to life in the Premiership, though, he enjoyed a terrific run in the side.

He very effectively made the left-back position his own and started to make more aggressive inroads up front as he provided much-needed support and service to the Everton front line.  Out of the blue, he delivered a scintillatingly accurate cross behind the Chelsea back line to find the head of James McFadden in an ultimately ill-fated FA Cup tie and all of a sudden it looked as though Moyes had come up trumps.

But disaster struck against Aston Villa when he went off with a thigh injury that turned out to need quite a bit of R&R: Nuno was sidelined until the last game of the season.

He did reasonably well overall in his first Everton season, but still occasionally got caught napping at the back post a bit too much for an experienced defender, as the last game of the season against West Brom demonstrated.  However, he went on to have a great World Cup for Portugal in Germany, knocking out England on their way to the semi-finals.

In his second season at Everton, Valente was out with injury for much of the time but, in February 2007, Everton agreed the option to extend his contract by 12 months, to June 2008.  Injury, the arrival of Leighton Baines in the summer of 2007, and the form of Joleon Lescott as an unorthodox left back, however, began to restrict his appearances in the first team.

In what seemed likely to be his last season (2008-09) at Everton, the 34-year-old did not featured for the Toffees after August, and endured an injury-blighted campaign. And manager David Moyes as expected did not  look to extend his current deal at Goodison Park beyond the summer.of 2009. 

There was recognition in our Mailbag for his excellent character and attitude as a footballer, and regret that no place could be found on the coaching staff for such a well respected character and personality

By Michael Kenrick and Lyndon Lloyd
Last updated June 2009

 


Everton Career
Season Squad
Number
League
Apps (sub)
League
Goals
Cup
Apps (sub)
Cup
Goals
Total
Apps (sub)
Total
Goals
2005-06
19
20 (0)
0
6 (0)
0
26 (0)
0
2006-07
19
10 (4)
0
3 (0)
0
13 (4)
0
2007-08
19
8 (1)
0
6 (0)
0
14 (1)
0
2008-09
19
1 (1)
0
0 (0)
0
1 (1)
0
  Totals
39 (6)
0
15 (0)
0
54 (6)
0

Prior Club Record
Season Team Appearances (sub) Goals
1994-1997 Sporting Lisbon 36 1
1996-1999 Maritimo 19 0
1999-2002 Uniao Leiria   2
2002-2005 Porto 48 0


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