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Diniyar Rinatovich Bilyaletdinov

Squad number 7
Position Midfield
Joined on 25 August 2009
Joined from Lokomotiv Moscow
Signed by David Moyes
Transfer fee Undisclosed
Debut (sub) v Wigan Athletic (H)
40 August 2009
Debut (full) v AEK Athens (H)
17 September 2009
Contract duration 5 years
Contract expired June 2014
Finalé (sub) v Aston Villa (A)
14 January 2012
Left Everton 29 January 2012
Destination Spartak Moscow
Transfer Fee "Undisclosed"
Born Moscow,
Soviet Union
Date of birth 27 February 1985
Height 6' 1"
Nickname(s) Bilyash, Bily
Honours Russian international

Just like the one that preceded it, the summer of 2009 was a frustrating tale of woe for Evertonians as the weeks following the FA Cup Final defeat to Chelsea — a game that was fairly instructive in where David Moyes needed to improve his team — stretched on with just a failed bid for Kyle Naughton to show as any evidence that the Club would be strengthening before the 2009-10 season.

In the end it took the sale of Joleon Lescott to Manchester City for £22m to free up the capital for Moyes to make his first purchase of the transfer window (striker J had already arrived on loan from Eastlands) and he moved swiftly to land Diniyar Bilyaletdinov from Lokomotiv Moscow for an undisclosed fee, generally believed to be £9m.

Not the head-turning, match-winning golden boy that Andrey Arshavin turned out to be for Russia in their impressive run to the semi-finals of the 2008 European Champions, Bilyaletdinov nevertheless played in every match for Guus Hiddink's side in the tournament, building on his reputation as a solid performer in left midfield.

Born in Moscow under Soviet rule, Diniyar was a product of the youth academy at Lokomotiv and made his debut as a 19 year-old in the 2004 season, winning the Russian Premier League that year and scoring 5 goals.

Bilyaletdinov is a central attacking midfielder who can play left wing and can also play right side and fill in at left back if really needed. Hes a tall, athletic player with good ball control and an eye for a pass and a lethal left foot when he is in the mood.

Although arriving in the middle of the Russian season, Moyes introduced him to English football in his typically cautious manner.  It was over a month before he got a full game and made only a couple of a late substitute appearances in the Premier League, despite being hugely influential in the two cup games he started.

Once he got his chance, he weighed in with his share of goals, some of them incredible, not least one against Manchester United in a 3-1 triumoh at Goodison Park that was simply stunning as he came down the inside right channel and lashed it past Edwin van der Sar.

His Everton career would become characterised by erratic form and an increasing lack of first-team chances, though; first when Steven Pienaar made the left-midfield slot his own and then, after the South African left for Tottenham in January 2011, when Leon Osman and Mikel Arteta were preferred in that role.

The consensus was that his best position was standing off the strikers in a more central role which would allow him to get a sight of goal or pop up around the six-yard box. That, of course, was the role owned by Tim Cahill but even with the Australian struggling for consistent fitness in 2011, Bily still wouldn't get his chance to shine in his preferred role.

Instead, following the arrival in August that year, of Royston Drenthe on loan from Real Madrid, Diniyar was reduced to a deputy role, filling in down the left when needed and with his confidence shot, he struggled to convince that he has what it takes to succeed in the Premier League. Indeed, the player himself admitted in an interview that he finds the pace and physicality of the Premier League hard to deal with.

That prompted press speculation that a move back to Russia was on the cards in the January 2012 transfer window and he completed a switch to Spartak Moscow in late January for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £5m.

Though his sign-off via Twitter to his Evertonian followers was upbeat about his experience at Goodison, Bily was honest about his frustrations at Everton's lack of creativity.

"Naturally, it (the open football) attracts me. This is exactly what Everton have been missing lately," he told reporters in Moscow.

"The team has problems with creating scoring chances, and converting them.

"There was a whole set of circumstances against me. It is not so easy to be a foreign player in England."

"But on the whole I am satisfied with the English stage of my career. I got invaluable experience from playing in the Premier League.

"And off the pitch, there were positives: during this time I learnt the language, got married, met many interesting people."

By Lyndon Lloyd and Michael Kenrick
Last updated January 2012

Everton Career
Season Squad
Apps (sub)
Apps (sub)
Apps (sub)
16 (7)
9 (1)
25 (8)
10 (16)
4 (2)
14 (18)
7 (3)
2 (0)
9 (3)
  Totals 33 (26) 8 15 (3) 1 48 (29) 9

Prior Club Record
Seasons Team Appearances (sub) Goals
2004-09 Lokomotiv Moscow 150 31


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