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Everton Past Player Profile

Peter Degn  FACTS
Born Somewhere in Denmark, 6 April 1977.
Height 5' - 8" (1.73 m)
Joined Everton from �rhus in February 1999 (�200,000)
Signed by Walter Smith
Debut Sub v Manchester United (a), 21 March 1999
Full v Oxford United (h), 22 September 1999
Left Everton to join Brondby in July 2001 (~�50k)
Final� v Oxford United (h), 22 September 1999
Honours 29 Danish Youth caps
 Seasons  Club  Apps  Gls
1994-1996 Ebletoft (Dan) ?? -
1996-1999 �rhus GF (Dan) 76 3

  • Great dribbling skills
  • Sets up up a lot goals
  • Discipline: Yellows and Reds for dissent
  • Not very good... seriously!
Walter Smith sneaked off to Denmark and pulled in a surprise mid-season transfer for Everton, well away from the pathetic and ill-informed speculation of tabloid jurno hacks and illiterate Teamtalk lackies, who completely missed this one.

Peter Degn was one of the best players in �rhus GF.  He had his debut in the Danish Superleague 3 years ago, when just 18 years old.  The same year, AGF reached the Danish Cup final, were Peter Degn scored. From that time he has been an AGF hero.

Normally he plays an attacking right-sided midfielder, but he can also play in attack and as a right-back/full-back in the defense.  In some games, when the AGF keeper had received a red card or an injury during a game, Peter Degn has played in goal (and all games but one he kept a clean sheet).  He is captain of the Danish under-21 national team.

Although �rhus have been at the bottom of their league, Degn has played well.  But, cause there's always a but, he has a very bad temperament. In the 12 games he played from August to November 1998, he has received two red cards, and a number of yellow ones.

All in all he is a very talented young player.

He broke through in Spring 1996, when he scored in the Danish Compaq Cup final. His 1996/97 season had many ups and downs, only becoming settled by the end of the season. He has secured his place as first choice in the Danish Under-21 team. An incredible dribbler he supports the attack from the right side of midfield. Still, Degn has big problems with his discipline, and he gets yellow cards too often, mainly through dissent. No doubt his hero is Stig Tofting (a very controversial Duisburg/AGF and Denmark star)!

Statistics for 1997/98 (with AGF):

  • Games: 30,  Goals: 0,  Assists: 16,  Booked: 10,  Sent Off: 0,
  • Substituted: 13,  Sub appearances: 2,  Sub - but not used: 0.
  • Ratings: (goes from 1 to 99, 99 is best)
  • Average rating: 59.7,  Highest: 85,  Lowest: 37,  Man Of The Match: 1

It took over a month for Peter Degn to eventually pull on an Everton shirt in anger.  A chest infection kept him at bay, and the postponement of four successive reserves matches meant his debut was delayed until Old Trafford.  Reports suggest he acquitted himself well in another misguided effort by Walter Smith to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat.

Degn remained on the periphery of the main squad for the tussle with relegation in the Spring of 1999, appearing as a sub on three more occasions.  As a result, its hard to form much of an opinion of him.

He finally made his full debut as part of an experimental reserve side against a cocky Oxford United team in the Worthington League Cup that went on to humiliate him and the other fringe Everton players at Goodison Park.  Then he managed to get sent home from the Danish U-21 squad for going out gambling.  And he amassed five yellows and his first suspension, while playing in the reserves!  On the basis of this woeful outing, we won't be seeing too much of Peter Degn...

And finally, in October 2000, Peter Degn returned to Aarhus on loan until the end of the Danish season (in December 2000).  He them appeared to pick up an injury and came back to Everton to recuperate... making an increasingly rare appearance for the reserves as the season wore on...

Peter Degn must go down as one of Walter Smith's abject failures in the transfer market.  Another young player who could not respond to Walter & Archie's Punch & Judy show?  Another foreign player wholly unsuited to the English Premiership?  Or a classic transfer scam pulled by AN unscrupulous agent on a manager who should have know al lot better?

After hardly any interest was shown by other clubs, Peter Degn eventually secured a return to Denmark when he signed with Brondby for a "nominal fee" � believed to be around �50,000 � with 12 months still left on his Everton contract.

A rare snippet (from Lincoln City coach David Preece) maybe illustrates why he never got a shot in a team scrapping for survival:

"One time Everton starlet, Peter Degn, and I were talking about his time at Goodison, which then progressed to a much broader chat on English football. For the record, Peter Degn is probably one of the most gifted talents I have played with but a classic case of such a player there ever was. For all the abundance of technique, skill and creativity he possessed, the application to the other side of his game was a barren wasteland. But man, what a player. For every time I’d scream to the bottom of my lungs at him to track back, I’d marvel at his ability to put a ball, be it a cross or a shot, anywhere he wanted. But yes, it must be said, fitness was not his friend.

"So we discussed the English game and his love of our passion, attitude and the energy we showed in game but it was a discussion broken with a verbal punch to the kidneys: 'You run all the time, chasing everything. You’re all fucking stupid.'

'Hold on, Degn.' I said, rushing to my county’s defence. 'You’re not the cleverest either, to be fair'.

He laughed and told me I’d got him wrong. 'I mean you’re football stupid. You waste all of your energy chasing down meaningless balls or pressuring when you’re alone and get picked off. You chase down back passes to goalkeepers, every time, all the time. It’s stupid'."

A telling postscript to this sorry episode appeared in Broken Dreams by Tom Brewer:

During a trip together to Denmark in 1998, Stretford had persuaded Walter Smith, the manager of Everton to buy Peter Degn, a midfielder from Aarhus.  Michael Dunford, Everton's Chief Executive, exploded in an unusual challenge: "Bloody hell, Walter, what a waste of space....'Degn's useless'." 

Four years later, after four appearances, Degn was transferred back to Denmark.  Michael Dunford's opinion about the forceful-talking Stretford was explicit: "He wants his pound of flesh, but I wouldn't buy a second hand car from him."

Stretford's rebuttal was explicit: "I didn't pull one over on them.  I believe the person who decides to buy the player is the manager."  To prove his credibility Stretford sold Everton four more players after the Degn debacle.

The 'Stretford' in question is Paul Stretford, head of ProActive Sports Management, who would later play a central role in spiriting away Everton's Wayne Rooney to Manchester United...  And Michael Dunford owned 40,000 shares in ProActive...  Oh the tangled web..

Season Squad
1998-99 22 0 (4) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (4) 0
1999-2k 22 0 (0) 0 1 (0) 0 1 (0) 0


0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0

Totals: 0 (4) 0 1 (0) 0 1 (4) 0

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