• Wikipedia Entry
Everton sealed the capture of midfield prospect Francisco Santos Da Silva Júnior in February 2012 after the 20-year-old put pen to paper on a four-and-a-half-year deal.
The Guinea-Bissau-born player began his career with Benfica in Portugal in 2008, and he was contracted to the club until 2013 as there was a clause in the contract that automatically converted Júnior's youth contract into a professional contract.
He was loaned to UD Leiria in 2011 but apparently never showed up to play for them, and it was found that the player had been training with Manchester City, supposedly unbeknownst to Benfica!
After a legal wrangle, Junior was eventually released back to Benfica who were compensated to the tune of €1.5million. His contract there eventually expired, however, and he was eligible to make the switch to Goodison Park outside of the winter transfer window in 2012.
Upon first arriving midfielder said: "I feel very happy to have joined Everton. It’s a great challenge and now I just want to show my talent to the fans.
"My first mission is to try to get into the first team. Then it is to win over the fans and to win things with Everton. They’re a big team and they’re a team which is normally challenging for cups or for the European places. That is what I want to do.
After an impressive display in a pre-season friendly at Motherwell
then manager David Moyes indicated that he felt Junior had a good chance of being involved in his plans for the 2012-13 season but it would be a considerable time before Junior was risked at the top level and when his chance arrived it was, unfortunately, in the League Cup debacle against Leeds United in September 2012.
He was hauled off at half-time in that ill-fated game as Moyes sought to address a poor performance from his under-strength team in a game that ended with a 2-1 defeat for the Blues.
Júnior didn't see first-team action again under Moyes and was farmed out on loan to Vitesse Arnhem by Roberto Martinez in August 2013
but made only 2 sub appearances in 6 months.
In February 2014, Everton decided to switch his
loan deal to Strømsgodset in Norway for the
rest of their season, which ran all the way through the summer.
He returned to Everton in August 2014 but remained out of the picture even at Under-21 level for long stretches and it later emerged that his personal life had spiralled out of control to a degree following the death of his mother.
In a post on his Instagram page he said: "After I
lost my mum three years ago I lost my world. I been nearly nine years now
living alone with no family and zero support off no-one."
He admitted that he had fallen in with the wrong friends and was tempted into partying and drinking which affected his conditioning and his focus.
He was eventually loaned out to Port Vale but picked up a hamstring injury on his
debut in a 3-1 defeat to Leyton Orient and returned to Everton for
In the 2015-16 season, he spent a time at Wigan Athletic where he appeared to be making some progress alongside his Finch Farm team-mate Jonjoe Kenny but he was forced to return to Everton after a few weeks because of a groin problem.
Finally, in mid-February 2016, it was announced that he had decided to make a free transfer move back to Norway with Strømsgodset where he signed a two-year deal.