Everton were keen to play down their £250k capture of Greek youngster Apostolos Vellios in January 2011, the only incoming player during the transfer window that saw a number of Everton players departing by transfer (Steven Pienaar) or out on loan (James Vaughan, Yakubu).
They had to fend off apparent interest from Aston Villa, Fulham, Olympiacos, AEK Athens and Bolgona, though, to convince the then 19-year-old his future was on Merseyside:
"The Premier League was my number one choice and as soon as I came here to Everton, saw the stadium, the training ground and met with the players and coach I knew this was the place for me," he said.
"I was so impressed and I feel very good here."
Capped 14 times for the Greek U-19 team by that stage and having scored seven times at that level, Vellios started impressing the coaches at Finch Farm, scoring Everton’s only goal in a 5-1 reserve team drubbing by Blackburn Rovers in February that year.
The goal was a cooly taken strike from Nathan Craig’s pass, and it was the first step towards staking a claim for a place in David Moyes’s first team plans.
That chance was not to come for another couple of months, though, when a horrendous injury crisis in the first-team squad left the manager with only the misfiring Jermaine Beckford as a recognized striker.
Vellios was duly given a 10-minute debut appearance at the end of a home match against Aston Villa by way of an introduction to Premier League football.
Another 10-minute cameo at Molineux against Wolves followed in the Blues' next game but that was to be his last involvement at first-team level until pre-season in the summer of 2011 and the beginning of the 2011-12 season itself when it looked as though his Everton career had burst into life.
A terrific headed goal as a substitute in a 3-1 win over Wigan Athletic in September, followed by predatory strikes at Chelsea and Bolton had the young Greek as Everton's joint-top scorer until the New Year but he was unable to make a first-team berth his own.
Disappointing outings when deployed as the lone striker in Moyes's preferred 4-4-1-1 formation indicated that he either wasn't suited to or wasn't ready for the role and he had yet complete 90 minutes in an Everton shirt when Nikica Jelavic was signed at the end of January 2012 and, temporarily at least, solved the Blues' goalscoring problems.
Though Jelavic's form would slump in the 2012-13 campaign, Vellios' opportunities were few and far between that season — although the pair would combine for one of the most memorable goals of the season, a dramatic last-minute winner against rivals Tottenham at Goodison Park in December 2012.
In all, he would make just six appearances in the 2012-13 season, all as a substitute, making Vellios' second season at Goodison a frustrating one for him personally, albeit one of consolidation at reserve-team level.
The following season under Moyes's successor, Roberto Martinez, would prove to be even more barren for Vellios, who only made it as far as the substitutes' bench on a handful of occasions in the Spaniard's first season in charge.
Forced to counter via Twitter rumours of a questionable attitude and a refusal to take a step down by going out on loan to a Football League club, Vellios eventually secured a loan to Blackpool in March 2014.
At the end of the season, he was released by Everton
By Michael Kenrick and Lyndon Lloyd
Last updated May 2014