While Evertonians agonized over the massive saga of misinformation
surrounding the long drawn-out transfers of Manuel Fernandes and Yakubu in August
2007, Everton announced a signing no-one expected: goalkeeper Stefan Wessels from FC Cologne.
The former Bayern Munich goalkeeper, the first German player to play for Everton, was drafted in on a free transfer from FC Köln as extra cover for Tim Howard above and beyond the more raw and inexperienced duo of Iain Turner and John Ruddy.
Wessels (pronounced like vessels) was a former understudy to German great Oliver Kahn at Bayern but was restricted to U-21 and Germany B level at international level.
He went on to make 93 appearances for Köln before taking the opportunity of a one-year contract at Goodison Park where he took his preferred no. 33 jersey.
Wessels eventually made his Everton debut when Tim Howard dislocated a finger while on international duty with the USA, lining up against Champions Manchester United when they came to Goodison in mid-September 2007. The Blues were heading for a hard-earned draw when Namenja Vidic stole in to bury a header past the helpless Wessels with seven minutes left.
He went on to make his European bow for Everton against Metalist Kharkiv and, as David Moyes elected to rotate his squad somewhat, was also used in the Carling Cup and FA Cup — Everton exited the latter, of course, at the 3rd Round stage in humiliating fashion when Oldham's Gary MacDonald put the only goal of the
game past Wessels from 20-odd yards.
Wessels played no further part in Everton's season, and was released in
By Michael Kenrick and Lyndon Lloyd
Last updated June 2008
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