Signed in the dying days of Walter Smith’s managerial reign, Everton reputedly beat off a whole host of Premier League and Serie A clubs to capture the £2.5 million signing of Swedish international defensive midfielder, Tobias Linderoth. He came from good footballing stock: his father, Anders Linderoth, was in the 1970s a distinguished international and later a well regarded coach in Sweden.
Hopes that Linderoth may emerge as the midfield anchor Everton had been crying out for since the days of Joe Parkinson or Peter Reid were soon confounded. The only attributes he shared with his forbears was a hideous susceptibility to injury, which sidelined him for most of his first eighteen months at the club. Given his chance in the disastrous 2003/04 campaign, he showed glimpses of composure and good positioning, but no adventure or sense that he may ever take the game by the scruff of the neck. Indeed for the most part he was hugely ineffective.
With just a year remaining on his contract, in the summer of 2004 David Moyes decided that a £1million offer from FC Copenhagen was too good to resist, and Linderoth returned to Scandinavia. This fee was reinvested in the acquisition of Tim Cahill – proof, perhaps, that every cloud has a silver lining.