Signed for a hefty £2.2million from freshly relegated Sheffield Wednesday in the summer of 2000, Niclas Alexandersson arrived at Goodison with a reputation as a sensible if unspectacular midfielder with an eye for goal. A Swedish international, who had played in the Champions League with IFK Gothenburg before joining Wednesday for £750,000 in 1997, he was a favourite at Hillsborough in a struggling side.

A somewhat pedestrian right-sided midfielder – he lacked the pace and skill to ever really be considered an out-and-out winger – his patent mediocrity was in keeping with Walter Smith’s dismal teams of the early 2000s. Although he struggled with injuries, he continued to play a more telling role for his national team than he did his club, scoring against England at the 2002 World Cup Finals. Following David Moyes’s arrival, despite scoring in two of his first three games as manager, the Swede lost his place and his last game came in the 1-2 FA Cup defeat to Shrewsbury Town in January 2003.

For Everton he played no part in the 2003/04 season and thereafter he played on loan at West Ham, and on his release in 2004 rejoined Gothenburg.