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EVERTON PAST PLAYER PROFILES

James Vaughan

Vaughan
Squad number 14
Position Striker
Born Birmingham
Date of birth 14 July 1988
Height 5' 11" (1.80 m)
Turned Pro July 2005
Joined from Youth Academy
Signed by David Moyes
Transfer fee None
Debut as sub v Crystal Palace (H)
10 April 2005
Full debut v Arsenal.(H)
18 March 2007
Contract duration 4 + 2 years
Contract expired June 2011
Left Everton 28 May 2011
Transfer Fee ~£2M
Destination Norwich City
Nickname(s) Norman
Honours England U-17, U-19
Youngest Premiership Goalscorer


STRENGTHS
Scores for fun in the Academy
Precocious
 
WEAKNESSES
That injured knee?
Youth


Soccerbase Datafile
Wikipedia Entry

 
Having worked his way up through the Everton ranks, like many before him, 16-year-old James Vaughan must have got a huge rush knowing he would be on the bench for one Everton's biggest games of the 2004-05 season — an FA Cup 5th Round tie at home to Manchester United

And although his manager opted to bring on two defenders and accept the inevitable at Old Trafford and then left Vaughan warming the bench the following week at Aston Villa, another chance for his record debut came the following weekend against Crystal Palace.

With 15 minutes to go in that game,  David Moyes finally found the moment to bring on Vaughan for his senior debut.  At the tender age of 16 years & 271 days, he became the youngest Everton player ever, beating Joe Royle's debut age by 11 days.  

And what a way to celebrate the occasion: scoring a debut goal that made him the Youngest Ever Everton Goalscorer, and the Youngest Ever Premier League Goalscorer

Vaughan could not sign a professional contract until after his 17th birthday in July 2005 but after fruitful negotiations with Everton, Vaughan was signed on to a four-year deal that would hopefully see him consolidate his place on the highest rung of English football.

Things did not go well for James the following season, however, with just one sub appearance (v Fulham) after which he sustained a serious knee injury while playing with the England U-19s in September 2005.  Knee surgery was required, and the long recovery process began.

The path to recovery was long and problematic, with the knee breaking down not once but twice before he was finally dispatched to Dr Richard Steadman's world-renowned Colorado clinic in April 2006.  His recovery was reported to be 'progressing' with hopes that he might figure in Everton's pre-season training programme come July 2006.

Vaughan finally reappeared in November 2006, partly because David Moyes ran out of options, due to injuries.  Commenting on Vaughan's injury woes, Moyes said "It's been a slow process for James. He's been doing extra sessions, and he's probably just a bit too brave for his own good sometimes. I'm not too sure whether he'd have made the 16 for the [West Ham] match had we not had those injuries, but he deserves his moment."  And he took it well, firing low and hard through keeper Robert Green to confirm Everton's win in well into stoppage time.

Progress for Vaughan was slow, however, and long periods went by without him playing any part despite the failure of James Beattie to hit the net, and with Andy Johnson going through a number of barren spells.  So it was that nearly two years had elapsed from Vaughan's initial appearance as a sub at senior level before he was given a starting berth � in a massive game against Arsenal which the Blues won thanks to an injury-time goal by Johnson.

James's emergence from the Everton Academy coincided with that of Victor Anichebe but many have regarded Vaughan as the better all-round striker.  That would appear to be supported by the fact that he had the greater impact at a younger age but those long-term injuries enabled Anichebe to stake his own claim at Goodison, particularly in the first half of the 2007-08 season when he scored some crucial goals in the Blues' Uefa Cup campaign.

Vaughan, however, has proved deadly when fit and given a chance, as evidenced by his own Uefa Cup, the winning goal in a 3-2 victory against AZ Alkmaar in December 2007 that condemned the Dutch side to their first defeat on home soil in European competition for 32 years.

He has good aerial ability, terrific pace, a devastating eye for goal, excellent strength to hold off defenders, and a never-say-die attitude that makes him an exciting player to watch. He recently earned his promotion to the England U-21 squad.

But sheer enthusiasm, all too often misplaced in overly exuberant play, proved his downfall again. In early March 2008 his knee locked up in training and Vaughan was sent off to knee specialist Dr Richard Steadman for an operation to fix the problem, which kept him out until August.

He recovered from that in time for the US tour of 2008, and came on as a sub in the first game (Chicago Fire) only to get dismissed for a silly tackle with 2 mins to go.  There was talk that he would be suspended for the start of the season and David Moyes was apparently furious with him.

Vaughan's opportunities were restricted somewhat at the start of the 2008-09 season, perhaps due to more undisclosed problems with his knee that finally led to more surgery in November 2008... but not by  Dr Richard Steadman, who broke his arm skiing!  After a fruitless trip to Colorado, Vaughan had the surgery done in England and was back in training by March, but only a handful of sub appearances followed under Moyes's softly-softly approach to rehabilitation.

He made his return against Man Utd in the FA Cup semi-final, coming on in the first period of extra time and scoring his penalty in the shootout that saw Everton famously beat the Mancs 4-2. He went on to play in the FA Cup Final, coming on as a second half substitute. But mostly it was another season wasted, with not a single goal to show for his efforts. Near the end of the 2009 summer transfer window there were rumours of moves to Stoke, Newcastle and then (after the transfer window closed) Middlesbrough on loan.

In September 2009 he left for a three-month loan spell with Derby County, where it was hoped he would get plenty of injury-free first-team football. But that fell flat after just two games when he got injured in October, cutting short the loan deal while he once again recovered from injury for an extended period.  Goodison was surprised to see him named on the subs' bench in the game before Christmas 2009 but could not see much point in giving him 2 mins on the field when the game was effectively over.

He was given just one start in 2009-10, going on loan again in the Spring, this time to Leicester City, where he was less than impressive... but at least he managed a goal, his future with Everton seemingly hanging in the balance. 

With David Moyes bringing in both Jermaine Beckford and Magaye Gueye to strengthen his attacking options, Vaughan looked to be slipping backwards in the pecking order, and rumours were rife that someone would come in for him... but no-one did before the transfer window closed on 1 September 2010.  But a week or so later, a loan deal was finally struck, with Vaughan going to Crystal Palace on a three-month loan where he got 14 starts and 5 goals. 

He returned, and came on as sub in one game for Everton, which then scuppered the next planned loan move when nobody came in for him in January 2011, so Moyes packed him off back to Palace for the rest of the season. This time, he got another 14 starts and 4 goals.

At the end of May 2011, Vaughan was finally moved on after a season where he was put out on loan for two spells at Crystal Palace. After a disappointing Everton career that never really delivered, punctuated by many many injuries, Vaughan only scored 9 goals in just 11 starts for Everton in stats that belie an incredible 49 sub appearances. Meanwhile, he scored the same number of goals in his 30 games on loan at Palace!

Everton agreed an undisclosed fee (rumoured to be around £2M) with Norwich City, who gave the Birmingham lad a 3-year deal in preparation for their promotion to the Premier League.

"It was hard to leave Everton," Vaughan told the club's website. "I've been there since I was six but now it's time to move on and try and get some games elsewhere."

He then had a loan spell at Huddersfield Town for the majority of the 2012-13 season, before signing permanent terms on 3 July 2013. He spent two-and-a-half seasons with Huddersfield before joining Birmingham City on loan. The move was made permanent at the end of the 2015-16 season, but his stay was brief, as he joined Bury in August 2016.

Vaughan played for just a single season at Bury, making 40 appearances and scoring 24 goals. He completed a move to Championship club Sunderland in July 2017, playing 27 times before leaving to join Wigan Athletic in January 2018. He spent time on loan at Portsmouth in 2018–19.

On 25 June 2019, it was announced that Vaughan would join League Two club Bradford City, following his release by Wigan, on a 3-year contract. Ahead of the new season, he was named as Bradford City's new club captain but, in January 2020 he would go out on loan to Tranmere Rovers.


Everton Career
Season Squad
Number
League
Apps (sub)
League
Goals
Cup
Apps (sub)
Cup
Goals
Total
Apps (sub)
Total
Goals
2004-05
31
0 (2)
1
0 (0)
0
0 (2)
1
2005-06
29
0 (1)
0
0 (0)
0
0 (1)
0
2006-07
22
7 (7)
4
0 (1)
0
7 (8)
4
2007-08
14
0 (8)
1
1 (4)
1
1 (12)
2
2008-09
14
1 (12)
0
1 (3)
0
2 (15)
0
2009-10
14
0 (8)
1
1 (2)
1
1 (10)
2
2010-11
14
0 (1)
0
0 (0)
0
0 (1)
0
  Totals
8 (39)
7
3 (10)
2
11 (49)
9

 

Everton Academy and Reserves Record
Season Team Appearances (sub) Goals
2003-04 U-17s 1 (22) 3
2004-05 U-18s, YC  & Res 7 (6), 3( 0)  & 16 (2) 4, 1 & 7
2005-06 Reserves 2 (0) 0
2006-07 Reserves 9 (0) 3
2007-08 Reserves 4 (0) 3
2008-09 Reserves 7 (0) 5
2009-10 Reserves 0 (0) 0
Loan Spells
Season Team Appearances (sub) Goals
Sep-Oct 09 Derby County 2 (0) 0
  Leicester City    
  Crystal Palace    



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