Andy van der Meyde
- Born: 30/09/1979
- Birthplace: Arnhem
- Nationality: Dutch
- Apps/ Goals: 14 (10) / 0
Andy van der Meyde became Everton's eighth signing of a hectic summer in 2005 when he arrived from Inter on transfer deadline day.
He put pen-to-paper on a four-year contract with the Blues - a deal set to keep him at Goodison until the age of 29.
A talented winger capable of playing on either flank or as a second striker, he provided David Moyes with a wealth of attacking options.
Andy began his career with his hometown club of Vitesse Arnhem in the Dutch top flight.
But his talents were quickly spotted by the mighty Ajax, who signed him in 1997 at the age of 17.
He was groomed at the Amsterdam club, making a handful of appearances for the first team before being loaned to Twente for the 1999/2000 campaign.
He made a glittering impression on the Dutch league during that campaign, making 32 appearances to ensure that when he returned to Ajax it was as a first-team regular.
Between 2000 and 2003 the attacking winger made 86 senior appearances for Ajax, scoring 20 goals.
It was that form which attracted the attentions of Inter, with coach Hector Cuper snapping him up in the summer of 2003 in a £5million deal.
Van der Meyde's pace and ability to deliver quality crosses from wide-positions are rated as his real assets.
But those qualities and his attacking instincts ensured he struggled to settle in the Italian League, with the arrival of new coach Roberto Mancini leading to a change in the player's fortunes.
He played 31 games in two seasons with Inter but was regularly linked with moves away from Serie A.
The Premier League is much more suited to his style of play. He is predominantly right footed, comfortable in possession, quick and enjoys taking on defenders.
Unfortunately for the likeable Dutchman, he managed only 11 appearances for the Blues in his debut season. Injury, and later suspension, meant he found it difficult to make a mark on the Premier League.
But he did show flashes of the flair and skill that he undoubtedly possesses and proved highly popular with the Goodison Park faithful.
But that flair was all too fleeting during a 2006/07 season that was, once again, marred by injury, loss of form and media reports concerning his personal life. As a result, he made a handful of first-team appearances, starting just seven games.
The 2007/08 campaign started in similar fashion for the Dutchman and he was subsequently suspended. The unfortunate winger never managed to get closer than a place on the substitutes' bench throughout the season - largely due to injuries.
It was the same story in 2008/09 when van der Meyde made only a couple of substitute appearances - though one did see him set up Dan Gosling's famous FA Cup derby winner.
Released at the end of the campaign, Andy returned home to join PSV but failed to make an appearance for the club.
He announced his retirement from the game in February 2011, aged 31.