An exciting option in coach Lars Lagerback’s attack, Victor Anichebe faced a rush to fitness in the second half of the 2009/10 season to be ready for the FIFA World Cup™ this summer. In fact, the Everton player was out of action for almost an entire year after a knee injury in February of 2009, but the 22-year-old worked hard to prove his fitness and showed flashes of his famous potential in the Premier League. His well-taken goal against Birmingham in March - he turned with a man on his back and finished from the edge of the area - proved both that he was back in business and that he is comfortable as a target man as well as across the front line.
Lanky but full of pace, Anichebe was born in Lagos but moved to England at a very young age. He came up through the Everton youth system, making his debut for the Toffees at just 17 years old, and he turned down advances to play for England’s U-21 team in favour of his birth country. Having just turned 20, Anichebe seemed to be going from strength to strength as he won his first full international cap in the spring of 2008 and featured three times in the early rounds of 2010 World Cup qualifying. He then helped the Nigerians to the silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing before suffering his long injury layoff while back with the Toffees. Question marks about his first team readiness remain after less a dozen appearances with the club in 2010, but there could be no finer place to stage a comeback than the World Cup finals in South Africa.