In an exclusive interview for FourFourTwo magazine, former Everton manager Joe Royle has revealed his ongoing regret over the sale of Andrei Kanchelskis and how if he was faced with the same situation again he would have handled the situation very differently.
Royle signed Kanchelskis during the summer of 1995 on the back of Everton’s FA Cup success. The Ukranian born Russian international cost Everton a then club record fee of £5 million, when he joined the Blues from Manchester United and went on to make an immediate impact at Goodison Park. Joe Royle takes up the story.
“He gave Everton one magnificent season where he scored 16 in 32 games, without any free-kicks or penalties. In fact many Evertonians put him in their best ever Everton team despite only one full season. But the next season he was muddled. He had a succession of niggling injuries and knew the Italians wanted him. I could see it was getting to the other players. In the end I felt it was really getting on top of him. In hindsight, if I was in the same position again I’d probably just send him on holiday for a few weeks.”
The Italians that Royle referred to were Fiorentina, who completed an £8 million deal to take Kanchelskis to Serie A. Kanchelskis failed to recapture the same form and his career somewhat petered our with further transfers to Glasgow Rangers and Manchester City.
During that 18 month spell Kanchelskis spent at Goodison, the flying winger was outstanding. Probably his finest moment came at Anfield as Everton secured a brilliant 2-1 victory, Kanchelskis scoring both Everton goals as the Blues outplayed Liverpool with a performance full of brilliant attacking play. Relive that brilliant evening by clicking on the YouTube clip below and use the comments box below to let us know your memories of Kanchelskis.