7 Yannick Bolasie

cgo Republic of the Congo
May 24, 1989

Yannick Bolasie joined Everton from Crystal Palace for an undisclosed fee in August 2016.

The Democratic Republic of Congo international signed a five-year contract with the Blues to June 2021.

Born in the French city of Lyon to Congolese parents, Bolasie moved to England when he was just seven months old and grew up in the London borough of Brent, a stone’s throw away from the old Wembley stadium.

After a brief spell with Hillingdon Borough of the Southern Football League, he moved across Europe to join Floriana in the Maltese Premier League.

He then returned to English shores after one season, signing for Championship outfit Plymouth Argyle in January 2010 and going on to play under the stewardship of Everton legend Peter Reid during his time on the south coast.

A season on loan with Barnet followed, before Bolasie joined Bristol City on a permanent basis in June 2011.

He hit the ground running at Ashton Gate, securing City’s Young Player of the Season award at the end of his one and only season with the club.

The tricky winger then secured a switch to Crystal Palace, helping the Eagles secure promotion to the Premier League – via the play-offs – in his first season with the London club.

Incidentally, Bolasie registered his maiden top-flight goal against the Toffees at Goodison Park in September 2014.

It was the first highlight of an impressive season for Bolasie, who netted an 11-minute hat-trick against Sunderland seven months later.

He also aided Crystal Palace to the 2016 FA Cup final, scoring an early goal in the semi-final as Alan Pardew’s side recorded a 2-1 win over Watford.

But the final proved to be a step too far for the Eagles, who finished runners-up of the competition after losing 2-1 to Manchester United.

Bolasie, eligible to represent France, England and DR Congo, turned down the first chance to play for DR Congo instead choosing to focus on his club career.

But the now 27-year-old then accepted the call from his nation of heritage when they came calling again in March 2013, with Bolasie making his international bow in a 2014 World Cup qualifier against Libya.

After scoring his first Everton goal at Burnley in September and making an impressive start to his Goodison career, Bolasie suffered cruciate ligament damage in December’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United with surgery curtailing his involvement in the remainder of the season.