Francis Jeffers signed for Arsenal in 2001 for what was then a substantial £13.77m but it never worked out for him in London, so where is he now?

Francis Jeffers Arsenal FC West Bromwich Albion V Arsenal The Hawthorns, West Bromich 26 December 2002 Copyright: Allstar/Richard Selle
Francis Jeffers Arsenal FC West Bromwich Albion V Arsenal The Hawthorns, West Bromich 26 December 2002 Copyright: Allstar/Richard Selle

Francis Jeffers played just 39 times for Arsenal, scoring eight goals and assisting three. He arrived from Everton with massive expectations after scoring six goals in 12 games for the Toffees as a teenager but the Fox in the Box turned out to be more hen than hunter.

His first season with Arsenal saw him make just 10 appearances, scoring two and assisting one. Jeffers started just one league game that season. His first goal came in September against Sam Allardyce’s Bolton, opening the scoring on 74 minutes before Arsenal went on to concede with six minutes left to draw 1-1.

Jeffers’ second season saw him register 28 appearances but only six goals and two assists along with just two league starts. The following season, he was sent back to Everton on loan and never wore an Arsenal shirt again. When his Everton loan was up, after 23 appearances and two goals, he was sold to Charlton for just £3.51m.

His career after that became one of a journeyman. From Charlton he went to Rangers, Blackburn, Ipswich, Blackburn, Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle United Jets (A League), Motherwell, Florian, and Accrington, with periods in between without a club.

Jeffers finally hung up his boots in 2013 after 280 career appearances, 49 goals and 13 assists.

He was named one of the worst seven signings of the Arsene Wenger era.

What is Francis Jeffers doing now?

Francis Jeffers at Ipswich
Francis Jeffers at Ipswich

Until recently, Jeffers was working as a coach with Everton’s u23s, joining Duncan Ferguson’s backroom staff in 2019. He left that role in May to join Paul Cook’s coaching staff at League One’s Ipswich Town.

“It’s a great opportunity for me and one I couldn’t turn down” Jeffers said.

“I’m an Evertonian so it was a difficult decision to leave but Ipswich is a massive club and I’m relishing the chance to help the club get back to where it should be.

“I’ve been a big admirer of Paul Cook and his work for many years and now to be part of his backroom team is very exciting and I can’t wait to get going.

“Obviously I was here as a player on loan and I loved my time here (03/2007-05/2007, nine appearances, four goals, three assists).

“I’ve seen some familiar faces around the place and it’s brought back some great memories. I should have stayed to be honest.

“The fans took to me and I took to them and now I’ve got another opportunity to be involved at this fantastic club.”

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.