Chinese superstar Li Tie initially signed for the Blues on a 12-month loan deal in August 2002 as part of Everton’s new sponsorship deal with electronics giant Kejian.
In the summer of 2003 he signed a permanent three-year deal at Goodison.
Li, who has won over 75 caps for his country played in each of China’s three 2002 World Cup games against Brazil, Costa Rica and Turkey.
The defensive midfielder won his first cap for his country in 1998 and since then has established himself as China’s most talented player.
Before his Everton switch, both Ajax and Perugia were linked with Li Tie, who was impressive in China’s qualification for their first ever World Cup Finals.
The energetic star has encountered disciplinary problems in the past, but was voted the Most Valuable Player of the Chinese League in 2002.
He missed the majority of the 2003/04 season when he fractured his shin whilst on international duty.
Combining accurate passing with phenomenal workrate, Li Tie is an important member of David Moyes’ squad.