It's time to look back at some highly touted footballers whose careers, for one reason or another, didn't quite pan out as expected. Below, we check in to see what became of these once-prodigious youngsters.
The poster child for wonderkids who failed to meet expectations, Ghanaian-born Adu penned a contract at the age of 14 and became the youngest player in the history of U.S. professional sports when he debuted for D.C. United in 2004. Adu's notoriety at the time can't be oversold.
Traded from D.C. United in 2006, the former U.S. international bounced from Real Salt Lake to a drab spell at Benfica that begot four loans, then back to MLS. Tenures in Brazil, Serbia, and Finland followed, with countless other fruitless trials preceding a return to the U.S. Adu last played in 2018 with the USL's Las Vegas Lights.
When Arsenal paid a then-obscene £8 million to lure Jeffers from Everton in 2001, "Fox in the Box" Franny appeared a sure thing. A one-cap wonder with England's senior side, Jeffers is still a joint-top scorer for the Under-21s (alongside Alan Shearer) with 13 goals in 16 appearances.
But injuries, poor form, and a slew of world-beaters ahead of him in Arsene Wenger's peak Gunners squad saw Jeffers return to Everton on loan before he bounced around England. He was then off to Australia, Malta, and back to Australia before ending his career at Accrington Stanley in 2013.