Everton have become the latest Premier League club to sign a Russian national player, confirming the signature of 24-year-old Diniyar Bilyaletdinov. The midfielder comes to Goodison Park in the midst of the Russian Premier League season to help the Liverpool club secure their first points of the 2009 campaign.
The Moscow native, who debuted in the Lokomotiv system at the age of 19, has appeared in 185 games, finding the back of the net 38 times. At 20, Bilyaletdinov made his Russian national team debut and has appeared in 28 games since, sharing the field with current Russians in the EPL such as Roman Pavlyuchenko of Tottenham, Andrei Arshavin of Arsenal, and Yuri Zhirkov of Chelsea.
Bilyaletdinov is the fourth arrival in the transfer window to the club and arguably the most experienced, as the others have yet to notch any international experience despite being in the same age category. He will join Jô, who was loaned in from Manchester City, who also played in the RPL in 2005 with CSKA Moscow.
Bilyaletdinov is not the first Russian to appear in a Toffee's uniform, as Andrei Kanchelskis spent one year of his career with the club, netting 20 goals in 52 appearances in 1995-96. Bilyaletdinov is still looking to secure his work permits and will most likely make his debut against Fulham on Sept. 13 following Russia's World Cup Qualifier against Wales.