Two months of being linked with everyone on and off the earth are over. The Premier League spent over £1billion on players for the first time in history, meaning 13 clubs out of 20 had made a record signing and almost every club having there most expensive window’s in their history. Everton was involved in just under 13% of the summer window spending (includes signings and sells). We saw everything, ambitious and same old, potential and bizarre, money splashed and safe options chosen and everything in-between. Has it been successful? Have we lived up to our expectations? Here’s my analysis.
Well I could just hyperlink my preview for the window and just leave this bit out but I’m not that lazy. We must remember that this was the first summer under our major shareholder Farhad Moshiri. He already gave Martinez the boot, who made us all feel that we was back in the 90s and brought in football legend Ronald Koeman. He also took Leicester’s head scout, Steve Walsh, and gave him a promotion as director of football.
After such a long time of false positivity, it was a big sigh of relief seeing a new system come in. The whole “project” isn’t just for this summer; it’s going to take a good 3/4 years before we see any significant step. This point was totally forgotten. It was a time when we was being linked with Mata and Witsel, Everton fans of all where hyped, we believed we was going to make a super-signing, however all we was introduced to was the harsh reality of the transfer market.
We needed a few things though, a goalkeeper, centre-back, right-back, midfielder and a striker where all positions I highlighted. The squad looked shallow and was in desperate requirement of a few fresh and marquee signings. Overall, expectations were really high after two years of pain, Everton were back before we’d even planned our quest to the top.
Incomings – (Money Spent: £46.07m)
Everton’s most expensive window saw all of our first-team additions come from the Premier League and the lower leagues also. Despite being linked with many players abroad, Koeman brought in players who’d all fought in relegation battles over the last few seasons. We were in desperate need of players who fight for the ball and do anything to win it back.
Yannick Bolaise was our most expensive purchase, signing from Crystal Palace for £25m. At an age of 27 and being involved in just 8 goals last season, you could understand the uproar towards the skillful winger. However, 1-on-1, he’s brilliant. He scraps for the ball and is a decent presser of the ball; we’ve badly missed a forward player who could do that (*cough* Steven Naismith). Maybe for £25million we could’ve got someone a lot better but he provides a lot of talent. I’m not totally against the buy but we needed another ball-carrying forward in the team.
A player we have all loved since joining is Idrissa Gueye. The Senegalese midfielder was brought in from Aston Villa and has already made more tackles than anybody else in the Premier League (16). With the amount of money spent, we’ve cheated the market with this man. He sweeps, recycles, repeats. What’s made his buy even better is that he has brought the forward abilities of Gareth Barry back, distributing more long balls and moving forward more. A fantastic buy in my eyes.
Ashley Williams was brought in to replace John Stones. Despite being 9 years older, the Welsh captain has brought organization and aggression back in the Everton defence. What’s even better is that he isn’t afraid to smash it into row Z, in fact he made more clearances than anybody else in Europe’s top 5 leagues last campaign. For £12m he’s a good signing for now, but I feel we should’ve brought somebody else who is younger and in need of development for a cheaper price. A good buy for the short term.
Stekelenburg was the first and probably the most surprising buy, not in terms that we’ve bought him but in terms of him being our number 1 goalkeeper. He’s played very well so far, impressing in all the games he played in. Enner Valencia came in on loan from West Ham with an option to buy later on. For me, it has panic buy written all over it. He can hit a good free kick but that’s all I see in him. I don’t want to write him off instantly, he could still turn out to be a good buy but it’s a gamble.
Outgoings – (Money Received: £47.26m)
In fairness of Everton, we’ve done extremely well in keeping our best players. Lukaku looked set to leave before the window but he remains an Everton player, Leighton Baines, Ross Barkley and Kevin Mirallas have all received very high interest over the years – even if the clubs involved don’t even make a bid. We have done very well for ourselves keeping talent even though we had no money or trophies to back it up.
Despite this, selling Stones was a disappointment in my opinion. Criticism has been understandable last campaign, it didn’t help that Martinez gave him barley any support (as shown in Stones’ interview with the Guardian). It was a shame, but I see why other Everton fans wanted him gone. Cruyff turns in the six-yard box and constant mistakes were very frustrating, but there is potential of a world-class centre-back there. Last campaign overshadowed the fact he was probably our best defender in Martinez’s first two seasons. Either way, I’m happy with the money we’ve got for him; after all we’ve got another lad from Barnsley who’s even better (*wink*, *wink*).
Loan deals for Shani Tarashaj and Brendan Galloway were the only other significant outgoings. The Bundesliga has developed some of the best talent in world football over the past few seasons and Tarashaj will get good development in the league. Galloway is being coached under Tony Pulis, who we all know very well for “sitting back” and “defend for your lives” tactics. Both should receive good progress at their loan clubs.
So was it successful?
For me it was ok. Of course not signing a top striker or another goalkeeper is a big disappointment, but we it’s extremely difficult when you have no European football to offer. The whole Sissoko and Witsel drama never helped us; it just built more and more frustration on the supporters. We should’ve done the business early; there is no doubt about that. Chelsea, Manchester City and United all got done and dusted before the window closed because of transfers made before the start of the season.
However, Gueye and Stekelenburg signings look absolute gems. Bolasie is a risk but has linked very well with Lukaku so far and his ability on the ball has impressed a lot. Williams has already made our defence so much more organised and has brought the best out of Holgate and Jagielka also. I think we could’ve easily spent near enough to £100m this window, but we’ve held back and not rushed. Yes there are still some positions that need covering, but we didn’t splash the cash on players who aren’t worth a third of the amount we’ve paid for them.
Transfer window’s suck if you are an Everton fan. I think I’ll stick to that quote for a while. Seriously though, it wasn’t that bad. Of course there is always going to be a player we wished we should’ve signed but this is just the start of the “Moshiri revolution”. The squad looks a lot healthier, we’ve got 7 points out of 9, Koeman has already improved players such as Mirallas/Jagielka massively. Are the good times back? At least we can watch Match of the Day more often now.
Stats from Transfermarkt,
Up the Toffees
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