Four permanent first team players in and 3 players out. It may not of been the busiest window we’ll ever participate in but it was a very important one.
Gareth Barry was an obvious one, but even that was a struggle with a few other clubs interested. Barry decided to take the 3 year deal on offer at Everton and became our first signing of the summer. A very important addition as at that point we only had two central midfielers and we knew what we were getting.
Another protracted transfer was Muhamed Besic from Ferencvaros which added another body into that central midfield area and utility cover for central defence and at right-back. Nervous debut flicks aside this appears to be a very good signing and the exact player we needed to bolster a position that was going to be seriously tested by our increase of games as McCarthy and Barry looked tired at points last season. For only a reported £4m it seems like an extremely good deal. The early optimism was almost instantly killed by a mistake vs Chelsea but I expect him to move quickly on from that and become a great player for us.
Romelu Lukaku was a momentous buy from the club. We have lacked a decent striker for longer than anyone would care to remember and being able to sign a player permanently who was so important for us last season was a huge coup for the club and was the single most important position that the club needed to address in the summer. They did it in spectacular fashion with a £28m fee, for once a disclosed fee from the club. We all know Lukaku’s flaws but he’ll develop and grow. It was a phenomenal signing for the club and would make the whole window a massive success on it’s own.
Samuel Eto’o was also a huge coup for the club in a position that needed strengthening. And it has been by one of the best players of his generation who has already got off the mark and attained instant success. I believe he has been signed to start matches so it will be sintersting to see how he is fit into the same system as Lukaku and Mirallas and the currently undroppable Steven Naismith.
Also adding Christian Atsu on loan was important as with only 3 wingers at the time we needed reinforcements for the winger that isn’t Mirallas. Pienaar seems to be picking up injuries regularly at the moment, McGeady is yet to convince so it was important that we got another option.
The defence was come under incredible scrutiny since Saturday and rightfully so as it was a harrowing display of positional and decision making ineptness from all four defenders. There has been no talk of replacing Baines and Coleman though as people know their defensive mistakes are only temporary, not taking into account their attacking play which has been very good, but not he primary need of a full back. Jagielka and Distin are a lot older and have been dreadful, as was Stones in pre-season. At them moment it is a real concern but Martinez had decided to stick rather than twist and stick with the same defenders who conceded less than Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Man Utd last season. Alcaraz hasn’t had a full run in the side and struggled with injuries so it is harsh to judge him. We have young players in the recently purchased Galloway and Browning as well so it appears that Martinez wants to assess his options. Distin though will be 37 at the time of the next window, at his age any loss in form comes with the questions of terminal decline but that remains to be seen. We can only hope him and Stones can instantly rekindle the partnership from last season.
As for the rest of the team we have at least two players for each position so we are well covered and will be able to do some rotation with the added games. One area of weakness if the right back position as there isn’t a player after Coleman who you’d happily play in that position. We have cover in various forms (Hibbert, Besic, Stones, Browning) but non you’d be particularly happy with.
In conclusion it would have been nice to get in another centre back, especially as we let one go in Shane Duffy but that may be a January target. Evertonians weren’t concerned about it going into the window so should try and be positive coming out of it despite our poor start. It would have been nice to get a few more bodies in but we’re Everton, transfers are always easier said than done.
Given what we have had in the past, this window has been a big success. We have a striker who in a few years could be world class and leading the line for us, something we all would have been delighted with at the start of the window. Something many believed wouldn’t and couldn’t happen.