After last year and the shock of the Lukaku deal, it’s back to normal for Everton in the transfer window. Bottom of the transfer league in terms of money spent and Evertonians still scratching their heads as to why we can be heavily outspent by the likes of Bournemouth.
Even the Lukaku deal was with profit, a delayed use of the Fellaini money. In the last 5 season’s, Everton’s net spend has been around £10m, to put that into context, in the same time frame, West Ham have spent £90m net. It’s a sad reality that Evertonians have to deal with, what it means that each purchase we make has to be carefully considered, and each sale needs to be maximized.
The shining ray of light this transfer window has been the purchase of the Gerard Deulofeu. To pay just over £4m for a player with such rich potential is, as Martinez, would say, a phenomenal purchase. It was a transfer that Evertonians had been hoping for ever since his return to Barcelona had gone sour. It was a signing that made the fans happy and if Martinez has one hand tied behind his back with our budget, then he was still able to make a knockout blow here.
Tom Cleverley has already made an impression with the club. The fans who weren’t happy with the signing will be won over, if they haven’t been already. Just like the Deulofeu deal, this wasn’t one that required much thought. A young, Premier League winning, versatile player who was going for free, you only had to have seen the reaction of Aston Villa fans to see how bitter they were that they couldn’t hold on. I believe he will be a brilliant addition to the squad, and versatile players are always a welcome addition when you have such a small squad.
Signing only 2 first team players may be underwhelming but I’m not sure Martinez could of done more with the tools we has given, whether our chairman and the board could of done more is certainly another question.
Our departures have not been very noteworthy. A few old players who can no longer make the grade and a few young players who were never going to make the grade. Always a shame when a player you once had promise for leaves the club in the case of Lundstram, Green and Long but none of those should come back to haunt the club in the fashion of Shkodran Mustafi.
What’s more important for the club is the players that haven’t left. The John Stones saga may drag on but at the moment selling him would leave us with one centre-back so even if there was a bid we were happy with, we couldn’t sell. My feeling is that next summer would be a more likely departure point for Stones. Long term deals for McCarthy and Mirallas (the latter expected to be announced soon) are huge boosts for the club.
As mentioned before, a centre back is an urgent need and signing one must surely be a certainty. When John Stones took a knock against Villarreal we were looking at the possibility of either Gareth Barry or Tyias Browning partnering Phil Jagielka, which wouldn’t be ideal, even with Browning’s potential. After centre-back, our main problem is Arouna Kone, he has had a poor time at Everton and hasn’t looked anything of the £5m pound player that we bought two years ago. Whenever Lukaku has been injured the side struggles and we need a lot better back-up option than Kone.
Strikers cost money however, and that seems to be our never ending problem. We go into the season with an improved squad, albeit one which is still far too thin. We still need players in but it may be another anxious deadline day. There are probably a lot of headlines left to write in regards to Everton’s transfer dealings. . . which may not be a good thing.