Skip to Main Content
Members:   Log In Sign Up
Text:  A  A  A
The Mail Bag

The Curious Case of Eric Dier... among others

Comments (30)

I have spent many a summer browsing the web and back pages of the tabloids hoping Everton were to sign the next super star, but have long given up hope of landing pretty much anyone of note many seasons ago. This article is really to create discussion around our transfer policy or lack thereof. I know this topic has probably been debated far and wide, but here goes....

In January of this year, Everton landed the highly thought of talent, Eric Dier, who by all accounts has shown great potential, scoring against Liverpool in the U-18s. However, this appeared to be a short-term loan, and he didn't ever make the first team squad. I presume for a 17-year-old he is on a fair whack (I'm not talking mega monies), and this led me to think what was the point of bringing him to Everton? I'm all for getting the brightest young talents at Goodison Park, but with Sporting demanding roughly £10M, I'm not sure where we can go with this (a tribunal would probably lower that fee significantly).

The same has to be said of Joao Silva; I know he has been debated across many forums but, if the lad is homesick or not up to the grade, surely the £700k we spent on him would have been better spent elsewhere? Do we blame the scouts?

Obviously these transfers have an impact on what we do elsewhere (no matter how small the fee), and I can't help but think of the missed opportunities with Kenwright and the attempts (3??) to sign Moutinho. He was Moyes's No 1 target for many a season, and stated his desire to come more than once also. I know we had central midfielders but he ended up joing Porto for £8M. He is now being touted to join Chelsea for £35M, the price in his contract.

We just simply cant afford to keep missing out on targets like we do, and apparently waste money on developing youngsters who don't cut the grade in the first place.. Harsh but true, no? Jutkiewicz, Spencer, Turner, Agard to name a few... Don't get me wrong ? I'm all for developing the new crop of players to come through, but something doesn't add up somewhere...
Martin  Graves, Wallasey     Posted 24/06/2011 at 13:58:42

back Return to the Mail Bag


Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Lee Armstrong
1   Posted 24/06/2011 at 17:03:51

Report abuse

I think you are missing the point somewhat. For every one or two young players that have not proved to be up to standard (sometimes you get what you pay for), if we were to not invest modest sums in these young players we would have no Coleman, Vellios, or Gueye (just looking from the last 18 months)... who if we decided to sell this summer would comfortably pay for the small fees attributed to the names you mentioned.

Naturally there will be players who don't make it through but, compared with other clubs who spend a hell of a lot more on mere 'potential', we come out with better value than almost anyone from young players we buy.

David Barks
2   Posted 24/06/2011 at 17:19:52

Report abuse

So what you're expecting is for Everton to be the only sports franchise in history that has every player they buy prove to be a success? Seems reasonable.
Don Kiddick
3   Posted 24/06/2011 at 17:44:02

Report abuse

I want us to risk more small fees on youngsters if I had my way I would have a set up of scouts with dozens of them in Africa, South America, in fact all over the world, each scout reporting to a chief scout who would then relay the information back to the club....imagine our scouts finding someone like Didier Drogba or Messi or Ronaldo when they are still young children, we should be setting academies up in far flung places because just one or two diamonds found every few years would easily pay for it all
Chris Bannantyne
4   Posted 24/06/2011 at 17:43:18

Report abuse

The Eric Dier thing does seem a bit weird though, were we ever going to consider buying him though? And if so, were we ever going to have the money?

Honestly though, I've said it before, we should invest in Asian players. I know of a few young Australian players with immense talent, and they would be super cheap (players cost virtually nothing outside of Europe and the americas). Also Japan and Korea are producing a wealth of talent, soon these countries will be major competitors in world football. Well maybe not so much Australia, we will produce some good players but our football governing body is a bloody joke.
Michael Brien
5   Posted 24/06/2011 at 18:22:59

Report abuse

Don #3 ? I totally agree with you, there are other clubs in a similar situation who have done this. I was reading last week about Udinese in Italy, who finished in a Champions League qualifying place in Serie A. They have a network of 50 scouts worldwide and look to sign promising young players. It's the only way they can compete against the big guns like AC & Inter etc. It would be a good model for Everton to emulate.
Gerry Morrison
6   Posted 24/06/2011 at 18:57:39

Report abuse

David #2
Everton are a team, or a club. Once we start referring to ourselves as a "sports franchise" then the fecking lunatics really have taken over the asylum.
Marcus Kendall
7   Posted 24/06/2011 at 19:41:06

Report abuse

I don't agree with the policy of buying youth players from abroad, I mean how would we feel if foreign clubs came and stole our best talents like Rodwell, Barkley etc for a minimum fee?
Steve Pugh
8   Posted 24/06/2011 at 20:51:52

Report abuse

What's the situation regarding work permits for all of these non-EU youngsters?
Dan McKie
9   Posted 24/06/2011 at 21:17:12

Report abuse

A stuffed brown envelope and a fictitious English grandma usually do the trick, Steve.
Martin Graves
10   Posted 24/06/2011 at 21:25:51

Report abuse

I just wonder though, Gueye and Coleman aside, where the others ever going to cut it? Or just expensive mistakes? What was it with Dier?

Was the money on those players mentioned worth instead splashing out on the likes of a Moutinho, who would have improved us immensely and possibly pushed us on to the next level.

Trevor Lynes
11   Posted 24/06/2011 at 22:08:55

Report abuse

Let's me honest!! We could have had Arshavin for a low fee when he starred against us long before he joined Arsenal... Zamora could have been signed cheaply a long time before he joined Fulham... Moutinho was never a serious target as he could have been signed for far less than Bily and now he is worth lots...

I have been highly critical of our scouts for years and our academy has not produced any better than other teams have done. We have regularly emptied out our entire academy youngsters and hung on to injury prone and ageing has-beens for yonks.

We had both Jags and Baines and let them go... they were developed elsewhere then we BOUGHT them back for a lot of money. If that shows foresight or good business then God help us. Look at the Gosling fiasco and Pienaar leaving for peanuts when we wouldn't give him parity when he was playing very well for us.

We lowered our wage bill by 12 players last season so why couldn't we have kept him???

None of the above questions have ever been answered by our illustrious board. Where is all the EFC money going when every other club is active in trying to improve their squad? I am so fucking frustrated that our gates are regularly higher than a lot of those active clubs while we dither and bury our heads in the mire.

Get some players in to excite the fans and take whatever we can get for the dross to help pay for them.

Ray Roche
12   Posted 24/06/2011 at 22:45:21

Report abuse

Trevor, according to Zamora's agent, speaking a few years ago, Everton bid £5m for Zamora when he was at Brighton. It was regarded as a ludicrous amount for a player such as he was then. I don't know why it wasn't accepted because he went to Spurs for much less than that. Maybe that is just bollocks from his agent* but I wonder what other deals are attempted that seldom come to light.

*Tut, fancy me thinking that agents don't tell the truth...

Matt Traynor
13   Posted 25/06/2011 at 03:15:14

Report abuse

Ray #12, I remember the speculation about Zamora. I actually lived in Brighton around that time, and remember it would've been a bit of a step up. Think he went to Spurs for £4m, and it still took him a while to find his feet at the top level, if that's not being too harsh.

Martin (OP) - I'm sure someone will correct me, but I never recall Moutihno saying he wanted to come to us. The interest was obviously serious on our side.

Chris #4, good point re Asian players. I know a couple of Asia-based agents, and they know of some really good Korean and Chinese players who would love to at least try the Premier League (it's more suited to their all-action style!). The problem is, even if you take a player on loan, the club, the agent, have got to make sure he settles, is placed with a good family, so he can concentrate purely on his football.

The other problem is the UK rules about playing in 75% of internationals for last 2 years. Whilst these players are internationals now, they won't fulfill that criteria for another 2 years, and by then, another club in another league will have snapped them up. The clubs in Asia are pretty relaxed about letting their best talent go to Europe (as long as they get a fee). It's all part of their "National Contribution" to making them better players for the National side.
Karl Meighan
14   Posted 25/06/2011 at 09:44:27

Report abuse

Matt@13 ? I'm pretty sure Moutinho according to the papers stated he wanted to play in the Premier League at a time when Everton's interest was at its highest. He wanted the get-out clause lowered, but as I say that was one of many things the papers were claiming.

I think trying to sign players like Moutinho gives the fans a boost as it shows ambition. The other side is that, if the interest is half-hearted, the club risks the backlash of the fans and leads to questions being asked of transfer policy.

Most Evertonians have read and heard so much shite that any link with a big name player is greeted with laughter after all the cock-ups.

Most important in scouting players imo is that the men doing the scouting can see the end product in young players and are prepared to back their judgement and are not worried about running everything through the first-team manager. There are always likely to be more failures than success stories regardless of what country the player comes from. Just giving the young players a platform and chance is all we need.

Everton's youth policy appears to be good with the aim of one youngster a season joining the first team squad being achieved, so imo let's try and higher the standards which I imagine the coaches are, and take the next step and bring two and three through and get more into the first eleven.
Matthew Lovekin
15   Posted 25/06/2011 at 10:47:17

Report abuse

Martin, I understand your argument, but it only takes one youngster to become a success and you could probably easily make 10x your money back.

Look at Coleman, cost us £60k, how much would we get if we sold him now, 100x? Furthermore, if he moves to right-back and carries on his success, we could probably get 200x in 12 months for him.

However, I must admit I don't like the club signing average youngsters that cost us money, players like Coleman for a bargain fee or a 16-year-old potential World Class like Fabregas would be fine, but £700-£900k is a bit different. I would prefer that money was put into training our own youngsters like Rooney, Hibbert, Osman, Vaughan, Anichebe, Rodwell, etc.
Dan McKie
16   Posted 25/06/2011 at 11:03:12

Report abuse

Even the papers have stopped all incoming transfer news about Everton this last week or two. It comes to something when a story is too far fetched for that lot to print, but the fans have just stopped believing. As for the original post about Dier, I too thought there must be a deal to further his time here, there must be, but it seems not and it seems a totally pointless deal for all parties. Unless he was just crap, there is always that.
Gavin Ramejkis
17   Posted 25/06/2011 at 11:26:21

Report abuse

Eric Dier was a pointless PR exercise, he's a decent young player who we could never afford with Kenshite in charge and was never going to sign on the dotted line, the loan appeased some of Kenshite's sheeple and made sense for the boy himself as his parents had moved back to the UK to live. Whilst £700k is pin money for most clubs it's more than we spend these days on first team players so is an important amount of money. One argument I can't quite get my head around is how the training facilities (leased) having £700k on them would make any players more talented than they already are? A kid either has talent or they don't and the improvements would come through coaching not fancy bleeding machines (leased).
Martin Handley
18   Posted 25/06/2011 at 11:51:29

Report abuse

Unfortunately I think being realistic we are not going to sign anybody this summer free,loan or otherwise.
Even if we manage to sell deadwood like Yak,Yobo,Victor etc the money will just go to stave off the banks as in my opinion only not fact or rumour just what I've gleened from noises made by the club ,Moyes himself etc,the money situation is far WORSE than first thought.
I mean 7th place is worth approx £35 mil,season ticket sales roughly £15 mil and we'll probably bring in about £15 mil on transfers,so roughly £65 mil or thereabouts generated before other things such as spnsorship etc are brought into play,yet there is NO cash at all for players! Come on surely they could spare £15 mil?!
Anybody have a brighter outlook on this than me?
If we manage 7th or even 6th again it'll be a bloody miracle!
Sorry for being so gloomy,maybe their is a sugar daddy just waiting to buy us as Big Bill is searching 24/7 Napoleon was just telling me he's interested!
He's sitting in my room next to Nero!
Where's me pills!
Nathan Ward
19   Posted 25/06/2011 at 13:26:31

Report abuse

Buying and developing young players is probably the most cost effective way of building a squad.

Yes you get the odd duffer but if 1/3 of them develop into first team players you are doing a cracking job and at far less than buying the finished article

And if they don't fully make it, à la Vaughan, you can sell them on and pay for the next 10 to come along.

As for Eric Dier, I don't think we paid anything for him. He is young player who is a bit lonely & homesick in Lisbon and so we keep him for a couple of months, play in our teams, keep him happy and then send him back to Portugal. They hope he has gained some good experience and comes back more settled.

We get a decent player for our U-18s for a couple of months and hope that if he does ever come available he will look on us slightly more favourably (assuming we've finally found that 'investor' by then).
Trevor Lynes
20   Posted 25/06/2011 at 14:36:25

Report abuse

Nathan # 19... the point is we let them go and BUY them back eg; Baines and Jags. You are talking rubbish about selling them on, eg: Vaughan ? he will go for a pittance compared to what we paid for Baines and Jags. It seems that we cannot see potential when we already have it.

Both Jags and Baines were improved elsewhere... is that not stupid ??

Nathan Ward
21   Posted 25/06/2011 at 15:39:43

Report abuse

Trevor - in fairness buying back Baines & Jags isn't good finance I'll agree.

Players learn more by playing regularly - hence why we try and loan players out (and 'bigger' teams loan us players)

It isn't always straight forward with young players though is it - Drogba for example was still playing very low league in his mid twenties. Chris Smalling went from non-league to Man Utd in less than 2 years.

Point is - getting them in gives you more chance than not getting them.
Gavin Ramejkis
22   Posted 25/06/2011 at 15:37:48

Report abuse

Nathan you've also missed out that Vaughan was on the books for a good few years, younger than Anichebe, better goalscoring record in matches played even with his injuries and sold for buttons when you think how much we've paid out in wages, development and his medical bills, we must have made a loss on him.
Jalil Noor
23   Posted 25/06/2011 at 15:54:29

Report abuse

Got this from a friend:

Hopefully these youngsters realise their potential and really become stars for us.

Kevin Freaney
24   Posted 25/06/2011 at 17:04:33

Report abuse

One of my main criticisms of Moyes (beyond the tactics issue) is his handling of youth players. We seem to have released a load of youth players in his time at the club. I always worry when I hear someone go on about the next big youth player because I know in a year Moyes will release him. I think he struggles to get the best out of them and develop them. Look at Baxter and Gueye last season, they really should have played more games to get some development. I wouldn't be surprised if they were both released within the next 2 years despite their quality.

I think our scouting network is flawed; we seem to miss out on a lot.

As for Dier, I'm amazed we entered a loan agreement without setting a buy price at the end of the loan. I think he could be quality in the future and in 6-8 years time this conversation may be brought up again when he makes a £20m move to Arsenal or Man Utd!
Gareth Hughes
25   Posted 25/06/2011 at 21:28:37

Report abuse

The most galling thing is the money being spent by the other lot, not eevn cash gained by outgoings (that went on Suarez and Carroll). They were a club virtually going to the wall and yet now all this money appears! Oh but hang on, they had fans who protested against the owners and did'nt settle for mediocrity and a slow painful death like we are facing. This generation of Evertonians have an awful lot to answer for, because the ones to follow will ask what we did to get rid of the useless cretins destroying our once great club. What will we tell them?
Ray Roche
26   Posted 25/06/2011 at 23:21:52

Report abuse

Gareth Hughes

It had nothing to do with that feckless bunch of nomarks from across the park, and Oslo, "protesting" that got them out of the crap. The RS fans weren't responsible for Hicks and Gilette leaving,it was the banks. They were hours from administration when the cavalry arrived so don't start having a pop at blues fans and sy that we have a lot to answer for. What have YOU done?
Matt Traynor
27   Posted 26/06/2011 at 01:38:39

Report abuse

Trevor #20, it happens sometimes. Players get let go by clubs, and whether it's a mistake, or the kick up the arse they needed, they finally make it elsewhere, and end up back where they start. We did the same with Mark Ward for those a bit older. Man U let Beardsley go.

There's probably loads of stories of clubs releasing players who went on to be stars. It doesn't always mean the club screwed up!
Tim Kells
28   Posted 26/06/2011 at 11:05:36

Report abuse

Gareth - 25. Totally agree with your points. How I yearn for us to be at the top of the pile again and to be having top players saying that they want to join us. Trouble is I very much doubt that'll happen anytime soon unless something radical changes or is changed by us. But unfortunately most are happy to do nothing. Let;s just hope that the kids coming through are really that good.
Danny Biddle
29   Posted 27/06/2011 at 08:19:46

Report abuse

Kevin @24.

Who are all these youngsters that Moyes has released and gone on to be huge successes elsewhere? The reality is that more will not succeed at the highest level than do. The money we will get from Rodwell (this year or in the future) will be what finances the next prospect. Then another 20 youngsters will fall by the wayside till the next youngster of value comes through... and so it goes on.

Even what Manure achieved in the mid-90s with their youth team was a freak. They haven't been able to replicate it since and in fact haven't even been able to produce a decent youngster worth mentioning! And they a supposed to be the yardstick.

The reality is that the club will look at and give trials to a huge amount of youngsters (from home and abroad) in the hope of finding something special. Some develop early (Rooney) and the talent is very evident. Others develop later (Baines) and need to grow... but need to leave the club to do so, maybe join a smaller club where pressure isn't aS big.

I for one have no problems with our youth set-up. Even if it means having a look at a player for 6 months and then deciding he isn't right for us at this time. Maybe Dier was sent back because he wasn't going to fit into our plans in the near future and it was best for all concerned if he was allowed to develop elsewhere...
Martin Graves
30   Posted 30/06/2011 at 22:41:14

Report abuse

Ha ? we just re-signed Eric Dier!?

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment to the MailBag, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.

© ToffeeWeb

We use cookies to enhance your experience on ToffeeWeb and to enable certain features. By using the website you are consenting to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.