Second Everton offer for Doucouré knocked back

Tuesday, 6 August, 2019 117comments  |  Jump to last

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Everton have had a follow-up bid of €40m for Abdoulaye Doucouré rejected by Watford according to fresh reports.

RMC and L'Equipe in France, together with the most reliable UK journalists, are reporting that the Blues are determined to land Doucouré before Thursday but that the Hornets are just as committed to rebuffing the advances from Goodison Park so close to the transfer deadline.

An opening bid of around €32m was reportedly turned down over the weekend and Everton are expected to return with a third approach before Thursday is out.

Everton and Watford have endured a frosty relationship ever since the Toffees made their first approach for Marco Silva in 2017, one that was firmly opposed by the latter's hierarchy.

The Hertfordshire club's form nosedived thereafter and Silva was dismissed three months later, leading Watford to eventually make an official complaint to the Premier League and initiate proceedings against Everton for what they deemed to be illegal courting of their manager.

Silva was hired as the Toffees' boss in May 2018 and Watford eventually settled their beef while also concluding a deal last summer that saw Richarlison make a £40m move from Vicarage Road to Goodison Park.  

Reader Comments (117)

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Geoff Lambert
1 Posted 06/08/2019 at 14:32:22
Player power needed here, it happens to us so why not ?
Kieran Kinsella
2 Posted 06/08/2019 at 14:34:21
He may have to pull a Peter Odemwingie to get to Everton.
Mike Allison
3 Posted 06/08/2019 at 14:40:20
I don't understand this one at all. We've signed three central midfielders and already have several more at the club. This is at the same time as trying to spend big on a winger and centre-back and bring in a new right-back.

Silva told us last week he wanted five more if Gueye left, he's got two of them in Gbamin and Kean and he told us he wanted a winger, centre-back and right-back. We also know that we want to shift McCarthy, Besic, probably Schneiderlin and Baningime, at least on loan. Therefore bidding 㿔M for this player, who isn't for sale, doesn't make sense on any level. If he's that good, and we wanted him all along, why did we buy all of the other three?

Whilst its great making new signings, this one makes me really worry about the transfer policy, and that we are just throwing money around in a haphazard way after all. I worry even more when Silva talks about having a 'small group' or whatever phrase he used. Your problem is having too many players, not too few. If you're a decent coach, you should be able to take the likes of McCarthy, Besic, Baningime and Davies and turn them into the players you want.

We still have up to ten players to sell, a big hole in the squad at centre-back and more central midfielders than we could possibly give any game time to and we're wasting time and energy bidding for a player who is not for sale, not needed and extremely expensive.

Fran Mitchell
4 Posted 06/08/2019 at 14:41:44
Have to say I don't quite get this one.

I haven't seen enough of the guy to comment on his ability, but position wise we seem well stocked in this area.

Mike Corcoran
5 Posted 06/08/2019 at 14:42:22
So Doucoure, Sidibé and Zaha by the close... and still people are moaning? I trust The Brands.
Colette Black
6 Posted 06/08/2019 at 14:45:57
Maybe it's because we won't get the central defender we want this window (Zouma), so Gbamin can fill in in defence if required.

Therefore Doucoure takes the first choice defensive midfield role.

Perhaps we could offer the ineffectual Tom Davies as a sweetener.

Andy Walker
7 Posted 06/08/2019 at 14:46:53
To be honest, if Watford say he's not for sale, we should respect that stance. How would we like it if another club came in for one of our players who was not for sale but they continually tried to unsettle him?
Kieran Kinsella
8 Posted 06/08/2019 at 14:47:33

I know. His "small squad" argument is funny considering we have still 30 plus in the first team. I guess "small squad" is code for "small number of players I actually rate." But nonetheless, would like to see us cut some deadwood. Worryingly there hasn't even been a hint of a whisper about Niasse leaving. Seems like that joker will be here for the duration.

Marc Hints
9 Posted 06/08/2019 at 14:48:02

Sorry but I have to totally disagree with you. Doucoure is a quality player and yes, plays in midfield. The only two midfielders we have bought really (as Gomes was here last season) are Gbamin and Delph.

Now we all know that Delph will not play every game all season, for one he will get injured at some point. Gbamin can also play centre-half and I'm sure that is one of the main reasons Silva bought him, not just to play as a defensive midfielder. So, if that happens, we still only have Gomes and Delph.

I think Doucoure will play more and Delph on the bench as backup. You need more cover these days with the amount of games and a good bench also.

Steve Ferns
10 Posted 06/08/2019 at 14:50:44
This is where Everton are going off-script. Doucoure is a box-to-box player, unless I'm missing something here. So he goes into the pool with Gomes, Delph, and Davies. That's four players for one position. The other positions being taken by Sigurdsson (AMC) and Gbamin or Schneiderlin (DMC). I understand getting Lemina for cheap as backup to Gbamin and then flogging Schneiderlin.

I could understand Doucoure more if there was no Sigurdsson. That is two spots for Gomes, Delph and Davies. If so, then yes, we're a bit light, especially with the Delph injury.

So is Sigurdsson on his way out and we're about to get Zaha and go 4-3-3?

And 㿔m to 㿞m for this guy, Zouma and Zaha, what's this costing us? Is Usmanov going all-in? Or is Moshiri betting the mortgage on cracking the top 4 this season?

If there was ever a season to double down and go for broke on 4th, then I would agree this is it. Man Utd look a mess without strong leadership or a coherent squad, Chelsea have a transfer ban and a rookie manager, Arsenal are plagued by old deficiencies, and even Spurs are cracking under some internal strain. You could even throw Liverpool into the mix by pointing out they are far from perfect and have not signed anyone of note. Only Man City look infallible.

So, why oh why are we not addressing the centre-back issue? Why the fixation on Doucoure with multiple bids?

Steve Ferns
11 Posted 06/08/2019 at 14:52:03
Mike, took me a while to get my post completed (working!) and seems you have the same concerns. Also, this is definitely all Silva, as it won't be Brands pushing for this.
Grant Rorrison
12 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:02:36
Steve 10. I can help explain it for you, Steve? Tom Davies is shit. :)
Steve Ferns
13 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:07:34
Grant, that's still Gomes, Delph and Dacoure all competing for the number 8 shirt, alongside Gbamin. Three expensive players for one position. Meantime, we have two senior centre-backs.
Christopher Timmins
14 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:08:38
Steve, I have to agree with what you say, we need a central defender between now and Thursday, if the aspiration is top 4 we won't get there without one.
Ryan Snyder
15 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:08:56
I have complete faith in Brands and his staff. Also, from what I remember, Doucoure was pretty good for Watford last season. I think its clear that Davies is fading. If Silva and Brands think they need reinforcements, I'm not going to question it. If they fail, then next year I'll worry, but from what Ive seen so far, Brands is the best thing this club has going for it in the short-term.
Pat Kelly
16 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:10:12
We don't know if any of this is true. Same with the Zaha saga. Don't be surprised if we don't sign any more players. We've spent what, net of sales, about £20m ? Can't see us spending £40m on this guy and £65m on Zaha. Brands mission hasn't changed overnight. Perhaps we're getting carried away with the excitement of possibly getting a decent team together.
Grant Rorrison
17 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:10:51
Steve 13. Maybe Gbamin is seen as a potential centre-half? Delph is probably going to miss a lot of games and is a questionable signing in my opinion. You need options anyway and competition. I agree about the lack of defenders though. Hopefully something will happen in the next two days.
Tommy Surgenor
18 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:12:00
Tom Davies - while he has his weaknesses - created 2 chances in a 10 minute cameo at the weekend! He is not “shit”. He gives it his all cause he wants to be here.

In fact I actually felt he was hard done by when he got dropped towards the end of last season. He had been one of our better players in the previous few games.

I admit, he would not currently start in a team with top 4 ambitions.

But, As an academy graduate, we can assume he is on a relatively low salary and happy to be a bit part player. He will not let us down when called upon. It would be difficult to find anyone of his quality, on his lower wages that would also accept so few minutes.

Much like Baines, he isn't good enough to start but he is more valuable to keep as it would cost us more to replace.

There's a queue of at least 10 players that should be shown the door permanently before him.

Jay Harris
19 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:13:51
I think Silva is thing horses for courses and different tactics for different games.

We certainly looked deficient in CM last season and also lacked goals from that position which Doucoure can help with.

It is a squad game these days and players understand they will not get 90 minutes every game.

What is there not to like about the quality of players we are bringing in compared to what we have.

Josh Barber
20 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:14:44
Getting Zaha would be great but if Watford aren't selling why keep wasting your time with days left in the window?
Derek Knox
21 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:16:35
Steve, I share your bewilderment at Silva's insistence on getting 'his man' in a position where we are not exactly under-manned, even if the peripherals, Schneiderlin, McCarthy, and possibly Baningime, do move either permanently or on loan. Does Silva also realise we can only play eleven players at a time?

Especially after getting Delph, who unfortunately, like Captain Lawrence Oates, may be 'out for some time' in addition to Gbamin, and what's looking also likely Sid Ibe ( RB, but he can also play in midfield according to Wiki) so all in all doesn't make a lot of sense.

I have no doubt he is a decent player, but do we really need him? I would rather we concentrate, while the clock is ticking (increasingly louder) on either Zah or a very similar type player, and nab Zouma in January!

Steve Ferns
22 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:18:19
Grant, Gbamin just said he was a DM in his press conference. If he's playing CB then he has been brought in under false pretences. Though, for full disclosure, he did say he would play CB if the manager asked him to. You would expect him to have had lengthy chats over position though, and DM is where he himself says he will play.
Mike Gaynes
23 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:21:00
I don't think this is "off script" or "haphazard". I think Brands has a plan, and we just can't figure out what it is.

The CB issue is another conundrum. Silva said very specifically the other day that he needed another one, because Holgate ain't it and Gibson isn't ready, and he didn't even mention Gbamin in that conversation.

It's possible all will become clear in the next 48 hours, or we may still be scratching our heads. But there's not a doubt in my mind that this is all part of a plan that is going to take more than one transfer window to execute. I believe we'll all look back a year from now and say, "Oh, okay, THAT'S what they were doing."

But in the meantime, there's no figuring the traffic jam that buying Doucoure would create in midfield.

Josh Barber
24 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:21:34
Crystal Palace would be crazy to let Zaha go this late honestly. I fully expect it to fall through.
Ed Prytherch
25 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:29:01
Doucoure is a low risk signing because Silva knows him well. Just like Richarlison for whom many of us were skeptical at first. I like to think that we have a buyer lined up for Schneiderlin. That would be a great swap.
Tom Bowers
26 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:30:48
Can't believe Watford. This fee for Doucoure is ridiculous. Sure he is a good player so I can only summise they don't want to sell at all just yet and believe he can be instrumental in making Watford a competitive out fit. Good luck to them in that quest.

Zaha had his heart set on the Gooners but they didn't value him at that high a price and obviously believe Pepe is a better acquisition.

The thing is Zaha's head has been turned and he may not want to stay anyway as could happen with Doucoure at Watford.

Steve Ferns
27 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:32:06
Also, don't get me wrong, I still very much think Silva is a top coach (but Mike he can't turn Besic into Busquets or Schniederlin into Xavi and we're in a hurry so why not buy young players he can coach into superstars rather than shite he can make average?). I also 100% believe Brands is the world's best Director of Football, and I do believe Brands will assemble the squad we need for the season.

This of course contradicts myself. But, I'm not going to blindly sit here and cheer for Doucoure when there's a Zouma sized hole in defence. I'm going to ask what's going on.

Steve Ferns
28 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:35:25
Tom, clearly Watford hate us more than any other side. Expect it to be a grudge match (on their part) for the next 10 years or so. Cue much bewilderment from the likes of Moise Kean when they start waving their snakes in the air.
Tommy Surgenor
29 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:35:41
Brands and Silva may have a plan but it doesn't mean all their targets are available.

Seems a bit rushed at the end of the window but I would assume a lot of these deals have been weeks or months in the making. Just waiting for one big move to start the financial merry-go-round.

Like, surely they wouldn't have let Kenny go without knowing they had a guaranteed back up to come in? Now the tabloids are reporting we're getting a right-back on loan for a season. Win-win, as Marco gets a good look at how he adjusts to the premiership while also keeping one eye on how Kenny progresses with what we assume will be regular game time in Germany. At the end of the season we will know if Kenny can cut it or not.

My fear is that their first choice for a particular position has now let them down and they are frantically trying to weigh up the alternatives. Is it better to take an expensive punt on someone who isn't first choice? Or is it better to wait until a candidate becomes available?

Is the dross we have in reserve capable of filling the hole in the meantime while we wait for the star (who will move us to the next level) to become available?

Last point of note. 12 months is a long time in football and their are no certainties. We could be bemoaning the lack of a centre-back when the window shuts, claiming it has ruled us out of any chance of top 6, then bam, Gibson kicks into gear and solves the problem. (For the record, I don't think he will.)

I think similar happened Spurs. They were forced to play Gareth Bale due to a long-term injury to Modric (?). Likewise with having no option but to play Kane.

Sam Hoare
30 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:36:08
I think what we are seeing is maybe a move towards 4-3-3 as a strong option:

Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Gomes Gbamin Doucoure
Richarlison Kean Zaha

That's a very strong, dynamic team. It's possible Sigurdsson could play the Gomes role or maybe even one of the forward roles if you're expecting a low block and no space in behind.

We still need a new centre-back, unless Silva has a lot of faith in Mason Holgate and/or Lewis Gibson.

Daniel A Johnson
31 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:37:19
If we get Doucoure, then Delph is simply money down the drain.
Geoff Lambert
32 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:38:34
I hope Brands and Silva read this thread or they won't have a clue what to do.

Thank god for the experts on here!!!

Jamie Crowley
33 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:38:37
I think this one's stupid and we're chasing ghosts.

Watford? I've a feeling their brass just literally hates the fuck out of us. I don't blame them, quite honestly.

What value does this move create? Especially when we have other areas of the pitch that need addressing.

I hope this doesn't come off. I don't see us helping us enough to justify the cost. And I just can't see the point of bringing in Doucoure.

Nathan Ford
34 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:38:40
Have faith. I'm expecting 3 possibly 4 players in and up to 6 to go before the end of the window. There's a plan afoot and I'm excited by it!! 😄
Steve Ferns
35 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:40:03
Sam that makes sense, but would Sigurdsson accept being marginalised? Could we really do that to our highest earner? Would Brands not have looked to move him on if he can only play a position that would not really be part of our tactics for the coming season? If he's going to play deeper, would we not have seen evidence of this in Pre-Season, instead of playing where he normally does?

It looks very much to me, that it is business as usual for Sigurdsson. And I fully expect him to line up in the #10 role against Palace and against the Snake Shakers a week later.

Eddie Dunn
36 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:42:12
The pursuit of this player must fall in to an overall strategy which we are not privvy to. Who knows which players will leave in the next few days. Also, if we really do want to challenge for the top 4, or even 6, we need competition for every place in the team. Let's just wait and see who goes and who arrives.
Mike Gaynes
37 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:42:18
"Waving their snakes in the air"?
Colette Black
38 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:42:44
"Waving their snakes in the air" Steve - is that some kind of euphemism?

I think (hope) this is part of a midfield rebuild - we can't rely on Delph and the other remnants are not up to the task if we want progress.
Steve Ferns
39 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:43:01
Jamie, their hatred is irrational. Silva was sacked by them. If they consider that we turned his head so much that it all feel apart, then it's still not on the level of what Moyes did to us with Man United. So our treatment of Moyes was hardly on a par with theirs of Silva and all things Everton since. Their Everton tax is ridiculous and they look very petty and small time to me.
Mike Allison
40 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:43:21
I can only think that perhaps they don't expect to sign Doucoure this week but this is part of a longer game. Maybe these bids pave the way to a move next summer.

As a direct response to Marc (9), we really have bought three midfielders already and have 8-10 players for 2-3 positions already. We're not in Europe, so actually have very few games relatively (no midweek games until December except for the Carabao cup) and it is Silva himself who said he wants a centre-back, right-back and winger (who he specified be left-footed).

Talking generally again, my worry is that Silva and Brands don't think they have the ability to coach young players to develop attributes and abilities that they want. Our promising young English players seem to be being systematically dumped instead of developed. We're going to need some homegrown quality players at some point, and our policy this summer seems to be to get rid of them, in contrast to what we'd been told previously.

None of this, by the way, is any reflection on Doucoure, who is a good player in his own right, it's just that the issues I've mentioned above outweigh the simplicity of him being decent.

Steve Ferns
41 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:44:22
Marcus Leigh
42 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:46:38
The Independent (and others) saying that the Zaha deal is still in with a chance.

Wilfried Zaha transfer: Crystal Palace winger expects to join Everton for 㿭m before window closes

Paul Tran
43 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:47:13
This is very simple. They will sell when they get a bid they can't refuse. We will buy at a price we think is acceptable. It's the approaching deadline that'll cause one side to blink.

It's called negotiation. I'm glad Brands is doing it and not some on here.

A lot will happen between now and the deadline. I'll wait until then before judging our window.

Mike Gaynes
44 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:47:25
Ah, OK, Steve, thanks.

Never did see that, but it seems like a one-off rather than a budding tradition.

Frank Crewe
45 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:49:35
I doubt we'll get this one over the line. Watford are still stinging after we took their manager and their best player. I think it's "We'll sell him to anyone but Everton" on this one.

Not to mention they probably have their sights set on a top 6 finish themselves and selling their current best player to one of their main competitors will only strengthen us and weaken them.

There's still an outside chance but I seriously doubt it will happen.

Steve Ferns
46 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:51:00
Mike, they were all at it, not just a few like in the pictures, and they were at it again in the reverse fixture. You wait and see for the first home game, especially if we do sign Doucoure, they will all be waving their snakes about.
Martin Berry
47 Posted 06/08/2019 at 15:53:15
Welcome to Everton. In Brands We Trust.
Jamie Crowley
48 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:04:21
Steve @ 39 -

We poached their manager. If it happened to us, we'd harbor resentment.

I understand their hatred. It doesn't bother me in the least, but I get why they think the way they do. And Silva did, indeed, give up at Watford. He wanted the move and started to put in about 50% effort after he didn't get it. That's conjecture, but it seemed that way to me.

Watford only sacked him after a crap run of games.

Either way, that's water under the bridge, and I take your point.

The real point and reality is there is bad blood. So I don't see this one coming off. And I can't understand why we'd want him to be honest. Why sign Delph? Go get a CB or a back up RB. Sign Zaha. This transaction doesn't make any sense to me.


David Pearl
49 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:07:19
It's a squad game these days if you want to be taken seriously and to have strong options off the bench. Let's see what happens. No excuses for Silva. Maybe he knows what we need. We have to have a strong start to the season and keep it up with this outlay.
Derek Knox
50 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:10:00
Steve @ 41, so glad you clarified the snake-waving with the aid of pictorial support. I think there were a few on here (not me btw) envisaging and questioning, how Watford Fans in the majority, could be so well-endowed, and infringing Exposure and Public Decency Laws en masse. Phew!
Mike Gaynes
51 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:14:29

Thanks so much for providing me with that mental image.

My brain will now require pressure-washing before I can go back to work this morning.

Steve Ferns
52 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:15:18
Jamie, agree that it doesn't make sense. And of course, like you I trust Don Marcel 100%. I love all those Banners about him on Twitter and can't wait to see them at the stadium. "he'll make you an offer you cannot refuse!"

DK, you are a very naughty boy! BTW if that's what you thought, why did you click the link to see said well endowed fans waving their "snakes"?

John Pierce
53 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:17:54
I think this a smart move. Whatever the reason for interest, formation change or just strengthening Doucoure is a 90-minute player with a rounded skill set, Gbamin too a less extent.

Sigurdsson, Gomes and latterly Gana all have their special skills but are ultimately not as rounded as this fella or Gbamin. They are applicable for all types of games.

Gomes fades in games and not just because of his fitness, he also is suspect when the ball goes beyond him, Sigurdsson is tactically inflexible, it's playing him at No 10 or bust. Gana offered little when we needed to break down poorer teams.

I can see we are taking a chance this season, and both strength and numbers will be needed. I still have many reservations about Silva but I applaud the strategy of as a club we are going for it.

We have nothing to lose and we should play that way. I guess should be blow up or failed spectacularly we now have several assets to sell on and balance out through player trading.

Andrew Keatley
54 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:20:05
Maybe someone will recall but I seem to remember we tried 3 at the back at least once last season - and it didn't go well. But I wonder if the addition of Gbamin (to Holgate, Mina and Keane) might give us a better option to do this, especially as Gbamin's long-range passing is considered a strength. Just a thought.
Jamie Crowley
55 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:20:14
David Pearl @ 49 -

I was just thinking the exact same thing this morning.

If the Zaha deal comes off, and a few players are added on top of it, there's going to be a ton of pressure on Marco.

I think fans would be understanding of growing pains, but by January, the baying mob will want results.

And I won't blame them a bit.

I'm giving Marco three years no matter what. But if we make these signings and he doesn't win? It could start to get ugly.

But, glass half full, it won't! We're gonna win the league! ;0)

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
56 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:21:04
Steve Ferns,

Sorry about this but I've seen it (and corrected it) so many times on this thread... I'm curious about your insistence on misspelling his name as 'Dacoure'. Does that not look wrong to you?

It's Doucouré. Easy to remember as both vowel parts are the same. (A bit like Deulofeu.)

Jamie Crowley
57 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:23:05
Sir John -

We rarely agree any more! This is a lot of money to spend for "tactical flexibility."

I'd prefer a CB! Can't agree with this acquisition, should it come off. There's other, glaring, and pressing needs. Tom Davies is more flexible than he's given credit for.

On the surface, this feels like a decision made by Ed Woodward!

David Pearl
58 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:30:10
Well Michael,
your post made me chuckle for a few minutes. I'm sure you have enough to do this busy week without having to add the letter u. Fucking Ferns
Steve Ferns
59 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:31:41
Sorry Michael, if he signs for us, I will spell his name correctly.
Ed Prytherch
60 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:33:45
On Sunday Man City started with Gundagon and Foden on the bench with Mahrez and Ferdandinho not in the squad. They have at least 7 top class midfielders and they only just won the Prem last season. Maybe we don't need 7 with no European games but we don't need to be scratching our heads about how Doucoure will fit into our squad.
David Pearl
61 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:38:24
Maybe Gbamin sat in front of the back two and Doucoure with Gomes. Pretty big and solid centre l will of course leave the final decision to Silva.
Derek Knox
62 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:40:46
Steve @ 52, only to check, out of concern for my fellow TW'ers, wouldn't want them getting the wrong end of the stick! :-)
Craig Walker
63 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:44:01
I'm all in favour of us showing some ambition but this smacks of us getting Sig, Rooney and Klaasen in the same window whilst neglecting other areas. I'd sooner us get some more forward options because we really struggle to score goals and we simply have to resolve the centre-half frailties.
Steve Ferns
64 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:44:29
David, that looks a good midfield. But does this mean 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1? ie where's Sigurdsson?

DK - I'm sure everyone believes you!

Tom Bowers
65 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:46:31
There's no doubt City, RS and the others at the top have the pulling power and the resources to magnetize the top players and even keep some of them sitting on the bench week in week out.
Being already in the Champions league is another big plus for these clubs.
Everton could be moving in the right direction and they need at least one good season under their belts to show they can flex their muscles with the big guns and it has to be a hell of a lot better than last season.
Last seasons signings all stumbled out of the starting blocks except Richarlison and didn't really get going after injuries etc. until a third of the season was over. Hopefully that won't happen this season.
Jack Convery
66 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:48:30
I'll be outside Goodison v Watford selling Mongoose toys - £10 a go. They love snakes and they'll be wearing blue and white of course.
Jerome Shields
67 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:49:09
Colette #6

What you have posted makes sense.

Ed Prytherch
68 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:49:24
All of them do not have to be on the field at the same time. There will be times when two or more are unavailable. We need depth if we aspire to being better than 7th.
John Hammond
69 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:50:40
Jamie #48: Strength in depth, rotation, injuries. That's why we'd sign Doucoure. We currently have 4 midfielders to choose from for the starting XI: Delph (already injured), Gomes, Gbamin, Sigurdsson. We then have a bunch of midfielders either unreliable or just not good enough. We also have to factor in Gbamin getting fit and adjusting to the league. A few injuries and suddenly things don't look so rosy.

I think it's safe to say Brands knows what he's doing.

Jack Convery
70 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:57:47
I've just had a thought. Once Brands has secured all his targets and the windows shut could he sort out Brexit for the UK. He would be Sir Brands by Xmas if he did that. He could then negotiate with Iran, sort out the Climate Change issue and be a saint by next Easter. Love this guy - our best signing since Andy Gray.
Jamie Crowley
71 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:58:34

IBWT, no doubt about it.

And I hear your depth argument. But we're not in Europe.

I'll second guess this one. But I will trust Brands, and be ok with it.

As if me being ok with it actually matters.

I have to work. This transfer stuff has me at zero productivity!


Mike Allison
72 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:59:29
Yes but if we want strength in depth we need it at centre back and in forward positions. I think we all understand the concept of strength in depth but experience tells us that getting it in one position comes at the expense of getting it in others.
Steve Ferns
73 Posted 06/08/2019 at 17:03:06
Jack, it would be Sir Marcel. Unless you meant to elevate him to the nobility, perhaps as Lord Brands of Goodison.
Ed Prytherch
74 Posted 06/08/2019 at 17:05:47
Mike, should we believe that there is a choice between signing Doucoure or a center back?
Iain Johnston
76 Posted 06/08/2019 at 17:12:23
Like many I don't get this one either especially as the player has publicly said he'd only consider a CL club after our supposed initial bid was knocked back.

Maybe the odd journo is a bit worried about the business we've done and the rumoured business we're planning so they're attempting to stir shit?

Brian Williams
77 Posted 06/08/2019 at 17:27:57
Has anyone considered that there has been no first bid, let alone a second bid?
I think there's a touch of transfer fever where some are believing everything on Newsnow.
I mean, if you check on there now we've made a move for Shane Duffy.
Brian Wilkinson
78 Posted 06/08/2019 at 17:30:05
Andy, I trust your comment was tongue in cheek.
John Mckay
79 Posted 06/08/2019 at 17:34:43
The only reason I see why this deal would come off is if they want to stick Gbami into CB role or at least cover for mina and Keane should we not get Zouma which is looking unlikely.
Brian Wilkinson
81 Posted 06/08/2019 at 17:36:40
Andy@7 was that comment tongue in cheek, pretty sure it was.
Gary Willock
83 Posted 06/08/2019 at 17:59:23
Bookies should run an option on what our starting 11 will be on Saturday! Exciting times, and still many possibilities, I'm not even sure the formation is certain but here's my personal FM GUESS:

Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Gomes Gbamin
Zaha Siggy Richie

Subs: Lossl, Sidibe, Zouma/Surprise, Delph, Bernard, Walcott, DCL

Davies, Schneiderlin, Baines, Gibson, Tosun, etc. going to need to graft to get anywhere near the squad.

Jack Convery
84 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:01:56
For those who doubt the power of my Mongoose toys I refer you to Rikki Tikki Tavi the story of a very brave Mongoose. I hope we buy Doucoure.
Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:03:08
Brian #77, you shouldn't have posted the Shane Duffy thing. Andy Crooks will go into hysterics.
Dermot Byrne
86 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:06:57
Gary #83. Your inclusion of surprise is great. Brands at his best.

Shit man this is exciting.

Is being a RS fan today?

Prob not.

And that is how I deal with them and when they go 6 times I tell them that the PL is the aim and the Euro thing is just for money now.

Ooo that won't have that but as the best league in the world, of course to win PL title over 38 games is where the prestige lies.

Oh bollocks, we won the wrong one they think when honest. And Citeh know that.

So that should be our focus.

Dermot Byrne
87 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:08:08
Jack#84: no doubt at all from me
Mike Gaynes
88 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:18:08
Gary #83, personally I would be very, very surprised if Kean is handed the start on Saturday. I don't think Silva is simply going to bench DCL after seeing Kean for a couple of days in training.
Justin Doone
89 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:23:35
It's s gonna take £50M to get Watford interested but I'm not sure the player is as he'd go elsewhere for champions league football.

Good player but do we still need him?

I think we missed out by not getting Billing (Bargain) and the Brazilian who's gone to Russia, who's Zaha quality at a cheaper price.

I'm sure Watford will be making acquisitions of tapping up against us so they can maximise the fee.

Brian Williams
90 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:29:56
I was waiting for someone to come on and say "Hey Brian I can't find the Duffy story."
Warn Andy for me Mike.
Christy Ring
91 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:42:38
The deadline line is 5pm Thursday, all the talk is signing Doucoure and Zaha. We only have 2 International centrebacks, Keane and Mina, with Jagielka and Zouma gone. Last season Mina played 9/10 league games, because he was so injury prone, so why is Silva so obsessed with midfielders, a bit like Koeman who signed 3 no.10's, when a quality centreback should be his top priority.
Paul Burns
92 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:43:02
What's with all the hero worship of Brands, we were shit last season and have been shit in every pre-season game?
Its easy to spend other peoples money.
I wont trust him until we win a trophy and not a day before.
Robert Williams
93 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:45:11
Steve Ferns (working). between 14.50pm and 17.03pm -14 posts.

Any chance of a job like that?

Mike Gaynes
94 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:47:27
Too late, Brian. In between taking laps around the house, he is now prowling the nether regions of the Dark Web looking for the item.
Mike Gaynes
95 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:48:43
Regarding the CB situation, I notice that there has been no further word regarding the alleged impending departure of Mason Holgate.
Hugh Jenkins
96 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:53:57
Everyone seems to be getting agitated over us "doubling" up on certain positions and not getting in another CB etc.
But, not one of us really knows what is happening behind closed doors?
Whilst this thing is to-ing and fro-ing with Doucoure is it not possible that elsewhere negotiations are taking place for a CB?
Or, as has been already said (and Gbamin says this in his interview quoted on this site), he may well be called upon to play either CMF or CB according to the needs of the moment.

I, for one, have no complaints about the results of this window so far and am prepared to wait to see what Thursday brings, before passing any further judgement.

So far so good folks - let's just watch this space for another 48 hours.

Bobby Thomas
97 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:56:24
I don't think this is any more complicated than Silva wanting players he rates, or he feels can do the job and also offer more variety in terms of how we set up.

McCarthy, Scheiderlin, Besic are firmly out of the picture and we are best rid of them. We have lost Gana and added Gbamin & Delf.

That's one more body added to the very small group of central players that Silva was generally prepared to select from (Gana & Gomes). I'm not sure he's too sold on Tom Davies in there either or he wouldn't be interested in all these players.

For absolutely years we've been undersized, lacked legs, aggression and quality of passing in there. So I'm all for trying to get him. Quite why we've left it this late I don't know although there has to be a reason as all kinds of cash seems to have appeared.

As others have noted though, centre back needs boxing and is probably where attention and cash should be focused at this point in time of the window, as we are going to be bedding in a virtually new week to week central defensive partnership. We need some options and pace in there.

Ed Prytherch
98 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:57:50
I will be surprised if we don't sign a CB but lets hope he is not coming from Manure. Rojo has no discipline, Smalling will have to change his style of defending with VAR and Jones is no faster than our present two. If we can't get Zouma then Nathan Ake fits the bill and surely we pay better wages than Bournemouth.
Mike Gaynes
99 Posted 06/08/2019 at 18:57:57
Paul Burns #92, there have been a lot of famous pessimists on TW over the years, from Tony Marsh to Jim Bennings, but after viewing the unrelenting negativity of your every post on every string and subject, I'd say you are the sourest single contributor I've seen on this site.

Conor McCourt
100 Posted 06/08/2019 at 19:12:51
Steve Ferns 10- I disagree with you that we will have 4 players for the same position and see this signing as very much different from our other midfielders.

He is a Yaya Toure type player and we don't have a midfielder in our squad who has his energy power pace and athleticism and along with Siggy he is the only real goal threat also.

If you look at our squad we have two players for every position so you would expect for 3 midfield roles we would want 6 players also as last season when Siggy was out of form we had no other option there.

As someone else mentioned this signing would give us tactical flexibility. For example if we were away at City Silva might want to play a compact midfield 3 of Gbamin Delph and Doucoure where as against Burnley at home he could be more adventurous and have Gomes in a quarterback role with Sigggy and Doucoure.

If you look individually at the 6 midfielders each has different traits;
Davies-youth energy and can control tempo
Gomes-vision and technician of the side
Delph-leadership, experience, winner and balance [left)
Gbamin-defensively strong, organiser and game reader
Siggy-goal machine, tactically clever and versatile
Doucoure-power pace and ability to break lines

I think Doucoure would be a really good and important acquisition though again in terms of the model of what Brands said he wanted it would be similar to Zaha in that it's a premium for a ready made player.

Jay Harris
101 Posted 06/08/2019 at 19:13:14
I think you will find Silva asked for a CB and a fullback, in fact he is quoted as saying we only have Keane, Mina and Holgate and Lewis is not yet ready for the prem so another CB is key.
David Nicholls
102 Posted 06/08/2019 at 19:15:51
The only rationale I can come up with for stock-piling box to box cm's is a change in system.

Gylfi as a false 9 with Rich and Zaha running the channels, Kean off the bench and Dacoure, Gbamin and Gomes in midfield?

Brian Williams
103 Posted 06/08/2019 at 19:17:24
Robert#93. He's a bloody solicitor what do you expect?
Some poor bugger in Walton's paying for those posts. 🤣🤣🤣 Sorry Steve, couldn't resist.
Incidentally if we were to sign Zaha and Doucoure ( can't do the accent over the e, sorry Michael) we would be seriously weakening our first two opponents of the season.
Surely Brands isn't evil enough to make bids to destabilise our opponents? 😈
Gary Willock
104 Posted 06/08/2019 at 19:19:28
Mike #88 - you're probably right about DCL. I'm also likely being a little over optimistic about Zaha - even if he joins it'd be pretty heavy throwing him straight in for that game. This optimism's just good fun though. #COYB
Frank Wade
105 Posted 06/08/2019 at 19:22:29
If we are serious about Doucoure, we must be moving to a RS type 4-3-3 formation as Steve and Sam have posted above. But, why would we play our usual 4-2-3-1 formation in all warm up games and then change, plus what happens to Siggy.
Richard Mason
106 Posted 06/08/2019 at 19:28:52
In my opinion, Watford will not sell to us. Especially this late in the window without a replacement. Why not kessie from Milan
Mike Gaynes
107 Posted 06/08/2019 at 19:34:23
Richard #106, the reports I saw on Kessie when Wolves went in for him said he's very happy in Milan and doesn't want to move.

Brands may also not consider him worth £30m.

Clive Rogers
108 Posted 06/08/2019 at 19:40:32
Don't forget that Gbamin can play CB.
Mike Gaynes
109 Posted 06/08/2019 at 19:44:30
Clive, Silva didn't even mention Gbamin when he was talking about Zouma and our CB situation yesterday. All he said was that the Keane/Mina/Holgate combination wasn't sufficient and that Gibson wasn't ready for prime time. But he didn't bring up Gbamin at all, so does he even envision him at CB?
Peter Warren
110 Posted 06/08/2019 at 21:00:56
Hope we sign Doucouré more than any other player linked with us as I think he's superb and will transform our team
Conor McCourt
111 Posted 06/08/2019 at 23:26:28
Peter 110- I agree and feel he could be really top class in a top class team. I would be more sure of his success than any of the others even though I feel Kean could also be the next George Weah.

For those who are more worried about the centre back situation as being more necessary I have a theory that both these are linked.

So far we have budgeted for all the signings made and we had funds for a CB and RW. Originally we had 30 mill or so earmarked forZouma who we believed would sign.

Lampard wants him to stay and I believe Zouma doesn't want to leave if he's first choice.As he pointed out this season he wants to play to secure his euros place. I think we have only agreed a loan for him as Lampard can't give him guarantees this season but rates him and knows Luiz may need replacing next year.

Even if I'm wrong there is talk of a loan with Timori so either way the funds allocated for the CB are available and so the next piece became Doucoure

Steve Ferns
112 Posted 06/08/2019 at 23:37:42
Conor, why would Lampard loan out Zouma whilst there is a ban on? He'd sell him and pocket the cash for next summer, or he'd keep him. When Luiz leaves in 12 months time they can sign a replacement and Lampard will have a big war chest to do so. Zouma is likely to stay as Rudiger is injured to it's between him, Christiansen and Luiz. So he will play early on, and perhaps could leave in January once Rudiger is fit. So perhaps we agree the transfer now, and loan someone for the season.

That player won't be Timori. Ok he might be a little ahead of Gibson and Feeney by having a season at Derby, but how much further on is he really? And whilst I do rate Mina, with his injury record do we really trust Timori to come in and play a lot of games? Timori only makes sense as 4th choice. We still need a 3rd choice (depending on where we see Mina in the pecking order).

As for your point on the midfielders above. You make an excellent point regards how the players are different and Silva might play different players, but ultimately he's going to pick Sigurdsson most games and so that leaves one spot alongside Gbamin for Gomes, Delph and Doucouré, So that's a very expensive player who might not even make the bench. Such a player wouyld not be happy and this leads to decimation of the good dressing room atmosphere. Doesn't matter if you have quality, look at Man City, you need to keep the squad small enough that few big name players are failing to make the squad.

Clive Rogers
113 Posted 06/08/2019 at 23:54:37
Mike, 109, perhaps he doesn't if he's got one lined up, but if he can't bring one in I'm sure he would use him at CB in a crisis.
Geoff Lambert
114 Posted 07/08/2019 at 00:52:54
Conor You are right about the loan that is the only way we will get him back this year.
Conor McCourt
115 Posted 07/08/2019 at 00:56:58
Steve you are probably right but it's just a feeling I have due to Zouma posting his Everton number on his boots that he might be here and with Kean and Zaha contacting each other on Instagram I think Zaha will follow as players will know the score in advance much more than we do.

I think too much is being made of Rudiger because he is only going to be missing for 3 months maximum and Christeansen is his natural replacement regardless.

I wouldn't be as confident as you that he definitely starts as I think he is not viewed at Chelsea in the same way as we do and had it not for the aforementioned injury and transfer ban then I believe he would definitely be let go. I know that many Chelsea fans don't think he's good enough on the ball for them and his preseason form won't have enhanced their view. Don't forget he was fifth choice last season and rightly so on his previous two seasons.

It all depends on who Lampard prefers between the Dane and Zouma...if the answer isn't Kurt then he will probably force the move. The Timori link is one that just isn't going away so if we can't get Kurt perhaps he is the answer but like you I feel that Silva wants Zouma and his quotes imply that he is quietly confident of getting him.

With regards to our midfield I would say it would mostly be rotating 3 from 4 between Gbamin Gomes Siggy and Doucoure and the one for me to most likely start would be the Watford man as he is comfortable in a 2 or 3. I would guess he would play 3 midfielders and have 2 on the bench like last season with Davies missing out.

I accept all of what I have said is merely gut feeling and has no real credence.

Conor McCourt
116 Posted 07/08/2019 at 01:26:25
Ps Steve Chelsea can't buy anyone next summer either so enhancing their acceptance of a loan arrangement
Annika Herbert
117 Posted 07/08/2019 at 04:08:47
Good player this lad, I wouldn't mind seeing him in an Everton shirt. I am not sure his signing is a priority but am sure the people in charge know what they are doing. It's going to be a very interesting final day and a half of the transfer window!

As with most posters, I would be happy to see Zouma return on a permanent basis. It's certainly going to be an exciting final few hours. Here's hoping we get everyone Silva would like.

Paul @92, if you can't see the immense job done by Brands already, I think you have a problem.

Sam Hoare
118 Posted 07/08/2019 at 06:34:01
Steve@112 how are you so sure Silva will want to start Sigurdsson most games? He isn't one of his players and I'd think he's as vulnerable as anyone to rotation and adaption.

Don't get me wrong I think Siggy is a great player. He could feasibly play a deeper role instead of Gomes or even take one of the wide forward positions against a sitting defence. I know we've not seen this in pre-season but possibly due to lack of options.

I don't think Silva will swerve buying a plater he wants just to accommodate Sigurdsson. He wants options and flexibility.

I'd feel much more confident about us defensively if we had Doucore in the middle alongside Gbamin.

I also wouldn't rule out a Tomori loan. It's a cheap way of offering pace to our defense till we can hopefully buy Zouma in January. Could even be a 6 month loan with the understanding that Zouma will stay to cover Rudigers injury and in the meantime we give Tomori some PL experience. Lampard rates Tomori quite highly so that could work for everyone in the long term.

Peter Warren
119 Posted 07/08/2019 at 07:59:36
All this we're overly stocked is nonsense - strikes me there is maximum 7 people for 3 or 4 positions and Doucouré will give us massive flexibility in that he can play as a holder by himself or as a two or (where I would envisage him if Gbamin gets up to speed) being completely box to box. He also improves our ability at defending set pieces and crosses which is something I still think we struggle on.

Silva himself mentioned at the weekend we needed central midfielder. I agree this guy's a powerhouse and we have nobody like him and to me massive upgrade on Gueye (who I rated high). To say this is a Silva signing is rubbish (as too are those who say Zaha a Moshiri signing) - those days are gone - Brands, Silva, coaches and staff decide on players together. If Brands doesn't rate this guy or see where he fits we don't bid for him, simple.

If we sign Doucouré I expect he will be the starting player in midfield and others will need to shift him which I consider unlikely unless he gets injured or rested as my opinion is that he's one of the best box to box midfielders in the whole of European football. Like Gueye I think he falls under the Radar. I saw him play once and he stood out so I started watching him when Watford play on tv (I can get bored watching other teams) and concentrated on watching him and I just think he's immense. I need hoping we got him last season when Silva moved.

If he plays, then up to others, be it Gbamin, Gomes, Delph, Siggy and Davies (& probably Bernard if we get Zaha) to challenge for the two (or three depending on tactics) spots left. 5 or 6 players for two or three positions which are crucial to how we play does not seem overly stocked to me.

Schneiderlin, Besic and Bangingme I don't include.

The competition for places does not include Doucouré being dropped for lack of form, fitness or tactics. Nor does it include possibility of Gbamin being used in a back 3 or 5 in some games which I suspect will occur although I've still never seen Everton ever play well with back 3 ever despite many managers having tried.

People saying too many players I think I are mad and I wonder did you watch us last season? Players like Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard and Gomes desperately needed resting at times last year (we hardly had any games after dropping out of both cups early) but played owing to lack of numbers. It's a squad game now even without Europe if you want to be successful.

I'm keen we sign this player as consider it will transform our team.

Jon Hirshman
120 Posted 07/08/2019 at 12:36:21
It's over, we've ended our efforts to sign him (Sky Sports Understands).

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