In the past (both at Everton and elsewhere, I believe), Marcel Brands has been loathe to dip into the January transfer market, rightly perceiving that the shops are a bit threadbare unless you intend to pay over the odds for players. Most of the players touted around are those who are out of favour or form – or likely both.
Our last serious foray into the Winter transfer market saw us splash around £45M on Walcott and Tosun, whose contributions have been fairly unimpressive and who will leave the club for little or no transfer recompense. However, if you look further back, there have been times when the window has been used well: loans for the likes of Pienaar and Arteta stand out to me especially; both were young(ish) players, both slightly out of favour but with undoubted ability.
With injuries now mounting and an unforgiving mid-winter fixture schedule, I wonder if Brands will be forced to dip into this market more than before and whether the prospect of a wide-open race for the top 4 might encourage Moshiri and Co to take advantage of our excellent first half (almost) of the season?
So here is a shorter piece than my Summer speculations, with some names that I think could be interesting:
A wide player to bring goals:
Milot Rashica – The pacy Kosovan has been out of the team at Werder Bremen with supposedly a few injury complaints which may make him a no-go but I suspect that some of this has been down to him wanting to leave. He’s been pretty good for them the last two season from the wings, scoring around 1 in 3 and getting assists too whilst working hard. He has similarities to Richarlison in that he is quick and good at dribbling whilst able to play across any the front three positions and usually add a few goals from any of those spots.
If we could find someone who could do a job at right-wing but also give Calvert-Lewin a break at times, then that could really be helpful. A loan with option to buy could work out for all parties if he is fit to play. If not him, then someone else with some pace and ideally some goals.
Alternatives: (many of whom may not be available till Summer):- Ihatteren, Stengs, Neres, Bouanga, Hudson-Odoi (on loan), Chukwueze, Diatta, Tsygankov. Malcom, Dan James, Doku, Depay, Bailey
Legs in the middle:
Dele Alli – I’ve never been the biggest Alli fan, but he’s a talented enough player who knows the Premier League and is surely desperate for some game time to try and get back into the England squad for the Euros. At his best, he is an energetic attacking central midfielder who offers movement and a very decent goals return for a midfielder. I’m not sure I’d want to splash a transfer fee on him but a loan could make sense for all parties as he could help us take points off Spurs' rivals though doing business with Levy is always precarious.
If not him then another midfield body who offers some energy, dynamism and maybe goals without sacrificing work rate and defensive shape too heavily. We could use either a central defensive midfielder to potentially free up Allan when he returns, or a box-to-box player to rotate with (or improve upon) Doucouré, Sigurdsson, and Davies.
Alternatives: Cyprien, Wendel, Tonali, Koopmeiners, Da Silva, Soumare, Haidara, Owusu, Barrios, Isco, Khedira, Yazicki, Olmo, Buendia, Michael Olise, Aouar, Fulgini.
An heir to Coleman:
Denzel Dumfries – The Dutchman has yet to leave the Eredivisie and such players always represent a risk but I like the look of him. Fast, strong and hard working, like our Irish captain, he seems to have a knack for often popping up in the box and nicking a goal or two. We need a few more goals from around the team so why not get a right-back who got 7 goals in 25 matches during 2019-20?
He could well turn out to be a Sidibé but he has always looked decent defensively to me on the few occasions I’ve watched PSV. Brands will know all about him, of course, and probably he’s too risky but I just like the look of him.
Alternatives: Aarons, Esteves, Klostermann, Emerson, Mukiele, Montiel, Frimpong, Lamptey, Atal, Muldur, Simakan, Maitland-Niles, Celik.
An upgrade on Tosun:
Odsonne Eduard – The young Frenchman has been a bit less prolific for a faltering Celtic this season but still scores frequently and looks set for a move to a bigger club soon. That point may well come this summer but perhaps Celtic might be tempted to cash-in early as their title push already looks rocky. Edouard is fast and strong but also quite creative for a striker and could possibly operate on the wings though he’s primarily a striker so may not fancy playing second fiddle to Calvert-Lewin. He’d probably cost upwards of £25M too.
Alternatives: Jovic, Cunha, Diego Costa, Evanilson, Darwin Nunez, Millik, Gouiri, Tzolis, Maxi Gomez, Ivan Toney, Boulaye Dia, Moise Kean?!
A big key to players in will probably be players out. If we could shift the likes of Tosun, Bolasie, Pennington and Kenny, that would help. The big earners that I would be happy to lose include the likes of Delph, Bernard and possibly Gomes. I’m not sure we’d have interest in any of those three but there has been talk of Fonseca wanting Bernard back at Roma; he’s a decent player but £120k per week for a player who makes the occasional cameo of our bench makes no sense and if we could sell him from £7m + then I would.
If I were to get even more Football Manager on the scenario, then I’d love to sell:
Delph - £3M to Sheffield United (are they that desperate?)
Tosun - £10M to WBA (come on Sam, you know it makes sense)
Bernard - £7M to Roma
Kenny - £6M to Newcastle or someone.
Bolasie, Pennington etc off the wage bill.
Then bring in:
Edouard for £25M
Dumfries for £15M
There’s many reasons why that won’t happen but it will be interesting to see what, if any, moves Brands makes this January. I’d be happy enough with another forward option (we never replaced Kean and Walcott) and maybe another talented youngster (in the Branthwaite style).
I’d also be happy to see Gordon given some more time but Carlo seems unconvinced by him so far. It’s not been often that we’ve got to the end of the year 4 points off the top with a game in hand; it would be nice to build on that if possible.
Reader Comments (51)
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1 Posted 31/12/2020 at 17:39:19
Diego Costa (assuming he doesn't turn out to be another Samuel Eto'o)
Buendia (right midfield) - part exchange Bolasie
Denzel Dumfries (right-back) - just for the name!
2 Posted 31/12/2020 at 17:56:09
Outgoing, yes... incoming, no.
I'm guessing that Carlo and Marcel's purchase checks are dated for summer 2021, not January.
3 Posted 31/12/2020 at 18:01:30
I think this is our biggest ever chance to jump a level.
Dele Alli I know has had a bit of a quiet spell and something isn't right at Spurs but there is a top player in there somewhere.
His record up to the age of Gerrard and Lampard up to the age of 23 pisses all over them and he hasn't played as many as them.
I truly hope we bring some quality from your list.
4 Posted 31/12/2020 at 18:27:42
Yup Mike's right, I think it will be a quiet window, it's unlikely but Tosun out maybe to West Brom or Crystal Palace and a replacement in on an initial loan. Or at a push Milik for a greatly reduced fee as he is out of contract in June. (Napoli want â‚¬14m! but they are pissing in the wind and will end up accepting a lot less or he will be gone for zilch.)
In the summer the world will be a different place. We will be free and Everton will have qualified for the Champions League. It will be an interesting window, Brands wants quality youth players, Ancelotti wants tried and tested experience. I expect we will get both.
I would like us to be signing our own Bruno Fernandes in June. His energy, zest for the game and dynamism in getting forward from midfield has transformed Man Utd's fortunes. If we can find a <25-year-old with those qualities this signing could really boost the team.
Could Tom Davies be that man? The jury had condemned him but now it's back in the meeting room debating. Just lately there are positive signs, but we need to see this consistently.
5 Posted 31/12/2020 at 18:33:22
With me, like most Blues I guess, it's a contest between my miserable and my happy sides. Most of the time, the former wins but the happy waves are amplifying.
6 Posted 31/12/2020 at 18:41:28
If we can get a few off the wage bill, then 100% we have to get a forward in. If both Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are out, we are screwed.
Go for it, Brands! Let's grab this season by the balls.
7 Posted 31/12/2020 at 18:47:21
After you threatening an article the other week, I feared this may be about having to cash in on our better players if big offers came along.
8 Posted 31/12/2020 at 18:47:26
Paul @ 3, totally agree regarding Alli.
If it's as a number 10 to challenge Sigurdsson, then yes. Form is temporary... and all that. One thought that would always play on the mind, is if he's run into the box and James is playing on the right, that's two passengers when it comes to the defensive side, especially if the other team wins the ball in their box.
The big plus is that Digne and James finding Alli or Calvert-Lewin would be fun to watch when it clicks.
For me, I'd like to see a very good lower league player like Godfrey, Cahill, Jagielka or Lescott recruited who can be polished from the bench and eased into the team to challenge with all the ingredients for 10 years at the top level.
It might be hard to find a first-team player to bring in to dislodge a player in a team that's fought to be in 2nd place in the league, when James is back soon and then Digne and so on.
9 Posted 31/12/2020 at 20:22:06
OUTS - Tosun and Bolasie never were good enough, injuries seem to have taken the suspect Besic to a lower level, Delph a rash gamble â€“ we've too often gambled on crocks who are rarely fit (eg re-signing Ferguson and McFadden; Delph).
10 Posted 31/12/2020 at 21:25:38
To avoid people shouting at me, I will park my overly laboured preference for U21s recruitment and go for people I think we could actually get. These are essentially non-regulars at major Champions League clubs, regulars at Champions League clubs from non-major leagues and regulars at non-Champions League clubs.
I think the first 11 will benefit most from a dynamic force in midfield who actually poses a goal threat. Dele Alli fits the bill in some respects â€“ but it's concerning to me that Mourinho has obviously decided he's not for him. I've also watched him many times for England (without Eriksen pulling the strings) and wondered what the fuss is about. The main alternatives for me would be Loftus-Cheek, DeBeek and Kudus (Ajax). The latter is potentially world class but I expect he'll stay at Ajax till Summer 2022 at least.
Alternatively, you could throw in additional legs / bite in the form of Tolisso (Bayern), Guimaraes (Lyon) or Mangala (Stuttgart) â€“ but they are all quite like Allan and DoucourÃ©, rather than players who offer something different. We'd certainly be competitive though â€“ and use the ball well.
The other area that will make a real difference is on the wings. When fit / available, Richarlison and Rodriguez are very effective. But as we have seen, they are not always available.
As you say, Memphis Depay is an option. He would be an outstanding addition, because of his versatility and the fact he's matured massively since leaving Man Utd taking responsibility for leading both Lyon and a very good Netherlands side. Suspect he's destined for a Champions League club but, as a free agent, he'd be an excellent acquisition. Rashica, Neres, Bailey and Diatta all look very good too as genuine wide players â€“ with Lemar, McNeill, Sarr, Gonzalez (Stuttgart) and Boga (Sassuolo) good options too for genuine end product. Had he not got injured, I think Gonzalez would be a real stand out target for a lot of top clubs. Ihattaren is a wonderful player and, like Anthony of Ajax, a potential heir to James Rodriguez once his delicate testicles finally call time on his Everton career.
Right backs, plenty available. Likely to be one of Aarons, Lamptey, Dagba, Celik and Emerson. Lamptey is likely to be very expensive - 㿙m+ which probably prices him out of a move. I hope we get Dagba as part of the Kean deal to PSG.
Centre forwards: Edouard would be an excellent fit for us. The two more experienced strikers we could get are Milik (whom you mention) and also Mariano Diaz of Real. Other than your suggestions, I think Maupay would be a good fit (able to replace or supplement Calvert-Lewin) albeit likely to be very expensive. Also Koita & Daka (Salzburg), Barrow (Bologna) and Macias (Guadalajara) â€“ the latter maybe Mike Gaynes has an opinion on because the US were trying to get him to play for them instead of Mexico.
Personal favourites change day to day â€“ but if we're going for the more mature player then something like Loftus-Cheek, Gonzalez, Diaz and Dagba would give us real depth, versatility and extra firepower at a price we can probably afford.
Anyway, thanks again for pulling everything together. Wishing everyone all the best for next year.
11 Posted 31/12/2020 at 21:32:10
My tip for the top over next 2 years.
19 years old I believe.
12 Posted 31/12/2020 at 21:46:40
Not all is lost though. Kudus's former club Nordsjaelland in Denmark also have Sulemana. Then there is Sima of Slavia Prague and so on. Exceptional players are always out there.
13 Posted 31/12/2020 at 21:48:14
All the best, mate!
14 Posted 31/12/2020 at 23:07:26
15 Posted 31/12/2020 at 23:27:36
Andy, agreed. The little fella has looked a different player in his last couple of games. He seems fitter with more energy and looks happier for it. I think we need to keep him until at least the summer.
16 Posted 31/12/2020 at 23:30:33
Robert@10 some interesting additions as always. A fit Tolisso would be a serious upgrade and I was a fan of Loftus-Cheek before his injury.
We really lack a central midfielder who can carry the ball forward reliably, like Barkley used to on his better days. Loftus-Cheek could do that as could Anguissa who's been as good for Fulham as he was in Spain last year.
Kudus looks a talent and anyone from Salzburg has usually been well scouted and trained.
Certainly talent out there.
I would very much like to have got Caciedo before Man Utd.
17 Posted 31/12/2020 at 23:56:39
I do think it will be a more off-load situation. As you say, Brands has his opinion on January transfers.
Happy New Year.
18 Posted 01/01/2021 at 14:02:41
Keith@9 to say Coleman is only good enough as a stand in, or to play against weaker teams is a total insult, he's back to his best this season until his hamstring injury.
19 Posted 01/01/2021 at 14:23:04
20 Posted 01/01/2021 at 15:31:01
I don't get stumped often on North American players, but you accomplished the mission on Macias. I never read anything about the US recruiting him, and I believe he's been locked into Mexico for over a year. Anyway, I think he's not our kind of striker. 5'10" and no physical presence.
21 Posted 02/01/2021 at 09:12:03
We can't rest on our laurels because we had a good run before Christmas, the performance of have been laboured and the football style lazy.
I won't even hazard a guess as to who we might sign but we need a striker to help out Calvert-Lewin because the lad is becoming a marked man with our one dimensional style of play and looks jaded
We need at least two or three players but whether we get them or not who knows.
22 Posted 02/01/2021 at 10:01:59
Any of the likes of Edouard, Rashica, Alli etc would be helpful. I also noticed that Leipzig have said Nkunku could be bought for £25m; I think he's a really talented and versatile young player who would create more for us. He's in the top 7 in Europe this season for shot creating action between Grealish and De Bruyne. Another player I mentioned in the OP called Yazicki is actually number 5, he could be a really interesting addition.
23 Posted 02/01/2021 at 10:04:18
24 Posted 02/01/2021 at 14:03:19
Definitely the squad needs improving this window but, as always, it seems moving on deadwood, the likes of Bernard and Tosun, dictates any new signings. Between them, they earn 𧵬k a week I believe... for what? Absolutely mind-blowing.
If we could only bring in two players, for me, it would be at right-wing and left-wing. Other positions can wait till the Summer. This would free up Richarlison to play central if need be. We could also then try James or Iwobi at Number 10. Both could excel in that position and give us some badly needed creativity in the middle of the park.
Agree, Sam, regarding Khedira not being what we need at all.
25 Posted 02/01/2021 at 14:31:02
I think above all we need that midfield dynamo. The Bruno Fernandes player. Someone to stretch and test defenders and who will drive forward. But just as important be a tenacious and menace of a player with an edge and a single-minded winning mentality.
It's this player that knocks organised teams of journeymen out of shape. Such a player can light up a team and give it life as an attacking force, puts defences on the back foot and allows wide players to make runs against full-backs. This player also allows our defensive midfielders to be more in control of their game. This is the key player, the missing link in this Everton side. Sigurdsson has been, sort of, playing the role but although he is trying he just hasn't got the mobility or skill set for a top 4 team.
From your list, I've liked Buendia for a long time, he has creativity, seems bursting with energy, is tenacious and chips in with assists and goals. The lad is only 24 still and ready to step up. I think he would be a major upgrade for that midfield role. There's got to be three or four good or and possibly better options for the position around Europe but it's likely we will have to wait until the summer.
26 Posted 03/01/2021 at 07:51:58
Again, like Tony said, look at the difference that Bruno Fernandes has made to Man Utd. And the players around him like Pogba, McTominay, etc have all improved. I am confident that Buendia can be that type of player for us.
Norwich may not sell in this window unless it is an eye-watering amount, but throw in Davies (on loan), Delph, Besic, Bolasie, Tosun and they could be tempted.
27 Posted 03/01/2021 at 08:31:25
Not sure why we didn't try and get Eze. £17m for a youngster who can beat men with ease and score and assist was a good deal. His stats in the championship were great and in a season or two Palace will sell him for £40m+.
A Fernandes type would be great but we already have Sigurdsson and Rodriguez who play there. And possibly Iwobi, Bernard and Gomes may be best there too. I think movement and pace is lacking (especially without Digne). There's no point having a great playmaker if there's a static team around them. I expect a right winger and an attacking right back might be the priorities.
29 Posted 03/01/2021 at 08:39:47
30 Posted 04/01/2021 at 14:01:37
I'd happily take Origi if he were available for a good price. Say ٦-10M. usually the reds seem to sell for inflated prices and I can't see them loaning him to us but, in some ways, he's exactly what we need as he is fast and strong and capable of playing across the front 3.
He's not a brilliant player but he's only 25 and, over his career, he's scored at roughly 1 goal every 3 games which is not too shabby. He'd be better back-up than we currently have but not one to get excited about.
31 Posted 04/01/2021 at 15:55:37
Great article. Out of all your suggestions and bearing on mind that we probably won't be bringing many in. I think a defensive midfielder to free up Allan could be done. I've been really impressed with Allan bringing the ball forward. With a strong defensive midfielder, he would be able to do this more often.
32 Posted 04/01/2021 at 22:31:54
33 Posted 06/01/2021 at 11:13:38
34 Posted 06/01/2021 at 11:22:54
We just want Brands to be really pro active this window. It could make a hell of a difference the next few months to us.
35 Posted 06/01/2021 at 11:33:26
Personally I want proven quality as we genuinely have a chance this season.
Short term deals for Khedira, Diego Costa and Isco would do me.
Long term I would like us to break the bank and go for Philips, Rice, Grealish.
Fringpong at Celtic also looks a prospect to replace Coleman at some point.
We can dream can't we.
36 Posted 06/01/2021 at 12:21:17
37 Posted 06/01/2021 at 12:27:19
38 Posted 06/01/2021 at 12:31:52
Rice, Phillips and especially Grealish would all be fantastic additions but young English talent comes at a premium and none of them would be less than £50-60m I don't think. There may be players abroad of similar talent but for half the price.
39 Posted 06/01/2021 at 19:14:43
I'd always prefer British players, the trick is get them before their talent is known all over the place, like Maddison going to Leicester for 㾸M. We were in for him but he preferred Leicester because it was nearer to his parents home. Bowen was snapped by Moyes for around 㾻M from Hull.
We got two this year from Norwich and Carlisle who will serve Everton well in the future and, even if they move on, we'll still reap the benefits with a good profit.
There are plenty of good players out there; getting them early is the hard part.
40 Posted 06/01/2021 at 19:18:15
Michael, that bleedin' wordchecker is takin' the piss out of all of us, not another year with him is it? @ 39.
41 Posted 06/01/2021 at 19:40:54
42 Posted 06/01/2021 at 19:56:55
43 Posted 06/01/2021 at 20:05:19
Aarrons would fit that criteria. Thanks, Sam, for posting about one of my favourite subjects, transfer speculation. I've always loved it, makes me think of panini stickerbooks etc.
I'd add to your right-back list the Dane Maehle from Gent (or Genk, can't remember which!) who is a real prospect. On the wing, there is also Bailey from Leverkusen though you might have mentioned him already.
Interesting what you said about Rashica, whilst I knew he was a good prospect (Liverpool have sniffed around him before apparently). I didn't know he was a hard worker as well, this is key if you ask me, someone to match Richarlison's workrate on the other flank would really suit Carlo's model I think.
This is why I have pushed for Buendia so ardently, guile, graft and creativity is hard to come by and costs a pretty penny. I'd like to know more about Moises Caciedo, is he a central midfielder or a wide man? It's hard to tell from his highlights reel. What more do you know about him?
44 Posted 06/01/2021 at 20:15:40
Caciedo is a central midfielder in the Kante or Gueye mold but with a bit more skill on the ball. Very young and raw but could be a real star and is already good enough I think to make an impact.
45 Posted 07/01/2021 at 07:38:44
46 Posted 07/01/2021 at 08:13:07
47 Posted 07/01/2021 at 13:31:23
If Caciedo only costs the ٣.5M reported, I think we should definitely pull the trigger. Decent chance he's worth 8 times that in 3 years time from what I've seen.
48 Posted 07/01/2021 at 14:14:26
This won't all happen this month but a good chunk of it needs to happen by August.
49 Posted 07/01/2021 at 14:26:15
50 Posted 07/01/2021 at 14:34:19
51 Posted 07/01/2021 at 16:35:24
He's 24 so will have some resale value, fast, but I've never been entirely convinced by him but he is now entering his prime and some improvement in his composure and end product could be eked out of him by Ancelotti. Gray and Milik could be picked up for peanuts as they are out of contract in a few months. The challenge would be to apply sensible wages.
It would leave a much more healthy transfer pot for top quality strengthening at right-back and a young quality midfielder with massive potential.
I think we are going to have to do some shrewd deals and box clever with our financial situation as it is.
52 Posted 07/01/2021 at 17:06:46
Transferring players out that is dne for financial preferences can take longer. We need quality coverage for certain positions so hopefully we can get them in this month.
There are so many names mentioned, it is hard to determine who the club will bring in, if any, I just hope it is done quickly.
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