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With a galaxy of stars on show at the World Cup, David Moyes must feel a quiet sense of frustration that the majority of them are simply beyond his reach. With some wheeling and dealing — not to mention some speed off the blocks — he might be able to make the odd transfer coup this summer.

12 June 2002

On past evidence, it's no surprise that David Moyes insisted on jetting out to witness this year's World Cup first hand, even if his visit was a brief one. A real student of the game, as well as putting himself through UEFA's official coaching course, Moyes has made a point of being at most of the major international footballing competitions in recent years.

David Moyes

This World Cup was no dfferent and the Everton manager took in China's opening game against Costa Rica, apparently casting an eye over the little-known talents of the Chinese players. Rumours suggested midfielder Li Tei was prominent on his radar. China meekly succumbed 2-0 to the Central Americans and watching the exploits of Japan and South Korea in the ensuing days, you found yourself hoping that Moyes was watching these other Far Eastern teams just as closely because their players showed themselves to be far more suited to the rigours of the Premiership.

Junichi Inamoto

As far and away Japan's most famous export, Parma's Hidetoshi Nakata is a well-known quantity to fans in England but the peroxide-blonde duo of Takayuki Suzuki and Junichi Inamoto have certainly grabbed the attention with their attacking talents. Inamoto in particular stood out as a tremendously exciting talent and eyebrows will be raised at Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's reluctance to use this little pack dynamite more frequently in Arsenal colours.

Rumours suggest that Wenger could be looking to offload Inamoto, but the more he puts in these sterling performances in the Far East this month, the higher his value will rise; in fact he may already be out of Everton's price range, but what an addition to our pedestrian line-up he would be! Let's hope Moyesey feels the same way!

Of course, most of the players on show are both beyond Everton's financial resources and being watched by hundreds of other managers across the world. Even domestic talents like the phenomenal Irish duo of Robbie Keane and Damien Duff are well out of Moyes' budget.

Nevertheless, there are a few players who caught they eye who probably won't cost Everton an arm and a leg. From the African sides, many of the Senegalese players will be hot property after the dust has settled on Korea Japan and El-Hadji Diouf and two-goal hero from the win over Sweden, Henri Camara, stand out in particular. Given that both play in France for Lens and Sedan respectively and Everton have a certain Alex Nyarko on their books, acquiring either of these could be possible with a swap deal.

Emmanuel Olisadebe

Although of Polish nationality, the bullish, Nigerian-born Emmanuel Olisadebe was very reminscent of Daniel Amokachi with his strength on the ball and powerful shooting. Physically, he looks tailor-made for the Premiership, but the Blues have a history of failed transfers involving African players which might make Moyes wary of looking at the 21 year-old who now plays with Panathinaikos in Greece.

A hitherto unknown market for Everton is Mexico whose form in Korea has shown them to be one of the top five teams in the tournament. Striker Jared Borgetti's height and physical presence mark him out as potential Premiership material, as does the bulldog-esque style of Gerardo Torrado. For the Mexican's CONCACAF rilvals Costa Rica, wing-back Carlos Castro's forways down the flanks caught the eye despite his country's narrow exit from the competition at the hands of Brazil.

Landon Donovan

For the USA, young midfield sensation Landon Donovan is causing quite a stir Stateside after helping the San Jose Earthquakes to the MLS championship in 2001 and he carried his impressive form to the world stage as the Americans scraped through to the second stage. His age, combined with the fact that he is from that not-so-hotbed of football, the United States, should keep his value down.

Staying on the subject of wingers, the pace of Denmark's Dennis Rommedahl stood out as something from which Everton could surely benefit as he lit up the flanks for the Danes in the group stages in Japan. If he could be prized away from PSV Eindhoven, he could be the perfect injection of electifying speed to complement that of Tomasz Radzinski.

Dennis Rommedahl

Rommedahl's teammate, Ebbe Sand, would also be worth a punt despite having a less-than-stellar tournament alongside hotshot Jon Dahl Tomasson. As would Turkey's chrome-domed firecracker, Hasan Sas, who showed an array of skills not to mention plenty of strength and eye for goal.

The post-World Cup transfer merry-go-round is sure to be a hectic period and David Moyes will surely have been casting his eye longingly over the players on show. His need for wheeling and dealing, mostly through player exchanges, might severely limit him to the domestic market but the small amount of funds he does have may allow him to dip into the international market and capitalise on the window-shopping opportunity that is the World Cup.

Addendum: The above article was written around the end of the first phase of the tournament (16th June). Since then, the likes of Turkey, USA, South Korea and Japan have made significant headway in the competition, raising the profile of their players and escalating their price tags! Hasan Sas, for example, is apparently only interested in offers from Barcelona and Real Madrid. It turns out that Landon Donavan was on his way to Germany (Bayer Leverkeusen?) before the World Cup started, El-Hadji Diouf has been lured to the Dark Side, and although Junichi Inamoto has been released by Arsenal, he appears intent on staying in London with Fulham.

With the benefit of having now seen the remainder of the tournament, I would have added another name to the players I highlighted above. If it wasn't for his age (31), Tony Sanneh would probably be my top pick of all of them. Currently plying his trade with F.C. Nurnberg in Germany, Sanneh showed his class in the USA's unfortunate 1-0 defeat to the Germans in the Quarter Finals, raiding down the right flank and defending to the death but with David Moyes looking at building a youthful team, he is surely too old.

Lyndon Lloyd (30th June)


Suggestions from ToffeeWeb readers

Got any players who really caught your eye so far in Korea Japan? Send us an e-mail with those players you'd love to see in an Everton jersey next season and we'll print a selection of them here:

"If Bolton were in the hunt for Jay Jay Okocha's signature, why aren't Everton ? He is class, not only in his control and trickery when running at defenders, but the calmness, vision and ease he can pass a ball from any given distance as well. Another player Ilike is Mexico's Jesús Arellano and I also advise Moyesey to look at the whole South Korean side; they all seem quick, hard working and technically sound."
Alan Hudson

I agree with the comments of Alan Hudson regarding Mexico's Jesus Arellano. He is an impressive creative midfielder who made some excellent runs and was running rings around the Italian defence. Still plays in Mexico. Senegal's right-back Ferdinand Coly was very solid in defence and has good pace and fitness. Also the young Russian striker Dmitry Sychev looks to have the goods.
Mark Pilson

I was impressed bythe Senegal goal keeper who is looking for first team play, and will probably come very cheap.
Bjørn-Ivar Pedersen

It's probably too late but Everton should have made a move for Matt Holland before the World cup started; if we had made a move as soon as Ipswich were relegated maybe we could have got him for 5 million or less. Others from the Irish squad that we could get are Gary Breen (currently without a club) and Kevin Kilbane (Sunderland). Other players we may have a chance of getting include Valery Karpin (Russia, Celta Vigo), Samuel E'too (Cameroon, Real Mallorca), Abdullah Ercan (Turkey, Fernabache), Richard Morales (Uruguay, Nacional), Goran Vlaovic (Croatia, Panathinaikos), Radoslaw Kaluzny (Poland, Energie Cottbus) or Roberto Acuna (Paraguay,Real Zaragoza).
Anthony Darley

I reckon players that Moyes should have a look at are:
American Damarcus Beasley — He is young, very quick, tricky & is very confident.
Peter Madsen of Denmark — Last year Gravesen wanted Madsen anyway and we need strikers.
Belgian Emile Mpenza — very fast with good shot power.
Stipe Pletikosa & Bosko Balaban of Croatia — we have been linked with both, & positions we need filled are played by these two.
Perth Toffee

What about that Turkish goaliem Rushtu?
29 years old. Excellent shot stopper. Quick off his line. Commanding presence. Confident, plays for Fenerbace and would I suppose be up for a chance to play in England
Lisa Balshaw

For World Cup Signing Suggestions, why don't Everton contact Ireland Centre Half Gary Breen's agent to confirm an interest? Also, what about Ian Harte of Leeds who is rumoured to be available for around £3m? Or the excellent South Korean midfielder Young-Pyo Lee?
Shaun Cox

Could there be a scarier midfield than Carsley Gravesen and Hakan Sas?
How about Gomes of Costa Rica ?
Tom Kelly

If Moyes was interested in Brian McBride at Preston is he not still a target or
does he not think he is good enough for the Prem? Most of the USA side look
good and hungry, i.e. Donovan and Beasley. But the player that has impressed me most (within are price range) is Ono from Japan I think he would be ideal for Everton someone to sit in the space and feed the passes to the strikers.
Graeme Robertson

I told my brother before the W/Cup started that there were two players in the US team that would be worth Everton's while to look at: Landon Donavon and Brian McBride.
They have both played a leading role with their club sides over here in the States.
Donavon in my opinion is going to be better than Reyna, he is quick, tough (takes knocks and doesn't get injured) and scores goals, great header against Mexico. McBride on the other hand is experienced and scores goals reguarly. Would be a good trade for Big D.
Jimmy Daly (Birmingham, Alabama)

If there is one type of player we should NOT be looking for it's the
so-called 'stars' of the World Cups lesser teams. What I'm thinking of is how a player of say Korea or Japan would handle going to an away game in mid January with the rain and wind
howling all around. I'd rather have Scott Gemmill than Inamoto! I'd much rather go for a player of a nation not in the WC. Preferably someone not hyped, off form. I'm sure we could get
Magne Hoset from Molde, Norway for £2-3m. A scoop if there ever was one.
Erling Saevik

David Moyes coul perhaps look at the korean full-back who marked figo out of the game — strong and pacy, obviously better than Pistone. Goalkeepers: Hedman, Pletikosa and that Mexican bloke surely would not cost an arm and a leg, as for centre half, where an injections of pace are required, Uruguay, Mexico and Korea all have domestic-based players who would add to the squad.
Paul Hennessey

I think Moyes should take a big look at Miyamoto of Japan. He was a consistently solid defender who was stopping every attack and the masked mirrauder will be a star buy as he is Japanese so will be cheap!
Simon Birkett

Brian McBride. He is a young Duncan Ferguson with more skill and a much lighter pay check demand. Brilliant in the air and a nice touch with the ball at his feet. I believe he even played under Moyes at Preston, Buy him!!

If I was honest and realistic about it, I would love David Moyes to bring in
Gary Breen or Martin Keown in defence, (both can also cover right/left back
roles). We all know he wants another keeper, I see no reason why he can't
take a chance on Russel Howarth, who's just played for England Under 21's in
Switzerland. This World Cup has shown us several cut-price alternatives in this area, but
my two favourites are Hassan Sas of Turkey and Landon Donovan for USA. Come
on David, think smart and spend wisely.
Jason Lloyd

I would like to think that DM has taken a look at Wesley Soncke.
I have watched this guy for a year over at Genk and in internationals
he looks a very good prospect. Tall, no slouch, good eye for goal.
30 goals plus in the Belgian League and we could get him in exchange
for Nyarko or £3.5 mil. Well worth a shout if you ask me.
Also look at Inamoto (free), Breen (free), Sas (2 mil), Mcbride (DM is a known
Admirer), Hedman (4mil), the spanish Keeper (superb).
John Price

Never mind stars form Japan and Korea, their prices will have been pushed up. What about the forgetten men of the premiership? March Bosnich is a class keeper and Chelsea could use a bit of cash; Lee Hendrie is a pacy winger who could play left or right, just what we need; and Sergei Rebrov is physical and a good finisher.

Why don't we just bring in some of the Korean players
(Ahn-Jung Hwan is free!), who cares how good they
are... the marketing potential would be huge!
Mark Jones

One player that I would like to see in the Everton jersey next season is
Danish international Stig Tofting who currently plays for Bolton W. I
believe that he and Mad Dog Gravesen would form a great midfield partnership
and furthermore, he would probably be available for less than £1m.
Kim Goldbaek (Denmark)

©2002 ToffeeWeb, 16 June 2002


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