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Fernandes — That Old Chestnut

By Mick Stanley :  26/06/2008 :  Comments (30) :
Throughout the summer there have been a number of background reports and comments about Manny Fernandes. While he is not the headline subject that he was last summer, it is, perhaps, worth spending a moment or two to consider the viability of EFC trying to secure his services. Firstly, however, it is clear to me that there exists three groups of Everton supporters regarding Manny; his fans, who would jump at the chance of having him back, his detractors, who for the most part blame him entirely for the events of last August, and those who are not sure (and perhaps couldn?t care less) one way or the other.

I will confess that I am one of his fans and, while he did not have a spectacular return last season, I believe he is worth a further punt. What follows may well spark a debate, but as I am the one writing this article, I will put forward my point of view....

When Manny turned up for the Blackburn game last season it was widely reported that he would be signing for us within the next 48 hours (how many times did we hear that last summer?). I personally do not believe that he knew anything about the Valencia bid at that point. If he had then it seems highly illogical that he would turn up at Goodson Park, we would simply have received a call from his agent informing us that we had been outbid and asking if we were still interested. If that did indeed happen, then we have not been told so by the board. After the match I suspect that he was ?summoned? by his agent/owners to return home where he was effectively presented with a ?fait accompli?. He still had to make the choice to sign, but was it really a difficult choice?

He was offered the chance to play in Spain, which is virtually home territory for him; he was offered a higher salary than was on the table with EFC; Valencia had qualified for the Champions League and Valencia clearly thought that he was worth the full asking price, while we had publicly said on numerous occasions that he was not. Forget football for a moment, forget, if you can, your allegiance to EFC, consider this as simply a job offer and then put yourself in his shoes. What would you have done?

Whatever the truth, he signed for them but a short while later, with the appointment of Koeman, it turned into a nightmare and I dare say he must have wished on numerous occasions that he had signed for us. Enter DM in January offering an olive branch and the chance of escape. Did Manny use that chance fully? Even as a fan, I would have to admit that he did not, at least not until the last four or five games of the season when we started to see the kind of form that had us all purring the season before.

Fundamentally, he is a good player and potentially a very good one. Why then did he struggle last season? It has been reported that he was carrying an injury and that his self belief was at a particularly low ebb. DM has himself stated that Manny is the kind of player who needs ?an occasional hug? and to generally feel wanted, which may well have some of you choking on your beer! But, we have seen/heard this kind of thing before and Manny certainly did pick up his form towards the end of the season. So, the question, should we sign him again?

I can fully understand why many fans, particularly the detractors, would say that EFC should absolutely not spend any of the summer budget (????) on a permanent Fernandes deal and, even as a fan, I would agree. There has, however, been a suggestion that DM will try to secure him on a season long loan. This, in my view, would be a clever move. Assuming that Valencia are prepared to play ball and Manny does return on loan, then DM has to make the situation crystal clear to him. This is (and must be) his final chance with EFC.

To secure a permanent move, he must prove over a full season that he is both good enough and consistent enough to warrant the club laying out a substantial fee for him next summer. In the fans? eyes, he must have at least as big an impact as Peanut last season and possibly more, given the difference in transfer fees.

Assuming that EFC are strong enough to negotiate an acceptable future transfer fee should we wish to take up the option, then a season long loan is, in my view, a win/win situation. If he does prove his worth and the fans are baying for the club to buy him outright, then we will have gained a very good season out of him for very little outlay. If he doesn?t quite convince enough for the club to consider a permanent move as being value for money, then we wave him goodbye at the end of the season, but even if this is the case, I dare say that he will have had enough good, perhaps match winning, performances during the season to make the outlay worthwhile.

Although I am not generally a huge fan of the loan system I think this one could work well for us. Fernandes has Premier League experience, he knows us (and we know him) and he knows what DM expects and demands. At a time when we desperately need to add depth to our squad, but with available funds an uncertainty, then this would seem to me to be a sound and sensible option to consider.

Reader Comments

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James Marshall
1   Posted 26/06/2008 at 14:35:50

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We should just buy him, he cost Valencia £14m and now he’s on offer for about £8m or something - we know what we’re getting with Manny; he’s young and talented and given the right coaching, could become a real world star - not to mention a driving force in our midfield.

All this loan talk gets on my tits, he should just buy him and put the whole saga to bed.
Dave Whitwell
2   Posted 26/06/2008 at 15:08:00

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Fully agree with James, we should just buy him. We know he has talent and is technically gifted. Moyes himself said the guy needs to feel wanted in order to get the best out of him. How do you make him feel wanted? stop messing around with loans and give him a permanent contract!.
Nick Heady
3   Posted 26/06/2008 at 15:20:10

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I really can't see any worth in another loan deal, we've been there and done that,surely the purpose of a loan deal is so both the player and the club can see whether they are suited and make the decision from there. If we loan him this year, we'll be having the same debate next summer. The only reason we are talking about another loan deal is because we are skint. So lets borrow £100 million and build a new ground.... Happy days!
Brian Waring
4   Posted 26/06/2008 at 15:26:04

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At the end of the day lads, he might not want to come to us. I know he was here on loan, but maybe we were just his get away from Valencia for awhile, especially with his trouble involving the law over there. I just got the impression at times last season, that he couildn’t give a fuck.
Adam Hunter
5   Posted 26/06/2008 at 15:52:20

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Potential world star? Where do some of you get this from?
Benfica couldn’t wait to get rid of him, sending him here, there and everywhere on loan. Portsmouth were hardly impressed with him enough to want to make the deal permanent. He’s been here twice now and still hasn’t convinced everyone. Now Valencia have pretty much admitted they made a massive mistake in buying him and can’t wait to get rid of him....
What am i missing with this guy? are we still harking back to his goal vs Man Utd or his showboating vs Arsenal?
Joe Rourke
6   Posted 26/06/2008 at 15:58:06

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Take a look at this Mick and note the time and date please...

that is Manuel Fernandes in Valencia LESS THAN 24 HOURS AFTER turning up at Goodison. Please get your facts that support your presumptions straight. He wasn’t "summoned home" unless you think he is from Valencia. Do you really think he didn’t know as he sat through the Blackburn game what was really on the cards?

Fernandes is in his agents control which is why Koeman got rid of him twice and why his footballing stock is on the decline...

For me he would need a major change in attidude to be worth a punt...
Damian Scott
7   Posted 26/06/2008 at 16:11:50

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I think he would be a good candidate for the Carsley role, but with a bit more attacking flare and pace than Cars had...

He is worth a punt at between £6 - £8M. Valencia are financially screwed right now, so if you offer them anything they’ll take it for a bit of cash..
Everton Forbes
8   Posted 26/06/2008 at 14:43:28

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Well writen comment Mick i’m a fan of Manny and I think we should buy him outright I saw somewhere that he was available at £6mil. Now thats not a lot to pay for any player these days is it now?

I think last year DM stated that he was not going to pay over inflated prices for mediocker players (inflated prices down to Chelsea and there endless cashflow) but Manny is worth 6-8mil all day long.
Dan Brierley
9   Posted 26/06/2008 at 16:26:30

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Can somebody please tell me where this £6-8M price tag comes from??

Some of you people are just as bad as the already full of shit media. Do you really believe all you read?

To me, he is a bit of an early Gravesen. On his day, he is excellent, but his day is far too few and far between. He has flair and ability, but can you honestly say its consistent?

He is not the answer to me. Carsley wasnt the most technically gifted player ever, but consistency was his middle name. Thats what we need in that area. Fernandes just doesnt look like a player who can break up attacks, and foresee potential danger.
Everton Forbes
10   Posted 26/06/2008 at 16:46:15

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Dan chill your boots a little we are all commenting on what the mwedia says as lets face it our club keeps its card close to their chest dont they? So yes most of what we are commenting on is from the press. In respects to Carsley who really had heard of him before we bought him??

Manny has the potential to run the show on a regular basis he’s young gifted and talented and all he needs to do is put those attributes together and use them week-in-week-out.
Connor Rohrer
11   Posted 26/06/2008 at 17:15:45

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Valencia payed more money for Fernandes and got him. They payed 12-14 million whereas we only offered 6 million and made him wait for 2 weeks whilst the part ownership bollocks was sorted out. He went to the highest bidder at the end of the day...simple as. We certainly didn?t offer 14 million.

People need to actually research things before they talk bollocks saying no one wants him. Benfica got rid because Fernandes wanted to leave. He was a regular there yet obviously wanted to experience a bigger and better League which is what every young, talented player does. The likes of Nani, Anderson and Ronaldo also moved for the same reasons. You move on to better yourself.

On the Portsmouth situation: Redknapp rated him highly, the fans rated him highly but he wasn’t willing to pay 12 million for him after only three games which is fair enough in my opinion. Portsmouth isn?t a big buying club and quite frankly Fernandes isn’t worth 12 million.,19528,11674_2390668,00.html

This link pretty much sums up how much Redknapp rated him and Portsmouth as a whole rated him. He did well there yet a deal because of the third party ownership couldn?t be agreed. At Valencia he hardly got a game. He made 7 appearances which is hardly enough to prove yourself. If where going to judge players on 7 appearances then the likes of Pienaar, Yakubu and Jagielka would have been out the door straight away. Players need time to get into there rhythm and Fernandes certainly wasn?t given that time at Valencia. He left because he and Koeman have never seen eye to eye.

Really his owners have made him move from club to club and it?s not like he?s being rejected because he?s a poor player. He has alot of talent but the fact of the matter is he isn?t a 12 million player.....yet. I thought I just clear that up.

On the current situation I?d like to see he signed permanently. I?d take a loan but realistically he needs to settle down if he?s ever going to reach his undoubted potential. Personally if I was Fernandes and we offered him another loan I?d reject it as he?s at an age where he needs a club.

Anything between 6-10 million would be a fair price in my opinion. For his potential and current ability alone he?s worth that. People have said nothing over 5 million but that?s just ridiculous. We?d never get him for around that as the transfer market is so inflated.

I?d love to watch a confident and fully fit Fernandes personally. He?s a very exciting player in my opinion when he?s half fit never mind fully.
Mick Stanley
12   Posted 26/06/2008 at 17:27:24

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Thanks for all of the responses guys. It seems that Manny is still very much in our thoughts. The majority thread suggests that we should look to buy and not go for a loan. The prime reason that I suggested a loan is that we could (possibly) get him for very little outlay, which would leave DM the bulk of his budget, whatever that might be, to further strengthen the squad. I’m not sure that Manny entirely fitls the bill to replace Cars either, but then I would rather have him than, for example, Engelaar.
Connor Rohrer
13   Posted 26/06/2008 at 17:37:10

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Fernandes wouldn’t be Carsley’s replacement he’d be Osman’s replacement with Osman moving to squad player status.

A ball winner is also priority. Fernandes is not a ball winner and he’s not Carsley’s replacement.
Terry Smith
14   Posted 26/06/2008 at 18:24:07

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I would take Manny for £6-8m. He knows Everton well enough and will fit in.He got a lot of stick last year but you do have realise that he hardly kicked a ball for Valencia and was not match fit when he got back on loan at Everton. He showed towards the end of the season what we expected from in and put in a bigger shift which Moyes wanted from him the year before. He is young and hungry for success and with the World cup around the corner i think he will be a snip and another bargain signing for Everton. Plus he can play in a couple of positions which Moyes likes...
Marcus Aurelius
15   Posted 26/06/2008 at 18:39:13

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Very inconsistent, no guts in the Man City game away and that finished off any chance of him getting a contract at Everton form me.
Alex Foxx
16   Posted 26/06/2008 at 19:07:06

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In the final few games of last season, with Arteta injured and Pienaar suffering from a drop in form, it was Manuel Fernandes who provided the crucial flair in midfield that ensured we clinched 5th spot.

He is a genuine talent, who when playing with confidence, can dominate games. He has an ability to hit penatrative long passes, along the ground, that no-one else at Everton currently has.

However, he shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for Carsley. He’s more of a deep-lying playmaker like Pirlo. If we place him in the centre, alongside a decent DMC, wth Pienaar and Arteta on the wings, then we will have a midfield of real quality.

Players of his quality are few and far between. Another season on loan will simply serve to advertise his ta;ent to others and inflate his transfer fee. Buy now!
Jimmy Jones
17   Posted 26/06/2008 at 19:20:11

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Quite simple, he did NOT do enough last season to convince the club or I suspect the majority of supporters that we should be desperate to sign him , Why ?(cos no doubt he could be good) ? 1..his dubious previous history with us, never mind his other clubs,..2...inconsistent,...3..and most important a very strong suspicion of not being particuly interested, I.E. he did not appear to give a shit about staying....
Connor Rohrer
18   Posted 26/06/2008 at 19:45:43

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He did enough for me in his first spell to be honest. He was desperatly unfit in his second spell so it would have been hard for him. No players plays at there best when there unfit and haven’t played regularly for a while.

I also do not think he is inconsistent to be honest. If he had a full pre-season and was in the right condition I think he’d be a reasonably consistent player. He was consistent in his first spell which proves when he’s got some fitness in him he can perform to a high level.
Declan McCarthy
19   Posted 26/06/2008 at 20:34:32

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Like many here I had mixed feelings about him, In his first few games I thought he was dreadful and didn.t care, then we discovered he was carrying an injury and when he overcame it, he returned to form, I like Fernandes, I love his vision and his passing ability, we don,t have anyone else like him aand yes we should buy him, he is also honest and has been critical of his performances as well,he doesn’t hide on the pitch, no he won’t replace Carsley, but is a good player and he also wants to play for us, let’s buy him and be done witjh "if Manny returns in January" saga’s, anything between 6 to 10 million would be ok, now do we have the money?
Brian Garside
20   Posted 26/06/2008 at 23:38:47

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Will someone please call Rambo and get a 0% non repayable loan!!!
Then we could even discuss someone to partner Manny(BUY HIM) IN MF.
Mark Pendleton
21   Posted 27/06/2008 at 00:35:13

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For me we have a couple of options. We can look to replace Carsely and get a "minder" for the defence and continue to play 4-5-1 or we can look to get someone with a physical presence and a lot more skill and composure on the ball and look to play 4-4-2. The first option means we can afford to sell AJ, the second means we can’t. But i digress... looking at the squad profiles today we currently have 4 midfielders - Ossie, Arteta, Pienaar and Cahill. Bearing in mind Cahill is unlikely to be fit for the start of the season (and to stop the old chestnut, neither is Hibbo so Neville is likely to start at right back) we are in pretty dire need of a MINIMUM of 4 quality midfielders. Our Russian friend is as good as a Barcelona player (and i must admit, as good as he is i really don’t think he’s what we need) and Manny is in limbo.

I think we will really need to still play 4-5-1. That’s where we’re best and otherwise we get over run by the top sides (who effectively play a similar formation). As such, we can lose AJ to the highest bidder but we REALLY need to sign 4 top class midfielders or else we are screwed. We also need to re-sign our top class manager.

If i’m sat here in 4 weeks time still looking to answer the above then i’ll be panicking.
Jason Lam
22   Posted 27/06/2008 at 03:59:19

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Ideally we should have some new faces for pre-season. Does anyone know when pre-season starts? In 4 weeks? I need to mark my calendar for the panicking. COYB
23   Posted 27/06/2008 at 08:00:50

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Most of you are saying we have seen enough of him to know he is a class act so sign him now. I wont pretend to be a Manny fan but I can see that he has showed that he could be and I stress could be an excellent player in the future.


Can some of you Manny fans answer this question.
If he has such a bright future,why do we seem to be the only team linked with a move for him?
Giles Larkman
24   Posted 27/06/2008 at 08:54:09

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Why no interest? He’s not playing in Euro 2008. Yeah, his reputation has been tarnished by the Valencia fiasco and when he arrived his passing was piss poor. But by the end of the season he had got back to full fitness, you could see that. Why would you not sign a good player like that??????? He could do a job for the club. I love Osman to bits but who would you rather start with?
Brian Baker
25   Posted 27/06/2008 at 09:30:23

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We should just stop fucking around and get him bought! NOW!!

We didn?t try out VDM on a two year loan, we just just bought him and took the risk . With Manny there is no ?risk?, we know what we are getting.
Miles Bentley
26   Posted 27/06/2008 at 10:22:16

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If we genuinely could get him for peanuts (under £5m?) surely all would be happy doubters and exalters alike.
James Marshall
27   Posted 27/06/2008 at 14:13:37

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A lot of it I think, comes down to man-mnagement - a lot of European cllubs don?t seem to want to deal with players who have a ?bit of the devil? in them if you like. Manny is a young guy, 21/22 I think and all he needs is the right backing, coaching and team around him and the guy will flourish. There's absolutely no doubting he has a lot of talent and ability; way more than anyone else on our books barring Arteta.

We should definately buy him if the opportunity is there, not to mention the readies.
Connor Rohrer
28   Posted 27/06/2008 at 17:20:56

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Do players have to be highly rated by other clubs to be a good player? I don’t think so. No one knew or rated Arteta and he turned out to be a class act. He like Fernandes had moved around alot and hadn’t been able to show his form consistently for one team.

Fernandes needs stability and at the moment he isn’t getting that. Once he gets that like Mikel I’m sure he will shine.
Matthew Lovekin
29   Posted 27/06/2008 at 19:59:09

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Unfortunately it all comes down to money. If we had £50-£100m like Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal & Liverpool (even Spurs, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Villa, Man City, West Ham) do every summer, Moyes would have brought him by now. Moyes is a fan, he has undoubted ability. If we had money, we would buy him, and if it doesn’t work out, just sell him on. For us, it’s a gamble, we can’t afford to take a loss if it doesn’t work out, so we have to make 100% sure we get the right player, even more so if it’s a lot of money.
Tony Anetts
30   Posted 28/06/2008 at 04:21:47

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I don?t think any of us doubt that Manny can play when all things are equal - the issue is should we part with approx 50% of our projected summer budget (acknowledging that this is rumour only), leaving little money for the right back and three other midfielders we need.

The reality is that we cannot afford to spend £6-8M on any player if we don?t have £25M+ to spend or don?t sell someone who is worth a few quid.

A difficult issue that cannot be resolved until DM knows the budget. We will spend some money ? no doubt ? but it needs to spread across the minimum 5-6 players we MUST get to be able to play in Europe ? and even then we are vunerable to late season fade due to limited rotation ability.

Given the money and my druthers, I?d buy Manny given the available money as he?s a decent player. But, if I had to make a decision (like DM does) over a real quality holding midfielder at £8-10M and Manny at £6-8M I?d go for the real quality holding guy ? because we don?t have a single option in this area and cannot play without one.

So, don?t rule out us seeking another loan, as it may be the balancing act that we need to get both the quality holding player and Manny.

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