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Departures Imminent

By Lee Jamieson :  04/05/2009 :  Comments (37) :
So... as the end of the season looms, fat Geordies cry into their Newcastle brown, Martin O'Neill scratches his head looking at newspaper clippings from December, fat Rafa drafts a letter to the Oxford Dictionary asking for the word Gosling to be removed, Ferdinand and Berbatov become increasingly dependent on Nightnurse because of the penalty nightmares... and in contrast, the Mighty Blues look forward to a trip to football's Mecca and a carnival atmosphere!

I am looking forward to the final and for once I am not concerned about the result. I am proud of the cup run this year, we have beaten far better sides than Portsmouth did last year when they won it. I also think it raises our profile even just appearing in the final, which brings me on to my point ? that I expect the exit door will be busy at Finch Farm this summer.

I have done a rough tally and this summer we potentially will lose Castillo, Jacobsen, Van der Meyde, Nuno Valente and obviously Jô who will be returning to City. This is five players who have played 25 appearances between them. I accept that some of these appearances have been cameo appearances in the dying minutes of a game to simply resist pressure but in the case of Jô he has been utilised from the outset out for most of his appearances. I wonder, if these players are all released, who will replace them as clearly they have been utilised this season with some critical injuries to the squad. I have looked at the merits of each player and the results are as follows:

Andy van der Meyde

I think we can all agree he is probably Moyes worst acquisition a desperate attempt to get numbers in with little or no research. He has made more appearances at Mosquito night club than he has at Goodison during the past four years. I think it is quite obvious that Moyes will be happy to see ?Shandy? go and I don?t think there will be too many complaints from the fans.

Nuno Valente

Nuno was a useful addition to the squad and has been a good servant to the club. I get the impression that Moyes likes him and I have heard that his linguistic skills have been valued this season at finch farm however he has only made one appearance this term. Leighton Baines has been outstanding and Lescott can fill in on the left so it may be that Nuno leaves in the summer.

Segundo Castillo

Castillo started well and I remember his goal against Standard Liege vividly but he has only made eight appearances for the blues. I thought he was awful against Liverpool in the FA cup but he has been praised lately by Moyes. The price tag is likely to signal Castillo?s exit as I suspect if he was a free agent he may well have secured a short term deal.

Lars Jacobsen

Injured for two thirds of the season and has only featured in three games. Clearly not up to the premiership yet but due to him being a free agent he is the most likely to stay and be given another season.

Jô Alves

Arrived with a terrible reputation but made an explosive start. He has chipped in with his fair share of goals and at times has looked useful on the ball. Moyes has proved that he is an inspirational manager by taking a player who looked more like a pub player than a £20 million pound Brazilian striker and he has turned him into a premiership player. That said I don?t want him at Everton next season and I don?t think Moyes does either unless he is raffled off for a drastically reduced price.

So the question remains: Who will we get in over the summer? It will clearly be free transfers or nominal transfer fee players. It may be that we source a player from one of the sides that get relegated. I would love to see us buy Downing but he is likely to be expensive and therefore probably destined to go to either Spurs or City. I have seen the rumours of Michael Owen at Goodison but personally I do not want him as he is clearly past his best and is likely to command a big wage.

Either way, I am confident that Moyes will deliver.

Reader Comments

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John Maxwell
1   Posted 05/05/2009 at 06:07:45

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How many does that leave? I think VDM, Jo, Valente will go. Castillo isn't worth £4.5m. Jacobsen is better than Hibbert and we should keep him.

Although we have been unlucky with injuries, it's highlighted our problerm in strength and depth. We need 4 maybe 5 squad players playing upto 60 games next year.

Not sure where the money is going to come from...???
Mike Gaynes
2   Posted 05/05/2009 at 06:30:22

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Lee, I?m going to add one more surprising name to your list: Yakubu.

The hard truth, I believe, is that Yak won?t be back, at least not as we have known him, because a ruptured Achilles is an injury that nobody comes all the way back from.

Yes, the Yak will be on the pitch in September, looking fit and feeling great, but I predict he?ll quickly find out he can?t blow past that last defender anymore, isn?t as quick on the turn. It?s the nature of the injury. Due to the advances in surgery and rehab, this doesn?t end your career anymore, but it still robs you of your explosiveness. I hope I?m wrong, but I still have never seen a single top athlete regain full speed and return to peak form after blowing out an Achilles. Not one.

In fact, I think we already saw that with Yak last fall. It?s rare for a healthy Achilles to tear... usually there?s tendinitis for some time beforehand. (Unfortunately, I know the subject personally.) I?ll bet he was hurting for weeks before the injury. You may remember he scored only one lucky goal in 11 games before he went down, and remember how slow he looked?

Again, I would love to be proven wrong, but I think anyone expecting goals from the Yak next season is going to be very disappointed. I think Moyes should start shopping for strikers now, because come fall, he?ll need a couple.
Jon Morris
3   Posted 05/05/2009 at 09:20:26

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Can I just come back on one of the comments posted about who to keep and who will be leaving.

Our most sucessful period this season has been with Tony Hibbert in a back four with Jags, Lescott and Baines so he maybe should of thought of that before posting Jacobsen is a better player. David Moyes is not stupid: when fully fit, Tony Hibbert is his first-choice right-back.

Now as far as exits go, I would say, AvdM, Valente, Anichebe and obviously jo.

Kieran Fitzgerald
4   Posted 05/05/2009 at 09:45:25

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I think Anichebe might just go. If Vaughan holds up during the pre-season then Anichebe could be put up for sale come August. There are goals throughout this team and we badly need cash for quality midfielders. Anichebe is the spare wheel as far as I?m concerned.
Christine Foster
5   Posted 05/05/2009 at 08:13:49

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Its an interesting problem .. I sort of agree with the article and would add the Yak and Big Vic.. despite the kick up his backside, I am not sure he is of the consistent quality that is required. Saha, well add to the list.. consistency is the prob...
Kevin Tully
6   Posted 05/05/2009 at 10:12:45

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Lee, Man City are going to be sniffing around a few of our players come the end of the season.

They will be able to offer double your money deals to players and ridiculous transfer fees. I know it may sound foolish, but it may be to our advantage three of our best players are long term injured. I also expect a large bid for Lescott, let?s just hope we can afford to turn down £15 mill for a centre half.
Tim Wardrop
7   Posted 05/05/2009 at 10:47:34

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Kevin: agreed, there will be clubs like Man City sniffing round our best players in the summer. But I get the feeling that Lescott, Arteta etc will all stay at least one more year. The cup run, plus the fact that we’re back into Europe, will convince them to stay on I reckon. Sure, Arteta will move at some point (he’s already said many times that he’d like to go back to Spain at some point in his career), but I genuinely think that no one will go unless Moyes wants them to, and that includes Lescott.

The Yak.......very interesting. Personally I can’t see him being sold in the summer. Regardless of whether or not he has fully recovered from his injury Moyes won’t be able to determine that until he has had some game time. And he can’t provide that between now and the end of the season. Imagine if Moyes just sold him in the belief that his injury was the end of him and he then banged in 25 goals for Spurs next year? It would have to rank as one of the worst decisions of Moyes’s career. I agree that there is a distinct possibility that he might never be the same player again, but sell him now? Don’t think so.

The only players who will leave will be Jacobsen, Nuno, AVDM, Castillo and possibly Nash, Anichebe and / or Turner.
Jack Spratt
8   Posted 05/05/2009 at 10:23:55

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I’ve been quite impressed with Jacobsen. I think he’s steady.
Keith Knowles
9   Posted 05/05/2009 at 11:04:05

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If the unthinkable happens and we lose Lescott then Moyes could do worse than spending some of the money on Cahill at Bolton if we could prise him away. Sorry, but I would also sell Yobo while we may be able to get some decent money for him, his game is littered with schoolboy errors and we crap ourselves when he has the ball!
Ian Tunny
10   Posted 05/05/2009 at 11:15:02

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Mike, one example of a player who seems to have come back as good if not better is Fabio Aouralio at the shite, he's been one of their players of the season and I think he had 2 problems with his Achilles.
Garry Martin
11   Posted 05/05/2009 at 11:40:24

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Don?t forget the goalkeepers, Turner not even in the reckoning now for the bench. Also, either Nash or Ruddy will go, probably Nash.
Steve Cavanagh
12   Posted 05/05/2009 at 12:13:05

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This is all a bit like the geeks in the playground with their ’top trumps’ or ’pokemon’ cards. Next...
Tony Piper
13   Posted 05/05/2009 at 13:29:16

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I can’t believe that you’ve said that you don’t care about the result at Wembley - that’s outrageous in my book!
Jay Harris
14   Posted 05/05/2009 at 14:10:37

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Lee, one other consideration for who we should buy/sell is the Afcon and how late some of the long-term injured will get back to Prem fitness.

Mike Gaynes, good point but Yak has never been explosive. He uses his strength and eye for goal in most situations. That said, I do agree he will not be the player he was and will certainly not cover the ground Jo does at the moment.

I think we all agree that VDM and Valente will not be missed in the first team squad but I wouldn't be surprised if we tried to extend Jo?s loan period. It was also mooted that City had offered £20 million plus Jo for Lescott which if we got Jags back IMO is worth considering.
Steve Edwards
15   Posted 05/05/2009 at 13:53:50

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Very interesting the comments from Mike Gaynes and I?ve a feeling he?s right. As someone who suffered with a strained achillies tendon, I can well believe that he will never be the same player again. It took me nine months to get over a strain.

I have never been fully convinced about the Yak anyway and quite frankly would be happy to take a chance and let him go if the right offer was made. If someone was willing to pay for instance £12M for him, that would probably be enough to keep the lad Jo here and I think long term that would be the better option. I think he will continue to improve, he works hard as a lone striker and I like his attitude to the club.

I must mention that the thought of getting Michael Owen fills me with dread. The man is a crock. He was finished as a top class striker long before he left Liverpool. His main asset was always his explosive burst of speed and thats long gone thanks to a series of hamstring injuries. I also predict that Mr Torres will go the same way. That's the problem with the fast boys ? they're not much use when they lose their speed.

Tom Owen
16   Posted 05/05/2009 at 15:50:01

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Hopefully we could get Jo on a season-long loan deal next season. Jacobsen would be useful to have but I would like to see Moyes bring in a better right back. If Valente was to leave we would have to find a back-up left back as we have no cover if he left. It may be useful to keep him on a pay-as-you-play contract maybe.
Mike Gaynes
17   Posted 05/05/2009 at 15:38:07

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Correct, Ian, but Fabio Aurelio had the tendinitis Steve just mentioned, not the full blowout. Yak?s was severed and reattached, and that?s very different.

Tim, you?re right, selling Yak would be the boldest move of Moyes?s career, and a high-risk one. Certainly he?d have to have a replacement already signed. I agree it?s unlikely to happen before the season, and maybe that?s a good thing. Who knows, Yak could have 12 by Christmas and make me look like a damn fool. Hope so!

James Stewart
18   Posted 05/05/2009 at 16:36:52

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Good article until the Stewart Downing bit.

I hope we DO NOT sign him. Crap player... just happens to be left footed and English ? otherwise you would never have heard of him. Pienaar is ten times better so what would be the point! It's the right side that needs addressing!!!
James Stewart
19   Posted 05/05/2009 at 16:41:06

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And for those of you who are suggesting Jo is a better alternative to Yakubu, you are clearly insane!

Yakubu is rare and one of the best strikers Everton have had since well... as long as i can remember!

How people forget so easy when someone is injured! What's next? Sell Arteta as well! Yakubu is one of the best players at the club!
Tony Nicholls
20   Posted 05/05/2009 at 16:09:46

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I think the only players I want to leave are AvdM and Anichbe. They have disappointed me a lot. especially Andy.

When I heard we?d signed him I was well excited having seen him play for Ajax years ago. It just did?t work out and for the most part it?s the lad?s own fault. Funny thing is that in his limited cameo sub appearances we?ve scored in three occasions he?s come on.

Big Vic just doesn?t cut it for me. Hasn?t done from when he first broke in. Time for young Wallace or Baxter to have a chance. I think Nuno Valente?s on his way. Retirement though.

Castillo I wouldn?t mind keeping if we can get the price down a few million. Maybe this American lad is awesome and we won?t need Castillo. Defo need to get a midfielder or two in. I know who I want but don?t want to get into fantasy football.

Jacobsen is decent enough (but I?m judging him more on previous performances rather than for us) but the right back area still needs strengthening. I?ve always been fond of Hibbo and he?s had a decent season. Hmm. Tough one.

I agree about Yak though. I?m more than a bit worried about his return real opportunity for Vaughan to step up. We?ll see.
Lue Glover
21   Posted 05/05/2009 at 17:37:55

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I don?t disagree with all the logic but I think that the injury to Jags has possibly upset DM?s plans in so much as, if Baines gets injured, Lescott can fill in at LB and Yobo slipping into the CB position. With Jags missing now until possibly November or December, I?m not sure whether DM will let Valente go quite so readily without an obvious LB replacement to hand. Just a thought anyway.
Mike Dillon
22   Posted 05/05/2009 at 18:57:49

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Personally, I’d expect Shandy to be off on a free. Valente, due to his advancing years, may well be taken into the coaching staff if he wants to take that route.

As for the Yak coming back - did he ever really run around much? He’d just stroll around doing bugger all for most of the game until a chance came that he’d burst the net with, which, if you ask me, is perfectly fine if he does it once or twice a game!

In other words, I don’t think Yak losing any mobility is such an issue.
Mike Allison
23   Posted 05/05/2009 at 19:03:23

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It's worrying to see how many players we all seem to want rid of.

If we?re successful next season, we?ll need a bigger squad not a smaller one.

I?d say we need to keep everyone else, plus replace the five mentioned as leaving. This will effectively be a bigger squad as these five haven?t contributed much, with the exception of Jo?s goals.

Assuming Yakubu, Saha, Vaughan and Anichebe are fit we don?t really need to replace Jo, but a free Michael Owen, who was prepared to play for pride, his England place and a measly c£40k a week whilst living back in Cheshire would be a good deal. People forget what a graveyard Newcastle United is, take a player out of there and watch him improve.

Van der Meyde needs replacing the most (bizarrely enough) as anyone who?s whinged about Osman will testify. The big thing missing from our first XI is a consistent threat down the right. There are many young English wingers, the likes of Pennant, Scott Sinclair and Chris Eagles spring to mind as realistic targets.

Castillo is the one I?d go all out to replace, with Manuel Fernandes. This has been talked about to death elsewhere so I?ll leave it there, but imagine Fernandes, Arteta and Cahill in the centre with Pienaar and a decent right winger...

The other two signings would be a back up left back to replace Nuno, because Lescott is a centre back, and Baines has had an injury before, and a left footed back up to Pienaar, to provide the different option should it be required.
Joseph Moore
24   Posted 05/05/2009 at 19:13:40

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Didn?t Andy supply the cross for Gosling to score? He was worth the wait in my eyes. Well done, Dave, for sticking with him. I knew he would come good :)
Ben Jones
25   Posted 05/05/2009 at 19:52:12

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Mike Allison... that?s a nice summary there. The only thing I disagree with you about is Fernandes... he?s too similar to Arteta. Once Arteta was playing in the right, I?d agree with ya. We need someone like Carsley or Neville... just somebody who can tackle and play the simple ball.

I like the look of M?bia and may have a chance to get him at the end of the season. Chris Eagles looks good on the right as well... but I think somebody with a bit more flair and perhaps a tad pacier would do. The bad thing is there arn?t many of them about anymore.

Michael Dawson
26   Posted 06/05/2009 at 10:58:27

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Ben, I know mentioning Fernandes is pointless, but I agree with Mike, I think he would be a cracking signing. I don’t think we’ve missed Carsley at all this season, because Neville has excelled in that position.

We’re still going to have big Phil next year, but he’s not going to be around forever. When the time comes to replace him, I don’t think we should be looking to fill that position with a similar player, but instead more of a deep-lying ball player who is strong in the tackle as well.

To make the step up, I think we need a player in that area more in the mould of Mascherano, Essien, Carrick or Flamini. Clearly these players don’t come cheap, so we’ll be relying on Moyes working some of his magic to get his hands on one...
James Inglis
27   Posted 06/05/2009 at 12:01:04

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I?m not sure if anyone has mentioned this in any of the comments so far ? we will need some cover at centre back until, at the earliest, October until Jags is back. I have no idea if anyone is in the squad that may offer that cover already.

My other thoughts for what they are worth:

A midfielder who can play the ball, not scared to get stuck in and tackle ? a Fernandes/Appiah type player. Castillo has been useful and would be a good addtion to the squad, but with our lack of cash we can?t go spending a few million on a squad player only.

A right winger ? I like Ossie but if we are to break the top 4 he is a squad player and can?t be first choice. I?m not sure who would fit the bill here.

A striker ? Jo would be good. I think a full season under Moyes should bring the best out in him. Owen, only if it is on a free and a pay per play arrangement.

Also, keep Lars ?- he?s ours, didn?t cost anything and is quite capable.

And finally... found this link on the bbc gossip section:

Joe Rourke
28   Posted 06/05/2009 at 13:46:22

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Joey Barton anyone dare I say it?
Lee Hind
29   Posted 06/05/2009 at 13:46:34

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Jay Harris: It was also mooted that City had offered £20 million plus Jo for Lescott which if we got Jags back IMO is worth considering.

Considering by damn ? I would take that deal all day long!!
Peter Hurley
30   Posted 06/05/2009 at 13:50:56

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Chris Eagles and Rod Fanni to sort the right hand side out please plus Joe Ledley if the price is right (entering his last year of contract at Cardiff). We also need a consistent proven striker, does Jo fit this bill yet? I’m not convinced but would like to give him a full season with us on loan, just don’t think that will happen or we will want to part with the kind of money City want for him. Perhaps one of the following; Guillaume Hoarau, Edin Dzeko or Mounir El Hamdaoui if we doget the cash out.

However desperate we get though Davey please don’t sign Joey Barton!
Michael Dawson
31   Posted 07/05/2009 at 10:20:23

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Don’t even mention Joey Barton, please.

I’ve said it before but I reckon James Morrison from West Brom would be a cracking signing to play on the right. Similar to Pienaar in that he doesn’t have blistering pace but works hard, has bags of skill and can pick a pass.
Anthony Bailey
32   Posted 08/05/2009 at 03:45:25

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I can't believe people would seriously consider selling Lescott or Arteta. We really need to keep our best players and these are definitely two of them! I don't care what the offer is but we simply will not be able to replace them that easily and it would not make sense to dismantle two key parts of the team that Davey has built over the past few years.

As for players leaving, I would quite happily see VDM and Castillo leave, with Jacobsen, Valente and Nash not far behind. I wouldn't be too fussed if Saha left either, he doesn't really seem to add much to the team apart from the occasional scorcher and I'm not sure how he will do in the final.

The one player I would keep is Anichebe. Yes he does need to improve his fitness/work rate/1st touch and finishing BUT he is probably the strongest player in the Prem especially at such an early age. With players supporting, such as Fellaini, he will be a real handful and could end up being a really useful striker especially from the bench.

I found the comments about Yakubu very interesting. I really rate the guy but I actually think that Jo offers more as a complete package. Some of the off the ball work Jo does is very underrated and as with Vic, if he could improve his composure in front of goal, we could have a real gem of a striker on our hands, again at such a young age!

In terms of getting players in, Owen wouldn't fit into our system. We play crap with 2 up top and he isnt a lone striker so I dont think it would work. Like people have said, we could do with a good winger who either has pace or can pick a pass (or both if pos!) as well as another bench player in the mould of Manny to replace Castillo, who can fill in for Arteta when he is injured etc.

Iain love
33   Posted 08/05/2009 at 09:10:28

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Ben Jones, good comment. Everyone has their own thoughts on different players but would they fit in with us, do we need to replace and can we afford them? I think our weak links are Ossie and poss Hibbert ? I?m not calling them, I just think to go to the next level we need better than them.

1st choice to replace Hibbert = Johnson from Pompey
2nd for Ossie = Eagles from Burnley.
Johnson looks good for England at r/b and can play r/m (again, looks good there)... pace and power, good shot, comfortable on the ball, and a bit of height to boot. Looking around the £8 to £10mill mark but that's worth it.

Eagles, good fancy winger who has a touch of class and has an END RESULT: £5 to £8mill.

So that's our two problem areas sorted for £18mill at most and we take the next step in our development, Still short of the top 4 but closer, maybe only an Essein and a Torres away... (about £70mill in cash terms).

Paul Whittle
34   Posted 08/05/2009 at 11:20:45

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I agree with the players you have said will leave and think that if anyone else left it would come as a massive surprise.

Jo unfortunately will leave due to the fact he is on loan, although I can see him returning next year, which would be excellent cover for the likes of Saha and Yakubu. I can however see him returning as he has shown he would like to come back in interviews and I think he will be disregarded at City.

For the likes of VDM and Valente I think that their future was decided at the start of the season. They haven?t yet made an impression this year and although Valente has been an excellent player over the last few years his time at Everton and his career as a whole is surely coming to an end. VDM however, has certainly not been a good player for the club. He is surely on his way out.

For Castillo and Jacobsen, I feel they will also be on there way out. Rumours have suggested that Bayern are in for Lars and the price that has been suggested for Castillo is too high in my opinion especially considering the quality of the players you could get for the same money. I would however like to see them back at Everton next year as both are good squad players and would do decent jobs for us.
Tony Lynch
35   Posted 08/05/2009 at 14:26:02

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I would get rid of Nash, one of Ruddy or Turner, Jacobsen, Valente, Castillo, Saha, Anichebe and Vaughan.

Anichebe?s attittude stinks, let everyone down when he wouldn?t play in the derby and Vaughan can?t stay fit long enough for me to decide if he is good enough although if I?m honest I don?t think he is. Jo will go back and I would take him on another loan but that?s it. If we need to sell anyone else to buy players then maybe Osman?s time is up too.

Priority signings would be Moutinho, Wagner Love and a right winger plus a young keeper who will actually push Howard for a place in the team ? not just someone who will go on countless loans before moving down the divisions on a permanent move once his contract expires.

Ray Kelly
36   Posted 09/05/2009 at 11:01:16

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Iain Love, you're spot on mate, Glenn Johnson and Chris Eagles would be superb signings... add a bit of steel to the middle as well and I would say that was progress, someone earlier mentioned Downing but I think he's overrated.

DM will, without doubt, already be moving behind the scenes to secure some new players, let's hope Kenwright doesn?t suddenly go AWOL after he's basked in the current FA Cup fortune and gives Moyes some much deserved cash!

Michael Dawson
37   Posted 10/05/2009 at 00:24:33

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We’re not going to sign Glen Johnson. He’s been the best right back in England this season and his price tag will reflect this.

If anyone thinks we’re going to have £10m+ to spend on a defender then you’re just dreaming...

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