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One More Big Signing Please

By Gary Tan :  13/07/2009 :  Comments (21) :
Now that the transfer action is finally starting, here is my take of our current situation and hoping what remains of the transfer window...

Attack: I suspect that Moyes wanted Owen. But as soon as he signed for ManU, we immediately brought Jo back for a season. The work here seems to be done as with Yakubu, Jo and Saha (in that sequence) fighting for that what will mostly be a single striking position, we are well served in this department. Anichebe and Vaughan to cover, plus Fellaini and Cahill can also play here. We can probably afford to sell Anichebe and maybe even loan Vaughan out for some experience and first team development.

Midfield: We have some great talents here but not quite the balance. Cahill, Fellaini, Pienaar, Osman and Arteta are all best suited to play behind the lone striker, with each bringing a different element to the team. The way I see it, our best midfield will have Arteta playing deep, Cahill in the middle to harass the opposition when we are defending and when we have the ball, look to arrive late in the box. I will give the role of supporting the striker to Fellaini, with him and Cahill switching position during the game to give us some varieties. Pienaar already has a good partnership with Baines down the left and he should stay there. Which means, the one we really need is a right-midfielder. If we can do that, we will have Neville, Rodwell, Osman and Gosling as back up, so maybe one more pacy and creative winger (either an established player on loan or a permanent deal for a young player with potential) will do us good.

Defence: Either Man City or the press have lost interest in Lescott so that could mean that we will have him, plus Jag and Yobo in the middle of defence, with Rodwell deputizing if necessary. Baines is now first-choice at left-back and although Lescott can also play there, I would prefer if we sign someone else to cover that position as well. Doesn’t have to be a big-money buy though. At right back, it seems that we will sign Naughton and with Hibbert and Neville deputizing, we are again well covered.

Goalkeeper: I share the view that Howard is a very good goalkeeper, without being outstanding. We still have Nash to cover so we do not have to make any signings here, unless we can pick up someone young and with good potential. It appears that both Ruddy and Turner will not make it and surely we will let them go at the end of their current contract.

Summary: So there you are, one more big signing at right midfield (assuming that Naughton is signed), loan signings or young players with potential to cover left midfield and left back, and I feel that we will have the squad to again challenge for a European placing and a good cup run. But to break into the Top 4, it will be the spine of the team (the Artetas, Cahills, Yakubus, etc) that needs “upgrading”. Don’t get me wrong, these are very good players that I am happy to see in an Everton shirt but, let's face it, there has to be a reason why none of the Top 4 have shown any interest in signing them. Having said that, Arsenal’s position is the most precarious and if we stay largely injury free and with players like Fellaini and Jo possibly contributing more now that they are into their second season of English football... who knows???

Reader Comments

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Martin Clark
1   Posted 13/07/2009 at 07:30:42

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I’d agree! Hopefully Naughton will sign soon enough and slot straight in. Then, depending on what's in the chest, hopefully we will sign Defour. Though if not, I would like us to take Delph off Leeds' books.

Am excited about the new season, just hope we had all our bad luck last year with injuries and can maybe step up and shock everyone by winning the the league (extremely hopeful I know).
Colin Evans
2   Posted 13/07/2009 at 07:39:00

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We know that to be a top-4 team requires a squad approach (20+ top quality players) - no longer is "best-11" going to cut it.

That being the case we need 4-5 top notch players; lets be honest we don’t have the funds to get them all during this window. It will take several more seasons; and will DM still be around to get us there?

The best we can hope for is to maintain our position as a top-6 team in English premier league, and maybe get to the latter stages in the Euro-thingy cup. M-City, Spurs etc are our main rivals (I feel AV will fall away)

That being said I too am looking forward to the new season - but in a realistic light. COYB!
Mike Hunter
3   Posted 13/07/2009 at 08:43:29

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Good article. In my opinion, to have a realistic chance of smashing into the CL spots, we need huge luck in all our players getting MATCH FIT asap (Yak, Jags and Mikel are big misses in reality), staying INJURY FREE and maintaining TOP FORM... This is unlikely so we need to add quality and depth.

I think we really need a strong, fast quality player on the right of midfield, plus some steel in the middle (Rodwell showed glimpses of a lot of what we are missing and maybe he could even be the midfield general we crave).

Moyes is doing way better this summer than last in this regard already (not a big ask!) and, finance permitting for the right mid berth, I think we will make BIG STRIDES this summer.

The top sides all seem to have match winning special talents ON THE FRICKING BENCH, that can come on and win a game... we are not there yet but I think Moyes is moving us there. Injury permitting, I think we have real reasons to be optimistic.

Optimistically, if we get very lucky, e.g. say with somelike like Jose Baxter living up to the hype (he was unlucky last year with injuries) that may even help just as much as a ’marquee signing’.

Jonathan Tasker
4   Posted 13/07/2009 at 10:06:12

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Lee Cattermole is a player that I like a lot; would be pleased if we went in for him. I hope that we sign Kyle Naughton as we desperately need a right back. Generally, though, Moyes gets it right so we don’t need to panic. Signing up Jo already means that we have decent resources up front.
Mike Allison
5   Posted 13/07/2009 at 10:31:59

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Lee Cattermole at £6M is massively overpriced so I’d forget about him. I’m not a big fan anyway, but that price is ridiculous. I agree with the idea that our main priority is a right winger, but I still want a holding midfielder for the starting XI. We need someone who will allow the rest to play by giving them the insurance Phil Neville’s been giving them, but with more physical presence and passing ability than him.

The left side signing should be Julio Arca, I can’t see the reason why not, he’s a very good player, experienced in the Premier League and can play defence or midfield. Surely wouldn’t cost much either.

Arca, Cana, A Right Winger (that Dutch guy? Quaresma?).
Ismael Bondarenko
6   Posted 13/07/2009 at 11:22:06

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Appears Naughton’s move is grinding to a halt as Sheff Utd have made a U-turn and are prohibiting talks as Spurs have come in with a better offer, that is despite releasing a statement confirming they had agreed a fee with EFC!

Horrible bastards, with no morals, I’m glad they got relegated and I hope they get fuck all off West Ham.
Bradley Nolan
7   Posted 13/07/2009 at 11:51:34

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Currently on the Sheff Utd website:,,10418~1719053,00.html

If there’s been a U-Turn, they aint saying
Ismael Bondarenko
8   Posted 13/07/2009 at 11:59:16

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Read the Echo, back page headline. Conspiricay theories will no doubt buzz around Bill’s head like a coupleof fly’s.
Adam Doyle
9   Posted 13/07/2009 at 12:06:50

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Ismael, once a club accepts a bid, they cannot backtrack. It is up to Naughton and Naughton alone. Sheff Utd could still accept a bid from Tottenham though. But if the lad has sense, he’ll realize three things:

1. Everton consistently chasing Sky 4, probably the best chance of breaking into it.

2. We’re in the Europa League. Definitely not as glamourous as Champions League but, love it or hate it, it is European football.

3. It is Everton who need a right back, not Tottenham. Thus, more likely to get some first-team action next season.

Ismael Bondarenko
10   Posted 13/07/2009 at 12:10:27

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As for the rest mentioned here:

Catermole — donkey if he came from anywhere but England everyone would accept he is shite.

Defour — I would put serious money on the fact that he will not leave this window; however, in January Standard may well be out of the CL, so definitely worth waiting for if we do have the funds.

Who’s the Dutch guy? — Narrow it down, there is quite a few of them you know and I cannot remember us being linked with any.

Quaresma — Wages, did fuck all at Inter and Chelsea, is a playboy, the Portugese Jermaine Pennant in my opinion, even Nani gets a game ahead of him for the national team.

Arca — would provide decent cover provided the price was right (as Bruce says) but Naughton also played left back a number of times last season and we still have Lescott so I don't see much pointwasting money when any funds availible should go on players to improve the 1st eleven.

Hence get scouring for Arteta Mk2; I like the look of Xabi Prieto at Sociedad an Suseata at Athletic Bilbao.

Ismael Bondarenko
11   Posted 13/07/2009 at 12:25:19

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1. You are correct, Echo also states Naughton still wants to join us and we seem the only plausible choice, Spurs are shite.

2. What prevents a club from deciding they suddenly want to reject an accepted offer and then coincidenly they recieve a more substantial offer two minutes later? of course this is within their rights.

3. Thats why I stated that the conspiricay theorists will be out in force, are Sheff Utd really that morally deficiant, especially after the Tevez saga? Fingers will no doubt be pointed at the board of EFC, and I hope this news is not true.

Ismael Bondarenko
12   Posted 13/07/2009 at 12:43:13

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ps: Delph’s career progress has been very impressive (Captain of reserves in his first season out of the academy; in the first team six months later). I expected a neat and tidy holding midfielder when I first watched him but no, he has two very quick feet, pacey, technically gifted and with a great shot to boot. However, the current standard he operates at will still put a question mark over his ability to play at a higher level.
Tony Anetts
13   Posted 13/07/2009 at 12:52:15

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Gary, while I generally agree, I don’t think it is as simple as just buying a right sided midfielder. Moyes needs to know what he is going to have at right back before settling on what he needs at right MF. If he gets an overlapping wingback (like Baines) such as Naughton, then he may go for a right MF who will play narrower, allowing the overlap and also linking through the middle (he may even think that Osman can do this). If he gets a less attacking right back he will need the right MF to create his own width, hence a more traditional winger and definitely not Osman. Also, I think he will want Neville on the field somewhere, hence if he gets Naughton then he probably sees Neville in the holding role again - which means no ’quality’ holding player like Cana or obvious role for Rodwell.

I agree that we are covered with forwards. We will need Arteta to play in the midfield schemer role to unlock teams (so no Dafour unless we have them both), so with Neville and Arteta in the middle it may be difficult to work the Cahill/Fellaini combination, which may give us one of them as a match winner on the bench, along with two of Yak/Jo/Saha/Vaughan, Rodwell, Yobo, Gosling, Osman, Hibbert etc, assuming all are well.

Not that bad compared to recent years.
Lee Hind
14   Posted 13/07/2009 at 13:38:08

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"Either Man City or the press have lost interest in Lescott so that could mean that we will have him."

This statement will come back to bite you on the arse Gary. I don’t want it to, but it will...
Mike Allison
15   Posted 13/07/2009 at 14:06:59

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It was this Dutch guy I was referring to:
From the Rumour Mill...

Blues in race for Elia

Everton, Bayern Munich and half of the Premier League, it seems, are vying for the signature of Dutch winger Eljero Elia, according to Sky Sports.

The FC Twente winger is hot property in the Eredivisie and recently won the Johann Cruyff award as the top young player in Holland this season.
21 May | Source: Sky Sports

I wasn’t going to be as harsh as you about Cattermole but I’m thinking along the same lines. The reason I don’t offer a firm suggestion as a right winger is that there doesn’t seem to be an outstanding candidate. The likes of Pennant, Bentley and even Nani also came to mind, but I can think of good reasons not to sign all of them.

I’m sure about Arca though, would bid £1-2M for him. Lescott will be needed to play CB for at least a couple of months, and he should stay there all season anyway.
Fran Mitchell
16   Posted 13/07/2009 at 14:39:05

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Eljero Elia is going to be a fantastic player, but unfortunately he has already been snapped up by someone in the Dutch league, think its Hamburg or someone. Another great Dutch talent is that Ibrahim Affellay, very quck and skillful. However, we won't get him, so rather pointless.

Also pretty sure Julio Arca was released at end of season. If he wasn't then good, it means we wont get him. He is a desperately average player, who looked ok 5-6 years ago. Slow, can't defend and doesn't have much strengh.

I would like to see Ledley come in, a versitile defender; hopefully this Naughton deal will be concluded soon and a wide midfielder.

I know nothing of this Defour, but apparently he has taken Moutinho's and Fernandes's place of the ’must-have’ signing this summer. Why? Who has actually seen him play? (1-2 games against us 1 year ago don't count.) I can't honestly remember him or any Standard player apart from that winger who terrorised us with his pace.

A player in the Bentley mould would suit our team I think. I know we want pace, but I think our style of play currently requires someone with better final ball than pace. In the long run I’d like to see us with 2 fast wingers and counter-attacking football where defending a corner turns into a shot on goal in 4 seconds, but we aint at that level yet, and it will take more than 1 player to get there.

A defensive mid would also be useful, but not necessary. Heard good things of this Cana, but again not seen him for myself.

There is room for improvement all across our team, but for now we only really need 2-3 players and we're good to go.
Adam Doyle
17   Posted 13/07/2009 at 15:14:10

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Where did this story about Sheff Utd doing a U-turn on the Naughton deal come from? Does anyone really have an idea? Is it not possible that it's all bollocks, like so many of the apparently ’good-sourced’ news about Everton?

Can’t say how many times I read on numerous Everton sites about how Micah Richards was in Goodison Park with Leon Osman, despite the two being ill with Swine Flu in Cyprus, and training with the squad in Scotland, respectively.

Chad Schofield
18   Posted 13/07/2009 at 15:28:53

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Hi Adam:

Also: [On BBC] Tottenham want to sign Sheffield United full-back Kyle Walker - but they would allow him to stay with the Blades for the next year to continue his development. (Daily Mirror)
Chad Schofield
19   Posted 13/07/2009 at 15:30:09

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Great... perhaps I should have read the BBC before copy & pasting!!

Is ’arry trying to get a monopoly?
Ismael Bondarenko
20   Posted 13/07/2009 at 15:58:18

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Adam Doyle,

Unfortunatly wishful thinking, people do ’really have an idea’ and it is not all ’bollocks’. The story is spreading albeit slowly.
Adam Doyle
21   Posted 13/07/2009 at 16:10:24

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Ismael, If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. Perhaps it is possible to do a U-turn in transfer? Maybe Sheff Utd have, in fact, done this? However, while I always check the back page of the Echo, they are not always the be-all and end-all of what is true and false. The story may be spreading, but is that not what rumours do? Then again, fair play, it could also be spreading because it's news.

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