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Missed opportunities...?

By Sam Hoare :  04/05/2010 :  Comments (27) :
I would like to start by saying that I realise this article is about as useful as an inflatable darts board but I have been watching a few games recently and thinking about players that were in the past linked to us. I then got to wondering if the club had found just a little more money or bravery, might they have been the players that made the difference, that might have enabled a better cup run or maybe a closer tilt at the top 4?

Pure, unadulterated and useless speculation so please don't bother pointing that out.

The players, in particular order, who have caught my attention are:

Adam Johnson: We were linked with him a long time back, before his stellar displays in the Championship saw him courted by the sheiks and a cheque we couldn't contend with. Young, quick skillful and able to play on both wings. Would fit perfectly into the gaping hole on the right of our midfield.

Zoltan Gera: Less impressive but more affordable. Went on a free in 2008 and has played a key part in Fulham's Europa League campaign. Similar player to Osman? Perhaps... Not a world beater but would surely have helped us during our injury crisis and I hate missing out on decent freebies.

Victor Moses: A lot of hype about him saw many clubs linked with him. Martinez recently said of him "I can't believe he is at Wigan' — Nor can I. A risk perhaps but £2.5m for a strong, lightning quick, young English winger... Why not?

Andrei Arshavin: Another player we were linked with before, his skills became more globally sought after. Rumours were rife that Zenit were looking for around £8m the season before he lit up the Euros. Would have been a bargain.

So there's four that I wouldn't have said no to. Not having a dig at the board. Whether they should or shouldn't be able to conjure up more money is not what this thread is aimed at debating. Just some easy banter about possibly realistic players you think may or may not have slipped the net and might have made a difference before the silly season gets truly started again.

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Carl Rutherford
1   Posted 04/05/2010 at 16:06:28

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We were also linked to David Nugent, Kieran Richardson, Alan Smith, Jason Koumas, Fabian Delph, Kyle Naughton to name a few.

Arshavin is the one who most of us would have liked to have seen. However, given his recent grumblings and discontent at Highbury, I don't think he would have stayed long... even if we could have afforded him.
Ciarán McGlone
2   Posted 04/05/2010 at 16:19:47

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Aaron Ramsey and Niko Krancjar are the two that stick in my mind.
John Daley
3   Posted 04/05/2010 at 16:04:46

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Victor Moses is a player that I have been banging on about for the last few years, and I would have loved Moyesie to have got his hands on him (not literally). He is young, quick, full of tricks and clearly has great potential. Furthermore, he can play out wide or up front.

That he ended up at Wigan was due to the fact that other Prem clubs took the piss and tried putting in paltry bids, trying to get him dirt cheap due to the well publicised financial problems engulfing Crystal Palace. At £2.5m, I think the lad will prove an absolute bargain.

Another young player I hoped Everton would take a gamble on was Jonjo Shelvey of Charlton, but he's recently sold his soul to Satan and is joining the red shite in the summer. A tragic waste of talent.

John Daley
4   Posted 04/05/2010 at 16:28:08

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Talking about missed opportunities, i would have loved Everton to have took Joe Hart as part of the Lescott deal. City were clearly desperate to sign the (ex-)England defender and maybe we could have screwed a bit more out of them than fucking Jô on a season-long stroll. Less cash coming in maybe, but a top class young keeper to really challenge and eventually take over from Tim Howard would have been more beneficial in the long run.
Peter Warren
5   Posted 04/05/2010 at 17:02:26

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I don't think Ramsey or Krancjar were missed opportunities, they preferred Arsenal and Spurs. Arshavin, perhaps although unlikely he would have gone to the City of Liverpool... London a lot more alluring. However, certainly we all saw how good he was when he played us, perhaps we could have got him then with more funds.

The person I remember thinking we should buy for ages was Dean Ashton from Crewe, ever since we played them in the cup years back.

Johnson would have been a good buy but I get the impression Moyes never fancied him.
Andy Crooks
6   Posted 04/05/2010 at 17:26:09

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Excellent article, Sam, every player you have named was a wasted opportunity, but who knows what goes on in transfer negotiations. I'm sorry to go on about this but if we buy one player this summer it must be Niall McGinn of Celtic. This lad will be a star.
Alan Kirwin
7   Posted 04/05/2010 at 18:41:29

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Dangerous game looking at missed opportunities. Only leads to despair. All good players that you list. Perhaps Moses was the one that sticks out as, under the right manager, he will surely excel & his value rocket. In fact Wigan picked up 2 very good young players from Palace & the other one (whose name I've forgotten) scored against Arsenal recently.

Agree with Ciaran about Ramsey and Krancjar, I can't believe how much Spurs paid for Krancjar. It seems that wherever Harry goes things get very weird on the transfer front.

But in saying all of that, I still think we have a good, strong, talented and valuable squad for next season. Best since '86 IMHO. The return of Heitinga and Fellaini is important. I am worried about up front, as I sense Saha in bit of decline.

The other kid I'd LOVE at Goodison is Jack Wilshire. This kid is going to the top. Would be lovely if he stops off at EFC en route to Barcelona. Oh shit! that's bound to earn me a reprimand from our greatest ever fan, Jay Harris.
Chris Dawson
8   Posted 04/05/2010 at 18:52:59

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The one that I always look back on is Michael Essien when he was at Rennes. Moyes put in a £4m bid which was accepted. Essien decided he wanted another year or two in the French league, he went to Lyon and the rest is history. Thinking back at that miss gives me confidence that when we bring in an unknown he has a very good chance that he might be an Essien... or at the very least another Lescott!!!
Kevin Hudson
9   Posted 04/05/2010 at 18:59:34

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"If my Auntie had balls etc.." I think you've officially launched "Silly Season," for us here Sam! Perhaps we could also use this thread as a summer wish-list in parallel?

I'll get the ball rolling with: Shaun Wright-Phillips, Kim Kallstrom, Tomas Ujfalusi, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Brede Hangeland. Anyone concur, or do I have sunstroke?!
Tony J Williams
10   Posted 04/05/2010 at 19:47:48

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Is Requelme still playing?
David Hallwood
11   Posted 04/05/2010 at 19:55:42

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Tony Requelme is still playing and he's bought a house in Frodsham.
Tony Cheek
12   Posted 04/05/2010 at 20:32:59

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Personally, I would like Rooney and Drogba, but would be happy with Zamora and Eagles....
Kevin Hudson
13   Posted 04/05/2010 at 20:41:13

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Small world! I just bumped into Riquelme in the Little Chef on the M57, nursing a can of Chang...
Joe McMahon
14   Posted 04/05/2010 at 20:45:44

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Who needs Arshavin when we have the real Russian Whiz Kid... Diniyar Bilyaletdinov — "Bily Whiz".
Mike Dillon
15   Posted 04/05/2010 at 20:43:40

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Not sure if it counts, but I heard we were linked with signing Kim Kallstrom back when he was thinking of leaving Rennes.

Now at Lyon and doing quite well for himself by all accounts. He's a class act, watched him since he made his Sweden debut.

Then again, I thought Krøldrup would be a class act, too..
Thomas Christensen
16   Posted 04/05/2010 at 21:21:05

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Joe McMahon - that made me laugh.

Sam - good article, but some of the players you mentioned didn't want to come to Everton, after all it was only last season with the likes of Yobo nad Jags in defence that we used to play HOOOOOF ball.

Some of the names coming up demonstrate two things.
1. As fans we have no idea of what has gone on behind closed doors.
2. Players agents have done a good job for their clients linking every half decent player with Everton.

Add a couple more to the mix...
Joao Moutinho
Ever "here is my love rocket" Banger
Sean Patton
17   Posted 04/05/2010 at 22:54:24

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There are two that come to mind the first is current flavour of the month Charles N'Zogbia.

Wigan signed him for just £4 million last January when he was desperate to leave Newcastle. I'm sure we could of scrapped together £4 million or a player exchange to get him. Now he is going for at least double that price and Arsenal are sniffing about.

The second guy is Darren Bent. It is well know that when Joe Royle was manager of Ipswich he tipped us the wink on him but he went to Charlton instead for a paltry £3 million. Five years on, he is scoring 25 goals a season — more than all our current strikers combined.

I never understood why we did not go in for Bent as he was exactly the type of player Moyes liked: young, proven at a lower level and crying out for a chance in the Premier League.
Jay Harris
18   Posted 04/05/2010 at 23:17:22

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Agree with Kevin Hudson, we need to look forward not back and who are the current Aaron Ramseys, Arshavins, Joe Harts etc.

I think Moyes has done quite well overall with his mediocre transfer budget but Sam is right to point out that if only we'd stretched a little further (" Every little bit helps").

Alan Kirwan thanks for the compliment; it's most gracious of you.
Christopher McCullough
19   Posted 04/05/2010 at 23:37:07

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Do you think McGinn would go straight into the first team at right wing? Granted I only caught the highlights of tonight's game but McGinn didn't seem to be playing. I also wiki'd him. He was born in '87 so he is not that young anymore. I respect your opinion, so clearly he must have a spark but, if he is going to be a star, shouldn't he be shining a little brighter by now?
James Stewart
20   Posted 05/05/2010 at 02:29:21

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Hard to argue with any of these. The one that sticks out for me was Darren Bent. He would have been a steal at £3m.

Also Moses at Wigan will prove to be a bargain! Essien as well. I remember that deal well, if only! Kallstrom is also a good shout and he is available now as well....
Derek Thomas
21   Posted 05/05/2010 at 03:49:13

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The saddest two words in the english language....IF ONLY...

Going too far down that road leads to madness.
Chris Stubbs
22   Posted 05/05/2010 at 06:41:26

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To take the discussion further, missed opportunities resulting from players not brought in is one thing. The other is about the players we "let go". With the exception of Rooney, the ones gone need not be considered as missed opportunities.

We have seen that Lescott has been out most of the season and has not proved to be a great buy for City. Andy Johnson was another one Moysie let go. He has not set the world alight since leaving. Both have been plagued with injuries. Others to go include Andy van der Meyde (good riddance), Marcus Bent, Lee Carsley, James Beattie, James McFadden and Simon Davis. Again no regrets for any of them.

For ones he is not sure about, there is the loan system. We benefit from that system with players coming in, but we also use it to retain players.

For the ones we let go, Moysie can actually say "I'm glad I did" rather than "I wish I hadn't".

Unfortunately, some of our previous managers must have wished they had kept the players they let go. The list of great players who were missed opportunities is quite long and would include Alan Ball, Peter Beardsley, Andrei Kanchelskis plus others. Thankfully, Moysie seems to recognise when a player is about to reach his sell-by date.
Jimmy Hacking
23   Posted 05/05/2010 at 11:16:50

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I wonder how many Spurs, Liverpool, Newcastle, Villa etc. fans have despondantly discussed a few other players that "got away" from their clubs, when they could have been snapped up for a song a few years previously... such as:

Steven Pienaar
Tim Cahill
Phil Jagielka
Leighton Baines
Joleon Lescott (ker-ching!)

I stand by Moyes's track record 100%
Chris Butler
24   Posted 05/05/2010 at 13:31:56

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Lorik Cana.
Kevin Hudson
25   Posted 05/05/2010 at 15:18:28

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That's a good shout, Chris...
Christopher Kelly
26   Posted 08/05/2010 at 08:28:55

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Christopher Kelly
27   Posted 08/05/2010 at 08:32:06

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