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Ben Arfa

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As I'm sure most have you have read, French international Ben Arfa is in talks with Newcastle over a potential Loan move.

This is a player that has been linked with us for a while now and for good reason. He ran rings around us about 2 years ago in a pre-season friendly. He is just the kind of raw talent I believe Moyes could get the best out of.

A skillful winger with an eye for goal available on loan. What's the hold up. It's not too late to nick him from under Newcastle's nose!

Conor Ryan, Dublin     Posted 09/08/2010 at 17:31:45

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Michael Kenrick
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1   Posted 10/08/2010 at 02:45:02

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There's always a ton of wishful thinking at this stage of the season, but I think if he's already in talks with Newcastle then it is simply too late.

There seems to be a pattern with transfer links and ultimate transfers, that a player who is probably being hawked around by his agent, is firstly "linked" to at least three different clubs... nothing like a bit of competition to raise the price! But when things get serious, it narrows down to one club, despite the likelihood that presumably many must still be interested.

I'd like to hear what someone like Matt Traynor has to say about this. He seems to have some inside knowledge on the ins and outs of footie transfers... Is it true, Matt, that there is perhaps this unwritten etiquette amongst the shark-like agents that they deal with one club exclusively once things get beyond a certain point?

The occasions where anyone pulls off the kind of coup that Conor is talking about are pretty rare, but I guess Fernadez and Sisko would fall into that category.

Bottom line, Conor: when a player is already having talks with another club, then it's too late: the opportunity for Moyes and Co to draw them into the Everton family has long gone. Only if things go tits-up and he comes back onto the market, do we stand a chance of getting him. And the likelihood of that must be very, very small.
Brendan O'Doherty
2   Posted 10/08/2010 at 03:07:31

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Apparently (yep, the dreaded Mail) we are after Remy with the Yak going to West Ham. Interesting,
Matt Traynor
3   Posted 10/08/2010 at 04:36:52

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Michael, I don't have inside knowledge, other than knowing a couple of people who work or have worked as agents - including one for a former Everton player pilloried for leaving the club "he loved" and going to Newcastle.

The main guy is no longer an agent and lives out here in Asia, but still keeps in touch with people back in the UK. What he has told me is the role of agents has changed massively, along with their potential earnings. No real surprise there. Occasionally I get the "inside track" on transfers well before they happen, but mostly I'm not interested if it doesn't involve Everton.

Again, unsurprisingly some are more unscrupulous than others, and are "retained" by some clubs to give them first-mover benefits in some markets.

With the involvement of lawyers, financial advisors, media and PR managers it's a lot more complex than helping them get a decent motor and not getting ripped off. We often lament the passing of "out of the blue" transfers where they appear on the back page holding the scarf, but transfers are often so protracted now that the media plays an important role, even if we often despise it due to the unsettling nature on our squad.

My mate out here is glad he's out of it, old school Tyke that he is!
David Thomas
4   Posted 10/08/2010 at 12:16:11

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What pre season did he play against us? Who was he playing for?
Ben Jones
5   Posted 10/08/2010 at 12:37:46

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I'm not sure I agree with you Michael, that would just ruin the whole prospect of football rivalry in transfers.

If a player are in talks with clubs that does not mean at all the player has agreed with the club. It just means the two clubs involved have agreed terms.

There's nothing stopping us going to Marseille saying we want this kid on loan, then hopefully agreeing and talking to Ben Arfa in a couple of days, if Ben Arfa wants to of course.

I think of numerous examples where this has happened, and not just happened, happened successfully.

Ronaldinho to Barcelona to name one. He was in talks with Man Utd, Barcelona swooped in and ended up persuading him his future lies there. How about Kyle Naughton? We were in talks with him but he decided Spurs over us.

The player's the key here. If Everton agree terms with Marseille, Ben Arfa may decide he does not want to talk to them because he's all set on Newcastle, or he may decide he does want to talk to Everton.

I agree with Conor, Ben Arfa is a guy who just missed out on the French World Cup squad, he's young and he's talented. Him on a loan signing would be a fantastic swoop and put a bit of competition into both our flanks.

The Remy link is interesting too.
Mike Allison
6   Posted 10/08/2010 at 13:26:20

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Ben Arfa's a real talent, in the Arteta/Pienaar mould of players who's early career hasn't quite gone the way it might have done given their ability. I'd love to see him at Everton in a similar loan-to-buy deal as the other two, but there are definite questions over his temperament as he's managed to fall out with coaches at both his French clubs and spent time out of the side because of it. Maybe that's why Moyes hasn't followed up.
Jefferson Gard
7   Posted 10/08/2010 at 13:41:56

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Regarding this lad, I am very, very reliably informed that a couple of years ago ? not wanting to join the U-21s ? he phoned the then manager to say he had PMT after hearing his mum talking about it!
Conor Ryan
8   Posted 10/08/2010 at 13:42:28

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David Thomas ? My bad. The man I was referring to was Nordin Amrabat for PSV in a 2008 pre-season fixture. I hope this hasn't damaged my credibility as an armchair scout too much... I have seen Ben Arfa take other left backs apart in similar fashion.

Mike, the point of Arteta & Pienaar you make is exactly where I'm coming from; two recognised talents with very stop-start careers prior to joining Everton.

Until the paperwork is done, the player is free to change his mind. Newcastle know better than most that a gentlemen's agreement isn't worth the paper it ISN'T written on.

I think on paper it represents a no-brainer for Ben Arfa: Go to a club where players almost always under achieve or come to Everton where we can turn a loan into a legend.

There must be more to this than meets the eye of the fan. Mabey too much of a prima donna for Moyes's liking or a bit of a prat. Who knows?

David Thomas
9   Posted 10/08/2010 at 14:13:09

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No worries, your credibility is intact. I don't know too much about this lad and so I just wanted to check what game it was that he played against us so I could try and see if I could remember whether I thought he stood out or not.

If post 7 is true, you might be right when you suggest he might be a "bit of a prat".
Robert Johnson
10   Posted 10/08/2010 at 14:35:19

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Admittedly I have no idea how good this kid really is, but if he ends up at Newcastle I can't believe he's good enough for us ? if Moyes thought he was, I'm sure he'd be in there.

It may be a little unfair to make any direct comparisons, but seems to me that, in recent seasons, whenever we've 'missed out' on a player we've been linked to for several months ? often resulting in vocal criticism of the club/management on this and other boards ? it turns out to have worked out for the best. Nugent, Alan Smith, and even Moutinho (who I'm pretty convinced wouldn't get close to our first 11 now) spring to mind.

I reckon Moyes has a better idea than most managers what players are worth (let's hope Bilyaletdinov proves this point this season!) in relation to how they can improve the squad, so I don't really get too bothered about it when players end up going elsewhere these days. Maybe not 100% relevant as this is a loan deal, but I'd imagine that, as with most long-term loan deals these days, it involves money changing hands, and Moyes isn't going to shell out for someone he doesn't need.
Michael Kenrick
11   Posted 10/08/2010 at 16:43:43

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I think Robert Johnson sums the situation up quite well. It's not so much 'missing out' as choosing not to be in the game.

Fans can get a little over-dreamy about players that we have been linked to (as well as a host of them we have NOT been linked to...). The implication here is that somehow Moyes and Co have been asleep at the wheel and suddenly need to wake up and swoop in now that the lad is in talks with someone else ? that's the bit I can't buy.

And the idea that Ben Arfa is faced with a "no-brainer" choice between Newcastle and Everton is simply fantasy. The Kyle Naughton example might be relevant but I forget the timing of it... and we can never know if it came about because he had issues with the Everton deal he was offered, that caused the deal to stall, allowing Spurs to come in.

Such things of course are possible in this case, if he really is in talks with Newcastle but, even if the deal falls through, there's been very little indication that we are really interested. Of course, since 99% of the link talk is rubbish anyway, that means nothing!

Conor Ryan
12   Posted 10/08/2010 at 17:07:13

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Yes Michael ,we don't appear to be interested but If indeed he has the option between the 2 clubs then anyone can see that Everton would be a far more sensible and ambitious move .These 2 factors alone should make it a no-brainer for any footballer and even more so for a player seeking stability in his career .
Why we don't want to sign him givin our financial restraints and the demand for a player of his pedigree in that particular position bemuses me .But it would, as I only have the privilage of judging it on face value without the variable's which is what I think you mean by fantasy .It's not called fantasy football for nothing !
I still think we are short on the right and I'm not part of the Anichebe RM is fine crowd .He has his moments and he's big and powerful with a decent touch but he cant cross and his positional sense is crap IMO not forgetting the "get up off the ground anichebe" moment's! Option .(gives us power and width )
Bily can be used there but only according to game patterns and circumstance ,not a perminent solution just an option (gives us the unexpected by cutting in ) .Having Ben Arfa would give us another option and we would have a much wider range of abilities to choose from givin certain opponents ,circumstances etc on a try now buy later basis .

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