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Dries Mertens

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So we seem to be interested in Dries Mertens. To be precise: Dutch website Elfvoetbal says Everton (and Dutch clubs PSV and FC Twente) told his current club FC Utrecht their interest in the player and have already offered the player a contract. They claim another site as their source: vi.nl (VI is the biggest Dutch football magazine). But on vi.nl I cannot find anything about Mertens and our supposed interest. So probably this is another made-up rumour, although it could be that it was in the paper version of VI, I didn't read last week's edition.

Just for those who are interested in the player: he's an (attacking) midfielder, very skillful, great passing, good finisher. Can use either leg. His best position is a central one, although he has played on the right wing before. He is far more effective centrally as he has a great through ball.

Is he good enough to play for us? He has got the skill and the tactical knowledge/vision. And to me, he seems to have the right mentality. He has a big, big disadvantage though. He's only about 5ft 7in and from time to time gets muscled out by his opponents - in the Dutch league! I think he lacks the physique to really make an impact in the Premier League.

In short he's like an even smaller version of Arteta. I think we shouldn't go after him. If we want to buy a right winger from the Dutch competition, we should go after Bryan Ruiz (Twente) or Ibrahim Afellay (PSV).

Stay tuned for the next scouting report from The Netherlands!
Erik Dols, Maastricht, The Netherlands     Posted 18/08/2010 at 08:24:04

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David Chait
1   Posted 18/08/2010 at 14:47:20

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Don't think this one has too many legs. That Ismailov sounds more realistic... media really have latched onto it, although he sounds like a poor man's Donovan.
Brendan O'Doherty
2   Posted 18/08/2010 at 14:48:50

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Thanks for the info Eric.

The Marat Izmailov one seems to be gathering strength though, which makes this one more unlikely. Better we sort out the RM position before anything else.

There is also a rumour doing the rounds that "Rodwell is a good player!" Astonishing!
Kevin Hudson
3   Posted 18/08/2010 at 14:51:01

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Johnny Heitinga should pull his finger out and "tap up," Eljero Elia for us. Probably the price would be prohibitive though...
Anthony Hughes
4   Posted 18/08/2010 at 14:52:24

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Going on your info Erik sounds like a Belgian version of Ossie.
Andrew Ellams
5   Posted 18/08/2010 at 15:03:07

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Kevin, great call that guy is electric. Can't help feeling he will end up and Chelsea or Real Madrid sooner rather than later though.
Les Green
6   Posted 18/08/2010 at 15:02:11

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Interesting scout report Erik - thanks.

I think the Izmailov rumour could have more than a grain of truth in it. Regarding the cash angle, I would suggest that Moyes will go for a season long loan with a view to buying (hence the current paper-view that they are discussing a fee). Given that he appears to have a recent injury problem (and maybe an attitude problem) I can't see Moyes jumping right in with money we don't have.
Chris Keightley
7   Posted 18/08/2010 at 15:07:41

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Going nowhere fast, that one... as for the Ismailov link, where is it gathering pace ? apart from inside your heads????
Terry Mcloughlin
8   Posted 18/08/2010 at 15:12:12

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Rodwell's a good player? It's a pity he can't get a start before Osman, Cahill, Neville? The poor lad must've been mad signing a new contract?
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
9   Posted 18/08/2010 at 15:14:16

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Chris, that would be the Daily Mail (which this season seems to have taken the lead on juicy transfer rumours); I've just posted the latest one from them...

Of course, as to its veracity, I couldn't possibly comment (see Disclaimer).

Les Green
10   Posted 18/08/2010 at 15:41:52

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Chris (7),
Take a look at NewsNow. I t looks like a lot of web sites are talking it up at the moment.
http://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/Sport/Football/Premier+League/Everton

Ciarán McGlone
11   Posted 18/08/2010 at 16:29:59

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Another central midfielder?

Not exactly high on our list of priorities..
Aidy Dews
12   Posted 18/08/2010 at 16:27:19

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Les 10* - There's a lot of links on that site towards us and Izmailov and there seems to be a little bit of substance to it.

David Chait 1* - How is Izmailov a poor man's Donovan? Did you see Izmailov rip us a new 'en at Goodison in the Europa League last season? and he was very handy at there place too.

Izmailov looks exactly what we've been crying out for ever since Donovan's loan period ended, full of pace and direct, skillful and got great delivery on him and he's got a dig on him as good as Bily's as well. Fair do's he's had his injury problems but if we could get him for £4m and sort his injuries out and getting him playing like he did versus us on a regular basis, then he's going to be a major threat and asset for us IMO!

Roberto Birquet
13   Posted 18/08/2010 at 16:34:31

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Chris Keightley
A Portuguese newspaper interviewed an Everton scout, Robbie Cooke.They quote him: "He's a well known player among many clubs in Europe. Have we made an offer? As far as I know, no. We may be interested, but that is not the same as making an offer."

http://www.record.xl.pt/Futebol/Nacional/1a_liga/Sporting/interior.aspx?content_id=457889

And frankly, I wouldn't take anything in the Mail as truth, after that ludicrous 5 or 6 paragraph transfer story with big pic of Rodwell, all coming from Ancelotti saying: 'Rodwell is a good player.' Bloody silly season. And no before you ask, I did not take the rabid, right-wing Tory crapsheet, Daily Mail, seriously before that either.
David Thomas
14   Posted 18/08/2010 at 16:43:58

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Aidy Dews,

"Did you see Izmailov rip us a new 'en at Goodison in the Europa League last season?"

I was at the game and I never saw the above. No-one in their team stood out that night. To me, as a team they looked very average that night.
Roberto Birquet
15   Posted 18/08/2010 at 17:21:12

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re 13
I was referring to Ismailov there, btw.
Max Main
16   Posted 18/08/2010 at 17:56:35

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In the first game against Sporting at Goodison I remember being very impressed by Izmailov, and worried whenever he got the ball. And he had a blinding shot from the corner of the area that cracked off the near post. He was a constant threat down the right. I remember on the night I was deliberately keeping my eye on Moutinho but at the end Izmailov was the one who had really impressed.

Have read on other Everton sites that he has a terrible history of injuries, which is why he's so cheap, and also he's fallen out with the manager. Sounds like a Moyes kind of deal (think Saha). Personally I am all for signing good players (like this Izmailov chap) who are on the cheap but a bit of a risk because of their past. Think we've got our money's worth with Saha (the money being the wages in his case).

Realistically I don't expect this rumour to be anything more than just that: a rumour. But if we do sign him, I'll be confident Moyes has good reason.

Sorry for being off topic from the original post, but the conversation seems to have moved to this Izmailov chap.
Aidy Dews
17   Posted 18/08/2010 at 18:20:37

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David Thomas, are you being serious?! What was you atching then whilst you was at the game, he was there best player that night.

Everyones eyes were on Moutinho and Izmailov stole the show with his pace and skill, good link up play and deliveries, he even hit the post in the first half, he was a constant threat!.

Here's a few highlights of the night that you obviously missed mate - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQgwAbPrUyk&feature=related
Aidy Dews
18   Posted 18/08/2010 at 18:27:05

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Izmailov is there number 7 btw.
Shaun Brennan
19   Posted 18/08/2010 at 18:47:58

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Does that mean Riqulme isn't comming?
Conor Ryan
20   Posted 18/08/2010 at 19:39:34

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For what it's worth, The Russian lad is a talent, did stand out against us and would possibly help Bily settle better. There are other reasons why I believe he would be a smart signing but I'm not going to bother because it's not going to happen.
Karl Masters
21   Posted 18/08/2010 at 19:40:24

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As Bill always says, ' Watch this Space ...between my ears.' I know, childish!
David Thomas
22   Posted 18/08/2010 at 20:04:32

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Aidy,

He may very well have been their best player on the night, that does not mean he "ripped us a new 'en". They were a fairly average team on the night that we should have put away well before their penalty and have finished the tie.

From what i saw he showed a few nice touches and had a decent shot on goal. We must have a different opinion on what "rip us a new 'en" means. For example you could say that Di Maria "ripped us a new 'en" in the Benfica game in Lisbon but in my opinion Izmailov certainly didn't.
Tony Cheek
23   Posted 18/08/2010 at 20:55:09

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According to TV2 news today (wed) there were reps from EVERTON watching Rosenborgs midfield player Per Ciljan Skjelbred in Tuesday nights Euro League game ....not a bad player, industrious, clever but maybe a bit lightweight. Cannot see who he would be replacing, but definitely a good buy if the price is right.
Tony Cheek
24   Posted 18/08/2010 at 21:01:39

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Sorry, forgot to say TV2 is a Norwegian channel and Rosenborg are Norways best team... just in case you didnt know!!!
Steve Pugh
25   Posted 18/08/2010 at 22:12:10

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Tony, I think that this is part of the problem. A journo sees a club scout at a game and decides that the club must be interested in a player. Of course the scout is probably just there taking a look at a couple of players to see if they are worth scouting properly, and most of the time the answer is no. But you can't find that out without taking a look.
Alan Clarke
26   Posted 18/08/2010 at 22:46:11

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It's obvious when we have no reserve left back, no genuine pace in the side and no right winger that all we need is another central midfielder.
Chad Schofield
27   Posted 18/08/2010 at 22:47:32

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Christ, how many central players who can play on the wing do we need in the squad... Maybe it'll satisfy those who demand all rounders who can do more than "just score goals","tackle before passing sideways or backwards" OR (occasionally)"catch the ball". At least it won't be his fault when he's played out of position out wide.
Chris Leyland
28   Posted 18/08/2010 at 23:28:55

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For those who say we have no reserve left back I refer you to Luke Garbutt.

Why don't we throw him in for a couple of games, loan him to a Championship side, then constantly big him up as ther answer to all our problems? Them we could also use him to slag off, Hibbert, Neville, Osman and Moyes too.

Shite, hang on a minute we already have Coleman to do all of the above.
Aidy Dews
29   Posted 19/08/2010 at 00:23:30

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Hey David, Di Maria ripped us a new everything, he was class but Izmailov was very good vs us too, especially at Goodison, and he might not be of a standard of Di Maria, but who is?

But Izmailov was good vs us even if Sporting was average, I never said Sporting was good btw, just Izmailov.

You can't deny that the Izmailov that played so well against us at Goodison wouldn't be an asset to us if we got him and got that out of him on a consistent basis.
Chris Keightley
30   Posted 19/08/2010 at 12:20:52

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Ismailov??? I posted that this was in people's heads, seems that the lead's gone cold, no mention on the OS nor anywhere else! I now don't even bother checking the links out, it means nothing until they are in Goodison holding up the shirt, I come on to ToffeeWeb for the banter that's worth 100 transfer rumours.

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