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Never mind the quality, feel the width?

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As we lumber towards the mad month that is the July transfer window opening, we can only hope that most of our existing squad stay intact... although one or two Evertonians may feel cashing in on Fellaini would be good business.

Rather than joining the rags in naming which players are attracting interest, I wanted to guage opinion from fellow posters as to whether the first 11 is good enough and we just need squad reinforcements or whether we need to add quality into the first 11 and hope the kids can progress quickly enough.

I offer these two polar opposite opinions because I feel if we go for top quality we can only get a couple in given our meagre resources.

For example, if we get a quality striker like Negredo who would cost around £20 million and a quality midfielder like Fer at £8 million, that doesn't leave a lot for defensive and goalkeeping options to be reinforced.

On the other hand, with Mucha and Neville gone and probably Heitinga and Fellaini going, we certainly need to bolster squad numbers.

So which way would you go: A few top quality or quite a few lower cost, higher risk additions to strengthen the squad?

Jay Harris, FL, USA     Posted 23/06/2013 at 17:43:34

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Kieran Fitzgerald
791 Posted 23/06/2013 at 20:40:42
Hard one to call Jay. We don't know who we will sell from our top thirteen or fourteen players so we don't know if their positions will need to be refilled as well as us buying extra. We don't know what cash we have to spend or if Matrinez will look to promote from the under 21 squad.

The defence is solid and we can afford to lose one from our senior defensive players as I think there is enough cover there. If we have to, I would be happy to see Felliani go if it meant we could keep the rest of our quality players.I would then buy a creative midfielder and a striker. We need goals more than anything else. Pienaar and Osman are getting on and that leaves Mirallas as our only recognised in his prime creative midfielder.

Ross Edwards
795 Posted 23/06/2013 at 20:54:54
We definitely need to revamp the middle of the park. Under Moyes we were too static and completely lacked pace in the middle.

I think if we pick up Honda on a free, Fer using the Felli money and then sign a striker most of our problems will be solved. We'll probably sign Alcaraz on a free too.

Mark Frere
805 Posted 23/06/2013 at 21:10:43
I think we need at least 1 more quality striker and plenty more quality in midfield. My dream transfer window would look something like this:

Players out:
Fellaini £25m
Heitinger £4m

Players in:
Honda Free
Alcaraz Free
Fer £8m
Mcmanaman £6m
Jelle Van Vossen £5m
Nacer Chadli £6m
Guidetti £1m loan with option to buy for £6 million at end of season

Ross Edwards
806 Posted 23/06/2013 at 21:32:57
I'd say Guidetti could be flogged for more than £6m Mark, but I'd be happy with any of the players you list.

For me:


Honda ( Free)
Alcaraz (Free)
Fer (£8-10m)
Zaha (Loan)
Redmond (£2.5m)


Felli (£25m)
Heitinga (£5m)

Mark Frere
808 Posted 23/06/2013 at 21:45:46
There's rumours that Bony has been sold to a EPL team for £8 million Ross, wonder who that is, if true?
Tony Marsh
809 Posted 23/06/2013 at 21:43:22
Jay, don't worry, lad... some bright spark at EFC had the foresight to get Ozzie signed up for another billion years just after DM left. Do we have a Joe Kinnear type we don't know of at the club, as I can't think who it was re-signed Hospital Ball Osman when he is clearly not up to Premier League standard, never was.

If we don't sell, then I am afraid Osman is the only signature we are likely to see this summer. I never get into the name game as it always ends in tears. Sit back, relax, and watch the fun unfold... That's all we can do.

Tristan Kerr
810 Posted 23/06/2013 at 21:46:43
What we need is a mixture. Proven players if Fellaini goes and some young guns full of energy. My ins would be: McCarthy, Honda, Astu, McManaman, and a goalkeeper.

Personally I don't think the striker issue is a massive worry, because Jelly didn't miss as many sitters as people make out and neither did Big Vic. We need 10 goals from Pienaar, 10 from Mirallas, 10 from the creating midfielder, 10 from the central pairing, 15 from the striker, and at least 10 from the back 4.

Our problem is goals are not spread through the team and I blame Moyes for this due to the setup of the team which was setup around Fellaini. If we are to play this swift attacking footie, we need goals from everywhere, not just the frontman.

Ross Edwards
811 Posted 23/06/2013 at 21:55:49
It's probably Newcastle Mark, I haven't heard these rumours but I am hoping it is us because he could be the next Drogba, 31 goals last season.
John Crook
812 Posted 23/06/2013 at 21:51:21
Some of these valuations for Heitinga are ridiculous! This is a guy with 1 year remaining on his current deal. He had an stinker of a season and his stock has seriously plumeted. Considering he cost around £5m in 2009, there is no way he is going to fetch £5 or £4m now. I would be extremely surprised to see anything above £2m if he is to go.

I believe (with Martinez's regular use of 3 at the back) it could be more cost efficient to get the best out of Heitinga in a back 3 and let him go for a free next summer. You have to remember it's a pre-World Cup season and I'm sure Heitinga would step up his game to levels he set in the 2011-12 season.

Another centre half does need to come in as cover though. It seems likely Alcaraz on a free. Free transfers are a no-risk gamble.

So, in respect to the main point of the article, I think a striker to come in the absolute priority. I would love Negredo but I think that's probably a pipe dream. Same applies to Honda. I hope we don't go for Kone as I see him as another Anichebe.

Barry Rathbone
815 Posted 23/06/2013 at 22:11:27
No debate.

With our board we have to go for numbers in the hope of finding a "Michu" or 2 to sell on. We are in the 2nd tier of the 3 tier Premier League... sheer madness to gamble on one or two players who might end up like Bily or Yak with the only realistic ambition being the snaffling of a cup,

The price of the present ownership is not £120 million – it is the grim knowledge that any genuinely successful player Martinez (or any manager) develops who may threaten the teams above will be taken by the first tier teams.

Hideous but true.

Jay Harris
816 Posted 23/06/2013 at 22:38:32
good bit of FM there but I would rather have McCarthy than McNaman and If we are to lose Fellaini I would really like the Wanyama guy from Celtic now that the move to Southampton has fallen through.
Jay Harris
819 Posted 23/06/2013 at 22:48:30
Kieran totally agree with you on the goals front especially if we lose Fellaini the only problem being the cost of a proven prolific striker.

I really don't think Kone is the right fit but would be happy with a good link up forward and goalscoring MF players.

Paul Ferry
821 Posted 23/06/2013 at 23:10:56
Fellaini can go so long as the sponds go to Bobby. If so, we will be a better team without him.

As I've said till I'm blue in my face, Fellaini is a costly risky liability, as well known for his elbows and head butts last season than his sometimes sublime performances.

Honda? Ha, absolutely no way at all - get off that cloud, we are not anywhere on his radar.

More realistically, so long as Felli goes would be: Alcaraz - Fer - Mcmanaman/Chadi - McCarthy - Jelle Van Vossen - Wanyama

No-one has mentioned a goalie, unless I missed something. We MUST get a new goalie good enough to step in Timmy's boots at a moment's notice. I rather like Ali Al-Habsi, though I suppose injury prone. But Howard's almost imperious position under Ginger was one of our biggest fault-lines.

Raid the Belgian 2nd Division, that Tahitan goalie looks half-decent, there are better goalies than Timmy out there who would not make the biggest dent in the Felli money.

Goalie - central defence - centre-mid - winger - striker

Ah, if only Teary Billy - goalie - Wanyama can play centre back/defensive mid - Fer - Mcmanaman/Chadi - Jelle Van Vossen

Gavin Ramejkis
822 Posted 23/06/2013 at 23:28:36
I don't think keeping hold of the squad is in the hands of the manager be it the former Saint Gollum or Martinez, if a player wants out and wants a fatter wad of cash they'll go hunting for it, the only saviour being a contract offers some form of compensation in a reasonable fee. I also don't believe for one microsecond that Billy Bullshitter's claim that there is a transfer pot - too many times he's pulled that stunt and only the seriously in need of sectioning would still fall for it; don't for one second believe that should Fellaini and others go that a sudden windfall of that fee plus the jackanory pot will appear and yet it'll never get questioned by the sheeple.

Ideally the team could do with:

A goalkeeper - competition for Howard not just one to be rolled out for the Worthless Cup
Central Midfielder - if Fellaini goes then Fer is an ideal replacement for a lot less money
Striker - would love to see Mirallas given a shout at a position he looks more natural in but that would leave a gap on the right,

Already in house we have Barkley and Vellios and McAleny who should ideally be given some game time

Jon Ferguson
823 Posted 23/06/2013 at 23:22:14
As we're playing football manager:

Fellaini is gone, nothing we can do to stop it. I can't see Heitinga staying either. That's £24 mil plus £1-2mil plus the TV money.

In I'd go for the Columbian striker Bacca from Brugge, going for £5mil apparently. Redmond from Birmingham - reportedly desperate to sell for £3mil. The Columbian midfielder Torres for £2 mil. £8mil for Fer. Alcaraz for free as cover at the back. One more out there suggestion, I'd try for Fraser Forster at Celtic as competition for Howard. I reckon we'd have a chance at £6mil. That'd come in at about the price of Fellaini.

I love this time of season, I can still dream that we'll actually sign a few players.

Paul Ferry
824 Posted 23/06/2013 at 23:35:22
On another un-transfer note - sorry OP Jay - I'm looking forward to seeing the England U-20s play Iraq at 8PM Chicago time.

Hoping there will be a handful of your lads in the line-up.

Let's not forget, Jay is spot on to think about incoming and outgoing, but one of my big hopes for the next one or two years is that Bobby sticks to his spoken commitment to the value of the Academy.

Mind you, I suppose that Ginger said that from time to time.

Paul Ferry
825 Posted 23/06/2013 at 23:39:45
(823) Fraser Forster at Celtic as competition for Howard.

Top-drawer shout Jon, though I might sub replacement for competition

Mark Frere
826 Posted 23/06/2013 at 23:30:54
Well Paul, no one likes to talk about GKs because its such a boring and unglamorous position. Howard does a decent job for us and I'm sure there's plenty of free signings out there that can be decent competition or backup for Howard.

I'd rather us concentrate on players further forward for the time being, because it's more of an urgent matter in my opinion.

Paul Ferry
827 Posted 23/06/2013 at 23:41:28
your? (824)

Sorry given the brou-hou-ha on another thread
about 'our club', I meant, I hope you all realized,
'our lads'

Michael Kenrick
828 Posted 23/06/2013 at 23:41:09
Paul, I think Barkley and Lundstram will start... Barkley to play a key role in play up to the second England goal, with Chris Long coming on in the second half but then they fade in the heat and both Barkley and Lundstram off when they concede the second to tie 2-2.
Paul Ferry
829 Posted 23/06/2013 at 23:43:11
Fair point Mark.

It's always more exciting I agree when a name midfielder or striker walks in through the door. Puts a spring in our step.

I suspect you're right and that we will bring in three or four from old team 80's numbers 5-11, with an aging goalie - or Al-Habsi - as a cheapish third or fourth priority.

Celtic's Forster has been on my mind for a while now and he's a good old Northerner. I think with each passing year that the case for a new top-flight goalie is becoming more pressing mate.

Paul Ferry
830 Posted 23/06/2013 at 23:48:11
Barkley and Lundstram will start..

Can't wait MK

Alan Smith
831 Posted 23/06/2013 at 23:32:08
How many times were Keane and Vieira sent off? Such a liability that's why everyone wants him.

If we sell Fellaini and buy four players not as good as him, the starting 11 will get weaker. I'd rather not sign Fer if meant Fellaini left.

A quality striker and winger is needed for the first team. And two free transfers for a backup goalie and centre half.

Heitinga, Vellios, Ggueye, Hitzlesperger, Mucha, Neville, Moyes —is a lot of wages gone and then there's extra TV money. I'd rather spend that than sell our best player!

Fellaini should play CM with Barkley. Pienaar or Osman behind Negrado with Mirallas and a top international winger. Obviously Gibson would come in for Barkley quite regulary to protect him a bit. But that would be our most mobile, physical and tecnically gifted midfield we could play IMO.

James Stewart
836 Posted 24/06/2013 at 00:23:28
Honda would be a brilliant free!

We need a striker and I would like us to go for Mcmanaman.

Paul Ferry
838 Posted 24/06/2013 at 00:37:31
isn't he more of a winger Jamie? Macca's distant cousin I mean?
Noel Early
840 Posted 24/06/2013 at 00:35:35
I don't get this clamour for McManaman, the lad had a great second half to the season and was brilliant in the Cup Final, the first half of the season he couldn't even make the Wigan bench so I doubt Martinez will spend the few pennies Bill finds under the couch to buy a player that is similar to Mirallas.

Honda would be a terrific signing, but apparently AC Milan have been sniffing around recently and I would imagine his wage demands would be very high.

Eric Myles
854 Posted 24/06/2013 at 06:13:12
That's 2 posts that have mentioned the extra TV money. Forget it, that will cover the losses for the season, whatever money we have for transfers will come from player sales.
Ray Robinson
875 Posted 24/06/2013 at 10:16:59
It is undeniable that we need a second goalkeeper capable of challenging Howard but I can't believe that anybody would suggest Al-Habsi as a possibility. He is occasionally a brilliant keeper but if you want to go for a reliable stopper who minimises errors, you don't go for him! He makes far more stupid gaffes than Howard ever does and Martinez even dropped him towards the tail end of last season in favour of a relatively unknown South American understudy - so why would he sign him for Everton? As for the Tahitian keeper, words fail me!
Al Reddish
909 Posted 24/06/2013 at 13:43:56
I agree with Ross. The midfield is the area that needs a revamp. Osman and Pienaar are decent on their day but can be very inconsistent with little end product. Gibson is a must. A calm head who an find a pass when fully fit.

Mirallas will probably be one of the first names on the team sheet but some may feel he is better pushed further forward. Fellaini in the holding role would be nice but I can't see him being here after 11:59 on the last day of the transfer window (giving us no time to get a replacement in, after the big lad was in Billy's office begging him to let him go!).

What we need is someone who can run past our forwards and create space for them to get a shot or creative pass off. We haven't had this (Mirallas apart) since probably Kanchelskis left, though Arteta in his prime came close.

I hope we see more of our youngsters and I have a feeling Martinez's signings will have a bit more flair than Moyes's did. With this also comes more of a risk of failure but exciting times lie ahead.

Paul Ferry
937 Posted 24/06/2013 at 15:55:26
Ray Robinson' As for the Tahitian keeper, words fail me!'

Ever heard of irony Ray? It's one thing that we from Liverpool are quite noted for; or maybe you were not lucky enough to be born and raised in the imperial city?

Sam Hoare
949 Posted 24/06/2013 at 16:28:01
As the transfer window is nearly upon us, I was also thinking I might pen some thoughts about what and who I'd like to see in our transfer dealings. I've tried to be relatively realistic though obviously speculation is the name of the game.

Antonin Alcaraz (Free)

An unglamourous first name but it makes sense. He is by all accounts a very decent defender with experience of both the Premier League and working with Martinez. He will likely only be backup for Jags and Distin anyway.

Keisuke Honda (Free)

As far as I know, he has a great engine (chortle), technique and hits a mean free kick. He would possibly also help with off-the-field marketing in the Far East and on a free looks like great business so long as his wage demands are not extortionate.

Lerory Fer (£8M)

Wanyama is another option but we definitely need a physical presence in the middle. I mainly like Fer because of the pony to the girlfriend in the block of flats story. He also looks useful on the pitch.

Wilfried Bony (£12M)

A striker is needed and this guy looks like knows where the back of the net is. Strong fast and powerful, he could be well suited to the Premier League. Negredo could be another option but it looks like he might be going at a higher price.

Nacer Chadli (£6M)

Nathan Redmond could be another option but i think Chadli is closer to being the finished option and brings a bit more height to the team as well as pace, creativity and goals. A similar player to Mirallas and potentially able to play wide or centrally.

Another thought would be that we need to buy a top class CB to replace Distin but for me the guy was quality last year and showed absolutely no sign of ageing legs and until he does I'm happy for him to stay a first choice pick.

Ray Robinson
957 Posted 24/06/2013 at 16:39:09
Paul, I have been incredibly thick missing the irony. I guess I thought you were being serious after suggesting Al-Habsi, who is even more accident prone than Howard.

And by the way, I was born and bred in Liverpool and fully understand scouse wit, even though I now live in Warrington. Just failed to recognise the irony this time. Maybe I'm turning into a woollyback?

Ben Jones
960 Posted 24/06/2013 at 16:46:15
Seeing we're all Football Manager now, I've just seen this.

Abel Aguilar, a player of the Spanish League, captain of a top international side, good all round midfielder and available for a low fee. Does anyone not think this deal is made for Martinez?

Paul Ferry
963 Posted 24/06/2013 at 16:49:53
(957) Maybe I'm turning into a woollyback?

God, I hope not and in any case I'm not
sure that you can become a 'woollyback;.

That Tahitan goalie was better than Bobby Mimms, to be fair.

I honestly do think that Al-Habsi would be a decent option in light of what we have, although I do agree about the cock-up proneness, he's up
there with Joe Hart.

Fraser Forster would be my preference at this point, but I stand to be corrected once the good folks/internet warriors on here trawl through cyberspace to find me the next great Spanish or Belgian goalie

Mark Frere
965 Posted 24/06/2013 at 16:39:55
Paul Ferry (937)

It doesn't matter which city we are from, we just have to have a sense of humour that exceeds that of a 5 year old boy . Ray Robinson seems to fall short in that respect

Mark Frere
969 Posted 24/06/2013 at 17:02:59
Only joking Ray
Jimmy Sørheim
023 Posted 24/06/2013 at 19:00:29
Hitzlsperger is easily replaced by Ross Barkley. John Lundstram can act as a fill-in for Neville. But a new top goalkeeper is needed badly, probably more so than a striker. But, after getting a new goalkeeper, we should be looking for a striker who is better then Jelavic.

As it stands now, our weakest link is the goalie. Howard was crap last season, maybe Ali Al-Habsi can come in, he has experience but I do not know if he is too old by now. I have always noticed him playing very good against us. I just do not know if there are any top goalkeepers out there who we can afford.

Negredo sounds very good, but a little expensive as he would cost at least £16 million or more.

Albert Perkins
048 Posted 24/06/2013 at 16:48:03
Martinez likes to play 3 at the back, so maybe he would play Jags, Alcaraz and Distin together.
Al Reddish
067 Posted 24/06/2013 at 20:45:31
Or even better, Duffy.
Paul Corbishley
149 Posted 25/06/2013 at 08:14:34
(963) You can defo become a woolyback Paul, All it takes is a Kappa trackie with poppers up the side, a pair of LA Lights and ask the barber for a wegde1
Wayne Smyth
248 Posted 25/06/2013 at 17:55:11
Alan(831) - We can't afford 11 fellainis. We can't afford 2. Fellaini is a luxury player who only wants to be here while there isn't a better offer on the table. We'd be much better off getting rid and getting 4 players who are not as "good".

In the past we sold rooney and lescott and replaced them with inferior players, but with that money we also got a few players who were better than the other players we had in the squad, and the squad got better as a result.

Ultimately we can have the best defensive central midfielder in the league, but if we have to play him alongside phil neville or Leon Osman, we'd be better off having 2 darron gibson's.

I'd like to see Martinez use a few of the academy players to replace the departures. I don't want to see him go down the route of buying established players for £10M+. I'd rather him do what Barry Rathbone suggested and get in a few young players in the sub £5M bracket and hope a few of them come good.

Jay Harris
304 Posted 25/06/2013 at 21:30:21
Wayne that's all well and good but you cant improve an average side by getting rid of top quality players and replacing them with average players.

Our problem has been finishing off our creative play with more goals.

Our main source of goals has been Fellaini.

Now while I think 24 million would not be bad for Fellaini it would only be good for the club if we can replace his contribution with similar quality and goals.

The problem I have is our players are limited and we don't have any top quality all rounders which is why our 5 man midfield is important for balance.

We don't have many goalscorers in MF and we don't have a prolific striker say while they are creative they don't have the ability to finish with the exception of Fellaini and Mirallas.

Paul Ferry
369 Posted 26/06/2013 at 01:24:31
149 Ha nice one Paul

Imagine becoming a Woolie!

Harold Matthews
483 Posted 26/06/2013 at 12:49:45
The big young keeper Wigan used at the end of the season looked much better than Specsavers Howard.

It's hard to visualise Jelavic and Anichebe fitting into the Martinez football system of quick, neat inter-passing, ball retension and lethal shooting. For me, they should either be dumped or gradually phased out.Jelavic has terrific anticipation and a big heart but his ponderous leg speed is costing us dearly. Vic is Vic.

We badly need a strong tackling, mobile midfielder to support Gibson and Barkley because neither of them do much without the ball. Heitinga managed to do it once or twice towards the end of the season but he's not the quickest. Fer or Vadis would be preferable. They also score goals.

Don't know much about this Bony guy. Must look him up.
Like Fellaini, certain players will have been on our radar for two years or more. Long term investment types. Real hush-hush with a last minute swoop. Let's hope we unearth a gem.

Raymond Fox
520 Posted 26/06/2013 at 16:33:08
All depends what Martinez is given to spend.
Most wont be fussed to see Fellaini sold, so that's £20m in the kitty + £3m for Heitinga = £23m plus what our esteemed leader coughs up.

A black cloud on the horizon is the age of some of the regular squad:- Distin 36, Hibbert & Osmond 32, Pienaar & Jagielka 31,
also Howards 34 which is not too bad for a keeper so were told!

The only way were going to challenge for a top 4 spot in the future is if a ultra rich megalomaniac buys the club or Martinez makes the club No.1 at developing top young players.

We def. want a decent goalkeeper to keep Howard on his toes.
A quality striker -hard to find?,
Midfielder- I think Roberto will go for McCarthy,
Alcaraz to give some competition at the back.
There will prob. also be a few others in the £3m-£5m range who we've never heard of.

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