The potential Lukaku signing got me thinking about the previous highly sought-after acquisitions Everton have made during my time as an Evertonian.
I don’t mean purchases that turned out to be diamonds in the rough at the time of signing like Andy Gray, Peter Reid, Tim Cahill, and even Mikel Arteta.
Nor great players who transferred to Everton after their peak with another club like Peter Beardsley, Andrei Kanchelskis or Paul Gasgoine. What I’m talking about are those players that any club would have in their side given the chance at the time of signing.
In my opinion Lukaku, at 21, is such a player.
My nominations over the decades since the 1960s would be Tony Kay and Alan Ball in the 1960’s, Bob Latchford and Martin Dobson in the 70’s, Gary Lineker and Trevor Steven in the 80’s, Slaven Bilic in the 90’s and Marouane Fellaini in the 2000’s.
I’m struggling somewhat to find standouts in the 1990’s and 2000’s, but would be interested to hear who fellow ToffeeWebbers would condsider equivalent purchases of this magnitude and potential impact over our recent history.
Reader Comments (38)
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1 Posted 27/07/2014 at 07:16:51
Beardsley was 30 when we signed him, but I remember buying the Echo on my way back into the office and it had the desired effect - wound the Kopites up no-end. They didn't want to sell him, least of all to us, and thought ٟm was a steal. The fact we were able to sell him on to Newcastle 2 years later at a profit bears that out.
For me the signings that used to get me excited where the ones where they'd turned down offers from other big clubs to come to Everton - that was a sign that we were at or around the top table. Ian Snodin springs to mind, even Tony Cottee - but then for different reasons both turned out to not be that "missing piece", etc.
2 Posted 27/07/2014 at 09:05:04
I believe that Kendall (or someone) later regretted that we sold him too soon, as he was still producing the goods for Newcastle up till 36 years old.
Gary Speed was another. We sold Bilic (though he wasnÂt performing for us), Dacourt and Materazzi too soon.
3 Posted 27/07/2014 at 09:16:17
I'm surprised RM has spoken so openly about his pursuit of Lukakus given that he said he wouldn't talk about other clubs' players and all that went with Moyes's pursuit of Baines and Fellaini.
Still, he'd be a great one to get.
4 Posted 27/07/2014 at 10:00:02
I also believe we MUST get Lukaku now after the "Martinez incident" or we will lose face.
Either we (the club) know for a fact we are getting him or it could turn out to be a propaganda disaster!
5 Posted 27/07/2014 at 09:57:52
Lukaku would have to go into the Fellaini category I suppose. Young, not quite established as a player courted by the 'bigger' clubs in the division, but can definitely become a superstar.
Hopefully Roberto's attacking philosophy can attract the bigger names as we re-establish our reputation as the 'school of science.'
Obviously big salaries on offer make a massive difference, but we do offer reasonable wages on a par with Spurs and some Arsenal players.
The last fella use to make the players puke in pre-season training, so hopefully other top players will now view us as an attractive destination.
6 Posted 27/07/2014 at 10:48:28
Kanchelskis is probably the only one where you thought "Wow". Was kind of nice to buy the paper and see headlines instead of the drawn out deals played out on the net nowadays.
Was going to mention Bakayoko too.
I had no idea who Fellaini was.
7 Posted 27/07/2014 at 10:58:39
8 Posted 27/07/2014 at 11:05:04
9 Posted 27/07/2014 at 10:59:22
Personally I struggle with anybody who could fit into the category of marquee signing in the 90's and 00's. Maybe Yakubu but again, he wasn't really at the same level as the big three.
Neither could Fellaini be placed in this class. Young and with a lot of potential, for sure, but not a marquee signing. I'm afarid I wouldn't place Lukaku in that category either. Personally I think he is a bit overrated anyway, but it is pretty obvious that none of the top clubs fancy him, here or abroad, otherwise he could have his dream of CL football. So not even close to a Lineker who was a major coup when we signed him.
Actually I think we had lost the means to be in the market for marquee signings by the 90's. That is why the OP is struggling to find the names and why we don't even pretend to participate at that level today.
On an optimistic note, when you look at the 84-85 team, that was built on a relative shoestring. The players who became household names were anything but, when we were struggling to beat lower league teams like Oxford. So it is possible (or at least, it was) to build a winning side with any seriously major signings, so I guess that is our best hope for today.
10 Posted 27/07/2014 at 11:38:55
11 Posted 27/07/2014 at 12:07:12
12 Posted 27/07/2014 at 12:09:48
Beardsley would have flourished in the more fluid systems of modern football; IMHO one of the best players to play for Everton and on his day was worth the price of the ticket. My abiding memory was the 3-0 demolition of Man U @ Old Trafford, where he ran the game.
13 Posted 27/07/2014 at 11:59:27
You only have to look at Chelsea's striker buying woes since Drogba to see buying World Star Strikers doesn't guarantee goals.
14 Posted 27/07/2014 at 12:16:18
(a) At least two youngsters tied to five year contracts come really good in the first year or so of the contract;
(b) Above are not sold by Kenwright;
(c) Some inspired signings are made of brilliant but injury prone players, or players ability but so much 'baggage' that no other club will touch them.
As for signing a player also coveted by one of the money clubs - forget it. Won't happen again in my lifetime. Note I have ruled out the billionaire take over; if that happens all bets are off!
15 Posted 27/07/2014 at 12:27:47
Yakubu was definitely a star signing when he came, shame about his injury. Can't say I was too excited when we got Fellaini as it looked like a panic buy, also breaking the transfer record for a defensive midfielder didn't really get the pulse racing.
I remember being excited with Tony Cottee at the time although his transfer coincided with the start of our 20 odd year demise.
Olivier Dacourt and Matteo Ferrari were quality signings but unfortunately took one brief look at us and eff'ed off sharpish.
16 Posted 27/07/2014 at 12:53:06
17 Posted 27/07/2014 at 14:19:56
Before he came along, I used to pretend to be Earl Barrett.
18 Posted 27/07/2014 at 16:40:02
19 Posted 27/07/2014 at 16:56:38
20 Posted 27/07/2014 at 16:51:46
I second Denis's shout for Anders Limpar as a player a lot of teams would have coveted, though his peak was during his time at Arsenal. That team may have been popularly categorized as 'the dogs of war' but there was a lot of silk to go with the steel and for a short time at least it seemed like the club could regain some of the prestige of the eighties.
21 Posted 27/07/2014 at 17:14:47
22 Posted 27/07/2014 at 19:38:46
A failed medical doesn't necessarily he's permanently jinxed.
Andy Gray failed a medical before his move to Wolves. More recently , Demba Ba did yet had 'success' at Newcastle and Chelsea.
He'd cost ٦.5m. At WORST that's ten million or so cheaper than Lukaku. His wages would surely be similar to Roms (that's a complete guess).
This would mean we'd have quite a lot of extra money to bolster the squad with some reasonable signings.
Obviously I would prefer Lukaku, but Remy could be a decent option.
I think Romelu has his heart set on a 'bigger' club than us.
23 Posted 27/07/2014 at 19:53:55
Havent you heard? There is no bigger club than us. It's all Sky bullshit that makes others think that way, honest like.
Trust me, Lee..................Are you under my spell yet?......
24 Posted 27/07/2014 at 20:30:26
The only other team mooted is Real Madrid and to me that sounds like fantasy. Wolfsburg? They came 5th last year so why go to them? Unless Mourinho decrees otherwise, I'd say we're still favourites. Sky have also suspended betting with us favourites.
25 Posted 27/07/2014 at 20:36:23
I certainly want him here, but there's a nagging doubt of will his heart belong to Everton, or will he view us as a means to an end. If he gives 100% that's all that matters I suppose, and if a CL club come in for him after a year or two and buy him for substantially more than we paid for him, all well and good.
I don't think we should get too confident of signing him though, there's plenty of time for it to go pear shaped!
26 Posted 27/07/2014 at 21:24:10
27 Posted 27/07/2014 at 22:13:33
28 Posted 27/07/2014 at 22:39:23
I just wanted to mention Lee Courtiff's #22 point about players who've failed medicals and gone on to have great careers. Kanu. He had a hole in his heart and he had a fantastic career afterwards.
29 Posted 27/07/2014 at 22:52:27
I'm convinced we will sign Lukaku in the end.
30 Posted 27/07/2014 at 22:58:48
31 Posted 27/07/2014 at 23:01:36
32 Posted 28/07/2014 at 10:55:29
As for us, yes, would be great to see us pull off a top signing for a change. But I remember even the Kanchelskis deal nearly fell apart due to a disagreement between United and his former club, so even then we could never seem to sign players quickly without any hitches. Same with Lukaku. I still expect him to sign but just hope it's not right on the deadline day (i.e. after we've played Chelsea), which wouldn't surprise me.
34 Posted 01/08/2014 at 00:54:36
35 Posted 01/08/2014 at 01:52:57
36 Posted 01/08/2014 at 02:39:03
I always played as Andy King as a kid playing football and tried so many times to score that off balance volley
37 Posted 01/08/2014 at 07:39:12
Going back a few years, I was really excited by Bob Latchford's signing, but only because he was an established goal scorer with Birmingham. My concern then was that he and Trevor Francis were a terrific double act. One would not survive without the other. Thankfully for us, this was not the case with Bob Latchford. Not sure about Trevor Francis though. He seemed to lose his way after his time with Birmingham. I recall he had some minor successes with Nottingham Forest.
38 Posted 01/08/2014 at 08:46:30
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