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Looking forwards (silly season begins)

by   |   26/05/2015  Comments (60)  jump

Thought I'd get the first of these ilk of articles in for the summer in a bid to have something to get excited about. Even if it is the sort of excitement usually reserved for Football Manager-playing schoolboys, if it distracts me from the painful drudgery of last season then I'm all for it. Most of the transfer targets I'm going to suggest are picked up lazily from tabloid nonsense or are my own daydreamings and, as such, all of them are total speculation...

So here we go. Martinez has said a couple of times that we will be looking for mainly 3 or 4 players to come in this season and has also said what positions a couple of them will be. A number 10, a centre back and a wide player. We can speculate on the 4th but I reckon most probably a CF or possibly even another MC. I reckon that we will have around £20m to spend if none of our big assets get sold.

No 10

We have been crying out for more creativity in the middle for a while and given Barkley's depressing efforts this season we cannot wait for him to live up to the media hype.

Will Hughes - A livewire and recent mainstay of the U21 international team. with Derby failing to get promoted he will almost certainly head to the Premier League this summer. Looks to possess creativity and good technique but will be overpriced most likely at £10-15m which is a lot for someone yet to perform consistently at a higher level.

Nabil Fekir - High quality player who would provide goals and assists. Sadly an excellent season with Lyon has probably garnered him admirers with deeper pockets than us who will be able to pay his £15m+ price tag.

Georginio Wijnaldum - Has been in excellent form for PSV for a few seasons with pace, trickery and the ability to spot a pass. Could likely be much sought after this summer. Would be a coup if we got him and possibly cost £10m+

Gregoire Defrel - A less glamourous option but someone we've been linked to a few times. Similar remit, young, fast and with a few tricks ups his sleeve. Possibly more of a winger than a central player.

Gerard Deulofeu - Martinez distanced himself from this move recently due to Barcelona's embargo but it would still be popular for many blues. If it did happen I'd like to see him more as a second striker no.10 than a winger as it would give him more freedom and his defensive work is poor. At £8-10m would surely be good business for the future.

Centre back

Ideally a left sided one as both Jagielka and Stones are right footed. Again we conceded from a diagonal ball against Spurs and someone dominant in the air would be high up my list.

Virgil van Dijk - The young dutchman stands at 6 ft 4 so certainly is a physical specimen. he is comfortable on the ball though still untested at a higher level. If available for £8m or so i think he would be a great purchase and would add a lot at set pieces from both ends. Also left footed.

Nicolas N'Koulou - A more experienced option and probably the better footballer. Would come cheaper too and would be an easy first choice if he were not a tad on the small side at 5ft 11. Having said that he has a great leap and is very decent in the air. Possibly available for £6m.

Jonny Evans - Not my cup of tea but a very experienced player who is only just coming into his peak years as a defender. Our Manchester United rejects have done pretty well for the most part though the idea remains a bit unsavoury. Tyler Blackett has also been linked on loan which seems even less inviting.

Micah Richards - Once looked like the great young hope but failed to deliver. Amazingly he's only 26 and has his best years ahead of him presumably in the Premiership where he is tipped to return to. Would be able to fill in at RB too and might be a decent option to back up Stones and Jagielka.

Kara Mbodj - Another giant at almost 6ft 4 and has been in top form in the Belgian league though I'm not sure how much that impresses. Is quite highly thought of and we have been linked a few times with a £5m move.


A winger

Right or left? Possibly both. Pienaar looks to be fairly spent and McGeady has impressed few. Mirallas seems our only true wide player and he may not even last the summer.

Aaron Lennon - Surprised a lot of us with his impressive work ethic and would probably be a no-brainer were it not for the likelihood of Levy shafting us for money when we have so little to spend. Hopefully he seems impressed enough by us to hold out and force Levy's hand...unlikely.

Bakary Sako - Has done very well for Wolves in the championship this year and has a scoring rate for the last three seasons of 1 in 3 which is very tidy. He has the pace and physique to makes things happen and is also out of contract this summer though reportedly looking for £50-60k. Might just be worth it.

Nolito - Memorably tore us apart in a pre-season friendly a few years ago and has impressed a lot of people for Celta Vigo since then. Would probably be highly sought after and too expensive at £15m+.

Adnan Januzaj - The mercurial young Belgian may be out on loan next season and i would be tempted ONLY if we could secure a reasonable purchase price otherwise i don't really see the point and it may well turn into another Atsu. Although i rate Adnan higher than the young Ghana winger.

Rafa Silva - Seen almost nothing of this Portuguese kid but we have been linked with him and watched him a few times and apparently he's pretty handy. If he's as good as his namesake David then he might be worth the reported £10m price tag.

Other positions

Tom Cleverley will continue to get linked and people would probably be more in favour of it now than they were a couple of months ago as his form has picked up alot since Sherwood came in. Personally i could do without him and think I would prefer to take Sergi Roberto on loan from Barcelona. He will not make it there but has more attacking flair from defensive midfield than Cleverley and would give us a different option from McCarthy, Barry and Besic.

Goalkeeper is another position we have been linked with others in and the targets have reportedly included Nyland, Heaton from Burnley, David Marshall and Fabricio Agosto from Deportivo. I don't have 100% faith in Howard and he has had some poor moments this year but for me we have bigger worries still and I'd like to see Robles given more chances before we splash on a new keeper.

Finally a new striker. I don't think we have the spare cash to make a proper striker signing though the likes of Javier Hernandez could be tempting. Much more likely is that we get someone on loan unless perhaps we can persuade Danny Ings to come to Goodison who i think would do a good job as a support to or possible replacement for Lukaku.

So a quick round-up of some of the people we have been linked to. No doubt the list will be totally different from the one sat inside Martinez's highly guarded transfer HQ bunker but from what he's said the positions should be pretty similar.

If I were to have my imaginary £20m to spend I'd go for:

Deulofeu - £9m
Lennon - £6m
N'Koulou - £5m
Ings - Free
Sergi Roberto - loan

Highly, highly speculative i know but i reckon a lot of people would be happy with that and it might even see us sneak into the top ten next season!

Please don't bother to tell me I'm playing FM and wasting everyone's time as I already know and don't care. Please do bother to give up some of the ridiculous rumours you've heard and who you'd like to come in to perk this team up.

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Reader Comments (60)

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Amit Vithlani
1 Posted 27/05/2015 at 18:27:27
Some interesting names Sam, you should be doing some scouting for the club. The only point I would make is that does Del boy have the experience and maturity to be a 10?
Mark Riding
2 Posted 27/05/2015 at 18:38:22
Januzai ( loan )
Aaron Lennon - perm deal.
Johnny Evans

ThatÂ’s your lot. Get used to it.

Phil Walling
3 Posted 27/05/2015 at 18:39:26
Sorry not to take up the baton, Sam, but the only signing I want to see is that of a new manager. Martinez could sign Messi and heÂ’d fuck him up !
Colin Glassar
4 Posted 27/05/2015 at 18:43:50
Del will be a blue in the summer. Ignore RobertoÂ’s sound bites about Barca and transfer bans.
Nigel Gregson
6 Posted 27/05/2015 at 18:53:28
Colin ! you know something we don't ??? please share !!
Dave Pritchard
7 Posted 27/05/2015 at 18:55:26
Spurs have reportedly bid 㾸 million for Ings so not sure where your free transfer comes from.
Gavin Johnson
9 Posted 27/05/2015 at 20:31:18
Good article Sam, I like articles like this as IÂ’m prone to go all football manager myself thinking all the time of possible new signings.

Good to see youÂ’ve added Will Hughes into the mix. HeÂ’ll be a great signing for someone but canÂ’t see us going for him unless we had a major outgoing. Steve McClarenÂ’s in talks with the Barcodes so can see Hughes being their big summer signing.

Clive Rogers
10 Posted 27/05/2015 at 21:05:15
Mark #2,

Cleverley has dropped a clear hint that he will be staying at Villa and I can't see a deal for Lennon for various reasons. We have become a club that is finding it difficult to attract the right kind of player.

Steavey Buckley
11 Posted 27/05/2015 at 21:23:58
I would hate to wake up on Saturday on the first day of next season, and find that it is basically the same team that got beat so easily on the last day of last season against Spurs.
Colin Glassar
12 Posted 27/05/2015 at 21:36:14
Verbal agreement in December between all three parties Nigel. LetÂ’s hope it happens.
Michael Winstanley
14 Posted 27/05/2015 at 21:37:57
Good fun James.

Deulofeu can come back and as a winger. Excitement.

IÂ’m not sure on what type of centre half weÂ’re after? WeÂ’ve got Browning and Galloway possibly a season or so away from being classed as proper back up.

Whoever we get isnÂ’t going to get much game time as neither Jags or Stones are going to want to be sitting on the bench, both need to have excellent seasons with the Euros coming up.

Would you have Johnny Evans as back up for a couple of million?

I have no idea who is available for the No 10 spot or if theyÂ’d want to join us but IÂ’m expecting a decent signing for some reason. Martinez has said as much in his recent interview, he knows what he wants, I just hope he knows who he wants.

John Crawley
15 Posted 27/05/2015 at 21:43:51
Sam youÂ’ve missed out Konoplyanka from your list of wingers. Given that heÂ’s available on a free I think itÂ’s a no brainer to go for him.
Sam Hoare
16 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:01:52
Dave 7- Goes to show that free transfers are never free! If he decided to come to us at the end of his contract then apparently the tribunal fee would be around 4-5m but by all accounts heÂ’s going to the dark side.

Phil 3- come on Phil, we know youÂ’re not super keen on the gaffer but play along....

John 15- Yes, heÂ’s one of many linked names who slipped my mind. Apparently his wage demands are exorbitant and I actually think Sako would fit in much more quickly if we were to go down the Â’free transferÂ’ route...

Dave Williams
17 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:26:12
Colin, you have been right in the past so fingers crossed youÂ’ve done it again.

We need someone to inject a bit of passion and fight too but there arenÂ’t many around. Defour would do me if he is over his injuries.

Terence Leong
18 Posted 28/05/2015 at 02:07:54
Jonny Evans for a couple of million is worth the gamble, and actually, a steal. I think he can regain his form. HeÂ’s still in his mid-20s.

I am not sure how Cleverley will improve the squad, and his hint at Villa is basically good PR. HeÂ’s a free agent in June, and basically selling himself. And if he is keen to move to Everton, thatÂ’s agent speak for "time to see who can outbid the other".

Eugene Ruane
19 Posted 28/05/2015 at 06:07:44
Phil Walling (3) - "Sorry not to take up the baton, Sam, but the only signing I want to see is that of a new manager"


Well youÂ’ve certainly kept that quiet.

Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 28/05/2015 at 13:49:31
It would be interesting if ToffeeWeb kept a list of all the players we will be rumoured to be looking at between now and the end of August, it will be close to a hundred and hopefully we will sign five or six decent players, if we are lucky, or maybe not so lucky if we have to sell one of our better players first.
Michael Ward
21 Posted 28/05/2015 at 19:31:12
I am someone who gets addicted to transfer news in the post/pre season. I know this is a strange concept from an Evertonian but im all for it starting early. How about Nathan Redmond donÂ’t understand why we didnÂ’t go after him before young English and looks a decent prospect
Andy Crooks
23 Posted 28/05/2015 at 22:26:53
Sam, you love writing this sort of stuff. Some ToffeeWebers hate it, I love it, what else will we talk about all summer.

Evans is a good shout. HeÂ’s a combative leader with good years ahead of him. He is prone to the odd hilarious howler which is why some Evertonians donÂ’t want him. However, that is one reason we might get him. If that tendency is sorted out we could have a really good centre half for years to come.

Geoffrey Risebrow
24 Posted 28/05/2015 at 22:15:23
I donÂ’t want players who canÂ’t even get into a distinctly average Man Utd team! Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are useless so that doesnÂ’t say a lot for Evans! Januzaj is unproven. Cleverley could come good to be fair.

Lennon played a fantastic role for us but I wouldnÂ’t sign him because he doesnÂ’t create or score enough goals. I hope your right about Deulofeu, Colin. Danny Ings would certainly complement Rom nicely in my opinion.

Colin Glassar
25 Posted 28/05/2015 at 22:38:32
Del has been sent back to Barca after being called everything under the sun by a not too happy Seville manager. Come back to us Gerard where you will be loved and appreciated.
Geoffrey Risebrow
26 Posted 28/05/2015 at 22:43:06
What happened at Seville, Colin?
Colin Glassar
27 Posted 28/05/2015 at 22:50:59
The manager said heÂ’s a brilliant talent but heÂ’s a selfish, immature little bugger who wonÂ’t get very far in the game with his attitude. It was in the Echo but I read the original (in Spanish) in Marca or As and itÂ’s far stronger then the EchoÂ’s version.

The ladÂ’s finished as far as Barca are concerned. Luis Enrique doesnÂ’t rate him as first team material and after this ringing endorsement I canÂ’t see him going to another Spanish club.

I was told before Christmas that a, verbal, €10M deal between Everton and Barca was agreed on. Martinez is being very cautious as Barca pulled out of another loan deal in the summer at the last minute.

David Hallwood
28 Posted 28/05/2015 at 22:48:43
Nice article, Sam, and I stand back and admire your research (no irony intended), nevertheless it is a parlour game.

One of the least favourite aspect of being a football fan is the daily tittle tattle linking us with the world and his mother. We even have our own Rumour Mill, which I sometimes post something facetious which is usually removed within hours!

For all the tabloid links and wish lists the reality is that we’ll probably get a player that’s off the radar; was Fellaini or Bily or Besic on anyone (tabloid or fan) wish list. Who would I like? There’s a fella that plays for Barca called Messi – now he IS a Number 10.

Geoffrey Risebrow
29 Posted 28/05/2015 at 23:07:20
Fingers crossed then. McGeady and Atsu certainly havenÂ’t been upto it although I do think McGeady has ability.
Patrick Murphy
31 Posted 28/05/2015 at 23:18:13
I hope we steer well clear of Del Boy. IÂ’m still trying to work out why so many have such a high opinion of him; heÂ’s a one-trick pony who doesnÂ’t work very hard and is most definitely not a team player.

If he does arrive at Goodison, I hope itÂ’s a loan as we canÂ’t afford to waste too much money on yet another passenger.

Nicholas Ryan
32 Posted 28/05/2015 at 23:27:11
Patrick ... Â’heÂ’s a one-trick pony who doesnÂ’t work very hard and is most definitely not a team player...Â’ Why are we talking about Raheem Sterling on an Everton thread!!
Patrick Murphy
33 Posted 28/05/2015 at 23:42:06
Nicholas I donÂ’t like him either although at least he scores on the odd occasion.
Colin Glassar
34 Posted 28/05/2015 at 23:41:07
You have to admit it though Patrick, every time the lad started to run at the oppo everyone starting getting up off their seats and craning their necks in anticipation.

Although IÂ’m not a huge fan of his but I donÂ’t doubt his innate talent and box office potential. The goal against Arsenal was pure genius and if we could get him to do that on a more consistent basis then weÂ’d have a little gem on our hands.

Patrick Murphy
35 Posted 28/05/2015 at 23:46:39
Colin, IÂ’ll admit that he did get the fans up off their seats many many times only to sit back down again as he failed to get the ball across or took a shot that wasnÂ’t on.

However, I do agree his goal at the Emirates was special but we already have Mirallas who can be just as infuriating and lacking in the team ethic on occasion. I wouldnÂ’t mind another loan for Delboy but spending 㾶M on him could prove troublesome.

Colin Glassar
36 Posted 28/05/2015 at 23:52:38
Maybe a loan would be the best solution but IÂ’ve been told heÂ’s dead set against another loan (like Lukaku last summer). HeÂ’s said he wants, and needs, some stability in his life to develop as a footballer (read that in a Spanish paper Â’el paisÂ’) and isnÂ’t interested in another loan deal.

Like I said, IÂ’m yet to be convinced by him.

Sam Hoare
37 Posted 29/05/2015 at 08:00:36
The thing with Deulofeu (and I wasnÂ’t his biggest fan) is that he does have undoubted talent and the ability to make things happen from nothing. This is the sort of creativity we badly missed last season.

HeÂ’s nowhere near the finished product and if he were we could not afford him but he has some raw unteachable skills. If he could get settled, mature and apply himself then he could be a superstar.

But itÂ’s a big if and 10m does seem quite a lot when you think that Stoke got Bojan for free (why were we not in for him?!)

On balance id be happy if Gerard came as he would offer us something we donÂ’t have enough of but the onus will be on Roberto to bring the best out of him.

Amit Vithlani
38 Posted 29/05/2015 at 10:33:00
Ironically Gerry was one player I thought Martinez used well. Against packed defences he was a menace and his close control was very good. End product a major issue but he is younger than Lennon who has the same issue. 㾶M for Del vs ٤M for Lennon – no contest, although in a dream scenario we could get both, and use Super Kev more centrally.
Laurie Hartley
39 Posted 29/05/2015 at 08:39:10
Virgil van Dijk – yes please – what a player!
Gerard Deulofeu – yes please (although I really like Lennon)
Bakary Sako – oh yes Sam!! – a left footed left winger.

One for each side and one in the middle.

That would do me.

Stones, Van Djik, Jagielka
Coleman, McCarthy, Besic, Baines
Deulofeu, Lukaku, Sako

As Harold said on another thread – I’m getting excited.

ItÂ’s a form of insanity, this you know, but it sure as anything beats being miserable.

Thanks Sam for restoring my will to post.

Winston Williamson
41 Posted 29/05/2015 at 13:10:46
Delboy also tore Stoke (at home) to pieces. This season, no Delboy, and we lose the game. HeÂ’d be a great addition to the youngsters we already have.

I like Van Djik too. They would be great additions. But we still would need a No 10.

Patrick Murphy
42 Posted 29/05/2015 at 13:42:37
Konoplyanka at a good age, he is 26 in September, as Jamie mentioned earlier is a must have type of player for Everton. He works hard, can beat his man and would be an exciting addition but, as ever, will we be able to get him? I heard a rumour that Stoke City have him on their wish-list... probably like most Premier League clubs.
Sean Patton
44 Posted 29/05/2015 at 14:16:18
Personally I would go all out for Cech and give him what he wants; the difference in having a goalkeeper of his ability and stature would be huge. 㾶M and 𧴜k a week – whatever it takes as it doesn't matter who else Martinez buys – if Howard remains in goal, we will never progress.

Seeing as that it is unlikely, and going off ColinÂ’s ear to the ground, I think the recruits could be something like:

Deulofeu for ٦-10M
NÂ’Koulou for ٤-8M
Henen for 𧺬k
Oliver Torres for 㾶-15M.

Mark Pierpoint
45 Posted 29/05/2015 at 14:49:09
I don't think that there is a great deal we could offer Cech though. He will want to be playing CL football. Let's be realistic, there will be clubs queuing up who can offer him that. Real Madrid would be my guess, particularly with Rafa at the helm.
Geoffrey Risebrow
47 Posted 29/05/2015 at 15:54:50
I too wasnÂ’t overly impressed with Deulofeu but he is still young and I did see some potential in him. I would look for someone else if there is somebody better out there. LetÂ’s hope our club scouts know what their doing!
James Flynn
48 Posted 29/05/2015 at 16:16:02
On Dellboy - WasnÂ’t just the manager at Sevilla ripped on him. Sevilla executive did, also. Real easy to look up.

Funny, his goal against Arsenal referred to. A wonderful goal. My best memory of him was BarkleyÂ’s goal against Newcastle:

That chest-pass under pressure, sent Barkley on his way, was when I thought, "This kid!" Much more so than the Arsenal goal. Yet, heÂ’s embarrassed himself at Sevilla.

So, he comes in. He up one flank, Mirallas up the other. Leaves Baines/Coleman attacking dead, no? OK. Gibson manages a season healthy? Oh yeah, chance after chance for the two of them.

Lot of "ifs" in there, though. The big "IF" is Dellboy pulling his head out and applying himself.

Away from that . . . . Petr Cech? Huh? HeÂ’s 41 years-old, at a club in for all honors, being paid a Chelsea wage, and his manager wants him to stay.

Better Robles gets worked into the squad. This, IÂ’m certain about.

Petr Cech . . . .God help us.

Mike Childs
49 Posted 29/05/2015 at 19:45:26
Great stuff Sam I always enjoy your comments as well. I like your choices but as a novice the one thing I have learnt is whatever a player is worth (I.e. Lennon ٤ mil) Levy always seems to squeeze at least ٠ mil more.
Sam Hoare
50 Posted 29/05/2015 at 22:50:13
Thanks Mike. YouÂ’re right about Levy. Canny operator who we could learn a thing from when it comes to selling.

Now that it looks like Mirallas is leaving we might need an extra winger.

Konoplyanka is a good shout but IÂ’m also hearing Nolito may not be as expensive as first thought. Athletico may have bid for him and that might be the end of it but heÂ’d be a great player to bring in.

Martinez has been saying that targets will be brought in early so hopefully all this gossip will turn to reality soon. I do think Bako would be a very sensible free signing. Wolves fans loved him.

Paul Kelly
51 Posted 30/05/2015 at 07:49:19
I would like to see Del Boy back. The lad had a touch of class, game changer. I remember him putting in a few low whipped in crosses only for no one to be savvy enough to get on the end of them.

Always that player that gets you excited when heÂ’s on the ball as you know he has it in his locker to do the spectacular.

He definitely has more to offer than what weÂ’ve seen of him and the only one we may have a chance of getting imo.

Good post, Sam, keep them coming.

Trevor Peers
52 Posted 30/05/2015 at 21:25:34
Apparently we're in talks with Bakary Sako, the Wolves forward, he wants 㿼,000 a week though! According to Tribal Football 12 hours ago. Looks good on YouTube!
Patrick Murphy
53 Posted 30/05/2015 at 21:38:50
Trevor, I think 㿼k a week is way outside our budget for a 27-year-old prospect with no Premier League experience. HeÂ’s been at Wolves for 3 years and scored 36 times in 118 appearances.
Trevor Peers
54 Posted 30/05/2015 at 21:47:06
Yeah I agree Patrick, no idea if itÂ’s true or not. WouldnÂ’t surprise me if it was true though. Roberto might fancy him.
Sam Hoare
55 Posted 30/05/2015 at 22:00:45
Trevor/Patrick, I think itÂ’s more likely to be 㿞/60k a week which is still a lot but he could be worth it. Wolves fans rated him very highly and 1 goal per 3 matches for a wide player is pretty decent. Plus heÂ’s left footed.

IÂ’d be tempted. You could probably shift him on for ٣m plus next Summer if it didnÂ’t work out.

Trevor Peers
56 Posted 30/05/2015 at 22:06:33
He would come on a free transfer as well Sam. Would be appealing to BK that.
Andrew Ellams
57 Posted 30/05/2015 at 22:45:43
Sako is 27 with no top level experience. What the hell qualifies him for 㿼k per week?
James Stewart
58 Posted 30/05/2015 at 23:48:27
The thought of RM in the transfer market really scares me.

One name that I really hope we do sign is NÂ’Koulou. Classy operator and at ٣-6M he is a steal.

Colin Glassar
59 Posted 31/05/2015 at 22:23:44
Sully Muntari is the latest nightmare candidate to be linked to us. 4ft 9, at least 38 and a pile of shite to boot. HeÂ’s on the books of Milan but hasnÂ’t played for years. Give me JB any day.
Walter Kelly
60 Posted 02/06/2015 at 16:53:30
Andy Crooks (23)

Â’Â’Evans is a good shout. He's a combative leader with good years ahead of him. He is prone to the odd hilarious howler which is why some Evertonians don't want him. However, that is one reason we might get him. If that tendency is sorted out we could have a really good centre half for years to come.Â’Â’

Yes, I can see how you might think that Martinez might be the man to sort that out, the same Martinez that has transformed one of the best defences in the league into a sieve

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