Everton: Still a sell-to-buy club?

David Booth 02/08/2017 142comments  |  Jump to last
Despite the fact that we got a lot of our transfer business done amazingly early, any optimism that was generated is now dissipating and it looks as though we are in danger of leaving things too late... yet again.

It seems reasonable to claim that we have only so far spent the Lukaku money and that his departure was arranged long before the deal was announced – enabling us to buy early and create the impression we were ahead of the game for once, with money to spend. However, despite the unprecedented excitement that generated, it now occurs to me that we have left the most important bit of business right until the last minute, ie, replacing Lukaku himself.

This is now beginning to look like some very badly-managed business, in that although we have bought some much-needed replacements in key areas, the most key of those was finding a new centre forward? Anyone who thinks that Rooney and Sandro can fill the gap is deluding themselves.

Assuming we knew Lukaku was going long before we made the news public, why did we not use that time to secure his replacement? Why are our much-publicised targets (Giroud, Benteke, Dembele), not already weeks into their new career as an Evertonian? Worryingly, despite being the first to dip our toes in the water and make significant signings this pre-season, the new season is less than a fortnight away and we are now dragging our heels.

We have already played one competitive game – and struggled noticeably up front – and will be playing another away at Ruzomberok tomorrow. Then there is the small matter of our league programme beginning a week on Sunday! Yet despite spending a lot of money and bringing in players in virtually every position, we are seriously and dangerously deficient up front, with time fast running out to integrate anyone for our demanding start to the new season.

Even more worryingly, for anyone who thinks we have suddenly joined the moneyed ranks, we have only spent what Lukaku earned for us. And having disposed of that, our momentum has mysteriously ground to a halt. Despite a lot of talk and justified optimism that the acquisition of our two alleged principal targets, Sigurdsson and Giroud would be well done and dusted, it has gone suspiciously quiet.

If we have offered £45 million for Sigurdsson, why the delay in adding the extra few million allegedly being asked for to get that deal over the line? Similarly, what is happening with Giroud, where the trail has also gone very suspiciously cold? Is it because we first have to sell Barkley, McCarthy and Niasse? The longer this impasse goes on, the more I believe that to be the case.

I am not suggesting this is a bad thing. Indeed it is extremely good business as we seek to transform this team from a Martinez to a Koeman one. If so, it is also very prudent and pragmatic on Moshiri’s behalf, particularly in view of the fact that he has cleared our debt and also set us en-route for a new stadium – which will quite clearly require a huge amount of separate funding.

But right now, having witnessed an anticlimactically inept display against some hard-working but limited Slovakians last week, my enthusiasm has suffered a severe setback. All my excited hopes of a new dawn are already crashing back down to earth. We seem set on Sigurdsson, a player I have always liked and who I have always thought would be a great fit for Everton. But it is very clear that we more than urgently need a centre-forward. Why, then, have both of these been left so dangerously late?

I wonder how many other Evertonians share my concerns that only half the job has been done so far, and it's the second half which is by far the most important? Our season requires us to hit the ground running more than any other I can remember, after decades of negligence and decline. We have got to get all our ducks in a row to maximise our start, create confidence in the team, and fire a shot across the bows of the six teams above us right from the outset. But right now, after believing we would have everything in place, I am seriously concerned that we are again going to fall short.

I sincerely hope the next day or so will see us get a prime goal scorer announced and then hopefully Sigurdsson to follow. Sorry to sound cynical, but déjà vu looming large here and it looks as though we remain a sell-to-buy football club…

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Ray Robinson
1 Posted 02/08/2017 at 15:33:49
It's an entirely valid question and I agree that we are leaving getting Lukaku's replacement(s) dangerously late but I don't agree with the basic premise. I believe that we have the money – just that it's so much more difficult to acquire top class strikers and therefore it takes so much more time. I do believe that we've missed out big style on Iheanacho but, apart from him, whom might we have signed?

Morata wouldn't come to Everton (not in the Champions League), Arsenal are probably waiting on the fate of Sanchez before they'd be prepared to release Giroud, Chelsea on the future of Costa before they sell Batshuayi (and even then would they sell?), Celtic are adamant they won't sell Dembele etc, etc. Who else is there that we could reasonably go for who is a proven goalscorer? Every top club is after a proven striker.

I believe that we do have the money - indeed have spent an awful lot already despite the transfer fees appearing to balance out. That's been discussed to death on other threads. It's just so much more difficult to acquire top-notch goalscorers.

I guess if suddenly one materialises after Barkley is sold, some will say that we had to sell first. If one is bought before Barkley goes, some will say that we knew we had the money coming anyway. So we may never know the truth. Whatever the case, the most important thing is that we strengthen our forward options – otherwise, a potentially very good transfer window will have been seriously undermined.

John G Davies
2 Posted 02/08/2017 at 15:42:58
Mysteriously Suspiciously...

Take it easy, David, all will be revealed if we are a sell-to-buy club when the window closes.

Terry White
3 Posted 02/08/2017 at 15:43:25
Why not have a go for Costa since he is leaving Chelsea? He may well want to go back to Spain but I would not mind having him for a season.
Stan Schofield
4 Posted 02/08/2017 at 15:44:51
The recent signings seem good ones, so that's encouraging. Set against that, what were considered by the football world to be our three best players – Stones, Lukaku, and now Barkley – have been signed, or apparently pursued (in Barkley's case) by top-6 sides.

In some sense, we still seem to be a 'feeder club' for the top teams, despite all the talk of big ambitions and a new stadium. I almost get the feeling that if and when our new signings, or younger players who've come through the academy system, make an impact, we'll sell them to a top club. I hope I'm wrong in this, and it's just a feeling that's difficult to shake off, but if it comes to pass, I won't be surprised.

Although we talk about returning to the big time, it's going to be a long haul if it happens, and it'll require consistent success on the pitch before we can retain our best and recruit the best. There's little sign of that happening as yet, despite the good home results of last season.

So, yes, the label 'selling club' is a difficult one to get rid of.

Ray Robinson
5 Posted 02/08/2017 at 15:52:09
Stan, I'd argue that the food chain is such that almost every club is a "selling club". Spurs couldn't resist Bale's leaving; United Ronaldo's; Liverpool Suarez; Arsenal van Persie (and possibly now Sanchez).

Aside from Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG, City and Chelsea who don't appear to operate by normal business rules, who isn't a selling club? Let's see if Liverpool can hang on to Coutinho if Barcelona seriously put their minds to it!

Anthony Hughes
6 Posted 02/08/2017 at 15:53:13
Yes, we probably have sold to buy but, for me, we probably still need to spend another £90 million.

If we eventually get Sigurdsson (which I don't think is a priority) for £50 million, we still need a striker, left back competition for Baines, and some pace out wide (somebody who can go past his defender and makes things happen), and some cover at centre-half.

David Booth
7 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:05:36
Anthony, much as I like him, I don't think Sigurdsson is a priority either (especially with Klaassen and Davies and until yesterday, Dowell to call upon) and would much rather we put 'that' £50m, or more, towards a real top notch centre forward.

The delay in doing so is baffling in the extreme.

Or is it...

Stan Schofield
8 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:08:19
Ray @5: I think you're spot on there. But for me, Everton hitting the big time is not just being like Spurs (who haven't won anything as yet), or Arsenal and Man Utd (who now seem 'good cup teams'). Hitting the big time means returning to where we used to be, at the top of the food chain, winning the league, to be like Man City etc.

That's what 'top' means. It doesn't mean being like Liverpool, being 'up there' but not the best, not the elite. It's not just Liverpool we need to beat, it's everyone! The talk and ambition is to be at the top, and there's hope, but there's only scant sign of it at the moment, and it'll be a long haul.

Anyway, that's what it means to me. But I automatically think of Everton like that, like the Everton of Young and Ball. So I won't be satisfied that we're 'top' until the likes of Lukaku has ambition to play for Everton.

Nitesh Kanchan
9 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:17:08
Terry, those 3 key players themselves wanted out. Stones put in a transfer request, Lukaku had been bragging about Champions League football, and now Barkley wants to go because of the fear Koeman won't play him. Now who is to blame for that?

It is just a game – players will come and go. At the most, any player will stay for 2-3 years in future and then their heads will be turned either by money, new challenges, differences, family, agents and many other things.

The Gerrard, Raul, Buffon, Del Piero, Totti days of longevity have gone for me.

Michael Penley
10 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:22:49
Why is it taken for granted by every Blue that Sandro is not a good replacement for Lukaku? He looked pretty good from what I saw of him.
Ray Robinson
11 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:25:39
Stan, I think that, even if we were to become one of the big teams by your definition, and even if we could persuade world stars to join us because we were winning things, we would still be a "feeder club" to one of the teams that I mentioned because we'd still operate (loosely) on commercial lines. Unless Moshiri can come up with funds, the likes of which Abramovich, Sheikh Mansour, Qatari owners etc can provide!
John Hughes
12 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:28:45
Talk about "Misery loves company"! As someone else has already pointed out, in a sense, every club sells to buy. It's how business works and that's what football is these days.

If you don't think Everton are making positive progress on all fronts compared to recent years then you are very hard to please and a tad unrealistic.

Ray Robinson
13 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:30:53
Michael (#10) – that thought has occurred to me too but I just don't see him being a focal point, operating down the middle consistently and that's where we appeared to have an enormous hole in the matches so far.

Last Thursday, even when he came on, we seemed to have nobody to cross to when we did get out wide. In fact we looked toothless – even in all the friendly matches, despite scoring in them all.

Kevin O'Regan
14 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:32:48
All clubs buy and sell all the time. Is Barca a selling club cause they sell Neymar? I think we, like all clubs, need to keep the books balanced and manage costs and sometimes that means selling a player.

There are a multitude of reasons a player will be sold. Darwin's theory: "survival of the fittest" is the red thread of much of life's movement and that includes football. I don't see this an an 'Everton' issue.

There are much bigger issues behind this to do with expectations, growth, change and what is perceived as success in our society.

Think I'll stop rambling here, 29°C in the office and time to go home.

Chris Williams
15 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:36:47
Barcelona is selling Neymar. Are they now a selling club too? They don't want to sell him any more than we wanted to sell Lukaku. They might even use that cash to buy some replacements. Does that make them a sell-to-buy club?

There are a couple of possible reasons that the initial momentum in our dealings has slowed down. One is that we are no longer dealing with willing sellers, witness the Sigurdsson saga, now hopefully in its end game. The same might be true of Giroud too, for example, who may not even want to come in the first place.

Another reason is that the availability of the players we want. Maybe that is dependent on other deals being completed. Who knows?

In fact we have no evidence that Giroud is on our list, other than the usual rumour mongering in the media. And one thing about quality strikers who fit our criteria is they're few and far between, and in demand, so not a quick deal.

One thing is likely, however, and that is Koeman and Walsh will have a good view of who they want. And they aren't telling so we'll need to wait and see. My bet is, though, that contact will have been made by now, if the club is as professional now as many are beginning to suspect.

Rumour has it that Barkley, Niasse and McCarthy, will also be on their way. If we bring in Sigurdsson, a left sided defender and a top striker, will the squad be stronger at the end of it all?

I tend to agree with Ray that everybody is a selling club; if the Arab potentates decide to flex their muscles, like with PSG and City. And they will probably find a way round any FFP issues. Money doesn't talk, it swears.

But to think that this is the most obvious conclusion about Everton's current transfer dealings is a step too far for me, given the other things at work in the market currently.

If we end up over the next several years in the top 3/4 on a regular basis, then maybe we can put such doubts to bed. But really, when it comes down to it, and the squad is stronger, and we're winning stuff, I'm not really arsed to be honest.

James Stewart
16 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:43:53
Not this again. In short, yes, we were – but that is not the case anymore.

We struggled without a striker until Sandro came on and impressed. Yes, we need another forward, but Sandro will surprise a lot of people this season. He scored more goals in La Liga than Neymar, FYI.

Rooney will also hit double figures as will Sigurdsson. That more than covers Rom's goals and we will be a much harder team to deal with when Sandro is up-top – Giroud or no Giroud.

Steavey Buckley
17 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:47:46
Everton have strengthened in one or two notable areas of the team without having a notable goal scorer and team with pace on both sides of the field.

Seeing Mirallas still in the team occupying the left hand berth does not fill me with optimism, when Everton's main rivals, Liverpool, have more pace and attacking threat than last season.

Without any notable pace upfront or real scoring threat, I can see Everton drawing their first home game against Stoke.

Jay Harris
18 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:51:55
What's not to like so far?

Yes, we desperately need a top goalscorer but we have seen the Martinez "bottle it" and aging squad transformed over the summer and I for one am more optimistic about the direction the club, management and squad are going than I have been in years.

So what if the books are fairly balanced with the costs of ins and outs? That is good management. In addition, we have reinforced what is arguably the best youth development program in the country.

It seems very petty to judge the club on one game in the Europa League and use that as a yardstick.

New players need time to gel and get to know each other.

We will not see the best of the summers work for at least 12 months but you can be sure we will be an improvement on last season.

Personally I am glad to see the back of "I'm too good for Everton" Lukaku and "Mr Inconsistent" Barkley himself. To my eyes, they were NOT our two best players – they were as bad as they were good.

John Pierce
19 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:13:23
Buy-to-sell is for me a dated, if not inappropriate phrase to use now. Most clubs now are operating under a sort of quasi-salary cap. The way clubs deal with the real increases in wages is to fund transfers in part now through running an academy for profit towards player trading profits.

Everton are now only starting to catch up to other academies who work well in this way. Chelsea are the very model that emphasises this approach. Stockpiling of talent, knowing maybe one amazing player comes through a decade. The rest are sold at a very decent profit to help offset purchases they make.

Everton do have a good reputation for bringing players through but that's distorted by the fact we aren't a very top top team. Look at many of the top six barely a youth player amongst them. We simply have more come through because are needs we greater and we couldn't compete in the market.

All of Moshiris documented actions tell me we have no need to sell first team players to fund a purchase. Clearance of debt, £60m credit with a Chinese bank. Increased commercial activity, all items that help sustain the club.

Financially we are fitter; sell to buy? Nah not for me.

Stan Schofield
20 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:19:48
Ray@11: Again, I wouldn't disagree. I suppose it depends on how we define 'selling club'. Every club sells. But the really big clubs don't consistently sell their 'best players' whilst they're still reaching their prime. Instead, they buy such players. Like we did in the 60s.

So, although the top clubs sell players, they also have a pattern of obtaining the best players whilst still in their prime or approaching their prime. If and when we do this, I'll stop thinking of us as a 'selling club'.

We were also a top club in the 80s, without the pattern of buying the top players. We did that by gelling as a team, big time. At the moment, I'm hoping that the good signings we're getting will enable us to similarly gel. If that happens, and we keep progressing that way, then we'll start attracting even better players, and could then progress to the top.

We're progressing at the moment, it's incremental, it'll take time to get to the top if we get there. However, if someone like Usmanov enters the stage, the whole process could be accelerated in the style of Man City and Chelsea. A modern day version of the John Moores era, or of the progress Liverpool eventually made because of TV winnings.

One things for sure, if we want to be at the very top, it'll require big money, as it always did, just on a bigger scale.

Ed Fitzgerald
21 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:20:31
No problem being a selling club if you are recruiting quality replacements. The lack of foresight shown by Koeman and Walsh in not securing a replacement for Lukaku is breathtaking, they have known (we all have, he told us as much himself) that he would be leaving for 12 months.

This should have been the priority not throwing £50 million for Gylfi. All those funds should have been earmarked for getting a forward. Rooney on £150k a week FFS, Sandro could be a good purchase but its potential we bought. I fear for us

John Otway
22 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:28:46
Cripes Ed. Fancy you being so much smarter than Koeman, Walsh, Ryazantsev and Moshiri. Looking forward to your vision for the new ground.
Michael Penley
23 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:34:12
What makes everyone so sure that Koeman wants to replace Lukaku? For what most people think is one of the best strikers in the league, the model of the lone striker in 4-5-1 formation didn't work amazingly well for us. We pumped balls up to him in the hope that he'd latch on to them, which he rarely did. Or we relied on wing play and counter-attacks to have any chance of scoring.

My guess is Koeman only played that way because we didn't have the players for anything else and that he wants a different approach, a more dynamic and interchanging front 3 combining with a midfield able to play through the middle and able to press with full intensity and in numbers. Sandro will suit us just fine.

Brian Williams
24 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:38:52
The "probable" reason for us not yet having secured the services of an out-and-out striker is the fact that he's not "yet" available. Not all major transfers do, or can, go through early in the window.

I'd say the feeling is almost unanimous that the business we've done so far is excellent; so, to think that Koeman and co have since become clueless, is stretching it a bit. Make your minds up when the window's closed.

Brent Stephens
25 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:44:30
Ed (#21) – let's see the transfer window close before premature hangings.
John Pierce
26 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:49:05
Michael, I'd agree with that premise. Horses for courses, Rom was bigged up by Koeman knowing this was his last season.

We got an excellent price for a player who I believe didn't fit in Koeman's usual dynamic.

I'd expect the evolution in tactics to be evident pronto. Because I'm not having it, Everton spend big just to be bored to death by dour pragmatism.

Chris Williams
27 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:53:11
Stan and Ray,

I totally agree it is a long haul. We saw the sixties and what happened there, and would love to see that happen again.

But the reality it took the best part of 3 years to win the league from John Moores taking over to winning it in 63. And the playing field was a lot more level then. We were 19th the season before he came in and 15th the season he came on board.

He fired the manager, got rid of Bobby Collins to the chagrin of the fans, and Catterick started to work his magic. An unpleasant, cold man, unpopular with many of his players, and seldom playing the game with the media.

In this league who knows? Koeman has said Champions League in three years, after Moshiri fired Martinez. He's overseen a right old clear out, unlike anything I've ever seen, and he's not finished.

We've recruited heavily on his watch and invested pretty heavily for the future in younger players too.

It all speaks of a sense of urgency to me. Players he wants, to play in a style and structure he believes in, and in urgently. In now.

Nothing to do with sell to buy. But it will be done in steps, as you've said, and it will take time. I wonder how many people will be disappointed with that, if they're pissed-off with the fact we haven't yet got a centre-forward in?

Phil Walling
28 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:58:46
All this talk of having 'strengthened in key positions' is just that. Talk. For before a ball is kicked in Premier League anger, who can tell ?

Certainly, we are short of a real striker as 'goals from midfield' may well prove a pipe dream – however crowded we are in that department.

Of the newcomers, only Pickford and Keane had decent seasons last time round. We all hope Rooney is not spent and that some of the unknowns will settle quickly to the British game.

Barkley is a gonner set to be replaced (eventually) by a very expensive Icelander so for me it's all up in the air. I'm backing 7th but then I always was an optimist!!!

Raymond Fox
30 Posted 02/08/2017 at 18:11:23
As per usual, an articulate contribution by Stan (#20).

I must admit at this point to be a little disappointed that we have not bought a couple more 'star' attacking players that would make us a serious threat to the usual top 6. There's still time of course to do that, but its gone mighty quiet recently apart from Sigurdsson. Maybe we do want to sign other quality players but cant attract them here, who knows.

Are we a selling club? Not by choice now I think, but if top players want to leave I think the sensible option is to sell, as trying to keep them against their will never works.

Ray Robinson
31 Posted 02/08/2017 at 18:16:18
Like I said on another thread some while ago, 7th would still represent progress for me provided we challenge the teams above us right to the end and finish up in close contention – unlike last season when we were isolated 15 points adrift of 6th place. That's a massive amount to make up in one go.

I agree that progress has to be incremental and that may mean year on year expenditure like this one over a number of seasons. Has Moshiri got deep pockets? That will prove if we're a "selling club" or not because we can't sell Lukaku again next year!

Of course, a cup win or two along the way would be fantastic too!

Stan Schofield
33 Posted 02/08/2017 at 18:24:56
Raymond, cheers!

Regarding a replacement for Lukaku, I agree with Michael @23. From the recent signings, plus the likelihood of Sigurdsson, maybe Koeman's going for a more rapid passing game like Man City do, with less dependence on a lone figure up front.

Although it wasn't that encouraging and we were ponderous against Ruzomberok last week, maybe (hopefully) it's just the time needed to gel. Sandro did impress, as did Klaassen in a couple of nice passing sequences. So hopefully we'll develop some trickier play going forward, instead of the one-dimensional stuff we were subjected to last season. Sigurdsson will surely help us achieve this.

Ray Robinson
34 Posted 02/08/2017 at 18:28:30
Tony (#32), totally agree – that would be the pairing that I would start with.
Tony Abrahams
35 Posted 02/08/2017 at 18:31:22
I honestly don't watch that much football anymore, but always read that Koeman's teams are all about pressing, and also thought that Lukaku doesn't really fit into this style of play.

But when Everton were an absolute shambles during the last few weeks of Martinez, Koeman's Southampton, came to Goodison and could only muster a draw. They had a lot of possession but didn't create an awful lot against a team who had stopped trying for their manager, so we might still be bored stiff for a while yet, John@26?

Chris Williams
36 Posted 02/08/2017 at 18:31:27
I'm with you, Tony. Still a good intelligent centre half and reads the game well. We can be a bit hasty in calling for players to be axed. Same with Baines.

As to the performance last Thursday, one of the stand out things for me was the number of one twos being played rapidly. I've not seen so many of them for a long time. Involving Klaassen, Gueye and Rooney, they were also prominent against Genk.

That could give a hint about the way we'll be playing next season.

Colin Glassar
37 Posted 02/08/2017 at 18:38:16
The best sell-to-buy club in the world is Atletico Madrid. Like someone said above, it's all about replacing quality with quality.
Drew O'Neall
38 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:00:01
Money is a finite resource, no matter how much you (we) have.

As others have said above, there is no doubt, an estate agent's chain is being constructed with various possible permutations to play out and us somewhere in the middle.

Sigurdsson is probably Koeman's number one target; however, whether we can go beyond (or even indeed spend) the £45m mooted in the press, is probably a matter of whether Barkley is sold before the end of the window. Not just because the revenue generated from the release of his registration might enable the transfer but also because, if we do have a £45m budget (or even a £75m budget) remaining and he remains an Everton player, we will have an adequate player in that position, despite the brinkmanship, at least for the coming season.

At that point we must turn our attentions away from Sigurdsson to a No 9 and put all our finances behind his capture.

The fact is we are not the masters of our own destiny while Barkley remains and, in the meantime, we must play this game with Swansea.

John G Davies
39 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:05:44
Koeman will not have noticed he has lost a 25-a-season goalscorer.

I am sure he will be eternally grateful that a few posters have pointed that out.

John Pierce
40 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:09:11
Tony (#35).

I'm not, after more than 2 decades or mediocrity, up for patience. The gift of a season of transition for Koeman, the clear support for him in the transfer market and our much documented chase for the highest paid coach in our history.

All of this makes for short shrift with me to get Everton qualifying for Europe, regularly, realistically challenging for honours and playing a style of football that we can start talking about again.

Personally he needs to stay in the top 7, go deep in all cup competitions. No excuses this season.

Oliver Molloy
41 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:16:53
Yes, we continue to sell to buy in my opinion. Rom two years left on his contract – 3 years when he agreed that, if Koeman's team did not qualify for Champions League, he could go and he did.

I see Neymar only had a year left on his Barcelona contract but PSG owners still prepared to pay close to £200 million for him and pay him one half of a million quid a week... Send them Barkley's good bits quick!

Tony Everan
42 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:27:33
I agree, top striker is a priority.

Nobody is saying Sandro can't be fantastic for us, but he isn't a direct replacement for Lukaku. I think Ronald is looking for an established centre forward like Giroud to get headed goals and provide a presence in the opposition box. This will allow our predatory midfielders Sigurdsson and Rooney to score from defensive lapses in and around their box. Or Sandro and Lookman if we are playing two up front.

I don't see anyone yet who can cause this type of trouble for opponents. It will be a case of rotation and horses for courses, but this centre-forward role needs filling and fast.

Dave Speed
43 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:32:26
Why do we have to have a 6-ft 6-in bloke at number 9? (sorry Dixie, Joe, Tommy, Dave, Latch et al, it's a Lukaku thing). That is the traditional view of Everton, the big feller in the middle and the winger or 2 sending a string of crosses over.

Look at the recent successful teams in terms of Premier League and Champions League. Ronaldo aside, it is hard to pick out more than one or two teams that play that way that have had recent success.

We need to look at smaller guys who are more mobile, ready to high press and turn the possession around higher up the pitch. Guys like Sandro. We also need clever guys, yes, like Rooney, Klaassen and Sigurdsson, who can fire in a pass or even make a dash into the box to throw defences off guard.

It's been said enough times that a lot of Lukaku's goals were not important or crucial. I don't know if it is true but, if it is, why are we still reading posts about "replacing Lukaku's goals"? We need people to score the goals that Lukaku didn't, like in the derbies, down at the Bridge, the Emirates, tearing a hole in Burnley, Bournemouth and a couple of others who we should have beaten – and so on. These goals are more likely to be scored by the lively guys who can keep it going for 90 minutes.

Ciarán McGlone
44 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:48:49
We've signed within our means. I happen to agree with the article in that the Lukaku moved was choreographed for effect – after all, Lukaku had been telling us for ages that he knew where he'd be playing next season. We all thought it was Chelsea, but his little bromance with Pogba now makes sense.

The players we've bought are solid top half players. They won't get us into the top four and neither will Koeman. I just hope for some football that makes me excited this season. Is it too much to ask?

Ray Robinson
45 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:55:24
Yes, Ciaran, it probably is. Perhaps you'd get more enjoyment if you stopped being so cynical.
Stan Schofield
46 Posted 02/08/2017 at 20:00:31
Ciaran, nobody knows whether we'll finish in the top-4.

Folks talk about the 'top-6' as if it's a club with fixed membership. In reality, it varies from season to season. Southampton and Leicester finished top-6 the season before last. We might readily finish top-4, or we might not.

Paul Gallagher
47 Posted 02/08/2017 at 20:15:08
Success this season would be 6th and a trophy, Europa, League Cup or FA cup. I hope we take the Europa and league cup seriously.

I think every club is a selling club barring Madrid who are top of the football food chain. I am concerned about Stekelenburg as a back up keeper should Pickford pick up any injuries. Willliams and Martina are liabilities.

I have said before Badstuber on a free might be worth a punt. I hope Koeman opts for Kenny at right back. A left back is required, as Baines best years are behind him at 33.

I agree with a few in here, Sigurdsson isn't a priority. We need to replace Lukaku. Iheanacho would be ideal, but Is having a medical with Leicester. Timo Werner I think would be a great signing.

Ciarán McGlone
48 Posted 02/08/2017 at 20:22:52

I've been a fan of this club for too long to be anything but cynical.

I hope I'm entirely wrong on my prognosis. I'll be as elated as the next man.

Anthony Hughes
49 Posted 02/08/2017 at 20:24:25
We were way off 6th place last season so we need to replace Lukaku's goals and them some if we're to advance up the table.

In effect, we need a 20 goal a season forward and probably at least 20 goals from the rest of the attacking players. Looking at what we have to start the season with, there doesn't seem to be that threat in the squad.

Jack Convery
50 Posted 02/08/2017 at 21:05:33
I reckon it depends on the formation he wants - 3 at the back maybe the way to go. If he does I expect us to line up as follows:

Pickford. Subs: Steklenberg and AN Other

Defence: Holgate, Keane, Willaims. Subs: Jagielka and AN Other (I would love Van Dijk).

Martina (RWB), Gueye, Schneiderlin, Baines (LWB). Subs: Kenny, Besic, Barry, McCarthy – if he stays; Coleman comes in when he's fit.

Klaassen Sigurdsson. Subs: Mirallas, Lookman, Bolasie comes in when he's fit. (Not included Lennon as I reckon he's off.)

Rooney or Sandro, Calvert Lewin, AN Other (I would love Vardy)

Sam Hoare
51 Posted 02/08/2017 at 21:06:22
We still look way short up top to my eye compared to our competitors.

Arse have Sanchez, Giroud, Lacazette, Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi, Perez and Welbeck.

RS have Coutinho, Firmino, Mane, Salah, Sturridge, Lallana, Origi, Ings and Solanke

We have Sandro, Rooney, Klaassen, Mirallas, Calvert-Lewin and Lookman. With Bolasie to come and possibly Barkley if he's not sold/sulking.

Significantly inferior I believe in both strength and depth sadly. Though the windows not shut yet... Giroud and Sigurdsson would help though that still leaves us short of pace, I reckon, unless Lookman is going to be relied on a lot.

Martin Nicholls
52 Posted 02/08/2017 at 21:12:27
Oliver (#41) – Neymar has 4 years left on his Barça deal, having signed a 5-year contract only last year.
Martin Mason
53 Posted 02/08/2017 at 21:30:26
That we have only spent the Lukaku money in value terms is irrelevant for me – only that all buys and sales represent good business for the club. Also that the concept that we as a club have to sell to buy whatever that may mean as selling and buying players are only two aspects of many associated with the good running of the club.

I believe that sell-to-buy is one of the games great myths; we have to sell, we have to buy and we should do it as good business. Rather than sell to buy it must only be sell and buy for benefit whilst not accumulating unsustainable debt to do it.

Ideally as a club we would not sell to buy as such but sell and buy to generate income and profit, sell and buy to invest.

So to answer the OP, do we have to sell to buy? Of course not, we should sell to gain.

Oliver Molloy
54 Posted 02/08/2017 at 21:51:22
Martin @ 52.

Thanks for correcting me, I was reading his Wiki page which said he was signed in 2013 on a five-year deal.

Needs to updated then.

Dave Speed
55 Posted 02/08/2017 at 22:05:49
It might seem too far off to get the 15 points or so that we needed to finish in a Champions League spot last season, but there were at least 5 defeats that we should have won, e.g. Bournemouth, Burnley, Swansea etc, and some draws that should have been wins. I don't think there were many points we were lucky to get either.

Add in a derby win (every now and again we win one) and it suddenly looks a whole lot different.

It's true that the top 6 have all improved, except for Spurs, but if we did what I said above in the coming season, and had the same results against those above us, who knows? It's improbable but not impossible, especially if Ronnie completes the business he wants.

Jack Convery
56 Posted 02/08/2017 at 22:44:43
We're Gonna Win The League, We're Gonna Win The League – it's just when that bothers me. I'm 57 and time seems to be travelling faster and faster the older I get!

Please, EFC, do it and do it soon before I lose my faculties! Beating the RS would be a start.

I expect Spurs to be the team to beat this season.

Dan Davies
57 Posted 02/08/2017 at 22:54:16
Like Mourinho said, lads – it's a top 7 now, not top 6! It's what makes the Premier League so exciting.
Ed Fitzgerald
58 Posted 03/08/2017 at 01:03:01
Dave @ 55

I think you have been taking speed! I know TW is full of glass half full merchants before the season starts in earnest (well actually pint glasses over flowing with Champagne merchants) but to base your optimism on the premise well if only we can convert some losses and draws into wins takes some beating. What about the games were we lucky?

I know we are all cock a hoop following our free flowing display last week, but I'm a bit worried about the mental health of some posters on here, I'm expecting a big run on lithium based medicines sometime in early October for Evertonians as reality kicks in.

David Ellis
59 Posted 03/08/2017 at 03:00:07
The OP is based on an assumption of which there is no evidence at all

"It seems reasonable to claim that we have only so far spent the Lukaku money and that his departure was arranged long before the deal was announced – enabling us to buy early and create the impression we were ahead of the game for once, with money to spend."

Surely to manage this level of subterfuge is beyond the competency of the Everton management? They have never done this before (normally we sell reluctantly too close to the end of the window our star assets – Rooney, Fellaini, Lescott etc). Nor have we ever done so much business, late or early, in any transfer window in the history of the club.

So no its not "reasonable to assume" that Lukaku's departure was arranged in advanced, somehow choreographed with that prima donna Pogba and that we spent in the knowledge that we had it all signed up. Also it would not have been in our interest to do so, we got more for Lukaku by forcing a bidding war between Chelsea and Man Utd – something that would not have happened if we had done some off market back room deal with Man Utd – it would just not have been in our interests to do so.

The more mundane explanation and far more obvious explanation is that we knew that would sell Lukaku if someone made an appropriate offer but we didn't have to sell and we went out and bought the players Koeman wanted anyway, and are still trying to do so.

And net spend is totally irrelevant – other than the less we spend the better to get the absolute best players we can attract to Everton.

Dave Speed
60 Posted 03/08/2017 at 05:16:42
Ed (#58) – Thanks as I don't get too many replies to my outlandish theories!

It wasn't too scientific, just showing the points gap in a different light, in the same way that the coaches who took over our Olympic cycling team did (it makes a good read as they talk down the difference between where they were and success, and aim for improvements where they are realistic).

BTW, I am a Blue (obviously) so I can't remember any lucky points we picked up as I said! I still believe that it is possible, although optimism is something else. Just to finish, I ask – isn't it what every team does, i.e. look to turn defeats around, and to look at how we lost certain games?

Thomas Lennon
61 Posted 03/08/2017 at 09:13:24
So, Barcelona – sell-to-buy team?
Mark Taylor
62 Posted 03/08/2017 at 10:36:04
Of course we are a sell-to-buy club. But then so is Atletico Madrid and it doesn't seem to have done them any harm.
Tony Abrahams
63 Posted 03/08/2017 at 11:06:38
John (#40), I understand what you're saying mate, but I still think a bit of patience is required if Koeman is going to be a success?

I think it's very hard now because although Koeman, is going through a lot of money, so are most of the other top clubs, and his team was light-years behind a few of these clubs when he took over last summer.

That's not to make any excuses for the man though, because the very least we should begin to see over the next 3 months is a certain style of play, and a reasonable amount of entertainment? "We live in hope!"

Colin Grierson
64 Posted 03/08/2017 at 12:27:16
We're a business, just like most of the rest (apart from Man City and PSG who are essentially state Sponsored) so we have to balance the books. We do receive a huge payout from TV rights and other revenue streams. We have to speculate to accumulate as success on the pitch leads more (and bigger) pay days.

I personally think Wenger has a point when he talks about 1-year contracts for players and bigger wages as opposed to transfer fees. It makes more sense. At least the taxman would get 40% and players would have to perform to get a new contract. Loyalty goes both ways. Players would be playing for wage rises and be open to offers from other teams if they wished to leave. It would certainly be more exciting than it is now.

I don't have an issue with players' wages so long as they are producing the goods. After all, film stars get tens of millions per movie.

Thomas Lennon
65 Posted 03/08/2017 at 13:49:46
There is a table out there that shows net spend of all clubs since 2012. Only Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal had net spends greater than £25 million a year. Clubs spending less have been in the top 4 regularly that time, and have won the league.

Spending on wages is a different matter with £100s of million spent every year. Positions in the league more closely match wages. Specific players come and go but as long as we spend on wages a top four place will be ours.

Regular Top 4 costs over £200 million, at last seasons prices. Tottenham and Liverpool have broken into that recently despite spending less (£120 and 160 million) but we have a long way to go at £85 million.

Martin Mason
66 Posted 03/08/2017 at 13:56:02
Surely we can't be a sell-to-buy club because we bought before we sold this year. Surely that makes us a buy-to-sell club?

Equally illogical especially as the two significant sells we will make this year are only going because they want to leave. There is not a shred of evidence that we wouldn't have kept both if they had wanted to stay or that we had to sell both to make the purchases we've made.

So, surely we are a limited company that buys and sells for the best financial advantage with no restraints, such as sell-to-buy or buy-to-sell?

Si Cooper
67 Posted 03/08/2017 at 14:33:13
Thomas (#65), is that best spent as a lot of money for a few players or spread out over a bigger squad? I don't expect an answer, just pointing out that more information is required to translate that information into a workable hypothesis.

In the meantime, most of us will operate on obvious deficiencies in the squad to determine whether the club is significantly progressing. Yet again, Martin, you are comparing the club to a very simple business. If the club had definite interest and a ball park figure for Lukaku, then they could have proceeded with the early deals on that basis. That would still essentially be sell-to-buy if they had enough finance to bridge the gap.

I will wait to see what the squad looks like at the end of the transfer window before I draw any conclusions.

Martin Mason
68 Posted 03/08/2017 at 14:47:29
Si, is a Premier League football club not a very simple business? I can't think of many simpler in that they only sell football entertainment and players.

I believe that at the end of the season you may see something that you class as "sell-to-buy" but you would be wrong perhaps and far too simplistic. Balancing sales against buys isn't "sell-to-buy", surely it's prudent business operation matching income to outgoings.

Stan Schofield
69 Posted 03/08/2017 at 17:19:30
I think there's some semantics here about 'sell to buy'. All clubs buy and sell. Perhaps the question should have been "Are Everton big enough to hold onto their best players and attract the best players?", like we used to do in the 60s and 70s. The answer to that is clearly No.

But, hopefully we're getting there.

Martin Mason
70 Posted 03/08/2017 at 17:48:25
Stan, the answer to the question of are we a selling club is yes or at least that we have been. How about when we have players that simply want to move under any circumstances? Can any club hold on to its best players?
Stan Schofield
71 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:32:07
Martin, no, I suppose ultimately all clubs lose players. But the most successful clubs can sign some of the best players, and can hold onto them longer than smaller clubs can.

If we'd been like we were in the 60s, the likes of Lukaku and Stones might not have wanted to move, because they would already have been at a top club winning trophies and earning top wages. Similarly, Rooney probably would have been with us longer, maybe for his entire career, winning silverware with us. And we'd be attracting the best, like we did Ball and Latchford.

Stan Schofield
72 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:36:18
Martin, also, I think 'sell to buy' is just a label that reflects not being a top club with plenty of money. Not just the kind of money we now have, but bigger than that these days, like Man City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, PSG and Barca. It's down to the amount of money at the end of the day.
Si Cooper
73 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:54:05
Sorry, Martin, but I completely disagree that it can be summed up as simple.

For a start, they are selling hopes and aspirations as much as entertainment. How many season tickets would we sell if the chairman actually stated that we are approaching each season with no more ambition than finishing exactly where you would expect based on our wage bill, or that a quarter-final / semi-final in one of the cup competitions would be satisfactory.

Then there is the vanity project aspect of owning a successful club where wealthy people are actually prepared to speculate to accumulate, ie, spending some of their wealth with no guarantee that they will get it all back, just for the thrill of being involved in showcase occasions and the chance of leaving a bigger imprint on history. That isn't something that any simple business can get you.

Stan Schofield
74 Posted 04/08/2017 at 07:44:14
Si, spot on. It's a business, but a special kind. And decisions on signings are not just down to balance sheets.

To have aspirations to be top, you have to develop the image (the 'brand' if you like). For example, signing Rooney likely has as much to do with Moshiri developing Everton's global reach as it has to do with the details of the game on the pitch. The bigger the brand, the more income, the more chance of getting better players and paying bigger wages, the more chance of silverware, which in turn enhances the brand, etc etc.

Mike Price
75 Posted 04/08/2017 at 08:53:40
I just wish we'd sell and buy some pace. We sell our pacy forward and end up with plodders and we weren't a fast team to begin with, even our full backs are slow.

Other teams seem to prioritise pacy, skillful players and it works. We need to sort it because, on the evidence of the last two games, this like of speed will be our undoing.

Amit Vithlani
76 Posted 04/08/2017 at 14:56:13

Your article is premised on one very important assumption you make:

"It seems reasonable to claim that we have only so far spent the Lukaku money and that his departure was arranged long before the deal was announced – enabling us to buy early and create the impression we were ahead of the game for once, with money to spend."

I would ask you to provide evidence to back your claim that there was a pre-cooked deal with Man Utd which Everton then used to fund acquisitions.

I can put forward evidence – that the club raised an overdraft facility – that counters your notion. They would not have negotiated funding from ICBC (which has significant costs attached) if they were 100% certain of cash coming in for Lukaku.

I think this club is run by a smart group of individuals. They bought players using Moshiri's money and additional funding raised (possible, because Moshiri cleared the debts of the business) and this was savvy. It showed Lukaku's buyers that, unless Everton got the right price for him, they would not sell, and this would not interfere with their transfer strategy, as they went out and got the players they wanted anyway.

From a mathematical point of view, my rough calcs say that, since Moshiri took over, we have spent more than we have received. Lukaku, Stones, Cleverley, Deulofeu brought in around £140m. Williams, Bolasie, Gueye, Stek, Lookman, Schneiderlin plus this summer's signings bring us to about GBP £160m. Throw in the bunch of lads signed for the U23s, plus the acquisition costs of Koeman & Co (and Martinez's termination) and there is probably £30-40m overspend. This figure will be higher once we acquire the additional acquisitions Koeman is seeking, plus there is £20-15m saved on Sandro and Gueye having low release clauses. This is before factoring in Rooney's signing on fees, wages etc.

The last point I would make is that Everton have been excellent at achieving good prices for players sold. £130m for Lukaku and Stones is very good considering we got both players in for a total cost of around £30m. If we sell Barkley and get a good price for him, and flog Niasse and other squad members and manage to cover our expenditure, I would say that is financial savvy.

There is no rule which says we have to be net spenders to achieve Champions League football. It comes down to how good we are replacing the players who have left and bringing better replacements.

My belief is that we do not miss Stones and we will not miss Barkley if we get Sigurdsson. The acid test is whether we properly replace Lukaku. If we don't, we will have gone backwards.

David Booth
77 Posted 05/08/2017 at 00:30:49
Andrew: my suggestion that the Lukaku deal both instigated and funded the acquisitions is surely not an unfair one?

Rather a coincidence don't you think that as the Barkley saga rumbles on without a conclusion and McCarthy still awaits a new home, the Sigurdsson deal just cannot, strangely, unfathomably, excruciatingly, quite crawl over the line?

And the search for a striker has all but disappeared off the radar too?

I have no evidence or insight – and have never suggested I did – but just think this particular two and two add up rather well to four.

Dennis Ng
78 Posted 05/08/2017 at 01:49:07
Based on the math, we are technically still a sell-to-buy club. However, we are far removed from our days as a sell-to-pay-bills club, which has improved our negotiating power, e.g. –90m for Lukaku.

Every club has to balance their books one way or another and will always be a sell-to-buy club, bar a really rare few, but us being able to hold our own in negotiating elevated fees in and out, being able to splash as needed, meant we're no longer shopping at the discount stores. And that means we're heading in the right direction.

Amit Vithlani
79 Posted 05/08/2017 at 09:58:43
David – (#77). There is no way of being certain why the Sigurdsson deal and the search for a striker has stalled. Maybe there are complications with Sigurdsson. Or Giroud does not want to join and Koeman and Walsh have had to move to another target.

If Barkley, McCarthy, and Niasse depart and we see a bunch of new arrivals follow, that also does not automatically mean we were waiting for funds to buy the players. It could also mean that squad numbers had to be cut before new arrivals could join. If I recall correctly, there is a 25-player limitation on squad sizes? We cannot be sure.

What we do know is the club are being run by savvy folk who could give Daniel Levy a run for his money. That includes selling players for the best price and swooping in for bargains like Gueye and Sandro.

As for the "math", unless someone has a full picture of all the transfer fees, wages, signing on bonuses and termination costs for players, coaches and managers, again we are guessing. On the face of it, from public pronouncements, I would say we have shelled out at least £30m more than we have taken in before accounting for an increase in the wage bill. This would have been a lot more had we not held out for our price on Lukaku and Stones and also had Gueye and Sandro not had cheap release clauses.

Mike Allison
80 Posted 05/08/2017 at 10:09:02
Our attempts to buy Sigurdsson and another striker have stalled because we're now in a market where very few players in world football will be good enough. We could easily buy 'a playmaker' and 'a centre-forward' but we want particular ones with a track record of success in the Premier League. Those are few and far between, and generally speaking their clubs don't want to sell them. Therefore things are bound to get more difficult.
Brian Williams
81 Posted 05/08/2017 at 10:13:27
When did maths become math?
Brent Stephens
82 Posted 05/08/2017 at 10:31:54
Brian, not long after mathematics became maths?!
Grant Rorrison
83 Posted 05/08/2017 at 10:36:15
Mike (#80). You think that 'very few' players are as good as Sigurdsson?! :O
Gary Edwards
84 Posted 05/08/2017 at 11:10:01
Mike (#80) – didn't we hire Walsh and his plethora of minions for / their knowledge, experience and ability to spot a bargain / relative bargain? Or bring in talent (for reasonable sums) that would readily blend into the 'system'?

Right now I'm struggling to understand what the 'system' is and therein could be the problem. Yes, we've brought in some decent players and if the system is to stuff the midfield, run into one another, cede possession and furiously win possession back, then our transfer strategy as it stands has succeeded.

Our current dilemma is simple, we've not replaced Lukaku's goals and presence. There's no pace, power, height or even a threat of it. First and foremost, we need to resolve this issue.

Unless we find the '20-goal striker', a top class left centre-back and a proper #10 and win something, then by selling Lukaku, Barkley, Deulofeu, Cleverley etc we'll still appear to be a sell-to-buy club – regardless of "net spend".

John G Davies
85 Posted 05/08/2017 at 11:16:05
Gary (#84),

I must have missed that job description for Walsh. Where did you see that?

Amit Vithlani
86 Posted 05/08/2017 at 17:19:32
Brian @ 81, "math" is not to be confused with "meth". One helps you counting costs and the other can leave you counting the costs*.

* Allegedly. Not that I have personal experience.

Ian Riley
87 Posted 05/08/2017 at 21:30:27
Players have asked to leave Everton. Every player has a price. Neymar for example, at one of the biggest clubs in the world, still not enough.

The club has not spent over the Lukaku fee and, with Barkley's pending departure, there is ore money to come. The new stadium has to happen to sustain wages and fees for future purchases. Our new owner/co-owner is a successful businessman who has been part of the new Arsenal stadium coming to fruition. He has already increased our sponsorship deals and is hungry to move the club forward.

I still think further signings are coming. Let's enjoy what we have already but the squad needs strengthening further. Koeman wants three more signings.

Brent Stephens
88 Posted 06/08/2017 at 12:50:53
Amit #86. Very good! Crystal clear.
David Booth
89 Posted 07/08/2017 at 11:50:57
Now just a week to go until the start of the season – and the toughest one I can ever remember – and still no Sigurdsson.

No sign whatsoever of a centre forward either.

I'm very concerned now that they won't happen until deals are done for Barkley and McCarthy...

Amit Vithlani
90 Posted 07/08/2017 at 11:58:33
Brent - 88 boom boom!
Brian Williams
91 Posted 07/08/2017 at 12:10:31
You'll be referring to 'football' as 'soccer' next, ffs. :-((
Jonathan Tasker
92 Posted 07/08/2017 at 12:19:50
My article two weeks ago made exactly the same point.

An absolute disgrace that we still haven't replaced Lukaku.

Chris Wood, Leeds United would be a cheap replacement. Good player.

Jay Woods
93 Posted 07/08/2017 at 18:31:58
At this moment, this very minute that I am typing this, the evidence points to us being "sell-to-buy". Paranoia would suggest that Sigurdsson cannot be bought before either Barkley leaves or, ideally from the club's PR perspective, they have an understanding with another club that they will buy Ross during this window.

And still old Bill K lingers in the background like a fetid, lingering thing, foul to the nostrils, offensive to the sight.

David Barks
94 Posted 07/08/2017 at 18:42:08
The club knew they would be selling Lukaku. They had a price in mind. They spent accordingly. Since his sale they haven't spent at all. And the incoming salaries are not just replacing the departed Lukaku, but also all the other players who have left the club.

I think it is fairly obvious that future spending is dictated by Barkley's sale. Wouldn't be surprised to see McCarthy sold as well. Meanwhile we are woefully short in quality in attack. The Season is now here and we are nowhere near closer to those six clubs that finished above us last season.

I feel like Moshiri and Kenwrigh thave pulled the wool over our eyes. If we get off to a rough start prepare for an onslaught of PR about the shiny new stadium that will be the host to decades of more mediocrity. And we'll probably get endless comments about how our goal is to retain the world renowned Under-23s title. At least we won't concede a lot with a team loaded with defensive players. Happy Days!!

John Otway
95 Posted 07/08/2017 at 18:43:41
Jay. A bit strong and I'm not a Kenwright fan by any stretch of the imagination. It's now Farhad Moshiri's club under the watchful gaze of Sasha Ryazantsev.

Kenwright's there for his old school contacts and his bonhomie routine but hopefully, one day, Alisher Usmanov will be his successor.

Dick Fearon
96 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:51:45
David (#94), You are probably correct about more signings being dependent upon the sale of Barkley. Probably why Koeman is nudging the lad out of the door.
Brian Williams
97 Posted 08/08/2017 at 11:53:05
I'd have to say that after what Koeman said about us "not" being the big spenders the media were making us out to be, and the fact that the Sigurdsson saga appears to be stuck over only a "few" million pound, the answer to the question the thread asks has to be a resounding Yes.

How else could it be explained that we are without a player for the most important position on the field (apart from the keeper) for the kick off of the premier league on Saturday, with no out and out goal scoring striker.

I have to admit to being one of those who had readily started to believe things were now completely different in every area, including transfer business.

In the cold light of day I think I was wrong.

James Watts
98 Posted 08/08/2017 at 12:33:10
Let's wait until the end of the window before we all start jumping on the 'Mosh is a fraud' bandwagon eh?

Koeman has laid down a bit of a gauntlet but he is forgetting the five-fold increase in wages across the players we've brought in against the ones we've let go. He's also forgetting about the investment in those youth players and Bramley-Moore Dock etc but he probably doesn't care about those as he'll be long gone by the time that is built.

However, if at September 1st we still don't have our number 1 target, a decent striker and another defensive player with only Sissoko coming in on loan at 11:59pm then time to get some planes in the air as we've been well and truly been shat on. Again.

Danny Halsall
99 Posted 08/08/2017 at 12:45:38
Dave Harrison been spotted on a flight to Amsterdam this morning with a host of people all suited up. Maybe Dolberg from Ajax?
David Barks
100 Posted 08/08/2017 at 12:57:32

How could we have a five-fold increase in player wages?

There is no way on God's green earth that Klaassen, Pickford, Keane, Sandro and Rooney are on five times the salary as Lukaku, Deulofeu, McGeady, Cleverley, Kone, McAleny and Valencia returning from on loan.

We can then look at the youth players we've signed vs the players we've sent on loan in Onyekuru, Galloway, Browning, Pennington as a wash.

James Watts
101 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:12:51
David (#100).

Rooney £150k p/w, Sandro £120k p/w, Pickford £90k p/w, Keane £90k p/w, Klaassen £100k p/w, Martina £30k p/w (guess) = £580k p/w.

Kone £40k p/w, Lukaku £90k p/w, Deulofeu £48k p/w, McGeady £40k p/w, Cleverley £50k p/w = £268k p/w.

Not including our January buys (but don't forget we spent £35m plus I would guess around £150k p/w on wages) and I won't include the younger players as they will probably just about even themselves out as I guess we are still paying some of their wages even on loan. That fair David?

So you're right. Not 5 times. Just over double and in real terms over just 1 year? A £16.2 million increase in wages alone. That's a decent whack.

James Watts
102 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:14:17
Danny (#99).

Dave Harrison been spotted on a flight to Amsterdam this morning with a host of people all suited up. Maybe Dolberg from Ajax?

Maybe he was on a stag do? ;)

Joseph Terrence
103 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:27:32
James, where do you get those salary figures? I highly doubt Sandro is on £120k and Klaassen is on £100k per week, in particular. The figures for Keane and Pickford seem a bit high as well
David Barks
104 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:36:49

If we want to go back to last Summer, let's also include Darron Gibson leaving £35k p/w and Oviedo £24k p/w. The fact is, wages are in no way some major investment that can be seen as a reason for a complete stall in strengthening the squad.

Wages go up each year, as salaries increase along with revenue increases. In 2013-14 our wage bill was £66 million, then £69.3 million in 14-15, £74.7 million in 15-16, £83 million last season. Compared to Liverpool who went from £140M to £144M to £152M to £165M over that same span, and Arsenal who went from £166M to £180M to £192M to £200.5M over the same period. Even Spurs who have a reputation as low payers had a wage bill of £121 million last season, about 50% more than us.

Our wage bill is in line with West Ham and Stoke, not those we should be competing with.

James Watts
105 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:51:11
David (#104), I purposely said I wouldn't include January but making a point we still spent more in fees and wages than we got back then.

The fact is, wages are in no way some major investment that can be seen as a reason for a complete stall in strengthening the squad. Absolutely 100% disagree. That £16 odd million is not chicken feed and needs to be included as it's a huge expense. And remember that's £16 mill a year, before the wages increase. It's a big investment.

And I think you'll find us much higher this year on the wage scale than previous.

Anyway, after all that, my point has been and is, we can't just look at net spend. There are other massive factors, wages being the biggest one. Although I applaud Koeman giving the board the hurry up, I don't think saying we've only spent 7m is valid.

And finallllyyyyyyyyyyy, don't get me wrong. If we still haven't got in those players we are hoping for then I'll be the first on here shouting 'Mosh is a fraud', 'Kenwright is an arse', 'Koeman wasted what little money we had', 'Where do I donate for my plane banner' and 'It's Martina's fault, told you he was crap'. But still too early in my opinion.

Brian Williams
106 Posted 08/08/2017 at 18:42:09
It IS still early in the window but it does appear the club are fucking about over a few million in the pursuit of Sigurdsson.
Peter Warren
107 Posted 08/08/2017 at 18:50:10
James – apparently we were going to pay Lukaku about £4.5m more a season and Barkley £2m more a season but those contracts didn't come off.

It's disingenuous to suggest our wage bill has dramatically increased – its in line with middle clubs and way behind Spurs who are known as being tight with their wages in comparison of top 6.

David Booth
108 Posted 08/08/2017 at 18:59:09
Lastminutetransfers.com beckons again as Swansea threaten to withdraw from the Sigurdsson saga and we still have not even sniffed at a centre forward.

Good as he is and much as I want him, where does he fit anyway? We don't need three players (him, Klaassen and the past it prodigal son) competing for the same role?

We are so going to miss Lukaku. And having known he would be leaving for months, why the hell have we not addressed the vacuum he has left behind?

Koeman surely cannot still cling to the faint hope that an over-the-hill has-been and a young Spanish newcomer will replace his goals – never mind his presence on the pitch.

Despite our first-off-the-line flurry, we are going to get caught with our pants down again and despite the astute signings of Pickford and Keane, I believe we are actually weaker than last year.

For me, improving on, or even consolidating seventh place looks very unrealistic unless we sign someone to lead the line and give the whole team a point of focus.

Trevor Peers
109 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:10:23
Could we ever really afford to buy Sigurdsson without selling Barkley first? No chance!

Trying to act like a big club is turning into a farce. This could turn really nasty if Koeman sees his arse, the fall out will be a nightmare.

Don Alexander
110 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:23:34
It's a three-year "project" folks, for a minimum of fourth place. None of us know what Koeman's relationship's like with his employer but the next three weeks will either see three significant signings or something significant to us fans by way of verbal statement from the owner, if he gives a toss about us that is.
Jack Convery
111 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:45:06
Moshiri's pockets not as deep as we thought then. We obviously need to agree a fee with whoever (Spurs) for Barkely before we agree deal with Swansea. If that is the case and given Barkely will go for about £35m then our actual spend will be £22m or £42m depending on whose figures you go with. The discrepancy appears to be the £20m of add-ons to the Lukaku fee.

Given we still need a top drawer Centre Forward and a jack of all trades left footed defender (why not a proper left back and a decent left footed centre half), why are we arguing over the Sigurdsson fee, unless of course the saving we are trying to make on buying Sigurdsson i.e. approx £5m is desperately required.

If that is the case we certainly are not the big spenders we seem to be but the usual tight arsed EFC we all know and love. Mr Moshiri cough up the cash and get the players we need or stop pretending to be Mr Moneybags when actually you are Baron Hardup.

Harsh I know but getting into the top four takes money these days and lots of it. Not just what you can make from selling the best scoring centre-forward we've had in years if not decades and what we get for Barkley, Niasse, McCarthy and the money already in the bank from the sale of Cleverley.

David Johnson
112 Posted 08/08/2017 at 22:40:21
I fear Moshiri may be little more than a front man, providing credence and liquidity to the same old shenanigans that have plagued us for decades.

I pray I'm wide of the mark and, yes, many things have improved; but, so far, at a cost that is only a fraction of the new TV deal. We're clearly not ready for the start of the new season but I'll reserve judgment until the close of the window when I hope we won't be going into stadium news overdrive to compensate.

Where's the TV money, Bill? ... I mean Farhad ?

Dick Fearon
113 Posted 08/08/2017 at 23:09:31
For those reasons expressed in David Bs OP, I sense that Koeman is increasingly desperate to sell Barkley.

I would prefer the lad remained with us.

James Watts
114 Posted 09/08/2017 at 03:32:53
Dick. Maybe he's increasingly desperate to sell him because he'll walk for free? Which is what he pretty much said at the end of last season.

Peter (#107). But those contracts didn't come off so what relevance is that? As if those did we wouldn't be looking at buying another forward or even Sigurdsson. The wages have still gone up by over double either by bringing in players or new contracts for Barkley and Lukaku. Of course it has a big effect on how much we could realistically spend. Nothing disingenuous about it.

Trevor (#109). Could we ever really afford to buy Sigurdsson without selling Barkley first? No chance! Didn't Koeman say a few weeks ago that transfer business is not dependent on selling Barkley? He's hardly going to say that is he if it is!

David Johnson
115 Posted 09/08/2017 at 07:05:40
James have you factored the new TV money into any of your calculations?
Jonathan Tasker
116 Posted 09/08/2017 at 13:32:11
David Johnson (#112),

Correct 100%.

Anthony Hughes
117 Posted 09/08/2017 at 18:09:45
James is putting up a spirited argument but to the untrained supporter it definitely looks like we're waiting for Barkley to be sold or TV money to come flooding into the club before we can spend again.

The Gylfi deal aside, if we're really not dependent on incoming money why haven't we sorted a striker yet? Something I would have thought would be imperative for the start of the season.

David Johnson
118 Posted 09/08/2017 at 19:09:58
Also, if we're about 17th in the net transfer table, haven't the clubs who have spent more seen a hike in wages too?

Where are we in the wages league? Maybe we should take both positions and multiply by two for a real reflection of where we're really at.

John Smith
119 Posted 09/08/2017 at 23:56:55
We did sign a top class striker. His name is Sandro Ramirez and he'll be playing up front for some minnow nation called Spain anytime now.

Geoff Evans
120 Posted 10/08/2017 at 09:17:53
Smoke and mirrors, nothing's changed just making up the numbers and playing for the scraps off the top table.
John Smith
121 Posted 10/08/2017 at 10:26:06
Oh and a "selling" club usually, at best, means you have to sell players before you can buy. This window we bought five players before we sold Lukaku, who wanted to leave anyway.

If he wanted to stay we would have kept him and not sold him. That's not selling club behavior. Selling clubs want to sell players, often a push-out mentality occurs. Lukaku wasn't pushed by anyone but himself to leave.

David Booth
122 Posted 10/08/2017 at 14:52:57
Well, well, well another day gone... another day closer to our first game... and another day with no sign of any movement on Sigurdsson or the merest hint of a replacement for Lukaku.

Would anyone who believes the current lack of activity is not the direct consequence of Barkley (and McCarthy) not being sold, or that the sale of Lukaku (plus Cleverley, Deulofeu and McGeady), was nothing to do with all the initial incomings, please care to explain their blind indifference to the obvious truth?

We still sell to buy. And right now, we still have some buying to do.

Just where are the goals going to come from in two days' time and beyond? If we have the cash, why are we not spending it, with our first league game two days away?

Those who still insist that we have money to burn are as deluded as those hailing Rooney's second coming as our long-awaited messiah.

Both are missing the bleedin' obvious: we continue to operate a prudent transfer policy (which I respect) and it will not be a triumphant return for the prodigal son.

I'm beginning to question Koeman's judgment now. How on earth does he expect the team to improve, having sold our 20-goals-a-season best player, with no sign of any urgency to find a replacement?

Buying lots of very similar midfielders it seems...

Amit Vithlani
123 Posted 11/08/2017 at 16:15:42
"Would anyone who believes the current lack of activity is not the direct consequence of Barkley (and McCarthy) not being sold, or that the sale of Lukaku (plus Cleverley, Deulofeu and McGeady), was nothing to do with all the initial incomings, please care to explain their blind indifference to the obvious truth?"

"We still sell to buy. And right now, we still have some buying to do."

Err yeah actually. Last time I checked, Window closes at the end of the month, not the first game of the season.

What is more:
1. We spent more than we sold. How that makes sell to buy, is if someone is doing Meth instead of Math.

2. Nobody really knows what is going on with Sigurdsson. All we have are rumour and counter-rumour. Do we drop our trousers and pay whatever Swansea are demanding?

3. What is wrong with shifting players in the squad to accommodate new arrivals? Is there not a limit on the squad sizes for the Europa League and Premier League?

4. The biggest concern is surely not the Sigurdsson transfer, but where the new striker is. The replacement should have been lined up ahead of all the other transfers we made. If this article criticised the failure to bring in a striker immediately after Lukaku's departure, I think that would have been a very fair criticism. But that has nothing to do with sell to buy, instead more about prioritisation of targets.

5. The handling of Barkley has also been poor. Again, nothing to do with sell to buy.

All in all, I see no evidence other than pure circumstance. With 3 weeks left of the window, let us see where we end up. No striker and I think the scouting team will have a lot to answer for; unless Sandro and Rooney surprise us all and end up filling in Lukaku's shoes. Not a comforting thought.

Ray Robinson
124 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:18:52
Amit, good post! Let's see how much we "spend" by the end of the transfer window before passing judgement.
John Smith
125 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:00:34
Amit and Ray, please stop using common sense logic to deal with conspiracy theorists. It just doesn't work. ;)
John Smith
126 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:02:51
"We still sell to buy."

We bought 5 players, not to mention a few young starlets, before we sold a single player. That is not a selling club.

The players we bought are better than the ones that departed.

That is not a selling club.

A club that can afford to build a new stadium is not a selling club.

A club that now has zero debt, is not a selling club.

Dennis Ng
127 Posted 13/08/2017 at 11:16:49
Amit, your reasoning works but there will always be people who's asking where the Arteta money went. Or assume that we already got the Lukaku before he left... I just hope this doesn't become an argument of literal technicality.
John Smith
128 Posted 13/08/2017 at 13:33:29
I've never been a huge fan of Bill Kenwright but, let's face it, he waited and waited until he found the right buyer. Moshiri has been a Godsend. I'm glad he waited this long.

He could have made a knee- jerk reaction sale years ago and sold the club to the wrong buyer. Or made the type of buys many of us fans demanded, that could have led to the type of failure the lesson of Leeds United teaches us, over extending the money and being relegated a few times.

Moshiri was worth the wait.

Ray Robinson
129 Posted 15/08/2017 at 21:06:35
So, subject to a medical we've bought Sigurdsson but we haven't sold Barkley yet. Still a selling club?
Guy Hastings
130 Posted 15/08/2017 at 21:14:38
Everybody buys, everybody sells. Just don't get too attached to what you're buying. As for Ross B, if he's unhappy at work he has the right to move on to his best advantage.
Ray Robinson
131 Posted 15/08/2017 at 21:26:15
Agree Guy. Just some were previously suggesting that the Sigurdsson deal was stalling because we hadn't sold Barkley and that Moshiri wasn't spending any real money.
John Smith
132 Posted 16/08/2017 at 10:22:11
Now that the Sigurdsson deal has been announced by Sky, hopefully the conspiracy theorists going on about us being a selling club will be satisfied?
David Johnson
133 Posted 16/08/2017 at 20:54:55
We spent the Lukaku money before we received it, so it's still a possibility Ray. Let's wait until the window closes before we judge.
Dan Davies
134 Posted 17/08/2017 at 02:15:04
JavaBeans! Auto correct! Hahaha! Lol. We must have sold Barry to fund Siggy obviously.
David Ellis
135 Posted 17/08/2017 at 05:56:41
Where are the posts saying - "our conspiracy theories turned out to be a whole load of bollocks?"
Step forward David Booth, David Johnson, Trevor Peers and et al.

A Barkley sale is looking increasingly unlikely because of his injury. But clearly not linked the the Sigurdssen deal.

James Watts
136 Posted 17/08/2017 at 06:47:13
Apologies missed a few comments on here from before as forgot about this thread, sooo;

Joseph #103. Just type in 'Everton player wages' into your favourite search engine and the information is easy to find. The figures quoted are on several different sites and are comparable so I believe they are correct. I cross checked the Sandro one several times as it surprised me he was on so much too!

David #115. Nope, but that wasn't the point. The point is all about the net spend 'illusion'. I've tried my best to educate. If you want to ignore it then well, that's up to you. But please stop saying net spend as if it's the only thing that matters.

David #135. That's like asking for Darren to priase Koeman! To me it's been obvious since last January that we have money to spend and we're trying to build a team, not sell one. The Gylfi signing shows it even more but some people have their mind made up and there is no changing it even with a bucket load of evidence vs their made up theories.

John Smith
137 Posted 17/08/2017 at 12:50:53
Sold Lukaku for seventy odd million plus addons. Spent so far around a hundred and forty five million on bringing in players and Koeman announced today that he still wants two more players, most likely a powerful centre forward and a centre back. Not sell to buy or selling club mentality that.

If we don't get a centre forward I'd be happy to see Niasse given a go.

David Johnson
138 Posted 19/08/2017 at 07:13:46
James #136 who is saying net spend like it is the only thing that matters ? I think I've mentioned wages and even suggested you divide both net spend and wage leagues by two to see where we're really at. Anyway thanks for giving up your time trying to educate me.
David Johnson
139 Posted 19/08/2017 at 07:42:28
David #135 I think that I said that I'd reserve judgment until the window closes. Hardly a conspiracy theory. There's about twenty years of evidence that BK is as bent as a nine bob note and he's still involved. He may have played a blinder bringing in Moshiri or it may be another scam but I don't think there's anything wrong with being a little bit cautious given BK's history.
Amit Vithlani
140 Posted 19/08/2017 at 08:14:09
"There's about twenty years of evidence that BK is as bent as a nine bob note and he's still involved."

Ok, please provide the evidence as this is a pretty serious charge.

Whilst the man has undoubtedley said some strange things over the years, and the disclosures from the club's accounts raise question marks, an outright accusation that there is "20 years of evidence " that he is "bent as a nine bob note" needs proving.

As for the suggestion that bringing in Moshiri might be another "scam", I can only assume you have at least a modicum of proof to support this notion.

Otherwise this latter suggestion is indeed a conspiracy theory of nuttiest variety.

David Johnson
141 Posted 20/08/2017 at 08:01:29
Amit #140 things have vastly improved at Goodison Park and I'm really pleased about that. I think I said earlier in this thread though that I hoped Moshiri hadn't been brought on board to simply add financial liquidity and a new face to the same old shenanigans that have plagued us for decades. I very much doubt that he has, but Kenwright's continued involvement makes me naturally cautious, especially when you consider the size of the new TV deal. Plans for Kings Dock, Kirkby, Walton Hall Park and now Bramley Moor have seen us make only cosmetic changes while others have rebuilt, meaning we didn't have to spend a penny on Goodison so long as Bill had the latest drawings on his desk. When the time comes for Bill to clear his desk I'll be a happy man. If Moshiri turns out to be the man I think he is then I'll give Bill credit for that at least. I'm just cautious and after twenty years of Kenwight's shenanigans why shouldn't I be.
Amit Vithlani
142 Posted 20/08/2017 at 09:20:06
David - your post 141 is perfectly reasonable and I agree with you on 99pc of it. It contrasts the outright accusations in your post 139 which cannot be proven unless you have seen actual evidence.

I am all for questioning and criticising Kenwright and the failures we have put up with on a variety of issues, but I feel we undermine ourselves as supporters if we go too far with very specific unproven assertions, ie, he has been "bent" for 20 years and the Moshiri investment is a "scam".


David Johnson
143 Posted 20/08/2017 at 21:26:51
He doesn't play with a straight bat Amit that's for sure.
Brian Williams
144 Posted 20/08/2017 at 21:32:23
There's about twenty years of evidence that BK is as bent as a nine bob note and he's still involved.

Be interested to see some of that evidence.

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