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Everton to start the bidding for Maddison

| Monday, 11 June 2018 94comments  |  Jump to last
Everton will lodge an opening offer for Norwich City's exciting young midfielder, James Maddison, later this week according to "Sky Sports sources".

The Blues' interest in the 21-year-old has already been established but they face competition from Leicester City and Fulham, with the Foxes said to be seriously interested in bringing Maddison to the King Power Stadium.

Maddison is valued at between £20m and £25m.

Reader Comments (94)

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Fran Mitchell
1 Posted 11/06/2018 at 18:27:56
While the fee may seem steep, a half-decent season and he'll be valued at double or triple that. Young, skillful, pace, can play in the middle or wide.

With 3 of Sigurdsson, Vlasic, Walcott, Dowell, Lookman and this lad as an attacking 3 with Tosun, Walcott and Calvert-Lewin ahead as No 9 could be exciting and gives more than one option with two solid midfielders behind them.

Darren Murphy
2 Posted 11/06/2018 at 18:36:13
Haven't seen enough of this lad to be fair, thought we might have a few ourselves already... Anyone that doesn't use YouTube know any more?
Derek Knox
3 Posted 11/06/2018 at 18:39:07
I am hopeful that this one may go through, and equally excited by the prospect. Having watched a few Championship games, albeit via TV, this lad has really impressed me.

He is young too, so will get even better, and as Fran says, if he continues to show this form in the Premier League, he will be worth a lot more.

Put it this way, I would rather we had a homegrown talent, than an unknown from abroad, who may or may not hack it.

Some may say, it's only in the Championship where he has performed, it's not that far removed from the Premier League, and a hard League to get promoted from.

Definitely think it's worth it for this kid, and just hope there is mileage in it.

Lev Vellene
4 Posted 11/06/2018 at 18:51:36
I'm not holding my breath just yet...

I understand M&M will get together this week to sort out necessary transfer targets, and as I don't believe there are truly psychic journos out there, I'll consider this lazy summer journalism for now!

Tom Bowers
5 Posted 11/06/2018 at 18:57:44
We have had relatively young prospects come in before and failed to make the step up at a consistent level but one hopes that this lad, if signed will be the exception.
Ash Moore
6 Posted 11/06/2018 at 19:13:41
I've watched a bit of him, a little of him at Aberdeen, and quite a few games in the Championship.

He's in the Aaron Ramsey mould: quick feet, can pick a short pass around the box, and knows where the net is. I'm excited most about how much he's come on since I saw him in Scotland. He's improved with every level he's played at – not something our group of youngsters can always say.

Could be a good 'un.

Colin Glassar
7 Posted 11/06/2018 at 19:20:44
Bill has gone down there with a fiver and some loose change in his pocket. Let the bidding war begin.
Alasdair Mackay
8 Posted 11/06/2018 at 19:29:19
This is a rumour that won't go away.

He seems to be a tricky, creative type in the Pienaar/Osman mould, which may suit what Silva wants to do with one of his 3 midfielders.

Don't think he'll play as one of the 3 up front – we have too many prospects for these positions already (Vlasic, Dowell, Lookman, Calvert-Lewin with Walcott, Bolasie and Sigurdsson as senior players).

Joe McMahon
9 Posted 11/06/2018 at 20:33:59
I look at what we have spent on players, and this seems like a lot for a Championship player. Why do we always pay crazy high fees???

Roberto Firmino cost that lot 㿉 Million, Salah cost (I think) 㿒 million.

And then you have Klassen (㿅 million), Keane (㿅 million) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (㿙 million).... Wayne Rooney's wages are a lot more than Salah's. It's pathetic.

Tony Everan
10 Posted 11/06/2018 at 20:47:19
Sky's headline makes it sound like he is on eBay.

He has had a good season – albeit against some poor Championship sides. The fee seems over the top considering he has it all to prove in the Premier League.

Saying that, he looks like he will take the step up and I would rather we were looking at the best young talent than 29- or 30-year-olds.

Jack Convery
11 Posted 11/06/2018 at 21:08:18
If we want him and Leicester or Fulham beat us to him, that won't be a good sign or a good start for Mssrs Brands & Silva.
Ian Burns
12 Posted 11/06/2018 at 21:26:36
I am presuming this chap Maddison is a far superior Number 10 than Dowell? The question: is he 㿅M better than Dowell?
Fran Mitchell
13 Posted 11/06/2018 at 22:15:11
Is that the question Ian? I think we need to be going after the best young players out there, that is how we will develop.

We can't afford/attract the ready-made top players. And we can't not sign someone considered the best in his league because maybe we have a decent young player, but not quite as good.

I hope Dowell can develop into a top player, and see no reason why the two players can't both develop and play for Everton.

Dele Alli was young, unproven, etc. Spurs already had other young midfielders. Reckon any Spurs fan regrets signing him because it resulted in say, Harry Winks having a tougher time getting in the first team?

David Hallwood
14 Posted 11/06/2018 at 22:15:40
Must admit I've never seen him. Has he got any pace?
Terry White
15 Posted 11/06/2018 at 22:16:21
Rather than compare Maddison with Dowell, who plays further forward and wider, can't we look at Maddison to have the potential to provide what we did not have for the past few seasons, ie, a midfielder who can create chances and score himself? Can we name one whom we already have on the books?
Chris Gould
16 Posted 11/06/2018 at 22:53:58
Maddison is nothing like Dowell. He skips past players and runs at the opposition, always looking for a forward pass. He reminds me more of a younger Barkley but with quicker feet. I think he is far better than Dowell, and I don't think Dowell will become a first-team regular.

It's very easy to get carried away with some of the youngsters, but I've never been overly impressed with Dowell. He obviously has talent and a cultured left foot, but I think the Premier League will prove to be too physical and demanding for him. Our fans would get frustrated with him very quickly.

Maddison looks for the ball the entire match and beats players. He oozes confidence and is exciting to watch. I would love it if we got him in.

In saying that, it's a big step up and of course it's an expensive gamble, but I would bet on him being a big crowd favourite very quickly. And I hope Dowell makes me eat my words.

Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 11/06/2018 at 23:26:38
Chris (#16), I have higher hopes for Dowell than you do, given the poise and productivity he has shown in international competition. But I agree, no comparison to Maddison, who is a very exciting package and one well worth pursuing IMO.
Drew O'Neall
18 Posted 11/06/2018 at 23:40:47
Concerned about buying players who have been seriously crocked. Didn't he do his cruciate on the last day of the season? Seems like a gamble we can ill afford.
Nathan Ford
19 Posted 11/06/2018 at 23:56:28
㾽M with Dowell on loan for the season gives Dowell another season to gain a bit more strength and consistency... and gives us a cracking attack-minded player. Win-win!
Mike Gaynes
20 Posted 11/06/2018 at 00:02:31
Drew (#20), he did but it was not a major injury, no surgery required. He's expected to be full speed by mid-August.
Matthew Rigby
21 Posted 12/06/2018 at 00:07:07
I say give them Bolasie on a permanent swap and Dowell on loan for a season and that should do it.
Chris Cole
22 Posted 12/06/2018 at 00:22:42
I live in Norwich these days and usually go to a couple of Norwich games a season and keep an eye on them, so I may as well pass comment.

Norwich were bang average last season and especially disappointing at home. Maddison didn't pull up many trees in the two games I saw in the flesh (well shackled by Everton loanee Joe Williams in one game), but at the same time it's hard not to be impressed by what he's achieved. It's only just over a year since he made his debut, scoring and pointing to his name on his shirt – I disliked him straightaway... but, to be fair, he's backed it up with his performances since.

As someone else said on here, he plays with a swagger, knowing he's the best player on the pitch, and he's clearly been that this season – his rate of development has been astonishing.

He plays as a Number 10, always in the middle; he's a slight, willowy character, always on the move, looking for the ball, and looking to make something happen. He's not quick, but is very good with the ball at his feet, sees a pass or will try and take someone on, and he's very good at free-kicks. A more agile Sigurdsson, if you like, with young Beckham-esque confidence and swagger.

Everyone round here seems resigned to him going; the club needs cash as the parachute payments end; the remaining Murphy twin also seems to be on his way to Cardiff too. Maddison wants to move on (I think he posted one of those showreels).

I don't exactly see where he fits in a 4-3-3 but, if we are keen to sign him, it'd be interesting to send Dowell here on loan as part of the deal – see if he can cut it in a team that would play to his strengths more than a defensive Karanka team.

Re the injury, there's a bit of suspicion that the Canaries may be downplaying the extent of the injury so as not to scupper a deal... who knows?

Peter Gorman
23 Posted 12/06/2018 at 00:46:50
"Maddison is nothing like Dowell. He skips past players and runs at the opposition, always looking for a forward pass."

I'm not sure what point is being made here. Seems like a pretty good description of Dowell, though you neglected to mention the long shots.

Mike Gaynes
24 Posted 12/06/2018 at 01:19:14
Very informative, Chris, thanks.
Alan J Thompson
25 Posted 12/06/2018 at 05:15:20
Given the last two (can you call them permanent if they only managed for a season and a half and half a season?) Managers seemed to think time spent moving towards your own penalty area was more important than going the other way, it is fair to compare players. At least from the noises being made at present it appears this Manager might be different in his approach.
Ajay Gopal
26 Posted 12/06/2018 at 06:53:00
I am worried that there seems to be very little movement on shipping out players that Brands was talking about. I would really like to see the following moved out before we buy:

Robles – done
Williams – Defence (with his injury, it is unlikely that he can be moved this summer, except maybe as a loan)
Browning – sell
Funes Mori – sell (or if Silva likes the look of him, keep him and buy one less centre-back)
Martina – sell (or Silva may like to keep him and loan out Kenny, which would make sense to me actually)
Garbutt – sell
Schneiderlin – sell
Besic – sell
Klaassen – sell (or loan)
Rooney – sell
Vlasic – sell or loan
Ramirez – sell
Mirallas – sell
Bolasie – sell

If all this happens, then I would be happy with buying:

1 centre-back – Mawson for me
1 left-back – Tierney or Shaw
1 midfielder – Maddison or Wilshere
1 forward – Lozano

The squad:

GK: Pickford, Stekelenburg, [AN Other (on loan?)]
LB: Baines, Tierney (loan out Robinson)
RB: Coleman, Martina
CB: Jagielka, Keane, Holgate, Mawson, Pennington, Galloway (I think he might thrive under Silva)
DM: Davies, Gana, McCarthy, Banigime
AM: Sigurdsson, Maddison, Dowell
LM: Lozano, Lookman
RM: Walcott, Connolly
CF: Tosun, Calvert-Lewin, Niasse

Another option to increase our attacking options would be to keep Bolasie, not buy Lozano, but break the bank for Vardy:


Coleman Keane Mawson Tierney
Maddison Gana Sigurdsson
Walcott Vardy Lookman

Drew O'Neall
27 Posted 12/06/2018 at 07:35:34
Ajay - still weak at centre back and right across the front. Martina is inadequate cover for Coleman too but maybe the best we can do for now.
Victor Yu
28 Posted 12/06/2018 at 08:58:12
Pennington is not good enough.
Gary Mortimer
29 Posted 12/06/2018 at 09:11:47
Ajay — I think I would prefer Jonjoe Kenny as our back-up right-back. Martina should be allowed to leave.
Paul Tran
30 Posted 12/06/2018 at 09:28:15
I watched him a few times while he was on loan at Aberdeen. I like the look of him. He's got something. Kept getting the shite kicked out of him, kept producing. I'd buy him and play him.
Mike Galley
31 Posted 12/06/2018 at 09:35:09
Apologies for going off topic here. Apparently, our former manager (Allardyce) was on TalkSport this morning, and spent a bit of time discussing his period as EFC manager.

Did anyone hear this? Did he make any comments that would be of interest?

Dick Fearon
32 Posted 12/06/2018 at 09:43:11
Chris C @22,

Thank you for such a detailed insight into young Maddison but the only thing that has me concerned is in your 4th paragraph. That could also be an exact description of Osman.

I could never understand why Leon had such a loyal following. Undoubtedly he had a decent first touch and ball skills to go with it but that was about all he had. When he hit a barren patch, which happened often, his fans said he was put in the wrong position.

If he was on the right, they screamed for him to be moved to the left or the middle or further forward or deeper etc etc. No matter what his position he often disappeared completely from the action.

Tom Davies could never be accused of doing that.

Chris Gould
33 Posted 12/06/2018 at 09:52:08
Peter (#23),

He's nothing like Dowell, and you don't see Dowell turning players and regularly beating them. He tends to have tight control and a great touch, which he uses to make space for himself to play a pass or shoot. Dowell has quality, it's undeniable, but he's different and in my opinion behind in his development.

Maddison will twist, turn, nutmeg and then drive forward. He's exciting, and he also strikes the ball very well. I watched Norwich twice last season (on TV): a home win against Sheff Weds and a win at Ipswich. He was the best player on the pitch in both games.

Maybe that's not enough to judge him on, but he stood out and his stats all throughout the season are impressive. He plays like the kid in the park who owns the ball and only goes home when it's dark. He's a joy to watch and works hard.

Dowell will frustrate those that demand hard work and is not ready for the first team, but as Mike and others have said, he has shown quality and maybe can develop the other aspects of his game.

Sam Hoare
34 Posted 12/06/2018 at 09:57:24
I think he looks a cracking little player personally.

In comparison to Dowell, Maddison last season had comfortably better pass completion (86% to 77%), key passes per game (2.8 to 1.6), successful dribbles (2.4 to 1.3). He also is dispossessed less and perhaps crucially makes more tackles and interceptions showing that he's move involved in the defensive side of the game.

I think he'd be a great addition. There's a premium for talented English youth but, even so, I'd hope we'd get him for 㾻-20m rather than doing our usual overpay of the last few years.

My only concern is that with the likes of Gueye, Walcott, Lookman, Davies etc we are becoming a rather small team in a very physical league. At 5ft-7in, Maddison is pretty Osman-esque.

Victor Yu
35 Posted 12/06/2018 at 10:11:00
I agree. Osman was nothing but an average player. If he'd played for Liverpool, we would all be laughing and abusing him.
Chris Gould
36 Posted 12/06/2018 at 10:16:34
Sam, is he really only 5'-7"? Never struck me as being small. He's certainly quicker and stronger than Osman was.

Hopefully we'll buy a big, athletic defensive midfielder and centre-back to deal with aerial threats.

Kevin Prytherch
37 Posted 12/06/2018 at 10:31:54
If we decide to spend big on Maddison, we have to sign him as a starter and not one for the future. Which means deciding on the player he's replacing and getting shut of them.

There's no point spending big money on “One for the future” when there's other areas we need to improve first.

Brian Harrison
38 Posted 12/06/2018 at 11:24:56
I see the Liverpool Echo are running a story written by Rob Beesley, he is saying that there are rumours that Jordan Pickford is wanted by Man Utd. Apparently his odds have dropped from 8-1 for this to happen to 4-5. He also says there is irregular betting on this happening, which usually means someone in the know has lumped on.

Dan Parker
39 Posted 12/06/2018 at 11:50:54
Can't see that Brian, unless De Gea is leaving.
Brian Harrison
40 Posted 12/06/2018 at 12:27:19

I have absolutely no idea if there is any truth in this rumour or not. I just found it strange as to why the Liverpool Echo are running this story yet I haven't seen anything in any of the tabloids regarding this story. Especially them reporting that one of the bookmakers has reported irregular betting activity over this possible transfer.

I always think it's always a bad time when players are away on International duty for a couple of weeks, as they are now with the World Cup. These stories always seem to appear, and players away on International duty will not usually discuss any transfer activity till the competition has finished. But players talk to one another and maybe De Gea has met up with his Spanish teamates and maybe he has said he wouldn't mind joining xxxxxxx club to a player of that club. Then maybe said club have made overtures to De Gea via their own player who knows what goes on.

Lawrence Green
41 Posted 12/06/2018 at 12:39:20
Brian (#40),

The Liverpool Echo football section can't be relied upon any more than TalkSport, Sky and all of the red tops when it comes to Everton-related news & gossip. The following snippet comes from today's Everton blog section – did we really qualify for the Champions League this season?

Everton will discover their 2018-19 fixtures on Thursday, when the Premier League announce the schedule for the new season.

Last year, the Blues began at home to Stoke and finished away to West Ham in a campaign which saw them qualify for the Champions League for the second successive season.

Michael Lynch
42 Posted 12/06/2018 at 12:48:32
If Chris Gould is right, we need to sign this Maddison straight away. I like the idea of loaning Dowell to them in return, but I'm not sure the lad himself would be happy to go out on loan again – he might well ask for a permanent move.

Anyway, if Maddison does come, what happens to Sigurdsson? Isn't it one or the other in the No 10 role? And it's not like we need to worry about rotation this season with no European football.

Michael Lynch
43 Posted 12/06/2018 at 12:50:59
By the way... according to Wiki he's 5'-9" not 5'-7"

Derek Knox
44 Posted 12/06/2018 at 13:06:20
Lawrence @41, with reference to the fixture list for the forthcoming season, I think the first fixture checked of yore was: When are the derbies?

With all the acrimony attached to Silva's appointment, and claims for retrospective compensation from Watford, I think most will now want to know when we play them.

I have read too, that Deulofeu has joined them for the foreseeable future which adds a bit more spice to that fixture.

James Cadwaladr
45 Posted 12/06/2018 at 14:44:05
I can't say I know too much about him but have just been speaking to client who is a Norwich fan.

Says he will be devastated if he goes but understands why it needs to happen. He says he is an absolute gem of a player and expects him to be a regular in the England set up within 12 months.

Derek Taylor
46 Posted 12/06/2018 at 15:31:03
I once read that in the mid- seventies, Johnny Keating tried to 'shake the Club down' in respect of our use of the 'Z-Cars' Theme.

Given that Watford long ago assumed the tune for their 'entry music', I wonder if Everton should make a plagiarism claim against this most litigious of clubs?!

Ray Roche
47 Posted 12/06/2018 at 16:08:15
Regarding the (usual) criticism of Osman. I wish we had a 23-year-old Osman now, especially when you see the protection talented players get now, even compared to 10-15 years ago.

He is unfairly maligned on these pages, he had more vision and talent than anyone in the current squad.

There's a bloke behind me in the St End who I thought had been struck dumb. But it appears that he has not found a whipping boy since Osman left so his silence is deafening. He'd slag Leon off in the kick in.

James Marshall
48 Posted 12/06/2018 at 16:24:05
I also live near Norwich these days, and the Norwich fans I speak to are as mentioned above, resigned to him leaving – they also say he's 'got it' in spades.

Whether that means he'll become a star is always open to the onset of time to decide but for now he's extremely highly thought of round here.

He could definitely turn out to be a great signing for us – I just hope he isn't another one that never gets a game and then we flog him for bugger all.

James Hopper
49 Posted 12/06/2018 at 16:30:31
Pickford 4/5 to join Man Utd? Article in the Echo. Let's assess it...

Who is offering these odds? Well according to Oddschecker, only BetVictor.

And who are BetVictor a “principal partner” of?

You guessed it... Liverpool FC.


Fran Mitchell
50 Posted 12/06/2018 at 16:37:31
Osman was a quality player; unfortunately, he was a cultured attacking central midfielder, who was generally made to play out wide in a team that played long ball.
Ash Moore
51 Posted 12/06/2018 at 16:43:54
The lad is a playmaker, and we do and have needed one for a long time. We also need his goals, this team doesn't look like it's got too many in them. I'd be excited to see him here, for the right price.
Brian Harrison
52 Posted 12/06/2018 at 17:15:49
James (#49),

While I agree that it could be a load of rubbish, but – if it is Bet Victor offering those odds – their head office is in Gibraltar... next door to Spain.

Also, Julen Lopetegui, the National manager of Spain, has just been appointed the next Real Madrid manager, and his number one choice for Spain is David De Gea. Both will be spending the next few weeks together....

Either somebody has been very clever in spinning this tale, or it might have legs; time will tell.

John G Davies
53 Posted 12/06/2018 at 17:25:39
I really hope we don't miss out on this kid.

He will be a top class player.

Martin Berry
54 Posted 12/06/2018 at 18:56:27
We need to wrap this one up asap before he slips the net.

I don't see all this apprehension just because he is playing in a tough league that's hard to get out of – and at 21 too!

He will only get better and stronger and could be a great signing.

Ed Prytherch
55 Posted 13/06/2018 at 03:58:11
I expect that Schneiderlin will stay and play alongside Gana and Sigurdsson in midfield with Gana playing in a more advanced role. If we sign Maddison, he will be a backup for one of those three. Dowell could be a backup for Gylfi but not the other two.

The Echo say the Egyptian to watch is their 105-year-old goalie. I think that we should be watching Hegazi. He can play and he is under the radar. Surely he will not stay at West Brom.

I disagree with those who want to get rid of Vlasic. He is a real athlete and could easily become a utility attacking player who could cover several positions, a valuable asset when you are trying to lower the wage bill.

Brian Murray
56 Posted 13/06/2018 at 05:19:16
Ed. Surely Gana is not the answer in a forward role – he couldn't make a telling pass in his sleep!
Pete Clarke
57 Posted 13/06/2018 at 06:42:52
The thought of Schneiderlin and Gana being in any midfield together scares me. There's hardly a forward pass between them and even less goals.

Silva would need to be a true miracle worker to get these two up to standards expected in reaching the top.

Mark Andersson
58 Posted 13/06/2018 at 08:01:14
If Pickford has a good World Cup, Everton will cash in on him as usual..

Maddison would be mad to join us... Liverpool will be next season's champions... Man Utd runners up again and Man City to with the Champions League...

What happened to Barkley? Did he play any games for Chelsea?

Victor Yu
59 Posted 13/06/2018 at 08:17:42
My gut feeling is Pickford will play like Robert Green in the World Cup.
Brian Williams
60 Posted 13/06/2018 at 08:37:52
Yes Victor, well done.
Henry Lloyd
61 Posted 13/06/2018 at 12:33:07
Got to Agree with a few people, I have been watching this kid and hes really good and we should make it a priority not only sign him but PLAY him and I think with Marcel Brands and Silva around that will probably happen.

Lets hope we get him!!

Henry Lloyd
62 Posted 13/06/2018 at 12:48:31
Yes, Victor, you are a clever lad... why on earth would you say that??
James Marshall
63 Posted 13/06/2018 at 13:34:13
A Norwich season ticket holder here reckons he's watched every game Maddison has played for them, and he calls him the next David Beckham. Going all the way if he stays fit.

Done his knee at the moment apparently hut he says this will be a brilliant bit of business if we get him.

Dick Fearon
64 Posted 13/06/2018 at 14:11:15
Derek T @46,

Wasn't there a dance craze called the Madisson. Oops! Iv'e just remembered a bloke name Jimmy started it.

Fran Mitchell
65 Posted 17/06/2018 at 13:38:25
Seems Leicester have stolen a march here. ARe we waiting for Rooney to go before making a move?

Feel we can't let this one slip. He'll be a top player.

Will Mabon
66 Posted 17/06/2018 at 13:46:47
Fran, I just read that Southampton are "Close" to getting him with a 㿀+ million bid accepted.
Soren Moyer
67 Posted 17/06/2018 at 18:45:23
According to Sky Sports News, Leicester and Southampton have agreed a price in region of 㿂m plus add-ons with Norwich! What are we waiting for? What is the hold-up NOW??
Chris Watts
68 Posted 17/06/2018 at 19:14:42
This is looking like a summer of disappointment. Dead wood not leaving. Lozano value just gone up £10m. This lad going to Leicester. Surely at least one player would have left or come in in the last 3

No matter who the manager is we always seem to take an age to being in the wrong players..

Brian Williams
69 Posted 17/06/2018 at 19:29:06
How does anybody know if we were/are even interested in signing him.
Don't believe all the shite the media peddle then you won't be disappointed.
Sam Hoare
70 Posted 17/06/2018 at 22:47:27
Chris @38, you must have a short memory. Last summer we moved very quickly and decisively. Didn't work out so well.

I like Maddison a lot but we've no idea if Silva and Brands do.

They might, quite sensibly, want to have a closer look at and talk with the players we do have before trying to shift them out on the cheap and taking risks on the next batch.

I don't care how quickly business is done so long as the right decisions are made. It's been a while since we've done that consistently with recruitment.

Geoff Lambert
71 Posted 18/06/2018 at 08:44:12
Looks like he is off to Southampton or Leicester, both aggreed deal with Norwich.
Colin Glassar
72 Posted 18/06/2018 at 09:53:55
Maddison having medical at Leicester. Lozano now probably out of our reach. Nothing really ever changes at Everton does it despite the sound bites?

Tbh, I'm not too bothered. Silva needs to get to know his players before making any major decisions, but it's a shame to lose these two talented players.

Derek Taylor
73 Posted 18/06/2018 at 09:54:55
Everton may well have opened the bidding for Maddison but Sky reporting it is Leicester who got the man! Having a medical there this morning after fee settled at 㿂M.

So much for our new transfer experts, eh?

Simon Smith
74 Posted 18/06/2018 at 10:07:11
Leicester seem to be the only team buying players. I can't see us having a very productive summer.
Colin Glassar
75 Posted 18/06/2018 at 10:45:24
I think we'll be getting a few cheapos from the Portuguese and Dutch leagues. No marquee signings this summer.
Sam Hoare
76 Posted 18/06/2018 at 11:27:45
I remember being gutted when we lost out on Nathan Redmond to Norwich. Very talented, technically gifted young player who was going cheap at the time and had a bright future ahead of him.

5 years later and he's done okay but not a lot more. 19 goals in 180 matches for Norwich and Southampton is not a great return for a winger/forward.

㿀m+ is a decent amount for a championship player who's done nothing in a top league or at international level of note. Personally, I think he looks a cracking little player but only time will tell. Perhaps Dowell will eclipse him.

Derek Taylor
77 Posted 18/06/2018 at 11:30:00
Vaguely racist, I know, but the 'big' clubs with foreign managers rarely sign British players – particularly from the Football League.

They tend to say they are too expensive but any player is expensive if he never plays, as has been proven at Everton!

Steve Ferns
78 Posted 18/06/2018 at 11:37:47
I agree with you Sam. How many players have we seen touted as the next great young thing. I still recall the joy at winning the race for the “Scottish Rooney”. He showed some outrageous skill and touches, particularly an amazing goal against Charlton, but when you assess his career, the verdict on James McFadden has to be that he never lived up to that hype, that he never even came close and those rare flashes of brilliance against Charlton and that goal for Scotland against France were exceptions that than the norm.

So if we miss out on Maddison, let's not be too disappointed. Whilst he might be a success like Dele Alli he could easily be another McFadden or Redmond. I'd rather we take our time with these players and miss out than charge in and get them wrong and pay well over the odds in doing so. Lessons should be learnt from last summer.

Sam Hoare
79 Posted 18/06/2018 at 12:09:29
Indeed Steve, though patience is a virtue and seeing Maddison head to Leicester and Diop to West Ham doesn't help.

I guess we were always going to have to wait for Brands to finish the season at PSV and make his decision on us. That waiting (which is well worth it for important pieces of the jigsaw) always meant we would be waiting for a manager too and having a slower start to the window as the new team assesses current players and hence transfer needs.

Matt Butlin
80 Posted 18/06/2018 at 12:37:34
I don't think that getting Maddison (or not) will change our fortunes too greatly one way or another. This time last year we were all panicking that Real Madrid were going to buy Sandro from under our noses. Whoever called it 'silly season' was right.
Chris Cole
81 Posted 18/06/2018 at 14:03:41
@Sam - have you compared him with Redmond purely because they both played for Norwich? One is a winger, the other is a 10. Redmond is a typical winger, blows hot and cold; confidence player; questionable end-product.

Maddison has the innate self-confidence of a top player; plenty of end-product and popped up with plenty of goals in tight away wins. Disappointed if he ends up at Leicester, but it's a good move for him as he'll play. Shows the utter folly of our transfer dealings last summer – the club's clogged up with players not fit for purpose. It'll take years to undo that. Much better buying younger talent.

Dick @32 – more dynamic than Leon, more end-product, can't underestimate self-belief for a footballer.

Mike, Dick earlier, thanks, you're welcome.

Jay Wood

82 Posted 18/06/2018 at 14:42:10
Chris @ 81.

"@Sam - have you compared him with Redmond purely because they both played for Norwich?"

In defence of Sam, he has done no such thing. Rather, he gave the example of Redmond's transfer from Birmingham to Norwich and being disappointed (at that time) that Everton seemingly lost out on a "very talented, technically gifted young player who was going cheap at the time and had a bright future ahead of him [but] 5 years later and he's done ok but not a lot more."

A very valid observation. There are a lot of players of a similar age to Maddison (and Redmond, in his time) who show a great deal of potential and promise which is never fully realised with age. We've had a number at Everton ourselves.

Sam made absolutely no reference to their respective positions or skill sets.

On Maddison himself, other than the usual 5-minute YouTube compilations, I won't pretend I know much about the player. I do know we have a very fine player already on our books with similar skills sets to Maddison, who is a full year younger and has played at every international age group, winning two international tournaments for the national side in the last 12 months, our own Kieran Dowell.

I won't be making any bold statements about how the careers of either Maddison or Dowell may progress in the next 4-5 years, based on what I know.

Tony Abrahams
83 Posted 18/06/2018 at 14:53:19
Good post, Jay. Sam, speaks too much sense to compare two very different types of player, but I did think Chris made a very good point about the state the squad has been left in, and hope and pray, that it doesn't take as long as he predicts for us to get over it.
Steve Ferns
84 Posted 18/06/2018 at 15:15:01
There will be another Maddison next summer, and another the summer after that. With Sigurdsson at the age of 30 / 31, it'll make more sense to have someone coming in with the brief of trying to dislodge him from the side.

Sigurdsson is someone who usually plays virtually every game (injury this season excluded). Therefore, it wouldn't be a good idea to have Maddison (or someone similar) sat on the bench watching. Surely Dowell can do that anyway?

Jay Wood

85 Posted 18/06/2018 at 15:15:42
Tony @ 83.

There is some validity in Chris's observation, but I can't agree with all he says.

Yes, last year's lottery transfer dealings means Silva and Brands inherit an unbalanced squad, with players 'not fit for purpose' as Chris writes. We are also top-heavy with ageing players creaking past their 'Best Use By' date.

Where I disagree with Chris is when he says "It'll take years to undo that."

Hard as it may be to convince some folk, but we do have some talented players at the club. Before writing all off as a lost cause, how about we wait and see what a modern, hands-on manager can achieve with them?

I have long held a more optimistic view that fortunes can turn around very quickly at a club, with the right personnel in place.

Steve Ferns
86 Posted 18/06/2018 at 15:22:10
Jay, having watched that tactical analysis of Silva, albeit for a 4-2-3-1, what's your thoughts about how that would all translate to the Blues?

I echo your sentiments that there is a good squad there. It just needs rearranging into a better formation, shape, and style of play. Sure, there's lots of positions to improve in, but the only glaring deficiencies I see are over the quality of the midfield as a whole in passing the ball.

Paul Kossoff
87 Posted 18/06/2018 at 15:49:25
Apparently Leicester have offered £24 m for him.
Jay Wood

88 Posted 18/06/2018 at 15:54:10
To be honest, Steve, I thought the video I helped you translate was basic commonsense stuff which has been applied by any number of coaches, over many years, at pretty much every level of football. Namely:

* When in possession, get forward as quickly as possible, ideally through the centre rather than the flanks, and try to create 'player overloads' – a numerically advantage – over the opposition. Recycle the ball to retain possession, rather than cough it up cheaply.

* When out of possession, put pressure on the man in possession, restricting his passing options to going backwards or sideways rather than forward, and squeeze the space the opposition have to play in. Stop crosses coming into your penalty area. Have the striker work the centre-backs to make it difficult to pass out of defence. Have your wide men squeezing the space of their opposition numbers. Ensure a solid defensive base of your back line and defensive midfielders.

Not exactly innovative or rocket science. To play it, the current squad needs to be fitter and more dynamic than in recent seasons. The back four will need to be freshened up with neither Baines nor Jags getting any younger (but capable of 'making do', at least for now), but those two positions (plus an unidentified type of midfielder) is what the Echo reported Silva wants to add.

And I agree with you Steve – it is the midfield that needs most attention to be able to effectively apply Silva's preferred template, based on the video link you sent me. Some of the players are already at the club. I retain reservations that Schneiderlin can have an epiphany under Silva (or anyone, really...) and I'm not convinced as you are that Carvalho will be a major cog either.

But it was interesting viewing.

Steve Ferns
89 Posted 18/06/2018 at 16:20:34
Yes Jay, nothing was rocket science there. But if you break down Guardiola's tactics, nothing is complicated there either. Same with Klopp. Marcelo Bielsea, at his brilliant best, played what looked like a very complicated 3313, but in effect was a very simple tactic. Leeds fans are in for a treat there, even if Bielsa is a tired, old shadow of his former self.

I am led to believe that Silva's best skills are in getting others to understand the tactics and to buy into it. I think Koeman's tactics were complicated. The players looked confused, and the fans certainly were. Simplicity always works, where the plan is effective, and everyone gives 100%.

The point on Carvalho, is that he is big, strong, can tackle, but mainly that he can pass. I think he's a significant upgrade on Schneiderlin in terms of passing. I think if Schneiderlin does play, we will need Gueye as well, and the crowd would see that as the same old. I think ultimately, and sure both at in their very late 20s now, we need to replace both with better passers of the ball and more dynamic box to box midfielders.

I'd love to get rid of Schneiderlin and Gueye and go with Davies / McCarthy and Doucoure with Sigurdsson just ahead. I don't think that's feasible, and as Carvalho is on a free (court case notwithstanding) then I think signing him is a no brainer (but make sure it's not Sandro type wages!).

Jay Wood

90 Posted 18/06/2018 at 16:32:16
Dang! I thought I added an edit, but it hasn't appeared.

Steve, being the keen tactical analyst you are, dunno if you ever used the excellent FourFourTwo Stats Zone app, but it was brilliant. Based on Opta data, it left no room for debate data-wise on what a player did or didn't do in a game.

Unfortunately, 442 retired it at the start of last season and I still pine for it. I haven't found anything that comes close to matching the detail of 442 SZ. If you know of anything, please let me know.

Ta verily!

Steve Ferns
91 Posted 18/06/2018 at 16:40:30
No Jay. I didn't see that. ToffeeWeb used to have a link to the executioner's bong, which was like an Everton only version of, but sadly the guy stopped doing that long ago (early in Martinez's reign). seems to be dead as well now. Tifo is decent. is good for stats.
Jay Wood

92 Posted 18/06/2018 at 16:45:25
The Executioners' Gong used 442 SZ!

The probable reason he stopped blogging was because the 442 mag retired the app.

I'll check out your suggestions. Cheers.

Andrew Ellams
93 Posted 18/06/2018 at 16:48:35
Steve Ferns, after watching the first few days of the World Cup I'd love to see an Everton team of 4-2-3-1 with Carvalho and Gylfi deep and Lookman, Walcott and Lozano playing behind Tosun. If Silva likes fast counter-attacking team, that would do it and not involve a massive number of new signings.
Chris Cole
94 Posted 18/06/2018 at 23:12:00
Sam @76 Please accept my apologies, I'll re-read posts in future.
Jay @82 Thanks for pointing that out - I misread "to" for "at".

Jay, I hope you're right about Dowell, but the fact that he has represented England at every age group makes it more disappointing to me that Maddison has effectively overtaken him this season, partly because Dowell was dropped by an admittedly defensive manager in Karanka. Maybe he just had a dip in form.

I agree that we have some talented players, but we have far too many and they've all been signed on great money and long contracts, and are difficult to move on as a consequence. A bloated squad means young talent is far less likely to sign for us, as competition for players looks horrific on the face of it.

Steve @ 84, "there will be another Maddison next summer, and another the summer after that". Idly flicked through the Championship teams of the year for the last 10 years. #10s that appear are:
- Hoolahan (much older at the time)
- Pritchard (older and ravaged by injury since)
- Taarabt (talented boy, terrible attitude, lifestyle and application)
- Lallana (a very similar player, was 22 when he had a similar stellar season in League ONE, 24 when he did the equivalent to Maddison in the Championship).

I know not every potential player's going to come from the Championship, but thought I'd provide some context anyway.

While I'm here, do you really see Carvalho coping with the pace of the Premier League? Seeing him jogging back while Costa had all the time in the world to twist left and right for his first goal the other night reminded me of Schneiderlin 17/18 vintage. Can't see that being well-received at Goodison...

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