The best deal ever

by   |   29/05/2019  55 Comments  [Jump to last]

In the interests of debate, I would suggest that signing Seamus Coleman from Sligo was the best piece of business in the history of football. He cost about £60k and, at his peak, I would suggest he was worth 50 times that.

What makes it so much better than that for me is that he is Irish. I saw him at Sligo as a kid, and knew he was special.

He got lots of stick on here and in my evangelizing of him some thought I was related to him. If we ever did a better deal, I would like to hear about it.

Also, I was mightily upset when the lamentable Martinez sold Duffy. Now I know, no matter how much it upset me, we may have made worse sales, but what beats that?

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Darren Hind
1 Posted 30/05/2019 at 06:41:03
HaHa, I remember you banging on about both these players, Andy, and justifiably so. Seamus endeared himself to the faithful very early on when coming on as a sub and turning the game on its head (I think it was against Spurs). But to become a regular, he had to oust Tony Hibbert.

I remember your utter frustration when Moyes continually opted for Hibbert's more defensive qualities over Coleman's swashbuckling style. I think it was you who first suggested playing Coleman in front of Hibbert.

Duffy was different. The move away from Goodison Park probably helped him. He wasnt getting a game here and he needed to play in order to improve through experience. He had obvious qualities, but he was simply too slow. Opponents soon picked up on it. As with others before him, experience taught him how to compensate for that lack of pace; he learned how to "cut the ring down" and he has become a very decent centre-half.

It's only when somebody asks you who you thought shouldn't have been allowed to leave that you realise how seldom it is that somebody leaves this club and goes on to be a better player.

We all knew Wayne Rooney was going to leave at some point — but then quite why Kenwright bent over so readily still has me shaking my head in disbelief. It was bad enough we sold him a year before we needed to, but to let the richest club on earth have him for about half of what we knew he was worth was criminal. To agree to let them pay in installments was an affront to the concept of negotiation.

I promised myself I would never be arsed discussing Kenwright again... but what a complete merchant banker that guy has been.

On great signings? Seamus has some pretty fierce competition. People like Cahill and Sheedy must at least be on a par with the signing of Seamus but, for me, whoever got Reidy to sign on the dotted line probably pulled off our club's best bit of business in modern times.

Alan J Thompson
2 Posted 30/05/2019 at 06:51:00
Johnny Morrissey costing ten grand and the sale getting up Shankly's nose must rate up there for that alone.
Geoff Trenner
3 Posted 30/05/2019 at 06:57:34
Tim Cahill? £1.5 million from Millwall if I recall correctly.
Andy Meighan
4 Posted 30/05/2019 at 07:02:01
Sheedy from them. What was it... £110 grand? I could be wrong... Absolute steal and one of the finest ever to grace our turf.

As for Seamus, I doubt if we'll ever see a finer right-back in our side that could hold a candle to him. And a great lad to boot. What a pity we've never been able to lift a trophy while he's been playing... Criminal!!!

Jeff Hough
5 Posted 30/05/2019 at 08:17:21
Didn't Peter Reid cost just £60,000 from Bolton?
Clive Rogers
6 Posted 30/05/2019 at 08:46:32
Brian Harris from Ellesmere Port for next to nothing.
Martin Nicholls
7 Posted 30/05/2019 at 09:00:47
Can't argue with any of the "nominations" but have to add the great Howard Kendall. If that £70,000 had not been spent on him, we'd never have seen the Holy Trinity and quite probably the mid-1980s glory years wouldn't have happened. For overall impact, he was surely our best "pound for pound" signing?
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 30/05/2019 at 09:10:04
I can’t do better than Alan (2) with Johnny Morrissey, although Paul Power on a free runs him close.
Si Smith
9 Posted 30/05/2019 at 10:07:20
John Stones seemed worth the punt, Lescot too.

Arteta and Cahill has to run them all close as well.

Coleman is a once-in-a-lifetime fee, though — £60k in this day and age was simply stunning.

Ed Fitzgerald
10 Posted 30/05/2019 at 10:08:00
Sheedy for me - £100k from the RS. An imperious presence in our midfield. Brilliant in '85 and '86 and even better in '87 when he had a superb season both out wide and in the middle. His disdain for the RS on full display when he flicked the kop them vee-signs when he rifled in that screamer of a free kick.
John Keating
11 Posted 30/05/2019 at 10:23:04
Some crackers there!
But there's been loads really.
For shear pleasure: Vernon £20-odd thousand
The great Young and Thomson for a combined £50k
But, for sheer longevity, what about Sharp £100k??
Tony Abrahams
12 Posted 30/05/2019 at 10:28:40
I'd go along with Darren, and answer Jeff. Yes Peter Reid, cost Everton the same as Seamus Coleman, and I'd have to go along with Reid, because he's my favourite ever Everton player.

Seamus is also a very good player, and also comes across as a very special person, so let's hope he fulfills his dream and picks up the FA Cup next season.

Rooney is the obvious bad sell deal, but I remember Everton sold Don Hutchinson, rather than give the captain of the club a pay rise, and he was sold for a pittance. I'm sure he was sold on again for a lot more money...

Chris Jones (Burton on Trent)
13 Posted 30/05/2019 at 10:42:35
Everyone who has been mentioned were fantastic bargains, in most cases, unbelievably so. But for sheer bang for bucks I have to nominate Neville Southall; even if, back in the day, £150k for a keeper was not an insignificant sum.

For not far short of two whole decades he was our rock. He played 578 games for us at a cost of... wait for it, less than £260 a game (wages aside). In that time he was named in the PFA Team of the Year four consecutive times, listed as one of the world's top ten goalkeepers by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics on four occasions, and was named one of the 100 'Greatest Players of the 20th Century' by World Soccer magazine. And at the end of the 1984/85 season he became the first ever Blue to be named Football Writer's Association Footballer of the Year. And all for less than £260 a game, dude!

Had he not badly damaged his ankle playing for Wales in a game (in Iceland, IIRC), causing him to miss the last 10 games of the 1985-86 Season, and the 1986 FA Cup Final, we would surely have earned us the one extra point we needed to win the league and we would likely have completed the double also.

Jon Bentley
14 Posted 30/05/2019 at 10:59:56
Chris (13)

With those comments, you have effectively done the equivalent of a ToffeeWeb mic drop!!

Spot on. 👍

Peter Howard
15 Posted 30/05/2019 at 13:22:13
William Ralph Dean for £3,000.
Dennis Stevens
16 Posted 30/05/2019 at 14:29:55
WR Dean from the "before my time" category.

Nev the Save from the "in my time" category.

Oh, to have players of their cailbre at each end of the pitch nowadays!

Mike Galley
17 Posted 30/05/2019 at 14:32:18
I'm with Chris #13. Neville was an absolute giant of the game and the only EFC player I've seen, who could be legitimately argued to be the best in the world in his position.

I admit I'm biased as he's my all-time Everton hero, but I do believe he tops any Best Deal type table.

Kieran Kinsella
18 Posted 30/05/2019 at 15:13:18
Peter Howard,

£3,000 for Dixie Dean, adjusted for inflation, is in today's money approximately £43,000. Can you even imagine what Dixie would fetch today? £100 million? Just shows that a) it was a great deal; and b) football transfer inflation is absolutely shockingly astronomical.

Kieran Kinsella
19 Posted 30/05/2019 at 15:15:22
Mike Galley 17

"Neville was an absolute giant of the game and the only EFC player I've seen, who could be legitimately argued to be the best in the world in his position."

I read this sentence at first thinking we were using surnames in this thread. I was trying to fathom whether you meant Neville as holding midfielder or right back... then the penny dropped! :)

Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 30/05/2019 at 15:26:56
Have to agree with Southall because, although Reid was my favourite, I have to agree with what Mike G says about “Big Nev”.
Mike Gaynes
21 Posted 30/05/2019 at 15:29:58
Chris #13, agree with Jon, great post.

Andy, love your loyalty but it's time to let go of the Duffy thing. The sale was fully justified. He wasn't good enough to be a starter for us back then -- his only appearances came when both Jags and Distin were hurt -- and he isn't good enough now. He's reached the top of his potential at the bottom of the Premier League, and good for him, but as Darren says the transfer to Blackburn allowed that to happen.

Dennis Stevens
22 Posted 30/05/2019 at 15:36:53
Aye, Kieran, even at the time £3,000 seems a bargain for such a fine centre-forward in 1925 when one considers Warney "The Prince of Full-Backs" Cresswell moved to Sunderland in 1922 for £5,500 before joining Everton for £7,000 in 1927 & five figure transfers were taking place well before the 1920s were over.
Kris Boner
23 Posted 30/05/2019 at 17:06:00
Just feel the need to clarify something for the original post. £60,000 multiplied by 50 is only £3,000,000. Seamus at his peak would have commanded closer to £30,000,000 making it 500 times.

His value rising by 500 times is something special, beyond the realisation of 99.9% of all investments ever made, let alone in the money lost venture that is football.

Mike Galley
24 Posted 30/05/2019 at 17:16:30
Kieran #19,

Haha, very good. I should have used Neville's surname. 'Saveall' — as me and the lads used to call him!!! We were still in school when we came up with that one.

Dave Williams
25 Posted 30/05/2019 at 19:41:07
Alan Ball for half of what we sold him for after half a dozen great years. True greatness, a genuine legend in any terms and when he was in the team I always knew we were likely to win. Inspired others and lifted their game to the maximum, totally fearless and if we had him now we would crash the top four.

Next to him Southall and Reid with Sharp and Bobby Collins also worth a mention.

David Pearl
26 Posted 30/05/2019 at 19:52:35
Didn’t Alan Harper and Sheedy come in the same deal with the RS?
David Pearl
27 Posted 30/05/2019 at 19:55:40
Nope. Harper arrived also for £100,000 the following year. Google.
Jay Harris
28 Posted 30/05/2019 at 19:59:38
Some great mentions there and who could argue with any of them?

It's a pity today's mercenary bunch and greedy agents don't take any notice of that but, for me, the standouts are those who contributed to the most successful period in the club's history and arguably formed the best team in the world for a period of time.

Neville, Reidy and Sheeds with a nod to Kendall who was also the most successful manager in our history.

Paul Birmingham
29 Posted 30/05/2019 at 20:00:40
Pound for pound, Dixie from bygone times; mid-times Bally, and Big Nev in recent modern times. Tim Cahill for me in recent times was a giant and inspiration in a difficult period for EFC. These were, if it can be said, almost untouchable in terms of ability and commitment to the club.

But, as many others on this thread have mentioned also great players, Reidy, Seamus, Sheeds, and in context it illustrates the many great players who came and made Goodison their arena, and have sealed their rightful places in Everton history.

If we can recreate even half the same aura and vision these players had, this current squad will be on the right track.

Jay Wood

30 Posted 30/05/2019 at 20:47:12
Curious to see the values of players signed in particular years at the fees mentioned adjusted for inflation to 2019 figures, I found this online calculator (it adjusts to UK sterling, US/Canada/US $ and Euros, if anyone wants to play with it).


Some selected names from the nominations:

Dixie - £3k in 1925 = a mere £180,875 today.
Seamus Coleman - £60k in 2009 = just under £80k today.
Neville Southall - £150k in 1981 = £570,215
Kevin Sheedy - £100k in 1982 = £350k
Peter Reid - £60k in 1982 = £210k

A superficial perusal may conclude Dixie really is the greatest bargain.

As already commented by others, these numbers show how ridiculously inflated transfer fees have become. Not one of those players in their prime would go for less than £50 MILLION in today's market. One or two of them would be around the £100 MILLION + mark.

Stephen Brown
31 Posted 30/05/2019 at 21:11:34
Those figures are astonishing! Sky has a lot to answer for!

You can't get a non-league footballer for those prices these days.

Martin Mason
32 Posted 30/05/2019 at 21:24:04
The reason is those of us who pay Sky to watch our football. We pay for the inflation.
John G Davies
33 Posted 30/05/2019 at 21:32:25
Through the decades: Howard Kendall in the 60s; Sheedy and Reid in the 80s; Coleman.

Have to include Stones, bought for £3M sold for £50M.

Oh to have them names available in their prime. I reckon Stones will move on to get first-team football. Probably beyond our reach but worth a go?

Jamie Crowley
34 Posted 30/05/2019 at 22:37:16
Andy I love this article.

I was with you every step with Seamus. He's an absolute steal. By far the most astute signing in my time following the Club. Others can speak to the historical signings before my time, but for me Seamus Coleman blows them all away.

And I've said this before, but you couldn't ask for a better human being for your Club. He's as down to earth as they come. No Hollywood, no flash, just balls-to-the-wall effort and attitude. Married to his childhood sweetheart, and my good friend here in the States from County Mayo tells me he's from a small fishing village. Just salt of the earth type of stuff.

My dog's name is Seamus for crying out loud. I just love the kid.

Shane Duffy! I too, although not quite as vociferous as you, always liked Duffy. I never, ever understood why we sold him. He's a solid CB whom we absolutely could have used through the years, no question.

With a ton of Irish heritage running through my veins, and being known over here by friends as, "he's Irish" or, "he comes from a big Irish family", I too take a hell of a lot of pride in the Irish players.

I realize that doesn't make a lot of sense to a true Irishman, and it seems very plastic. And frankly it is. But it's an identity thing that I think carries some weight. I have cousins - all of them sans one set - who are 5th generation and are 100% Irish heritage. Not a one of them "watered down" like myself. There's an absolute culture, albeit again American in flair, that runs through us.

All you'd need to do is go to one family reunion, one wedding, one funeral, one "thing" in the Crowley / Meagher Clan, to see it. It's real, and we take a lot of pride in it, in an honest moment.

So the Irish players for Everton I take a very fond liking to, and Duffy was one I loved.

And Seamus is just on another plane altogether. He is 100% gold, and for me the single best signing of my Blue life, personally.

Great post! I laughed out loud when I read it and said, "Oh hell yes."

A fucking statue of Seamus should go outside Goodison / BMD when he retires. Hyperbole? A bit. But for Christ sake the money we saved on signing a player of his quality, the statue is practically free in the end!

Frank Wolfe
35 Posted 31/05/2019 at 00:49:56
In terms of letting people go, then Shkodran Mustafi is worth a mention. Went on a free to Sampdoria, then went to Valencia and later sold to Arsenal for £35+ million.
Amit Vithlani
36 Posted 31/05/2019 at 01:12:45
No doubt for me: Seamie must rank as one of the best bargains of the Premier League Era, especially when you consider wages. Other clubs have picked up free transfers but Seamie's overall cost to the club inclusive of wages, signing-ons etc, really puts him right up there.

Of those not already mentioned above, I would add Peter Beardsley, who I thought was a steal. He arguably kept us afloat for a couple of seasons and was then sold for a healthy profit if memory serves.

Fran Mitchell
37 Posted 31/05/2019 at 02:42:30
In my lifetime, nothing bests Kevin Campbell on loan. He saved us from relegation, which at the time could have seen us head on a downwards spiral like Nottm Forrest and Sheff Wed.

He was great also when signed until his injury.

Others include David Wier, Alan Stubbs, Timmy Cahill, Mikel Arteta, and Gana Gueye.

Dermot Byrne
38 Posted 31/05/2019 at 03:57:58
Bret Angell
Paul Bernard
39 Posted 31/05/2019 at 09:59:04
Slightly off topic but it kills me how we haven't won anything with Cahill (£1.5m) Pienaar (£2.5m), Coleman (£60k) Baines (£6m) Jags (£6m) and arteta (£2m).

I think had we won trophies with those players, many fans of other teams and pundits would of held them in higher regard. I would love us to sign a couple of kids like the benfica duo mentioned in another article, just to see them develop into £40m+ players.

Peter Warren
40 Posted 31/05/2019 at 17:48:01
Big Nev
Jimmy Hogan
41 Posted 31/05/2019 at 18:17:55
John @33, I think we will see Stones get more first team action at City now Kompany has retired.
Darren Hind
42 Posted 31/05/2019 at 18:47:00
John Stones was playing in all of City's major games until he picked up a hamstring injury which kept him out for 6-7 weeks. He regained his fitness and his place only to get injured playing for his country.

Kompany certainly took his chance to resurrect and outstanding career when Stones was injured, He made himself impossible to drop. However, Stones will be moving nowhere. He will start next season as first choice center half for the best club team in the world.

When I think of the ignorant criticism Stones received from the philistines when he was here, I could weep.

"I want my defenders to bluddy well defend . .GETRIDOFTHEFUCKER !!!"

Joe McMahon
43 Posted 31/05/2019 at 19:04:59
Big Nev for me. Elsewhere the dubious Loan deals that West Ham and Man U got Carlos Tevez with.
John G Davies
44 Posted 31/05/2019 at 20:25:51
John Stones was fit for the run-in, Guardiola stated he was. He didn't trust him in the big games.

It will be Laporte and another to start next season. Laporte will be first centre-half on the team sheet.

It remains to be seen if Pep starts Stones in the first game of season. My money will be on he won't.

Andy Crooks
45 Posted 31/05/2019 at 21:01:46
Darren, I compared John Stones to Bobby Moore and got quite a negative response. I stand by the comparison. He is very, very good and will be great but sadly not for us.
Andy Crooks
46 Posted 31/05/2019 at 21:10:20
Kris @ 23, thank you for that. I was thinking £30 million but can't count.
Alan J Thompson
47 Posted 01/06/2019 at 11:04:44
Stones has a footballing brain but unfortunately not that of a pragmatist and when it costs goals, as it did a few times at Everton, then it is less of a "get rid of the fucker" than take a more effective alternative. When you back yourself in to a him or nobody corner then you really do refuse to see the truth and next I'll expect the usual personal attack.
Frank Wade
48 Posted 05/06/2019 at 17:56:20
I was in total agreement with Andy that Seamus was the all time best value signing. But then reading through the other contenders, I started to wain. We have had so many bargains. The one I like is Howard Kendall as he was snatched from the door of Mordor at the last moment. Big Nev was World class. We don't get them so often. Kevin Sheedy, Peter Reid too. We have done so well over the years. The compilation of the 84 to 87 team was a masterpiece that will never be repeated.

We can agree that Seamus is the best value signing since Sky invented football in 1992.

Chris #13, I'm sorry to say, Neville damaged that ankle on a bumpy surface at Lansdowne Road in Dublin in March 1986 and not in Iceland. Now redeveloped as the Aviva Stadium, it is a pitch that Seamus has graced on many occasions.

Terry Downes
49 Posted 05/06/2019 at 18:18:14
Big Nev for me closely followed by Reidy but also don’t forget Andy Gray he was a bargain not here long but l loved watching him in a blue shirt bashing the centre halves up ! top player.
Brian Wilkinson
50 Posted 05/06/2019 at 22:01:55
Just a few for special mention for me other than ones already mentioned, Paul Power, Lee Carsley, Gareth Barry. With Joe Parkinson if only injury had not happened.
Brian Wilkinson
51 Posted 05/06/2019 at 22:03:53
However, Southall is without doubt the best signing we ever made.
Richard Pike
52 Posted 08/06/2019 at 01:01:11
Mostly (but not entirely) tongue-in-cheek suggestion: Graham Stuart. About £800k from Chelsea IIRC, and just think how *that* Wimbledon game might have gone but for signing him. Speaking of which... what black hole did those 25 years just disappear into?
Andy Crooks
53 Posted 10/06/2019 at 19:20:16
Brian@ 50, that post got me got me thinking. I would love someone more articulate than me to write a piece about Joe. He could have been great. I never saw Duncan Edwards but I think Joe was the same type. What is he doing now? I hope it is good for him whatever it is.

Dave Abrahams
54 Posted 11/06/2019 at 13:47:47
Andy (53), I loved Joe Parkinson, he never ever gave less than 100%, a proper team player, could give the verbals as well, scored a late goal versus Arsenal that we thought had got us into Europe but another team scored a later goal and we never made it.

As Brian(50) says only a bad injury stopped us from getting more years from a whole hearted and committed player, doesn’t stop us looking back with admiration at the time he was with us.

Sorry to say Andy, as good as Joe was there was no comparison with the fabulous Duncan Edwards, that’s not a slight on Joe, there is hardly any all round midfield player who I have seen since who could better the standards set by Duncan Edwards, whose career ended in tragedy at Munich, Barlow of WBA and Beattie of Ipswich were built like Duncan and were very good players but still not on the same level.

Brian Wilkinson
55 Posted 17/06/2019 at 05:24:37
Andy, Joe Parkinson as far as I am aware is the first team coach at Wigan Athletic.

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