Zouma: Decision over my future will come in the summer

Monday, 8 April, 2019 92comments  |  Jump to last
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Kurt Zouma won't yet be drawn on the possibility of making his loan move to Everton permanent, stressing that the decision will be made at the end of the season.

The French international was an astute deadline-day signing that just beat the closure of the window last August and he has emerged as one of the Blues' most consistent performers this season.

That has inevitably led to talk of Everton trying to secure him on a permanent deal this summer but the situation is complicated by the two-year transfer ban imposed on his parent club Chelsea who may be reluctant to sell anyone in their squad if they are unable to sign replacements.

“I don't know yet,” Zouma said when asked what his future holds. “We have five more games to play and then we will see.

“I am very happy. My aim was to come and play and improve myself and I think I have done here. I hope we will finish the season very high.”

Zouma, who wasn't deemed regular first-team material at Stamford Bridge last season which he spent on loan at Stoke City, is part of a defensive unit that despite disruption caused by injury, illness and his own ineligibility to face Chelsea two weeks ago, has kept five clean sheets in their last six games.

It has helped the Blues vault themselves back into contention for seventh place which, if they can secure it, would represent improvement on last term's eighth-place finish and carries with it the possibility of qualification for the Europa League.

“We have more confidence and every one defends as a unit. Now everyone understands each other,” Zouma said of Everton's recent upturn in form following a horrible run of results over the winter months.

“We hold the ball a bit better, we are more compact as a team as we defend together and attack together.

“We are confident, are playing forward more and are playing better and we believe, but the season hasn't finished yet so we have go again next week and get a win.”


Reader Comments (92)

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David Pearl
1 Posted 08/04/2019 at 18:26:58
You’d have to question his logic if he wants to return to Chelsea as he’d be on the bench again. Another loan might be possible given Chelsea might be in limbo regards new signings. Can’t deny he’s been a success. Of course his arrival restricted Holgate a bit but I’m not convinced he will make a centre back in the long run anyway.
Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 08/04/2019 at 18:34:00
No doubt he has improved immensely. He reads the game much better and no longer gets burned as often from ballwatching -- his increased awareness of people running off his back shoulder is his most significant sign of progress.

My hunch is that if Chelsea want him back and see him as a replacement/upgrade for David Luiz, he'll return there.

Derek Knox
3 Posted 08/04/2019 at 18:40:58
David @ 1, I really think he does want to stay with us, but he is probably being diplomatic with what he says, although admittedly when he first arrived, he did say he wanted to get into Chelsea's reckoning for next season.

Of course a few things have changed at Chelsea since then, the Abramovich situation, the Sarri situation, and of course the Transfer ban for two windows, which incidentally they are appealing against. Because the ban is effectively for signing underage players, it may be reduced to that area alone, who knows?

He has certainly fitted in well to our set-up, and his performances overall have been pretty consistent, he has regained his inclusion in the French National squad, and of course he's got the odd goal or two, I do hope he stays, but ultimately Chelsea will obviously have the final say.

Fran Mitchell
4 Posted 08/04/2019 at 18:43:28
Chelsea will likely have a new manager next season, and they have the transfer ban.

Their current centre backs:

David Luiz, brilliant in a back 3, but a liability in a back 4 and getting older.

Rudigier, error prone, not lived up to exdpections.

Cahill, aging and going on a bosman in the summer.

Christensen, nothing more than back up.

So Zouma has every chance of forcing himself into their plans, so much depends on him. He has got better and better as the season has gone on, and would be a real coup if we could get him permanently.

Brian Williams
5 Posted 08/04/2019 at 18:44:32
A lot will depend on exactly what he himself wants to do and whether he's prepared to tell Chelsea, should he want to come to us.
If he informs Chelsea that he'd like to be allowed to leave then they'd probably not want to keep a player who doesn't want to be there. (I hope).
They'll then proceed to try'n stiff us over the fee.
I hope he wants to stay and we make it happen because the man's a beast of a player in my book!
Let's hope Luca a un mot à l'oreille!

PS. Chelsea, I believe, are either in the process of, or intend to, appeal the ban.

Eddie Dunn
6 Posted 08/04/2019 at 19:04:29
In my opinion, he is wise to wait and see if Sarri is still there come June, or what the new guy is like. Cahill will surely move on perhaps to a lower half PL team whilst Christianson, might get the nod again, as he was first choice and getting rave reviews only last season.
Zouma has shown his worth and playing more games has been good for him.
We have compatriots in Digne and Schnides, so he has some folk to chat to in his mother tongue, as well as Gueye.
I hope he enjoys his time here enough to want the permanent move.
Les Moorcroft
7 Posted 08/04/2019 at 19:16:34
Now this man mountain is one I would like to keep.
Terry Farrell
8 Posted 08/04/2019 at 20:08:59
He has been playing brilliantly and is better than what Chelsea have now so agree with Mike and fran that he will be offski at the end of the season
Tony Hill
9 Posted 08/04/2019 at 20:09:32
He's been great for us. I think he's likely to go back to Chelsea, but he was a brilliant loan signing. I have high hopes of Holgate and Feeney but I assume we'll buy.
Joe McMahon
10 Posted 08/04/2019 at 20:15:38
It's a real shame that we can't offer CL football (for a change), sadly Chelsea prob will be able too (plus London). I also think he is key to a better Everton future.
Mike Gaynes
11 Posted 08/04/2019 at 21:31:18
Tony, I don't think we'll buy. I believe Mina, Keane and Holgate are a quality CB rotation. Feeney may be ready for first-team backup duty. And before his season-ending injury last weekend Pennington was superb at Ipswich -- check out their fans' heartbroken reactions to his departure back to Everton: https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2019/04/01/ipswich-town-fans-respond-to-everton-owned-matthew-penningtons-p/

"Thank you for giving us some proper football, definitely player of the season."

Assuming the surgery went well this week, I'm betting he gets a final chance to impress Silva this summer. So I think we'll spend in other areas, not CB.

Justin Doone
12 Posted 08/04/2019 at 21:41:38
Take age out of the equation Jags and Zouma are the best 2 centre backs we have.

Unfortunately Jags isn't going to be a regular because he's 38ish and there isn't a great deal between Zouma and Kean but Zouma is my first choice in that position.

I haven't seen enough of Mina to judge if he's a footballer, never mind any good.

I'd say he's a must buy £25M?

Lev Vellene
13 Posted 08/04/2019 at 22:07:25
Mike #11,

I fear you are right here! We'd love to keep Zouma, but let's face it, we borrowed him from a club who couldn't promise him a place as they saw him by then.

He may still be too costly for us if we have the proper young players to step into the breech. I'm hoping Feeney, or maybe even Pennington, can at last have a chance to prove their worth!

Jamie Crowley
14 Posted 08/04/2019 at 22:15:34
It pains me, because I love Zouma, but I think Mike Gaynes speaks sense (again).

Zouma will cost some serious dough. I think Mina and Keane will be first choice pairing, and Holgate and Jags backups. Jags has another 2 years left in him, particularly managing his appearances on the lighter side.

The one thing that gives me pause is Zouma's words. Normally you here, "We will see what my future is this summer. As of now I'm a Chelsea player, but we shall see."

He did not say that which is in bold. No mention of the parent Club at all, which makes me believe he may want to stay?

But with Brands at the helm, I believe we are going to see a lot of younger kids step up and fill holes.

In fact, I think Tom Davies will be filling the hole left by Gana as I believe Gueye will be off to France. Under Brands we'll begin to see a lot more kids step up, coupled with exceedingly prudent spending in acquiring new players.

Time will tell. Over to you, Marcel.

Mike Gaynes
15 Posted 08/04/2019 at 22:28:00
Awww, Jamie, I hope SO much you are right about Jags, because I would love to see him play another season or two. But he's out of contract, and dare we even hope the club would sign him to another? Seems very, very unlikely.

Interesting thought about Davies stepping in for Gana. He certainly has the tackling skills and the search-and-destroy mindset. Not much at reading the game, however. Yet.

Neil Copeland
16 Posted 08/04/2019 at 22:31:28
If we had to choose Gomes or Zouma due to money constraints and the need to strengthen our forward line then I would prefer us to go for Gomes. Zouma has been brilliant but as Mike Gaynes highlights we do have options in that position. However, as looks likely, Gana leaves in the summer we must keep Gomes or face the prospect of rebuilding the midfield and slow progress if at all next season.
So as much as I would like us to keep Zouma, if we have to choose then I would prefer Gomes.
Jamie Crowley
17 Posted 08/04/2019 at 22:48:00
Oh shit Mike I didn't realize that.

Jesus. . . I think I'll reverse my stance then. If Jags is out of contract, it's not an intelligent signing as he's aging. For some reason I thought he has 2-3 years left with us??

Regarding Davies -

We're seeing the fruits of patience with DCL. We need to be patient with Davies and give him a chance, just as we've done with Calvert-Lewin. I've said this for a long, long time now, and there's been a host of dissenters. Tom Davies is a very good young player, and if we are patient with him, and we need to be, he's going to develop into one hell of a midfielder.

The kid has all the tools. All of them. He simply needs to mature - hence your comment about reading the game.

Afford young Tom the same patience you've afforded Seamus Coleman, Mike. You won't regret it.

Neil Copeland
18 Posted 08/04/2019 at 22:53:59
Jamie, I think you raise a very good point about Tim Davies. Many had given up hope on DCL (me included) but look at how much he is progressing at the moment and really benefiting from a team playing with conviction and confidence. If Gana is going as seems likely then perhaps Tom should be given more game time in our remaining matches?
Jerome Shields
19 Posted 08/04/2019 at 23:01:25
Zouma has made it clear since he joined Everton on loan that he is a Chelsea player and also never made it clear that a permanent move to Everton was considered.

Him saying that it will be considered in the Summer is a change, But there will be a lot of factors involved, both at Chelsea and Everton, in such a consideration.

Tony Hill
20 Posted 08/04/2019 at 23:18:45
Mike @11, I'd love to see Mina flourish. Pennington always seems to me to be half a yard too slow but what I like about Brands are his calmness and patience and how he plays the long game. Those qualities are in short supply in football, and in life for that matter. I suspect he is influencing Silva to look at things in the same way.

I hope that Davies and other youngsters can benefit from Brands' philosophy. I think the fans are starting to buy into it too, which is crucial for our development.

Steve Ferns
21 Posted 08/04/2019 at 00:21:31
The thing is it’s always easier to replace a defender than a forward. Sticking the ball in the net is the hardest thing to do. Sure there’s some sensational defenders like Baresi and Maldini or even our own Labour or TG Jones. But that level that’s good enough for top 4 is achievable for decent money. Chelsea won the league with Cahill and Luiz getting regular games. Neither of them are particularly special. United finished second last term with a crap defence. A well drilled unit will often make the individuals look better than they are, particularly if you have a player like Kante in front of them.

I’d offer Jags a player coach role. He’s only 36, not 38. He can go for another season. I doubt he’d want to be in a relegation fight, or drop a division. If we make EL, he needs to stay and I believe he would. Brands could find another Zouma. Mina and Keane could be a good partnership. I have big hopes for Feeney. Holgate could impress in the summer and get himself back in the side. Only thing on Holgate is that maybe he’s not a silva full back (not attacking enough) and he’s not a silva centre back (too small) and so he could be moved on. Cahill might be worth a short term deal as he would bring a lot of experience. He’s 6’4” so fits the bill. That said he’s been poor for a few seasons now and maybe he’d be like Ashley Williams last season. I’d trust Brands on this one.

As for Gomes, well that technique and passing is something that’s rare and harder to develop. We need to sign him. I agree Davies can replace Gueye, we’ve also got McCarthy. I wouldn’t write McCarthy off, I just think that we’ve been very cautious with the lad and we will see what happens with him in the summer. Who knows a good pre-season and he might be back to the first team. So no need to replace Gueye, even if the quality might not be as good. However, whilst not replacing Gueye, I would replace Schneiderlin, even if he doesn’t actually leave. Get an upgrade in on him. A holding midfielder who can sit in and protect the back four and can pass. Someone who can move the ball quickly up the pitch in transition. I would have one No10, two No8s, and one No6 competing for a the starting line up to give me options for each game so I can shift from 4231 to 433. Eg Sigurdsson, Gomes, Davies, and Fred (Man Utd).

Mike Gaynes, you asked about Henry Onyekuru on another thread. Mike, the work permit system will be ripped up and redesigned in the summer. Henry will be at Everton next season. The work permit system is out of date. The rules are unique to football and can be changed easily. With Brexit, the Premier League must move to ensure that they don’t get knocked off their perch as the most watched league. This means retaining the world stars. This means a change. You wait and see, we will implement a more continental system, sign any foreigner you want, but up to a quota in your squad. So perhaps that would mean 3 British players in the XI or the match day squad. And the British players would be those that satisfy the current Home Grown rules.

I think that we should concentrate our money on top quality players. I’d bring in Gomes, Fred, and a striker. Yep, just three players, even if Gueye and Zouma leave.

Terence Leong
22 Posted 09/04/2019 at 01:51:07
Zouma reminds me of Distain, huge, imposing and yet quick on the ground. He is committed in his play, and seems to gel well with the team.
He is of a good age as well.

Jags is definitely on the way out, as a player.
Silva has mentioned before that he may play with a back three from time to time. If so, you want that sufficient competition to keep everyone on their toes.

If there is an opportunity to buy, him especially when it seems that he has the makings of being a mainstay, why pass up at the opportunity? Especially when we are trying to build, so let's build the momentum. At this moment, without considering what Holgate or Pennington can bring (I like Holgate and I hope he can establish himself soon), it's hard say that our strongest 11, individually and as a team, is one without Zouma.

Between the centre backs all season, Zouma has been most dominant and made the fewest errors, in my opinion.

Mark Andersson
23 Posted 09/04/2019 at 02:04:31
Lets hope that Brands and Silva have a plan A..B & C

I agree with Jamie the fans need to back our younger players help them frow and nature into better players..

Lets face it we will not be challanging for the top 4 next season or anytime soon... Top 6 maybe I feel next season maybe a repeat of this season...

It has took Klopp 4 seasons and millions to get the shite into a hairs breath of glory... the pressure is on and who ever holds there nerve will be crowned champions...

City on paper should win... but I just have a gut wrenching feeling that the shite will pip them at the post...

They wont retain it next season as no one can have that much good fortune twice...

Maybe this is the start of a new Merseyside eara

Everton beating Liverpool next season woukd be a start...

Zoma or not Silva needs to show tge fans progress and the good form shiwn tge last month needs to be continued till the end of the season and carry on into next season...

Heres hoping as usual...

Mike Gaynes
24 Posted 09/04/2019 at 02:09:08
Steve #21, thanks for that response and I definitely hope you're right about the work permit rules. Seems odd that such a convoluted system could be changed so easily in the midst of an international crisis that might still be going on in the summer... but what a great thing if it could. I love your idea of Jags as a player/coach, and I also agree on Schneids and Fred. Re Holgate, I think based on his progress this year he'd be ideal on the right side of a back three, which gives Silva new options. Disagree strongly on Cahill. He's a no-no-never for me.

Tony #20, Pennington ain't slow. He's probably the fastest CB we have -- two years ago I saw him gain ground on Vardy over a 40-yard sprint, which few can do, and beat him to the ball. What made him seem a half-step slow was indecisiveness -- he was a timid player. From what the press have written about his season at Ipswich, he's over that. If he can recover from the surgery by midsummer, we'll find out.

Jamie, a hearty amen on Davies. The kid definitely has it. He just needs time to figure out how to use it.

Ed Prytherch
25 Posted 09/04/2019 at 02:58:17
So Jags is definitely on the way out as a player? I would never have guessed that from the game on Sunday. I hope that we keep him. Not many players as good as him would want to come knowing that they are likely to play only a handful of games next season.

But Sheffield Utd may look attractive to him if they make it back into the Prem.

Jim Harrison
26 Posted 09/04/2019 at 03:12:33
From what I have seen recently he is good enough to be in Chelsea’s first team, would have easily improved Arsenal’s defence against us! Probably an upgrade at Utd. Not city or Liverpool though. If he did come on the market for permanent transfer we would face competition domestically, and probably internationally for his services.

The good will generated from playing for us for a season would likely count for little if the chance to move to a higher profile club became available.

Jim Harrison
27 Posted 09/04/2019 at 04:03:11
Ed 25

Problem is, he is not going to get any better. Great servant and all that, but his time is pretty much up. Same for Baines. Our back up players should be young, hungry professionals.
Kenny at right back is good example. He is ready to go, but Coleman is still ahead of him. Should Coleman get injured Kenny can step in, but we still have an experienced head to help him.

Players like Holgate, Foulds from the youth set up should be coming towards the first team squad as the reserve players now. If they are not making the grade they should be assisted in finding employment better suited to their abilities.

Jags put in a great performance, and maybe is good for one more season in that role, but he is the past if the club now

Alan J Thompson
28 Posted 09/04/2019 at 05:39:35
At long last, somebody who can give the Press/interviewer an answer that is both commonsense and unlikely to upset anyone.

Q: Who will you be playing for next season?
A: That will be settled in the summer after season's end, at the moment we are playing better and I'm enjoying it.

Mike Gaynes
29 Posted 09/04/2019 at 05:40:08
Jim, at the moment Foulds is unable to break through into the starting lineup with the U23s.
Sam Hoare
30 Posted 09/04/2019 at 08:03:26
I think Zouma is highly unlikely. Chelsea need a new CB and Zouma has proved himself proficient this season. If he has a good opportunity at first team place there (and he does) then he will be keen to return.

I don’t think we have another CB with his quality, his pace and acceleration sets him apart from the likes of Keane, Mina and Feeney and his power and stature set him apart from Holgate and Pennington. I think it would be a mistake not to replace him for next season.

I’m a fan of Tom Davies but I think he’ll struggle to replace Gueye as he lacks that burst of pace to get to the ball and get a foot in. Gueye makes over twice as many tackles and interceptions per match as Davies. Tom Davies definitely has his qualities and is better on the ball than Gueye but it depends on what type of blend Silva wants in his midfield. The current 3 are working very well. I also think a 3 of Gomes, Davies and Siggy would be lacking in pace; currently Gueye’s mobility is crucial; I hope he’ll give us another season.

If Gomes stays but Gueye and Zouma leave then I’d be looking at 4 new players. Replacements for Gueye and Zouma another striker and a right winger (assuming/hoping that Walcott leaves) though maybe we can find a forward player able to work either on the right or centrally.

Kim Vivian
31 Posted 09/04/2019 at 08:13:33
I realise this thread is not about him but as far as I am aware Gana is not 100% set to leave us, but would it be fair to say that Tom Davies is about at the level Idrissa was when he joined us?

He has improved immensely during his time with Everton, especially this year, I assume under Silva's tutelage, and is a fine example for Tom to watch and learn from. I'm hoping he can give us at least one more year and see what evolves next season.

Jim Harrison
32 Posted 09/04/2019 at 08:27:55
Mike, 29

In which case, part 2 of my statement becomes relevant

Bobby Mallon
33 Posted 09/04/2019 at 08:40:59
Tom Davies is a good players and should not be let go, but he is not a gana replacement and never will be. He is not athletic enough to do a gana role and never will be, it’s in your genes end of. On the other hand he is a Gomes type of player and that is who he should be modelling himself on.
Bobby Mallon
34 Posted 09/04/2019 at 08:52:31
If we want a replacement for Gueye look no further than Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester
Eddie Dunn
35 Posted 09/04/2019 at 08:56:49
Tom Davies is so different from Gana. The lad comes on off the bench and is flying into tackles but always looks like he is about to get booked. Gueye with his speed and agility usually gets to the ball first and rarely mistimes his tackles. I like Tom, but not in that role.
I wouldn't go near Cahill, the man is slow and injury prone and would be another Williams.
Mal van Schaick
36 Posted 09/04/2019 at 09:57:12
Keane and Zouma have improved after some shaky games. I hope we can persuade Zouma to sign for us, but if he starts to play a waiting game on any decision he makes, then cut him adrift and get players in who want to play for us.
James Stewart
37 Posted 09/04/2019 at 10:25:13
@34 Why would Ndidi leave Leicester for us?

Zouma is absolutely vital to us and our best defender. We should do everything we can to sign him. Just a shame we blew 30m on Mina instead of him because if is was Mina on loan he would be getting returned to sender!

Iain Johnston
38 Posted 09/04/2019 at 11:06:06
Interesting comments on here regarding Zouma. Thinking back 5 years not many of us thought we'd sign Lukaku after his loan, it was deemed inevitable that he'd be a shoo in at Chelsea.

Foulds is out of contract in the summer, Feeney has a year left. The Ipswich fans can say what they like about Pennington... They're 13 points off safety in the EFL and at 24, the same age as Zouma, he's nowhere near good enough.

I hope we sell him along with Galloway in the summer.

Iain Johnston
39 Posted 09/04/2019 at 11:25:50
Sam#30 I don't think we need another right winger if Walcott leaves. We're playing Richarlison out there in a more orthodox role hence the reason why Theo is benched and Bernard now seems to be 1st choice on the left. Lookman is more than suitable cover for both.

For me the focus must be on Gomes and Zouma and a quicker striker than Tosun, if Gana does leave ( I wonder if he's been given the same assurances as Stones?) I wouldn't mind going in for Barrios who was rumoured to be interesting us.

We've struggled ever since Martinez and Koeman insisted on over rotation and statistical borne substitutions we now have a settled 11, the continuity is beginning to breed consistency and confidence.
Less changes for changes sake I say.

Sandra Bowen
40 Posted 09/04/2019 at 11:43:05
Must do our very best to sign both Zouma and Gomes. Continuity is so important to what we're trying to build going forward. We've managed to find a pretty good starting 11 with a half decent bench and now is the time to add 3 or 4 players of genuine quality to add competition rather than trying replace anyone. I'd keep hold of everyone bar the obvious players no longer required. Mirallas, Bolasie, Schneiderlin, Besic, McCarthy, Williams, Pennington, Tosun, Niasse, Williams, Martina, Sandro are all surplus to requirements.

If and it's obviously a big if, we manage to qualify for the Europa league then it'll be worth holding onto Jags and Baines for another season and there should be enough extra games for the youngsters and fringe players to get enough game time and development. There's then also enough room in the squad for the inclusion of Vlasic and Onyekuru to see what they can do and along with 3 or 4 extra signings then we're perfectly capable of balancing the extra games with enough quality in my humble opinion.

Jamie Crowley
41 Posted 09/04/2019 at 12:23:57
Sandra -

Your last paragraph is spot on. The big if with some of these players and their "usefulness" to Everton is whether or not we are in Europa.

Regarding Tom Davies and him replacing Gana, which I think will happen, I think something should be stated.

You don't replace Gana Gueye. Ever. He is a freak of nature and a unique player you don't see but a few times in a lifetime.

Tom Davies will replace him and mark his own stamp on the position. But come in and do what Gana does?

Ha. Never. And that's taking absolutely nothing away from Tom Davies. It's simply a compliment to Gueye. He's that good in my opinion.

Martin Berry
42 Posted 09/04/2019 at 14:03:05
I think if Zouma is guaranteed first team football at Chelsea then he will probably return.
That said, he may just feel in a great place at Everton and see the future plans and decide to stay and play.
As for Tom Davies, the young man is in the engine room playing against some of the best midfielders in the world. He is not 21 until June and compared with others of his age he is at least on a par. I will go as far to say that he will given time become "outstanding" and a England regular, I have no doubts whatsoever. He has all the ability to be another Alan Ball, just watch his space .and be patient and give him time !
Andy Meighan
43 Posted 09/04/2019 at 14:29:56
Pennington has had a half-decent season with a poor Championship side who are down — and a certain person on here wants to see him return to us...???

God almighty, a truly ordinary footballer who is not cut out for any Premier League side — let alone one that wants to be challenging at the right end of the table next season!!!

Slow, indecisive... and looks totally out of his depth at this level. There's not a side in the top flight who would take him off us and he'll be lucky to get a mid-table Championship club. Poor player who, in my opinion, just hasn't got it.

Lee Brownlie
44 Posted 09/04/2019 at 15:29:52
Diplomatic, yes.. but, truth is, he obviously didnt come to us hoping to eventually make the move permanent, so I doubt thats really changed in his mind..

Further, as Chelsea don't look likely to be letting anyone much at all go, considering their transfer ban, to me thats pointiing increasingly towards a 'no' from both Chelsea AND the player, then.

Even Lukaku only ended up here on a 'permanent' deal as Jose still wasnt particularly 'enthused' by the player, despite his goal-scoring exploits for us when on loan!!!

Iain Johnston
45 Posted 09/04/2019 at 17:25:49
Am I the only one who sees Davies grow into a player more like Gomes than Gana?
Michael Lynch
46 Posted 09/04/2019 at 17:45:17
I must admit I don't see Davies as either a Gomes or a Gana particularly, but if he's either, he's a Gomes. Gana, as others have said, has more short-distance pace and is more athletic, and times his tackles so much better than Tom does. No way would I see Davies as a ready-made replacement for Gana.
Eddie Dunn
47 Posted 09/04/2019 at 18:30:52
Tom and Domenic are inseparable off the park and we have seen the two of them on the park only fleetingly of late. I like others above see Tom Davies as a very special young talent. We are blessed with so many from the under 20 world cup. We need to do everything to develop these guys into the top players that they will become. I include Lookman in that equation too.
Alas, I don't see Pennington in the same bracket. I am sure he will have a decent career though and hope he proves me wrong. Jagielka is a great role model for him...not particularly tall for his position, and time served in the lower tier, but a professional who was hard working and intelligent, with good pace. Good enough to get 39 England caps, only on the losing side 6 times.
Martin Mason
48 Posted 09/04/2019 at 21:23:06
If we have genuinely turned the corner and gelled as a team then losing one person, such as Zouma, can be managed as long as we have a good run until he goes. Losing Zouma, Gomes and Gana at the same time would be a disaster. We can replace anybody but maybe not Gana
Rob Halligan
49 Posted 09/04/2019 at 22:02:29
Martin, talking of Gana Gueye. Has anyone seen the tunnel access video on the official website, when he comes off the pitch and down the tunnel after Sunday's game, and he's giving it the "woo hoo's" and a rather feeble attempt at singing the Forever Everton song?

Could be he's really happy at the club and hopefully have a change of heart about leaving?

Justin Doone
50 Posted 09/04/2019 at 22:35:10
Zouma is our best CB but if we only sign one, Gomes. Like others said it's easier to replace defensive players because it's usually as much about reading the game than being a special talent. Easier to stop goals than score.

Hopefully we sign both. Zouma brings size, strength, pace and good basic defensive qualities. No one else has that sadly. Could we get away without it, possibly. Would we challenge the top 6 without it, probably not.

I watched Holgate for West Brom tonight. Verdict.. ok. I like the lad but he switches off. He reacts too late to attacks that are developing around him instead of getting back in position or closing players down. He looks lazy by reacting too late to runners.

I don't see him as a RB where he started, (HT 3-0 down), and then right wing back 2nd half, (3-2 FT). But the basic defensive lapses are to often.
I would only trust him in a back 3 which we don't play. We would be better off signing Craig Dawson as a defender.

Pennington is a fairly solid defender but he's not good enough for the PL yet. At 24 he's best playing a few more years at Champ or Lg1 level to gain experience. He could be a Duffy. Good but not good enough.

Davies is a mix of both. The work ethic of Gana just not the athleticism. The vision of Gomes just not the ability. He's a box to box player and has a few more years of development before being a first team regular in a top 6 team. I do believe he will be a very good player.

Passing and decision making can be improved. But people don't become Pirlo or Arteta just by training. Likewise athleticism such as Gana and Kante isn't found on the training pitch.

If our 2 midfielders were to leave (G & G) that would be a massive blow. We can refuse Gana permission but Gomes isn't ours. I hope he's our first signing, £30M no problem.

I don't believe we can sign other PL teams players unless they don't play, making huge offers or have just been relegated.

So forget Fred and Ndidi but we could look at Mooy who's an excellent passer, especially if Gomes deal is doubtful. Drinkwater another?

Kristian Boyce
51 Posted 10/04/2019 at 05:04:39
Chelsea's appeal hearing for the ban is on Thursday, and there's a ton of implications that go along with either outcome. The big one is the future of the manager, who could go either way, but is more likely to stay if they have the ban. The thinking behind that is it will be near impossible to hire another top level manager who would come in not being able to sign any of his own players.

Another thing that is on the horizon is the proposed FA/Premier League new rules on loans/squad size that would stop Chelsea's habit of stockpiling. This means they'll have to get rid of close to 35 odd players to meet the new requirements. Chelsea have 3-4 other international central defenders on their books who are out on loan at the moment. If you ever get bored, go to Chelsea's Wikipedia page and look at all their players out on loan, it's ridiculous.

On top of all this, they have an owner who basically can't come into the country anymore due to his nationality and has pretty much stopped bankrolling them as in previous years. Their talisman (Hazard) also looks like a cert to be going to Real Madrid too.

I think while he was being diplomatic about waiting to the summer, Zouma knows that Chelsea are in a complete mess right now and no one can foresee what his future holds until things get figured out about the club's future.

Mike Gaynes
52 Posted 10/04/2019 at 06:05:53
The thing is, Kristian, only Zouma among those many Chelsea loanees is a CB playing top-level football. The others are at places like Reading and Wednesday and Bristol. I have seen two of the most prominent (Miazga and Kalas) play numerous times, and neither is anywhere near as good as Zouma.

In my opinion, if Chelsea decide not to offer new deals to 32-year-old out-of-contract David Luiz and 33-year-old out-of-contract Gary Cahill, there is no way in hell they are going to accept any buyout offer from Everton for Kurt Zouma. And despite all the issues you correctly point out, they are a stronger club than we are right now. They're CL contenders and we're not.

BTW the much-discussed transfer ban is irrelevant. Assuming Chelsea appeals, it almost certainly will not take effect until after the summer window, because it'll take months for a ruling on the appeal. But where Zouma is concerned, I think it's irrelevant anyway, because Chelsea will want him back and he'll be happy to return there. My read on the situation.

Mike Gaynes
53 Posted 10/04/2019 at 06:37:11
Andy #43, that "certain person" (namely me) didn't say a word about wanting Pennington back. I was, however, the one who posted about his previous indecisiveness, so I will take your plagiarizing my point as a compliment.

Sport Bury chose him as Ipswich's player of the season, the sole bright light in a disastrous season, so their opinion is that he was more than "half-decent". They watched him play 30 games. I saw him zero. I assume the same for you, right? So your last impressions of him, like mine, are from the THREE games in April 2017 when he last appeared for Everton? Yep, that's what I thought. And if you thought he was "slow", you must have been watching through bad spectacles or a garbage can lid or something. Vardy would say otherwise. He was subbed out after Pennington ran him down.

Anyway, Pennington has already "returned to us", but he is out of contract next month, and Silva and Brands don't even have to wait to find out how the ankle surgery went before they make a decision on him. If they liked the reports from Ipswich, I think he will be given one more opportunity to prove himself this summer. If not, we'll never see him again. Simple.

Signed, "a certain person".

Dave Abrahams
54 Posted 10/04/2019 at 09:23:37
Mike (53), are you sure Pennington is out of contract this year, I thought he was given a new contract last season, not sure if it was for three years.

I doubt Everton would let his contract run down, I think there is some monetary value in the lad, not sure if he will make it at premier league level but he will have a good and long career, a good honest performer who always gives 100%, I wish him well.

Derek Knox
55 Posted 10/04/2019 at 10:18:24
Dave @54, pretty sure I read that somewhere too, that he had been offered a new deal, but not sure how long it was for.

Personally think he's decent enough for Championship level, but I don't see him being a part of our squad, in the future, hope his injury doesn't hamper him too much, and he makes a full recovery.

Dave Abrahams
56 Posted 10/04/2019 at 10:52:32
Derek (55), yes I’ve just looked it up Matthew’s present contract runs to 2021.

As a matter of interest Pennington did something neither
Bob Latchford or Alex Young never did, scored a goal against Liverpool, at Anfield as well.That’s one of the reasons I take no notice of stats.

Colin Malone
57 Posted 10/04/2019 at 11:03:05
Hey ToffeeWeb. Let supporters know that the Burnley game is now Friday evening.
Derek Knox
58 Posted 10/04/2019 at 11:18:08
Dave, thanks for verifying that, I have been trawling all the archive news-bites myself, I am almost convinced that I read some time back, that Marcel Brands had travelled to Barcelona to meet with their officials, over the possibility of making Andre Gomes an Everton player.

I seem to remember a figure of £23M being mentioned, but can't find any confirmation of that anywhere. Maybe it was a Blue Dream that I had, quite often dreams are so vivid that in the subconscious you are convinced that the event actually occurred, I hope it wasn't a dream, and it did actually happen, and that all will be revealed in due course!

Brian Harrison
59 Posted 10/04/2019 at 11:39:00
I think I remember a figure of £23 million maybe the Echo quoted that figure. I think the advantage we have with Gomes is its not like he hasnt been at one of the Worlds biggest clubs, and has seen it didnt work out for him. Like Marco he is also Portuguese so that helps, plus the fans love him and everybody likes to be liked which didnt happen for him at Barca.

Zouma is a slightly different case he is under contract to Chelsea, who will look to offload Gary Cahill who cant get a game at present, and they may also offload Luiz. So Zouma may think he could quite easily start next season in their first team if he goes back to Chelsea. This is the downside when you take players on loan and they play well, it alerts other clubs to that players potential. Also they see the player is comfortable in the Premier League, so takes away the doubt of signing someone who hasnt played in this league.

The last thing we need is to have to replace 2 or 3 first team regulars, as they are just settling into a side playing well and with confidence. I think if PSG come back in for Gana we really cant stand in his way and of the3 possible players who might leave for me he is the most important. I don't see anyone presently at the club who could fill the job he does. For me he has been our best player over the whole season, and even though denied his dream move in Jan still caried on giving MOM performances.

Derek Knox
60 Posted 10/04/2019 at 12:18:03
Brian, I have little doubt that we will get Gomes as our player, that's why I was hoping that the figure of £23M, had already been agreed upon.

Because the rest of the Premier League has seen him in action for us, and I have seen rumours that Tottenham, for one, and others are showing interest in prising him away.

Where that is worrying, is that the price could rocket, if other parties are interested, and Barca can get a better deal for a player they wanted to offload anyway. Obviously Barca want the best they can get for any player, we would be the same, but if they have 'agreed' already with us, then it's happy days.

I doubt it very much, in Andre Gomes's situation, but I remember back in the early eighties we signed a player on loan from Sheffield Wednesday called Terry Curran.
He played really well for us, and forged a good link with Adrian Heath and Sharpy. So much so, that we pursued him to make the move a permanent one, I recall a figure of £800K which was quite a lot then.

Once he became a permanent member of the playing staff, his performances sank to new depths, and were on par with that of Brett Angell, and other ne'er do wells that have worn the Blue Shirt over the years, it wasn't long after that, we were thinking that £800 would have been too much!

Gary Russell
61 Posted 10/04/2019 at 12:30:10
Cheers Rob @ 49. Found it on Youtube. Gana's bit is around 10.30 minutes in...


Mike Gaynes
62 Posted 10/04/2019 at 13:13:30
Dave and Derek, thanks for correcting my error. Yep, Pennington signed a new deal last May. Don't know how I missed that sitter.

Regarding the Gomes deal, it was a Spanish media outlet that first reported Brands was planning to travel to Barcelona to work out the transfer. That was back in February. There was a similar article in March. But I haven't found any media reports confirming that he actually made the trip, or whether a deal was agreed to.

Tony Everan
63 Posted 10/04/2019 at 17:31:51
Kurt Zouma is best signing for Everton, where he is wanted and appreciated . After a few years of being messed about he has found stability and his game is improving.

What if a new manager comes in for Chelsea [it happens every 12 months or so] and wants to bring some of his own players and he ends up on the bench for all the big games.

We are a team on the up I want Kurt to be a part of that, so come big man, make it happen.

John Pierce
64 Posted 10/04/2019 at 18:37:44
I cannot see a scenario where he joins. Chelsea’s transfer situation, he still has 4 years left on a contract and Chelsea will surely promote him with only Rudiger and maybe Christianson at the required level. Luiz and Cahill are beyond their best.

If Mina had been fit we’d need to play him to both bed him in and figure out our own recruitment.

John Pickles
65 Posted 10/04/2019 at 18:43:47
I wish we had had a 2 year transfer ban when Koeman and Walsh were in charge.
Bill Gienapp
66 Posted 10/04/2019 at 19:43:00
I'd love to keep Zouma, though I'd feel very comfortable going into next season with Keane/Mina as the first-choice partnership and cover being provided by some combination of Holgate/Jagielka/Feeney/new signing, etc...

That being said, Mina's injury history is a bit of a concern.

Mark Murphy
67 Posted 10/04/2019 at 19:52:38
No Sigurdsson
No Gana Gueye
No Jordan Pickford
No Ademola Lookman
No Dominic Calvert Lewin
No Michael Keane
They weren’t all bad mate!
John Malone
68 Posted 10/04/2019 at 21:54:30
Bill 66, can I ask why you would feel comfortable with Mina playing alongside Keane next year after numerous calamitous performances this year?

He has been absolutely shocking!

Bobby Mallon
69 Posted 10/04/2019 at 22:17:53
John malone that’s a bit short sited. Mina has been injured and needs a run of 10 games you will see his class then
John Pickles
70 Posted 10/04/2019 at 23:10:39

Of those only Gana is a great bit of business so far.

Sigurdsson over priced and the 4th no. 10 of that window.
Keane’s form has been up and down.
Pickford has only been consistent in an England shirt.
DCL and Lookman, too early to tell.

Now I give you...

Wayne Rooney
Sandro Ramirez
Davy Klaassen
Ashley Williams
Yannick Bolasie
Morgan Schneiderlin

John McFarlane Snr
71 Posted 10/04/2019 at 23:10:56
Hi Derek, [60] I've had to cross threads for this post to reach you, by my reckoning there are 15 definite and 3 possible acceptances for the get together, and as I mentioned in a previous post I have devised a system that could accommodate that figure, and guarantees that each person would be able to converse with the other 14 to 15 people for 45 minutes or an hour, depending on the starting time. I have checked and double checked, and if you could e-mail your address I'll send you a copy.

Because you have put so much effort into the event, the least I could do was to make things easier on the day, and if it proves to be as successful as I envisage, it could be used on future occasions.

Steve Ferns
72 Posted 11/04/2019 at 00:34:33
Mark Murphy @67. Neither Koeman or Walsh should be given credit for Dominic Calvert-Lewin. He was a David Unsworth signing. Unsworth has gone on record about this many times. Unsworth identified DCL as a player of real potential and signed him for the u23s. Within 12 months he was in Koeman’s side. Koeman can have credit for development, but he and Walsh didn’t identify him.
Mark Murphy
73 Posted 11/04/2019 at 06:40:12
John i’m Not disputing Koeman signed some shockers (in hindsight) but that happens at every club and even the transfer astute Moyes made mistakes.
Koeman tried to overhaul the team in a very short period of time and to be fair most of us were very excited about the signings of Davy Klassen and Sandro Ramirez (I have Spanish friends who rated the latter very highly indeed).
Ashley Williams and Schneids were both initial successes and did well in the team before fading - probably more due to Koeman and Allardyce management than their lack of quality.
Even Wayne Rooney was top scorer for us in a poor season.
Personally I still can’t understand why Davy Klassen failed - he is a very good player and IF we hadn’t signed Rooney as well at number 10 I think he would have added to this team under Marco as back up or even replacement for Siggy.
I see your point John and i’m Not saying your totally wrong - just that I’m my opinion your not totally right not neither!
Karl Masters
74 Posted 11/04/2019 at 06:49:45
Derek Knox... Terry Curran cost £90k, not £800k.

I know its a long time ago, but we paid £800k for Lineker in that era, TC cost a lot less and in view of his subsequent contribution that was just as well!

Sam Hoare
75 Posted 11/04/2019 at 08:23:32
Mark@73, I don’t blame Koeman (and Walsh) so much for the individual players, anyone can get this wrong, but the overall transfer strategy was so poor. Why did we sign Klaassen along with Rooney and Sigurdsson (when we already had Barkley!). It gave us far too many 10’s all with great technical attributes but dubious athletic ones. We were crying out for pace up top or even wide but that issue was not addressed other than an overpriced Bolasie who had always had very little end product.

The recruitment by Koeman and Walsh must have had some logic (progression to a one touch team able to move the ball quickly?) but it failed badly and left us with an overpaid, unbalanced squad that I think Brands and Silva have done very well to try and rectify. In my opinion it (will) cost us 2 or 3 seasons.

Dave Abrahams
76 Posted 11/04/2019 at 08:54:59
Sam( 75), Koeman, Walsh and Kenwright (quietly) were certainly not speaking to each other during that transfer window, I’ve taken the liberty of thinking Kenwright brought Rooney back home to make it three no. tens being signed.
John Pickles
77 Posted 11/04/2019 at 09:17:08
Mark, you make a good case (for the accused?j, and I too was excited by the prospect of Sandro. However, I believe ultimately the majority of those signings have to be seen, (yes in hindsight), as expensive failures that are still hampering Brands in trying to build a decent squad.

my initial post was also intended to be an attempt at biting satire. oh well!

Bill Gienapp
78 Posted 11/04/2019 at 09:19:30
John Malone (68) - Mina's had some stinkers, but he's also had some very good performances. He and Keane kept a clean sheet against Chelsea twice. They for all intents and purposes kept a clean sheet at Anfield, before the RS scored their flukey, last-second goal. Many of his poorer showings have come when Silva's tried to force a back three.

Mina's still rough around the edges, but injuries and Keane/Zouma's generally good form have conspired against him receiving regular playing time. He's still a big talent and a big personality and, like Bobby said, I think a consistent run of matches will go a long way.

Eddie Dunn
79 Posted 11/04/2019 at 10:09:07
Dave, don't you think Kenwright got Rooney in to placate the fanbase after losing Lukaku? Bill just couldn't resist the thing he had wanted to do for some years after selling him(supposedly to satisfy the banks).
In Bill's mind, it was a way of putting things right.
Naturally Wayne's return would have been more useful a couple of years before but the romantic in Bill just had to try it. In fairness, it would be interesting, now having Rooney spraying passes to Bernard and Richarlison, and he will always be a goal threat but a shame we had to wait too long for the prodigal son to return.
As for Klaasson, I think he needed a proper run of games.
Kevin Prytherch
80 Posted 11/04/2019 at 10:14:31
Steve 72...
Do you know if Gibson, Foulds and Bowler (and any other U23/U18 players) were Unsworth or Walsh signings?

I know Unsworth had an U23 budget at one point and Donkor was signed out of this, but not sure about the rest.

Derek Knox
81 Posted 11/04/2019 at 10:17:52
Karl @74, thanks for the correction, it was only from memory and it is becoming more foggy these days. Whatever the amount was it was far too much, for what we got in return!
Dave Abrahams
82 Posted 11/04/2019 at 14:12:11
Eddie (75), fair enough, you’re saying Kenwright let his heart rule his head over Rooney, personally I think it was far too late to bring him back, many supporters will beg to differ on that.

I think if you are giving someone a contract worth £7and a half million a year, at least, then you should put a lot more thought into than Kenwright did.

Brian Williams
83 Posted 11/04/2019 at 14:46:25
Bill Kenwright's ALWAYS let his heart rule his head when it comes to Everton! That's why he should never have been allowed to make any decisions involving money!
Kieran Kinsella
84 Posted 11/04/2019 at 17:58:22
Kevin 80

I am pretty sure Matty Foulds was signed in the Martinez era

Steve Ferns
85 Posted 11/04/2019 at 19:26:56
Not sure Kevin, but Unsworth is rightly proud of the Calvert-Lewin signing. I don’t think he mentions it to big himself up, as he did it when there was doubts about DCL. He goes on at length about how he’s always seen the qualities to be a top class player.

Pretty sure Bowler is Walsh, but I think Unsworth was very aware of him and was also pushing for him.

Gibson won’t be Unsworth as he’s too young. He wasn’t playing against Unsworth unlike DCL and Bowler.

I believe Foulds was Martinez, but suspect Unsworth made the recommendation.

Mike Dolan
86 Posted 11/04/2019 at 20:03:24
Lets just hope we can sign Zouma he has done really well and maybe the positivity surrounding Everton right now will tip the balance. I do think the real Yerri Mina might be unpacked next season and given the benefit of a clean bill of health and a full spring training . He has looked not quite as bad as Keane did in his first season at Everton so hope springs eternal.

The way we have been playing you wouldn't want to change to much would you. Even that zonal marking is making us all happy just lately. Wink Wink.

Mark Murphy
87 Posted 11/04/2019 at 22:38:11
John Pickles - I saw the satire mate - I just couldn’t resist defending some of those signings who I actually think will come good and be fondly remembered as the start of a revival.
Here’s hoping!
Jerome Shields
88 Posted 12/04/2019 at 08:22:51
It's a mistake to think this is an easy fixture. We need to hammer them.
John Malone
89 Posted 12/04/2019 at 10:15:44
Like a young Koulibaly has the making’s of being a top centre half for the next decade!
John Malone
90 Posted 12/04/2019 at 11:16:28
Bobby 69, not short sited mate it’s being clear sited he is a donkey who can’t sprint, can’t turn and can’t jump and head a ball properly.

Mina duck’s out of aerial challenges instead of going and winning it.

He was rubbish at Barca were there isn’t half as many ball’s in the box and alway’s an option to play to and he looked dodgy in the world cup game saving header’s apart. Spurs’ Sanchez looked a much more complete centre half than he did saved his bacon plenty of times.

I don’t rate him at all and I really hope we get Zouma this summer.

Sam Hoare
91 Posted 12/04/2019 at 12:46:36
John, Mina has looked better this season than Keane did last season. I’m pretty sure he’ll be better next year though wether it will be good enough remains to be seen. No foreign player should be written off after one season in the Premier League, many greats have taken time to adjust.

Id still like to sign Zouma though. Him Keane, Mina and Holgate should have us well stocked at CB next year. Though I suspect Zouma will return to Chelsea.

Mike Dolan
92 Posted 12/04/2019 at 13:10:12
I'm glad to see some recognition for some of the great work Walsh/Koeman did in signing players who have become the backbone of the present team. I will agree that Rooney/Bolasie were both ridiculously expensive bones tossed out to temporally please the supporters but there was a decent case to be made for the Klassan and Sandro signings and I think the team suffered massively from all of the deadwood we were carrying and had carried for years and which is something that still effects us negatively today.
The great thing though is that under the present management more thought seems to be given to the combination of the age of the players signed, the lengths and cost of the contracts given and the potential sell on value of players if we find we don't want to keep. Barcelona sign Gomes for 30 mil and will get their money back. We sign Bolasie for close to the same price and get sweet FA because no-one can afford to buy his inflated contract.

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