Ancelotti not ruling out incoming transfers

Friday, 10 January, 2020 95comments  |  Jump to last

Carlo Ancelotti says that if the opportunity to strengthen Everton's squad presents itself this month, the club will consider it.

The Italian was asked if anything had come of his discussions with the club hierarchy this week about transfer policy this week after Cenk Tosun secured a loan move to Crystal Palace.

The Turk's switch to Selhurst Park for the remainder of the season reduces the number of senior strikers on Everton's books to just two but with hefty losses expected to be unveiled for the 2018-19 season, doubt has been cast on just how much scope there will be for incoming transfers in the January transfer window.

“As I said before, after the 5th of January… we had a positive meeting and we are looking. If there is some possibility ti improve our squadm, we are gong to d it.

“I have the total support of the owner, of the Board, and the Director of Football but if you want to know the names, I don't want to mention them.

“But all of the names that were in the [news]paper were wrong!”

Asked about which areas of the pitch he might be looking to augment, he stressed that he was not looking for a goalkeeper but he conceded that midfield could be an area where they are looking.

 

Reader Comments (95)

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Eugene Kearney
1 Posted 10/01/2020 at 19:21:42

Good.

Dear Santa, turn around. We need a proven, confident goal-scorer and a solid centre-back.

Steve Shave
2 Posted 10/01/2020 at 19:23:32
New spine please simples!
Martin Berry
3 Posted 10/01/2020 at 19:24:40
Will Carlo surprise us all ? There is no doubt he knows who he wants and with his vast experience of handling players he must know the talent inside out.
Mike Gaynes
4 Posted 10/01/2020 at 19:39:15
“But all of the names that were in the [news]paper were wrong!”

Imagine my surprise.

Veselin Petrov
5 Posted 10/01/2020 at 20:09:43
Let’s hope we are not waiting until the last day for any incoming transfers. Somehow it is usually the case.

Obviously any name would come as surprise if Carlo’s not bluffing.

Jim Burns
6 Posted 10/01/2020 at 20:19:04
Get that Mitrovic in - we need the nasty goal hungry bastard for a season or two.
George Cumiskey
7 Posted 10/01/2020 at 20:29:54
Mike Gaynes. Lol
Bill Gienapp
8 Posted 10/01/2020 at 20:32:12
I notice he made a special point of praising Pickford, after the tabloids claimed he basically burst into Brands's office, frothing at the mouth and demanding a new keeper.
Rob Halligan
9 Posted 10/01/2020 at 20:38:36
Mike # 4. I've heard we are chasing Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mbappe and Neymar!!

Well, if the papers can talk utter shit, then why can't i? Well said Carlo, never believe a word these useless rags say.

Ian Bennett
10 Posted 10/01/2020 at 20:43:04
Whatever you can get Carlo. Bar a couple you gut the lot of them. They've all got 4-5 managers the sack.
Brian Wilkinson
11 Posted 10/01/2020 at 20:52:10
Not too bothered myself, rather keep the powder dry until the summer and try to offload some of the fringe players and get them off the wage bill.
Chris Mason
12 Posted 10/01/2020 at 21:00:37
Let’s ask the ToffeeWeb rumour kings who is coming in. So many here with a friend in the know.
Steve Ferns
13 Posted 10/01/2020 at 21:04:37
I hoped for Rabiot. Need someone who can drive from deep.
Kevin Molloy
14 Posted 10/01/2020 at 21:27:21
wonder what Gareth Barry's up to
Anthony Flack
15 Posted 10/01/2020 at 21:34:00
Fellani - ??
Justin Doone
16 Posted 10/01/2020 at 21:35:30
He must have some Italians he can loan that could help foster the type of football, culture and winning mentalality he wants.

I think he really wanted Ibrahamivic, he would have been great to bully some defenders and a focal point of attack for forward runners.

I'm expecting a striker in that mould and also a creative midfielder to run the show. Possibly on loan.

Steve Ferns
17 Posted 10/01/2020 at 21:38:52
Someone like a young Rino Gattuso eh Justin? I would like a young Pirlo too. Why not add in a young Baresi and a young Veiri as well? Come on Carlo, you must have someone lined up!
Jerome Shields
18 Posted 10/01/2020 at 22:42:48
Sounds like we will get Rodriguez on loan.
Steve Ferns
19 Posted 10/01/2020 at 22:47:48
Jerome, what would we call him? "Ham-ez"? Jimmy? Jimbo?

Where would we play him? Seems to me that we would have to adopt a 441 formation like so:

Pickford
Coleman Mina Holgate Digne
Bernard Davies Gomes Richarlison
Calvert-Lewin

Then just let James stroll wherever he wanted to trying to effect the game. Best forgetting about him defensively, he ever puts a shift in. And the sublime attacking skill evident 5 years ago seems to have diminished somewhat, making accommodating him less enticing to the clubs that have employed him.

I hope we swerve him.

Steve Shave
20 Posted 10/01/2020 at 22:53:38
Jim Burns (6) I have long since felt that he would be a solid signing, I think he would yield 15+ goals a season, he has his critics but I will never forget how much he schooled our defence last time we played Fulham - he absolutely ran them ragged and knocked them all over the park! him and DCL would compliment each other nicely and be a real handful for any defence.
Paul Birmingham
21 Posted 10/01/2020 at 22:57:45
In Carlo, we trust.

Hopefully after Sunday’s crap and gutless display, any new signings - permanent or loans, will be planned and will be the right player(s), for the position(s).

In the past we buy players and often play them out of position.
Maybe a reason why so many of our players loose form, so often.

Tomorrow a new dawn, fresh hope, Carlos Way.

Andrew Ellams
22 Posted 10/01/2020 at 23:14:10
Now is not the time for James Rodriguez. We need a solid spine with players that fit into a 442 type formation and he's not it. There must be another Gana or Kante out there somewhere.
Ian Riley
23 Posted 10/01/2020 at 23:43:08
If we win tomorrow then collect a few more points before January 31st, no signings. Look back two years ago. Tosun and Walcott!! One gone and the other will be gone. £50 million! Big contracts and no consistency. Unless we have a dire few weeks picking no points up. The panic may set in. If not, leave signings till the summer.
Simon Harrison
24 Posted 10/01/2020 at 23:46:28
Steve@17, No young Maldini..!? I'm shocked! :D
Steve Ferns
25 Posted 10/01/2020 at 23:50:53
Can’t be too greedy Simon.
Simon Harrison
26 Posted 10/01/2020 at 23:56:13
Hehe, I suppose not, I'd dream as a starting point for a new equivalent of a 'young line up' of;

Buffon
Panucci-Baresi-Cannavaro-Maldini

Now that is how to be greedy... ;/)

Mike Gaynes
27 Posted 11/01/2020 at 00:26:49
"Swerve" James Rodriguez?

Really???

No. Just no.

If there's a thousand-to-one chance (and I figure those are the odds), bring him in. That level of excitement would blow the lights off the Goodison rooftops.

Mike Corcoran
28 Posted 11/01/2020 at 00:41:12
Wouldn’t be surprised if Riquelme is waiting on crutches at JLA with Gerd Muller and Puskas. Nothing to see in this window
Alan J Thompson
29 Posted 11/01/2020 at 10:43:10
I'm not fussed who it is as long as it is somebody Mr Ancellotti has identified as being able to improve the team and especially in creating and/or taking goal scoring chances.
Steve Shave
30 Posted 11/01/2020 at 11:39:18
Zouma, Vecino (on loan with option to buy) and Everton Soares drops mic leaves.
Jerome Shields
31 Posted 11/01/2020 at 11:52:05
Steve#18

I have not taken into account the merits of having him, other than Ancelotti has had him out on loan before, he is probably available on loan and that it would suit Brands policy of not panic buying in January.

Add too that Everton are at rock bottom in midfield and any change in pace and technical improvement, may improve things.

Rodriguez has been touted in the media, and Ancelotti has said media reports are wrong.

Peter Hopkins
32 Posted 11/01/2020 at 11:56:13
If we sign anyone in this window it will right at the end of January,half a million saved in wages
Paul Tran
33 Posted 11/01/2020 at 11:59:17
I don't who we get, as long as he's a strong, driving leader at centre mid who can pass, score and bollock the slackers.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

34 Posted 11/01/2020 at 12:27:19
The Everton Santos Cebolinha rumours to Everton are back in the news in the Brazilian media (in Portuguese, I'm afraid).

Link

In yesterday's presser, in talking about not being tied to one system but adapting to the players he has, Carlo specifically mentioned as an example that in DCL and Richarlison we have two good headers of the ball in attack.

As such, Carlo went on to say, a good tactic to employ would be to get more crosses into the box. Everton Santos delivers that.

Cebolinha is tricky, quick, unselfish, has an excellent delivery and can score goals himself. 15 goals from a wide player in a middling team is a decent return.

Bums would definitely not be stuck to seats if Everton pulls on a blue shirt for Everton.

Steve Shave
35 Posted 11/01/2020 at 12:33:45
Yes Jay Wood!!! :) I agree, image Richy and Everton Soares running in either side of DCL, changing it up. a quality box to box CM and a defender this could change our fortunes.
Tony Twist
36 Posted 11/01/2020 at 12:57:19
We defo need reinforcements. I would say a centre forward, centre midfield and central defender plus sign up Lewis Gibson and slot him in the first team when fit.
The tricky thing will be, however, bringing in men, we have plenty of boys or players who snap at the slightest bit of pressure, we need this new spine to govern the pitch. I am talking about the attitude of the player not his age. Not an easy task, over to you Mr.Brands.
Rob Marsh
37 Posted 11/01/2020 at 12:58:48
How about lots of outgoing transfers? That would cheer up a miserable start to the year.
Filipe Torres
38 Posted 11/01/2020 at 13:03:18
No more players please... I would tolerate a loaned centre back and/or central mid.

Is pointless, no one would allow one of their best players to go, and those who do, you have to be very suspicious as to why are they offloading them.
We have to improve/coach what we have and let go the dross that cost us a fortune first.

Steve Shave
39 Posted 11/01/2020 at 16:11:18
What do people think of our chances of shipping Gylfi on as part of a deal to bring in a central midfielder? Maybe Napoli or Inter could be interested?
Michael Williams
40 Posted 11/01/2020 at 17:21:06
Agree with Filipe #38. No one let's a very good player go in January - unless it's a massive overpay or they are out of contract in the summer.

We just let Tosun go and most here wanted him gone. The most likely kind of player we will we will get in January - someone not wanted for reasons.

Jim Bennings
41 Posted 11/01/2020 at 18:42:04
Maybe it’s worth looking to see if any purchases can be made at home?

Mitrovic is a good shout I agree, he’s better than the Championship, I’d also like to see a move made for Danny Ings, he’s a classic goal poachers but his movement is very intelligent also.

Not worth going out buying more “supposed to be’s“ from Europe but never make it.

We need a classy creative midfielder also.

Basically we need more goals full stop, if we are to ever challenge that top four then we have to ask ourselves if the players we have offer enough going forward?

I don’t think they do, maybe Ings won’t either but I do believe he’s a striker that could play higher up the league, he’s improved since his days across the park.

Carl Manning
42 Posted 11/01/2020 at 20:40:25
I think the championship does get overlooked for players atm, partly maybe because the players can cost so much and may not have played at the highest level. I would be a big advocate of Mitrovic, kalvin Phillips of Leeds looks like he may be a serious player, and I also think jarrod Bowen is well worth a go. All players that are young, hungry and have an edge to them.
Sam Hoare
43 Posted 11/01/2020 at 21:11:14
Mitrović was very average last season in the prem. He was one of the few players with a lower conversion rate than DCL! No thanks.

Bowen is a fair shout; he gets so many goals for a winger. Kalvin Phillips is very good buts there’s little to no chance that Leeds let him go in January. One player I’d be looking at is Ebe Eze at QPR; young, dynamic and statistically one of the best players in the league. I expect him to be in the PL next season one way or another.

Carl Manning
44 Posted 11/01/2020 at 23:03:54
I like eze a lot also Sam. I think we sometimes overlook the championship, but for midfielders and wingers, it’s a tough tough place to play football, and we are seeing this year the good a couple of years in their has done for Grealish. He’s developed a real up and at them attitude and always comes back for more.
We don’t have any what I would call narky players. When the chips are down we look soft as anything. During the debacle last Sunday, a more savvy team would have gone through some of the Liverpool youngsters to see if they would hide or not, left a bit on them.
Steve Shave
45 Posted 11/01/2020 at 23:11:20
All good shouts, Sam.
Don Alexander
46 Posted 11/01/2020 at 23:18:36
I think we all need to consider the fact that through his various blunderings, usually advised, he says, by Kenwright, Moshiri has torn himself a financial new one of major size in the past three years.

And that magnitude of self-inflicted "new one" doesn't heal quick, not even in football. It needs plenty of time and absolutely no further rodgerings if there's to be even a faint hope of recovery, eventually.

So, together with ever-suffering Toffee fans, I just hope CA has the ambition to allow at least a year to pass before getting pissed off with sitting still, as Moshiri now has to unless he, at last (and financially CA is his "last") shows himself to be some sort of football/financial magician.

I wish,,,,,,,,,,,, given the crowd Moshiri employs around himself.

Tony Everan
47 Posted 12/01/2020 at 11:24:21
Buying in January can lead to costly mistakes. A loan deal for a top class central midfielder would be sensible, someone Carlo knows and is on the fringe of a top club.

Keep the powder dry and leave the buying until the summer.

Neal Kernohan
48 Posted 12/01/2020 at 16:58:57
Get rid of the dead wood and bleed in the youngsters until the end of the season, then start looking for strength and depth! No point in panicking now, the season is over! Give the youngsters a chance to shine and gain some experience. Bye Bye mercenaries...
Michael Lynch
49 Posted 12/01/2020 at 17:10:01
The only players available in January are other clubs' cast offs, and disaffected misfits who have fallen out with their current manager. There might be the odd possible loan of an oldie but that's about it.

Ancelotti has said that he moulds his tactics to suit the players available, and I reckon that's what he intends to do until the summer. We look pretty safe now in terms of relegation, in fact I reckon Carlo should be able to get us 8th at least with the current squad, so no point in panic buys.

Paul Burns
50 Posted 13/01/2020 at 10:53:02
Start building a team and a playing style rather than scattergun recruitment that will see Ancelotti sacked again and a bigger mob at the training ground.
Derek Thomas
51 Posted 13/01/2020 at 12:15:56
Not many 'ruled in' yet either, I can see a couple of 11th hr loans
Steve Ferns
52 Posted 13/01/2020 at 12:26:53
Put your bean counter hat on. If FFP really has us by the balls, then what would you do?

You have your first choice midfield resuming training last week and this. Sure, neither can return to action this month, even next month is unrealistic for Gomes. If you wait until the end of the window though, things will become clearer with both. Can they both make a full recovery? Surely our Quacks will be able to give a definitive opinion by then.

So if the Quacktor tells you Gbamin is back early March, Gomes early April and both will be good as new, would you then blow a substantial amount on a new central midfielder, the department where we have the biggest issues?

Imagine, we can sign a superstar, a Kante type player, for £50m. Now this is a deal that would be staggered over 5 years, £10m a season, so we can get around FFP by only spending £10m this window, but it then effects subsequent windows. So would you splash the cash?

I think this is the problem we have. We have already done exactly this on the likes of Sigurdsson and Schneiderlin. We are still paying instalments on their respective deals and this takes a chunk out of our transfer budget for each subsequent window.

We also need a central defender. There's no getting away from that. They're all fit. The only hope is Lewis Gibson, but he's yet to sign a contract, and needs to get fit enough for long enough to impress Ancelotti and get himself closer to the team to reassure himself that he has a long term future at Everton.

So would you spend now or keep your powder dry, and where would you spend it?

Colin Glassar
53 Posted 13/01/2020 at 12:34:07
Steve, we all know Gomes’s qualities but we haven’t seen enough of Gbamin to know if he’ll make the grade - or even recover!

A fully fit Gbamin might need 10-12 games to even get up to premier league levels of sharpness and fitness. That’s why I find the Nzonzi alternative attractive. He’s quality and can do a job in the short term until we can properly assess Gomes and Gbamin.

Steve Shave
54 Posted 13/01/2020 at 12:44:05
Nzonzi on 6 month loan would work for everyone, Vecino similarly.
Steve Ferns
55 Posted 13/01/2020 at 13:09:23
I agree Colin. If I answered my own question, I would still get someone in in central midfield, if quality can be found.

Steve, is Nzonzi good enough? I've not seen him since he left Stoke, and to be honest, I never actually though much of him at Stoke and was surprised he got such good reviews for Seville. When I watched him for them I must have caught some bad games, because again I still didn't think much of him, and I hear he's been a disappointment in Turkey. Have you seen enough of him to be confident in him?

Vecino I have seen many times, but he's never really stood out. Decent player in a decent team, don't get me wrong, but he's never been a standout player. I suppose we just need exactly that, someone just to get the job done.

Colin Glassar
56 Posted 13/01/2020 at 13:20:02
Steve, Nzonzi didn’t really stand out at Stoke as their style of football usually bypassed their own MF. I watched him a lot at Seville and he was great at breaking up attacks and turning defence into attack. Since he left Spain I haven’t seen him play.
Steve Ferns
57 Posted 13/01/2020 at 13:32:18
that’s reassuring Colin
Sam Hoare
58 Posted 13/01/2020 at 13:53:11
Nzoni on loan makes sense. At least he knows the league and so would take less time to adapt. He's a good strong, all round midfielder and covers ground well. Is he much better than Delph? I'm not sure. Similar type of player I'd say, though he's obviously more physically imposing.

Given our lack of money i'd have a crack at Salisu (fast, young, strong CB with a £12m release clause) and Sangare ( strong, young all round midfielder who can tackle, pass and dribble well). Both are cheap and could help our first team tomorrow whilst having potential to improve alot over the next few years.

You could probably get the pair for less than £30m and immediately add more athleticism and solidity to our spine.

Gbamin and Sangare would go on to be a very strong double pivot i think and Salisu would make a good partner for either Mina or Holgate.

Robert Tressell
59 Posted 13/01/2020 at 14:13:14
Agree that there's no point bringing someone in on big contract who is not really needed when gbamin and gomes return. Sad as it is, not really sure there's much point bringing in the likes of nzonzi or seri on loan as have been linked. Both played in the prem, both ordinary (seri out of his depth). Are they likely to contribute much more than much maligned sigurdsson or schneiderlin between now and May? I doubt it. In truth both of those offer more than theyre given credit for (though not as a duo). Would rather we bought in genuine competition for places over the longer term like Sangare, Guimaraes and Maksimovic - all of whom are gettable in Jan. Similar for left sided CB. Rodriguez is a bit different as a loan - he's a rolls royce player who needs some games. Would be pleased to have him in the ranks for a few months to see what he can do / whether he's got something to offer longer term. Suspect that's why progress on transfers is slow. Being choosy rather than going "full Redknapp" and buying shit loads of players in the hope that statistically one must come good. One quality youthful addition + Rodriguez on loan would be excellent.
Steve Ferns
60 Posted 13/01/2020 at 14:14:12
Sam, are you on about Ibrahim Sangare? I have not seen much of him this season, other than highlights as Toulouse lose yet another game. Being bottom of the league does not make him a bad player, ie Idrissa Gueye went down with Villa, and I would happily take Cantwell and Buendia off Norwich.

From the brief highlights of Ligue 1 I have seen, Toulouse are conceding too many goals, and if they can stop this, then they will have a fighting chance of staying up. They are on a run of 10 consecutive defeats, and even Brest put 5 past them on Saturday, so the winter break did them no good. A big part of that is the defensive midfielder, which is your man Ibrahim Sangare.

Sangare is #17: Toulouse Brest highlights

Carl Manning
61 Posted 13/01/2020 at 14:16:15
i think this debate shows where we are. We all know what we need, but until we have tangible proof that we as a club is getting its act together and moving upwards, we will always be looking at players not on the radar of the top clubs, or players the top clubs have looked at and deemed not ready.
I think if we just get the powerful athlete we need in the middle of the pitch for now, 6 month loan maybe, it would make a huge difference for us. Then I would hold fire until the summer.
Like Steve F, I think 7th is definitely up for grabs still, and a storming run could open up 6th. If we were to finish 6th, I believe that opens up a whole new category of player for us. It makes marcels talks with agents an easy one “look what Carlo has done in 6 months with a squad that was inadequate and not his, imagine with a full pre season and investment where he will take us”.
Carl Manning
62 Posted 13/01/2020 at 14:16:16
i think this debate shows where we are. We all know what we need, but until we have tangible proof that we as a club is getting its act together and moving upwards, we will always be looking at players not on the radar of the top clubs, or players the top clubs have looked at and deemed not ready.
I think if we just get the powerful athlete we need in the middle of the pitch for now, 6 month loan maybe, it would make a huge difference for us. Then I would hold fire until the summer.
Like Steve F, I think 7th is definitely up for grabs still, and a storming run could open up 6th. If we were to finish 6th, I believe that opens up a whole new category of player for us. It makes marcels talks with agents an easy one “look what Carlo has done in 6 months with a squad that was inadequate and not his, imagine with a full pre season and investment where he will take us”.
Carl Manning
63 Posted 13/01/2020 at 14:16:16
i think this debate shows where we are. We all know what we need, but until we have tangible proof that we as a club is getting its act together and moving upwards, we will always be looking at players not on the radar of the top clubs, or players the top clubs have looked at and deemed not ready.
I think if we just get the powerful athlete we need in the middle of the pitch for now, 6 month loan maybe, it would make a huge difference for us. Then I would hold fire until the summer.
Like Steve F, I think 7th is definitely up for grabs still, and a storming run could open up 6th. If we were to finish 6th, I believe that opens up a whole new category of player for us. It makes marcels talks with agents an easy one “look what Carlo has done in 6 months with a squad that was inadequate and not his, imagine with a full pre season and investment where he will take us”.
Steve Ferns
64 Posted 13/01/2020 at 14:30:05
Sam, having watched those goals again, Sangare plays a part in 3 and 5, and could have done better on 4.

On 3 he is trying to help out a centre-back when there is no need, and the goal scorer gets space in the box where Sangare should be covering. It's #10 who scores for Brest. Watch Sangare, he should be in the space where the shot comes from.

4 is a screamer, no doubt about it. Not saying he could have stopped it, but he goes to help out his centre-backs who are having a nightmare (again), if he held his own position then he'd have been in the space where the goalscorer scored from, so he is not getting that shot off.

5. This is his bad pass that leads them to score.

John Pierce
65 Posted 13/01/2020 at 14:36:25
I think it’s an absolute must to get a midfielder in on loan, if we find a good one who’s unhappy at a current club even loan to buy.

There is no guarantees over the returning fitness of Gbamin nor Gomes. The nature of their injuries will really effect their play. Gomes is a very big lad and turning on that ankle will inhibit him in some way.
From what I’ve read the thigh injury was extremely serious and that’s your engine room (power), for a midfielder it’s gonna take some time to get back to playing freely.

Our current midfield is fatigued, even at their best not good enough and limits our style of play.

At best we need a continuity player to help transfer the ball and move it on quickly to the players who do have a creative spark, Bernard and the full backs. Iwobi too once he is fit.

Arguably if we stay as we are a narrow diamond suits what we have left.
Schniederlin(b), Bernard(l), Sigurdsson(r), Iwobi(t)

The flatter four is less effective and can make it harder for the full-backs to be the outlet. I think that putting those players in those positions get the best from their skills. Of course Delph(l) and Davies(t) are interchangeable.

But even as I type I re-read and think my god our midfield is a big black hole!

Robert Tressell
66 Posted 13/01/2020 at 14:46:33
Steve F. Sangare is potential. Not a ready made Casemiro. Guimaraes would struggle at first I expect too. Same with others in that age bracket esp from inferior leagues. However, in a season or two both could be v good. Even if we bought them now we'd still rely on sig and schnied. That's why I like Maksimovic. He's just that bit older and more experienced - and having and excellent season in a v good league
Sam Hoare
67 Posted 13/01/2020 at 14:48:45
Steve@64 that was probably his worst performance of the season but even then i'm not sure he deserves that much blame for any of the goals other than the 5th maybe, and even then he was put under pressure by his team-mates miscontrol.

He was better last season and has been struggling as any young player would in a pretty terrible Toulouse team.

I also think he has been asked to play further up the pitch alot of the time. A few weeks ago he apparently had made the most passes into the final third of any player in the league; which is not bad in such a poor team.

He's certainly not the finished article (no surprise at 22) and could use some better coaching in a better team but I think he has some of the raw attributes we need. if looking for a cheap, athletic, rounded midfielder who can cover ground, make tackles and move the ball forwards then I reckon he's one of the best options around.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

68 Posted 13/01/2020 at 14:53:39
I really don't like the frenzy and speculation of any transfer window, but as Michael and Lyndon are often given to saying, the TW Rumour Mill is the most popular feature on the site, so that places me firmly in the minority on that score.

I have huge admiration for the research and knowledge the likes of Sam Hoare puts into compiling his lists of players he would like the club to target. He must be a keen student of multiple leagues to identify some of the players he does.

On a general note, midfield is clearly the priority area for me that needs reinforcing. We can 'make do' in defence and attack, but in midfield although we seemingly have the numbers, we most certainly do not have the quality required of a modern day midfielder for the year 2020 and beyond.

Even the numbers are depleted with long-term injuries and players being asked to being with knocks, which in turn risks adding them to the long-term injured list.

The qualities we should be looking for is more bite, energy and speed of passing and thought. Two a penny, aren't they? Above all they must be right narks, real winners, because that is what this squad most lacks.

I can understand the opinions being offered about FFP, and January being a sellers' rather than a buyers' market, but if the 'ideal' player does become available that fits the profile Carlo and Marcel are looking for, then we must go for them.

Why? Because in the same way the timing of both Marco Silva's and Carlo Ancelotti's sacking coincided, giving us the opportunity to get the classy Italian, that may have not been possible if we, for example, had given the reins to Duncan Ferguson for another 6 months until the end of the season before going back in for Ancelotti. In that scenario, we would have faced a lot more competition for him and probably have missed out on him.

I implicitly trust both men to identify the type of player(s) we most need and, if possible, to get value for money in landing them

As evidenced on TW, there are plenty who don't share my trust in CA and MB!

Colin Glassar
69 Posted 13/01/2020 at 14:55:27
Whoever we get in this window I’d still go all out for Dacoure in the summer. The man is a monster and is now adding goals to his arsenal. We’d have to smash out transfer record to get him I guess.
Graham Hammond
70 Posted 13/01/2020 at 15:30:36
Colin at 69. I like Dacoure very much too and I do think he would be a great addition in the Summer but he is now 27 which for me is a little older than I would prefer. Also, he is probably one injury away from being finished (at that age) and you know our luck with injuries!
Colin Glassar
71 Posted 13/01/2020 at 15:35:43
Graham, I am more of the Italian school of thought where if you’re good enough (young or old) age is irrelevant. Players like Nesta, Maldini, Totti, Pirlo, Seedorf etc... and now a rejuvenated Ronaldo all played well into their mid-30’s at the highest level imaginable.

We are a society obsessed with age but some of us, like a good wine, get better with age😉

Sam Hoare
72 Posted 13/01/2020 at 15:53:01
Colin, I think it depends on what makes the player good. Someone like Pirlo or Totti depended on a technique and football intelligence that harldy diminished with age; likewise Maldini and Nesta had a reading of the game so sublime that it meant they were always in the right place at the right time. Barry made a good signing for this reason.

Someone like Doucore depends in part on his tremendous engine and athleticism around the park. Depending on how well he looks after himself that will begin to diminish at some point in his early 30's (Ronaldo is something of a freak in this regard).

I would have happily bought Doucore two or three years ago or even last summer. But as time goes by such signing look less attractive to a club with limited means. Bringing in older players on big wages is partly what has got us into this mess with the likes of Mirallas, Bolasie, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson etc all proving very hard to shift.

27 is not that old and he still has some good years ahead of him but Brands should be able to identify the 'next' Doucore and bring someone in who is in their mid/early 20's who will be on lower wages and have more re-sale value.

Robert Tressell
73 Posted 13/01/2020 at 15:59:16
I was hoping Watford would go down and Doucoure would be available on the cheap. Now unlikely. Whatever the case lots of good options for box to box midfielders in summer - and left sided centre backs too. Need cover (ideally young and quality) at LB like ait nouri of angers unless Gibson could play there. And a left footed attacker to provide width and balance. That's minimum 4 players above what we've ve got now. If Brands can do all that within FFP and shift out more of the accumulated crap then he's doing well.
Steve Ferns
74 Posted 13/01/2020 at 16:06:10
Colin, add in the AC Milan keeper, Dun-a-runner.

160 league appearances, now in his fifth season, and still only 20.

Ed Prytherch
75 Posted 13/01/2020 at 16:24:03
If we wait until the end of the season then Grealish, Cantwell and Ake could be available. Any of those three would improve our team and would not take half a season to acclimatize.
Joe McMahon
76 Posted 13/01/2020 at 16:44:31
Ed Grealish could possibly be snapped up by someone this month? UTD, Arsenal et al.
Graham Hammond
77 Posted 13/01/2020 at 16:46:53
Colin, I take your point obviously but as Sam rightly says, it all depends on what attributes any given player is bringing to the table and indeed what league they are playing in also. Gareth Barry was great for us because he truly understood football and how it needs to be played, he had footballing intelligence that dwarfs members of the current squad. I would guess that Doucoure will be done in the Premier League by the age of 31 hence my caution along with my admiration. Sigurdsson cost us a hell of a lot of money and because of the speed and unforgiving nature of the Premier League is finding life tough at age 30! I think we need to caution against paying top dollar for players in their late twenties with little resale value. How much would Sigurdsson fetch today I ask? I am pleased to hear you are ageing like a fine wine Colin, I am just getting fatter, balder and slower as time passes, then again, I can still run a good 16km in 90 minutes and even Siggy doesn't do that, on the pitch at least!
Mike Gaynes
78 Posted 13/01/2020 at 16:47:22
Sam #72, problem is nobody can always identify the "next" Doucure or whoever -- when you're buying potential, it's always a gamble. Many of the "next big thing" young players who look like guaranteed worldbeaters at 21 don't quite achieve that status at 25. For reference see Stones, James, Robinho, Denilson, Bojan, Saviola, etc. etc. etc.

Example: Who would you rather have had at age 18, Ravel Morrison or John Lundstram? A million times Morrison. Sir Alex himself considered him a generational talent. Yet now, ironically, he's sitting in the stands at Sheffield (can't even make the gameday squad) watching Lundstram play his position. Ya just never know.

Brian Harrison
79 Posted 13/01/2020 at 16:53:10
Unless Ancelotti identifies someone in the January window, then I wouldn't bother. We should have enough talent to keep us well away from the relegation zone. Come the end of the season Ancelotti will know exactly where he needs to strengthen, lets not forget he is yet to see Gomes, Gbamin and Kenny kick a ball. Hopefully Gomes starts training next week so maybe towards end of Feb he may be ready for a game, looks like we may not see much of Gbamin till next season.
Ed Prytherch
80 Posted 13/01/2020 at 16:53:46
Joe, do you think that Villa would sell Grealish while they are in a relegation scrap?
Sam Hoare
81 Posted 13/01/2020 at 17:00:11
Mike@78, yes it's not easy. But that's why scouting is becoming increasingly competitive.

I think ideally you are going for players who have already played over 50 or so games at high level so the Morrison vs Lundstram at 18 question is perhaps less relevant.

I imagine going more for 21-24 year olds who have had the chance to show what they can do and how consistent they can be over 30 game season.

Everyone gets it wrong sometimes and it's not necessarily safer going for talents already established in the same league as we saw with Williams, Bolasie, Schneiderlin, Keane etc. I'm a big fan of statistical analysis (i know many aren't) and alot of the best buying teams are using such approaches with increasing success.

Colin Glassar
82 Posted 13/01/2020 at 17:32:47
I’m all for buying potential and players with sell on value but we need a ready made player right now. Our MF is in crisis.
Mike Gaynes
83 Posted 13/01/2020 at 17:39:07
Well, Sam, Stones had more than 50 games under his belt when City paid £50 million for him, and I think they'd like their money back right about now.
Steavey Buckley
84 Posted 13/01/2020 at 17:53:14
Will Sigurdsson be allowed to play for Iceland in their forthcoming international friendly matches, presuming they are full international matches for the men

January, 2020
DATE MATCH TIME COMPETITION TV
Thu, Jan 16
Iceland
v

Canada
2:00 AM International Friendly
Mon, Jan 20
Iceland

v

El Salvador
2:00 AM International Friendly

Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 13/01/2020 at 17:54:33
He was just named Iceland's player of the year for the 9th straight year.
Robert Tressell
86 Posted 13/01/2020 at 18:03:31
John Stones is still worth £50m +. Excellent player, still relatively young and vastly experienced. In terms of our recruitment agree age 21 to 24 is where its at, esp when they have racked up the games.
Graham Hammond
87 Posted 13/01/2020 at 18:05:24
Colin at 82. Well put and well reminded! Our Midfield is in crisis, right here and right now. If we could get Doucoure this window then we should do it. What would it cost to get him though? I doubt Watford, given their current plight would want to sell and similarly Villa with Grealish. I have my doubts (though I hope I am wrong!) as to whether Gbamin or Gomes will come back the same player. The Premier League is unforgiving, lose a few per cent of your game and you are effectively finished, sorry Seamus, we all love you.
Darren Hind
88 Posted 13/01/2020 at 18:22:56
Ancelotti should be very wary about allowing Brands to identify any new talent. He's had a complete weston since he got here.

I'd sooner send Jack to Market. At least we'd have a beanstalk to show for our dosh

Dave Lynch
89 Posted 13/01/2020 at 18:31:05
Despite who we/individuals want, it boils down to.

Who is available
Who does the manager want
Who is willing to sign for us

And of course the price, talk of the likes of Grealish is pie in the sky. He will end up at either City, Liverpool or one of the big euro giants.
He will go for massive money and a massive wage.

Robert Tressell
90 Posted 13/01/2020 at 18:47:58
Ross Barkley would be available...

(Just being provocative for fun now after my Stones comment!)

Mike Gaynes
91 Posted 13/01/2020 at 18:51:29
Robert, at least you're not suggesting Deulofeu and Duffy.
Robert Tressell
92 Posted 13/01/2020 at 18:54:42
Shame we didn't pick up Rodwell. Could do a job. And Rooney too. Short term and available both. These guys know Everton. Brands has a lot to answer for.
Sam Hoare
93 Posted 13/01/2020 at 20:25:27
Strange time to have a go at Brands given how good Bernard and Richarlison were this weekend.

He’s certainly not beyond criticism but I’d say the majority of our best players are his players. He’s done better than Walsh, though that’s a very low bar admittedly!

Steve Ferns
94 Posted 13/01/2020 at 20:27:42
Sam, you sure Robert isn't having a laugh, Rodwell couldn't even do a job for Sunderland in the second tier!
Sam Hoare
95 Posted 14/01/2020 at 10:16:28
Steve, I'm pretty sure Robert was being sarcastic! But others further up weren't.

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