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Thursday, 01 January 1970 82comments  |  Jump to last
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Reader Comments (82)

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Fran Mitchell
1 Posted 09/08/2020 at 10:44:41
No doubt bull.

However, will be interesting to see the reactions.

Most probably be condescending, wtf is this guy? Not proven! Blablabla saying wtf is Brands doing etc.

Then we'll be linked with a 27 year old proven player, and boom, the reactions will be 'wtf is is Brands doing? Wasn't he supposed to find unkown gems? My gran could do his job'.

All good fun more fun than watching Everton play in fact.

In regards to this lad...not a squirrel, never heard of him

Steve Ferns
2 Posted 09/08/2020 at 10:52:19
We were linked with him 2 years ago. They’ve probably dusted the story off and reprinted it.
Robert Tressell
3 Posted 09/08/2020 at 10:52:20
This is a really interesting one. He's a very big unit – but quite agile from what I've seen. Never going to make it at Man City because they just buy ready made unless it's an exceptional talent like Foden. I'd rather we spent, say, £7m on him than £30m on Mings – who is good but hardly good value for that money.

It is a Moyes type signing in some respects – someone with a lot to prove and ready to step up. I like the sound of this. If we can't get Gabriel then why not give this guy a chance instead and save our pennies for a class act in another position?

Tony Everan
4 Posted 09/08/2020 at 11:42:51
Been at the club since he was 5, they will be signing foetuses next.

Toilet training, footy training, Farley's rusk, eat sleep repeat. Did he have a testimonial for his 15th birthday?

I think this one will go into the bullshit folder, it is a bit of publicity for the lad who needs a club where he will get games. We already have Branthwaite and Gibson pressing the senior players.

We will be after a bit more experience, I think. Ideally [but looking unlikely] Gabriel, Zouma and possibly Yerry will move on to Spain, France, Italy or Germany.

John Hammond
5 Posted 09/08/2020 at 11:44:44
More transfer nonsense.

Why would we go for someone who turns 23 next month and has never played a single Premier League game when we have an extremely promising teenager who has?

Nathan Ford
6 Posted 09/08/2020 at 11:55:14
If we are going for a young Premier League talent, I'd like us to go for Ethan Ampadu from Chelsea. Cracking player who plays defensive centre-midfield role. He's tough in the tackle, has a good passing range, and has a huge desire to win.

I've seen him play multiple times for Wales and, being a Welsh Evertonian myself, I would love to see another Welsh lad in the team.

Robert Tressell
7 Posted 09/08/2020 at 12:07:13
John @ 5.

The answer to that is because he's played 65 games in the Championship – which is a very good quality tough league. He's shown he can handle it by all accounts and is looking for a step up.

We are after Gabriel who is the same age and has played 55 games for Lille. Ligue 1 has some very good clubs and players but a lot of the clubs are no better than the top of the Championship.

The gulf in experience is there - but is not necessarily huge.

He is also from the north-west and speaks English obviously. So the chance of settling in quickly is improved.

He looks quicker / more agile than Keane and Mina. Therefore he can move us up the pitch – which seems to be the plan.

And, given his age, he blocks Branthwaite and Gibson only to the same extent Gabriel would have done.

Therefore not necessarily bollocks (although it could be, of course) and nor necessarily illogical given what we're trying to achieve.

Derek Knox
8 Posted 09/08/2020 at 13:09:34
Robert @7, it all may be just pure speculation I know, but he does seem to fit a lot of the criteria, and knows the English Championship too, not that far removed from the Premier League, in terms of quality.

The price seems to be good too, whereas we could splash out on someone only to find he can't cut it in the Premier League (many can't). He's a good age, lives fairly close, so presumably wouldn't have to move house etc.

This Gabriel possibility seems to be dragging on too long, but I suppose it's like a House Buying Chain, it only needs one to falter and the rest are put on hold or miss out.

Kevin Prytherch
9 Posted 09/08/2020 at 14:19:13
I would prefer this type of signing over an expensive Barcelona reserve type who only comes for the money. Plenty of experience, a point to prove and already acclimatised.

If we do sign him though, I'd like to see him replace either Mina (preferably) or Keane. I don't think we need a 4th senior centre-back.

Jay Harris
10 Posted 09/08/2020 at 14:39:33
Having seen Branthwaite, I am not too concerned about the centre-back position unless Mina is being moved on, in which case, Zouma or Gabriel would be the preferred options.

I think we all know funds are limited and expect more loan signings than permanent but I do believe that we all agree: centre-midfield and goalscoring options are the most critical in this window.

Stephen Vincent
11 Posted 09/08/2020 at 15:35:39
Not having much to do this morning I trawled through the media in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Scandinavia. We are linked with 31 different players – everyone from this guy to Coutinho, Willian and Kante.

That trawl didn't include some of the more ridiculous web sites. According to one, we are imminently signing Joe Hart!!!! The most common one is Allan who apparently was not even on the bench for Napoli last night.

So don't even think about incoming until they are smiling with Ancelotti and waving a blue scarf etc etc.

Justin Doone
12 Posted 09/08/2020 at 15:48:50
Once the Champions League is completed at the end of the month, we can then officially announce our new recruits.

Until then, enjoy the football and rumours.

Pat Kelly
13 Posted 09/08/2020 at 16:28:32
Been with Man City 17 years and only 8 first-team appearances?
John Pickles
14 Posted 09/08/2020 at 17:53:47
We need some strong characters who are winners to turn this club around. Kids will just have all the enthusiasm sucked out of them by the senior players who couldn't give a damn and are just happy to pick up their wage.
Steven Astley
15 Posted 09/08/2020 at 19:40:33
Need to stop fucking about and get a new Goalie in as the priority.
Kase Chow
16 Posted 09/08/2020 at 20:05:24
Why would we get this guy only to block Branthwaite? Seems pointless. I'd understand it if we signed someone proven but we're thinking of signing an unproven player to improve upon a similarly unproven player?!?!
Si Cooper
17 Posted 09/08/2020 at 21:55:46
Realistically, we are still in the group of teams who need to speculate on fringe players discarded by the mega-rich clubs and hope they come good. We're simply not able to cherry-pick proven talent most of the time.
Why does this lad have to block anyone? Maybe he or someone like Holgate or Gibson are multi-talented enough to resolve our weaknesses somewhere other than central defence?
Tom Bowers
18 Posted 09/08/2020 at 22:19:33
It would seem that Everton cannot or will not recruit any quality players until some of the present squad and loanees are channeled elsewhere. They have a lot of ''dross'' to dispose of and I am sure Carlo would have been fully appraised about them by now.
Andrew Keatley
19 Posted 09/08/2020 at 22:38:38
Robert (7) - Might as well just keep the 25-year-old Matthew Pennington then; 68 games in the Championship, plus a handful in the Premier League too. Oh, hang on, wait... he's clearly not good enough.

The gulf between being a fair-to-middling Championship player and a good Premier League player is big. Tim Ream at Fulham is a great example of this, as I'd say he was one of the weakest centre-halves I've seen play in the Premier League, but his record in the Championship is largely very good.

Jack Convery
20 Posted 09/08/2020 at 23:24:52
What concerns me about this report is that Brands and Ancelotti do not know yet what they have to spend! Carlo will not hang around if he's being bullshitted by Moshiri and Kenwright.

I know nothing about this lad but it seems to me we won't be shopping at Harrods this summer and Home & Bargain expectations are being promoted to quieten us poor fans and our eternal hope of something good and lasting starting to happen.

Robert Tressell
21 Posted 10/08/2020 at 00:37:23
Andrew,

The point is obviously to buy players who are on the up. Pennington has done well – but clearly found his level. Adarabioyo is still developing and is looking for a step up.

His situation is not unlike Holgate's at the start of last season. Looking for a chance to show his Premier League class – having got some experience in the Championship (indeed, both may have overlapped at West Brom).

There is no guarantee he'd be a success of course. But the same is true of Todibo, for example. Or any other imports. And the idea of spending, say, £30m on 27-year-old Tyrone Mings depresses me very much.

The fact that he's a local-ish lad, English-speaking seems to give him a bit of an advantage. The fact that he'd be motivated to show his stuff is encouraging too.

And the fact that he'd be cheap means we have a bigger kitty to get in someone who really could be a difference-maker, like Bailey or Allan.

Alan J Thompson
22 Posted 10/08/2020 at 07:36:21
I know absolutely nothing about this lad but let's assume he is an improvement on any we have. Isn't signing him just adding to an equally as large a problem, increasing the number of players we don't seem able to move on?

We'd almost have more central defenders than we have midfielders: Keane, Mina, Holgate, Branthwaite, Gibson, Pennington, Connolly, not to mention those 22- & 23-year-olds in the U-23s – and would that include Besic who mostly played that position when we signed him?

You can see those journalists who like to give the other side a chance to put their case: "Mr Brands, can we have a quick word?"

MB: "Sorry, we don't let anything out quickly, or did you want a loan."

Clive Rogers
23 Posted 10/08/2020 at 10:08:03
He certainly fits EFC’s first criterion, he’s cheap. All our first choices prefer to go somewhere else.
Richard Mason
24 Posted 10/08/2020 at 11:51:00
I think we can leave centre-back position off this window. Gibson is back and he trusted Jarrad Branthwaite in last few games (who played well).

If the trust is there in youth, we have 3 senior centre-backs and two lads who, in my opinion, can deputise when called upon.

Use funds for 2 big centre-midfield positions and right-wing. This would make a massive difference to our squad.

Christopher Timmins
25 Posted 10/08/2020 at 12:01:10
Last summer, we needed a centre-half and a holding midfielder to replace Zouma and Gana. This summer, we need two / three players in midfield. No more talk of right- or left-backs, let's fix the problem area first and then take things from there.
Tom Bowers
26 Posted 10/08/2020 at 12:03:45
It's always a problem for teams who have good youngsters these days as being young makes you impatient and you want to get in where the money and fame is.

Everton do have some highly paid, costly players in the squad and they will be difficult to move until the contracts start to run out.

The aspirants no doubt will want out if they don't get a fair crack of the whip and that comes down to Carlo's rating of them.

He will however want to build his own squad in time.

Clive Rogers
27 Posted 10/08/2020 at 12:17:04
A big problem area is up front. We scored 44 goals last season. It’s not just the midfield.
Annika Herbert
28 Posted 10/08/2020 at 13:10:55
You can't score goals if the midfield creates nothing. Given the dearth of both creativity and goals from midfield, the strikers didn't do so bad
Clive Rogers
29 Posted 10/08/2020 at 14:09:25
Annika, I disagree. Calvert-Lewin was shocking after the resumption and was dropped for the last game. He is 23 now and has been playing since 2016. He has scored 24 goals in 114 Premier League appearances.
Ajay Gopal
30 Posted 10/08/2020 at 15:10:42
If we can move on Yerry Mina for, say £20 million, and get this lad in for about £10-12 million, then it might be worth the gamble. It could potentially free up about £10 million for funding a good midfield signing for Carlo.
Robert Tressell
31 Posted 10/08/2020 at 15:13:52
Everyone is right, really. We want to be a Champions League team but only Richarlison, Digne and Holgate would get into a Champions League team (maybe Gomes on a good day). The rest aren't good enough.

But since we cannot sign 7 ready-made Champions League quality players, we have to build. Plan A for the building process, Summer 2020, seems to be:

1. a tall, quick centre-half (ideally not necessarily left-footed)

2. a top-class central midfielder, with some pace and bite about him

3. a right-winger, ideally left-footed, who can cope with the defensive duties of a 4-4-2 (and the freedom of a 4-3-3).

Personally, I agree with those who question the need for a centre-half because we've got 4 or 5 who are pretty good (although Lewis Gibson probably needs another loan before being first-team ready).

However, the club seems to be determined to buy someone quick – because the deep defence (and 4-4-2) has exposed how tragically weak we are in that area.

I'd almost be happier with two new centre-mid players and to put up with the defence – but that might be too simplistic / unsophisticated a view of things.

If we end up with Allan, Adarabioyo and Bailey in this window, I will be delighted. And you can see how the shape of the team suddenly looks much improved.

Summer 2021 then allows us to address the goalkeeper, right-back, and possibly a replacement for Richarlison.

Bobby Mallon
32 Posted 10/08/2020 at 15:38:17
Richard Mason @24,

Well said, my only change would be: forget wingers – get 3 big centre-midfielders.

Tony Everan
33 Posted 10/08/2020 at 20:00:27
I think Chelsea's Tomori is 22, still a bit raw, but looks like a player firmly on the upward curve. Probably a better proposition. He needs to be starting matches though and maybe that wouldn't necessarily be guaranteed at Everton.

Chelsea looking to loan him out I think. A loan with an option to buy, something to consider?

Jay Harris
34 Posted 10/08/2020 at 20:53:45
Tony,

Good shout about taking him on loan.

He did well at Derby but, since going back to Chelsea, hasn't figured despite Lampard being unhappy with Christensen, Ruttiger and Zouma... so he may well not be ready for the Premier League.

Robert Tressell
35 Posted 10/08/2020 at 21:18:05
Tomori is good and much more experienced than Adarabioyo. However, he is 1.85 m tall. Holgate is 1.84 m. That would be an unusually short centre-back pairing. All our named / rumoured targets are much bigger. Adarabioyo is 10 cm taller than Tomori.

Also, he'd cost 3 or 4 times as much as Adarabioyo – since the latter only has 1 season left on his contract with City.

Fran Mitchell
36 Posted 10/08/2020 at 21:40:35
I see that Ben White is being rated at £40 million after his season with Leeds.

Just goes to show what talent is out there. White, due to Leeds's success is clearly more high profile, but is he really that much better than this guy who was had a full season at Blackburn in the same league? I honestly don't know, but what other players are sitting in clubs' reserves? A year ago, White would have cost what, £10 million?


Jay Wood
[BRZ]

37 Posted 10/08/2020 at 22:13:49
Anyone watching the Man Utd - Copenhagen game?

Bryan Oviedo on the pitch for the Danish side, but the outstanding player is the keeper, Johnsson.

Hugely impressive. Saving everything (but the penalty, before anyone gets pedantic).

Andrew Keatley
38 Posted 10/08/2020 at 22:20:15
Fran (36) - “... but is he (Ben White) really that much better than this guy who was had a full season at Blackburn in the same league?”

Yes. He is.

Tony Everan
39 Posted 10/08/2020 at 22:23:57
Robert, yes the height is a factor. Adarabioyo is 6ft 5in, he sounds ambitious. Did you catch any Blackburn games with him in the side? Playing 35 matches through the Championship season is impressive too. Proves he is tough and has a bit of resilience.

He is desperate for game time to prove himself, wants the 2022 World Cup with Nigeria (or England).

Leeds are interested in him and Pep wants him to sign an extension and be a squad player. If we did sign him, it could signal a departure of Keane or Mina.

Sam Hoare
40 Posted 11/08/2020 at 08:58:28
I quite like Adarabioyo. He's big and quite strong but surprisingly mobile for a large unit. He's a decent passer and can bring the ball out. He reminds me a bit of Mina to be honest but with better acceleration.

Blackburn fans seem to rate him and he was one of their best players last year.

I think Branthwaite could probably really benefit from playing 25+ games in the Championship next season rather than sitting on our bench. So getting Adarabioyo could make a lot of sense if he is cheap. He could do a very decent job now and could develop into an even better player.

I like Tomori too. Can't imagine Chelsea want rid of him permanently but if there was a chance to loan with purchase option I'd be keen.

Hopefully Gabriel Will finally make his mind up this week and put us out of our misery on that one.

Matthew Williams
41 Posted 11/08/2020 at 09:37:53
I agree 💯% with Nathan. I mentioned Ampadu many months ago. He's been on loan in Germany I believe, so I don't know how he's done out there but he always plays well for his country when I've seen him play.

This lad plus Brooks and Wilson would be a young Welsh trio that I believe would really improve us atm.

Tony Abrahams
42 Posted 11/08/2020 at 09:40:12
Reading the last two posts, then this sounds like a no-brainer to me, and it sounds like he might have been given more opportunities to prove himself if he wasn't at one of the best teams in Europe.

Young, ambitious, been schooled at a top club from a very early age... I also like the idea of Branthwaite going out on loan, Sam, which will surely help his development more than playing in the Under-23s.

Alan J Thompson
43 Posted 11/08/2020 at 10:00:42
Didn't Branthwaite have the equivalent of a loan with Carlisle? I'd have thought that having had a couple of encouraging first-team games with us, he would at least have made the bench.
Tony Abrahams
44 Posted 11/08/2020 at 10:08:35
Good point Alan J, but my own opinion is that it's imperative that young players get game time because whatever you learn in training, is usually ten-folded by playing competitive football.

I also think training all week to sit on the bench could have an adverse effect, especially with the kid already proving he's ready to play at a decent level now.

Robert Tressell
45 Posted 11/08/2020 at 11:29:23
Branthwaite is definitely too good for the U23s. He needs more of a challenge to develop. If we can't give him say 10 or so games, he'd be better off on loan. In fact, replacing Adarabioyo at Blackburn might do him a lot of good.

The unknown for me is Gibson. He did very well at Fleetwood by all accounts – but so he should to be honest. Not sure whether he's ready to be our 4th centre-half or whether he needs a loan at a better standard first. Again, this lad will not improve at U23s.

Tony Everan
46 Posted 11/08/2020 at 11:45:05
Sorry different position.

Everton Soares rumours resurfacing again. A player plus cash deal involving Bernard, with Gremio, would be very interesting if Brands could negotiate it.

Bernard could be a good signing for them and would be more effective over there. Maybe a win-win for both clubs if the cash part is agreeable.

Sukhdev Sohal
47 Posted 11/08/2020 at 11:49:16
He is not good enough.
Dick Fearon
48 Posted 11/08/2020 at 11:50:01
Jay @ 37,

I saw the Man Utd vs Copenhagen game and, on the evidence of the Dane's performance in that one game, the keeper plus half the Copenhagen outfield players would be an improvement on our lot of lazy shiftless chancers.

I'd have their manager as well.

Vijay Nair
49 Posted 11/08/2020 at 12:21:00
Tony (45) where are you seeing this rumour of a swap with Bernard?
Declan Campbell
50 Posted 11/08/2020 at 12:33:40
Vijay, there is no rumour of Bernard going to Gremio. It's just more Fantasy Football rubbish. If Bernard is on big money at Everton, why would he go there for nowhere near as much?
Jason Li
51 Posted 11/08/2020 at 12:48:25
A bit left-field as no transfers in or out yet...

Branthwaite to play in the Busquets position. Good passer, left and right, used to playing in the middle, good height, good physicality, still young enough to train a second position.

Possible?

Tony Everan
52 Posted 11/08/2020 at 12:55:14
Vijay, there are rumours of us being interested in Everton Soares.

I am making the suggestion that Bernard going in the opposite direction plus cash could be a good deal. (Depending upon the amount of cash, that is... and Bernard's inevitable wage settlement.)

Robert Tressell
53 Posted 11/08/2020 at 13:52:27
Jason,

Branthwaite and Holgate are probably perfectly capable of anchoring the midfield. I don't see either there long-term but they will be options from time to time.

Branthwaite really does need first-team football though. DeLigt was playing Champions League at 17. We can't stick Branthwaite in the U23s.

David Milner
54 Posted 11/08/2020 at 16:42:34
Steven @ 11

Allan wears number 5 for Napoli & he definitely was on the bench. He just was not brought on. Probably was not available for transfer until Napoli lost in the Champions League.

It will be interesting to see if anything happens quickly now.

John Pierce
55 Posted 11/08/2020 at 17:22:31
Branthwaite deserves a chance as a fourth centre-back. Ideally he needs games which are suitable and not just dropped in. Home games against poor sides, League Cup games etc.

Left-side centre-backs are gold dust, they bring balance to the team and speed play up; right-sided players naturally slow things down and create different angles with their passing.

I would happily sell Mina or Keane, ostensibly they are the same type of centre-back. I'd buy a quick powerful player to partner Holgate and use the other two as horses for courses.

Robert Tressell
56 Posted 11/08/2020 at 17:45:51
John its a real shame we didn't make the Europa League because that's where the likes of Branthwaite can get some good first-team action. Without that, then we need a couple of cup runs and expect those will be very low priority
John Pierce
57 Posted 11/08/2020 at 18:15:42
Very true that, Rob. You could almost guarantee the lad 10-15 starts across the season.
Vijay Nair
58 Posted 11/08/2020 at 23:30:54
Totally agree, John (56). Get another top centre-back in (preferably left-sided) to partner Holgate, and sell Mina. Branthwaite and Keane can be the back-ups.

Selling Mina will ease the wage bill and the workload of our treatment room at the same time!

Kevin Dyer
59 Posted 12/08/2020 at 13:08:36
A Blackburn supporting friend thinks he's a good, tidy and physical player. Uncertain whether he's good enough for a top 10 Premier League team, though may improve playing with better players. Reckons he could be worth a punt if price is right as a 3rd or 4th choice centre-half.

I suppose it depends on whether we sign a definite starter and who out of Mina and Keane we ship out?

Tony Everan
60 Posted 12/08/2020 at 19:09:23
Salisu signed for Southampton £10.9M. They may have got a bargain. We must have considered him and decided against it.
Ash Coakley
61 Posted 12/08/2020 at 20:19:44
This is a good deal if true, would expect reasonable fee and wages and has resale potential. Bring him in, sign a main partner for Holgate too (Gabriel would be my preference) and sell either Mina or Keane for £20m-ish. Keep Gibson in squad and can make bench a few times and even support a left-back rather than signing one.

Loan out Branthwaite for game time or, if we really believe he is good enough, sell both Keane and Mina to reduce wage bill. Would get about £35/40M for the pair and that breaks even on Gabriel and Adarabioyo whilst saving around £70k per week (estimate) in wages.

Better business model, improves youth opportunity & development and Holgate, Gabriel, Adarabioyo, Gibson and Branthwaite is a solid centre back portfolio for the season ahead.

Then it's just the rest of the pitch...

Sam Hoare
62 Posted 12/08/2020 at 20:30:18
Tony, I'm amazed we weren't in for Salisu. He looks a great fit for us, left-footed, young, fast, strong. And so cheap!

I'd say our chances of landing Gabriel now must be less than 10% and I fear we are making the same mistakes as before where we lose excellent options whilst holding out for unrealistic targets.

Tony Everan
63 Posted 12/08/2020 at 22:12:05
Yes, Sam, it is concerning. I think Brands is being played a bit by the agents. He will have been led a merry dance saying that Gabriel is really interested. He's then touted to Man Utd etc for a bigger agent's fee and a bit more wages and the agent convinces him then that that is the right move.

I think Brands is trying but he is like a pilchard in shark-infested waters at the moment. As you say, an approach to find solid realistic targets like Salisu may see us stronger and not panicking at the end of the window.

Another thought, do they think this Man City kid is a better prospect than Salisu? Maybe they do.

Christy Ring
64 Posted 12/08/2020 at 22:34:52
Brands signed Delph and Iwobi?

Enough, let Carlo make the signings.

Sam Hoare
65 Posted 13/08/2020 at 07:30:35
Tony, Salisu was one of the standout centre-backs in La Liga. I'd be surprised if they saw Adarabioyo as superior but who knows. They will certainly have other centre-back targets.

My guess is that the difficulty they are having in finding buyers for the likes of Sandro, Bolasie, Besic etc is slowing everything down (the Echo reports this) and that we will not be spending as much as the last few years.

If we could have got Salisu and Højbjerg in for £25M combined I think that already would have made a huge difference to us. Let's see what Brands can do.

Steve Shave
66 Posted 13/08/2020 at 08:24:23
Good purchase options are being missed in our pursuit of greater (and more expensive) quality. This concerns me as we may end up signing players we didn't really want in the first place.
Andrew Bentley
67 Posted 13/08/2020 at 09:06:29
One thing to think about in this new crazy world we all live in.

If we do sign players from Spain, or countries other than the UK that have imposed a quarantine period, then they have to self-isolate for 14 days before they could join in with training and meet up with the rest of the players.

With this in mind, if we haven't signed anyone in the next week to 10 days, then we run the risk of having to start the new season with the same shite that finished the last season.

Tony Abrahams
68 Posted 13/08/2020 at 09:26:53
A thankless task is what Brands has got, I'd love his money, but he came into an absolute disgrace of a job at Everton. I just hope he gets it right this summer.

Robert Tressell
69 Posted 13/08/2020 at 09:35:47
Sam - the Højbjerg and Salisu deals look very good value as you say. Not sure Højbjerg will improve Spurs but they've basically got him for a few million - and got a reserve right-back off their books in the process. Salisu looks like a good fit for the dynamic Saints side that Hassenhuttl is putting together.

Both look like they would have improved us – although everyone on here had very mixed feelings about Højbjerg.

Still very few deals done by Premier League sides too (and indeed across Europe). We're not the only slow ones.

Sam Hoare
70 Posted 13/08/2020 at 09:47:02
Yes, Robert. We can only judge when the window is shut but I worry that we have not learned from past mistakes of waiting too long for unrealistic targets.

I think Højbjerg, though unspectacular, would have done a very solid job for us. At least we tried for that one. Will be interesting to see who our next central midfield targets are and if there is truth in the Allan rumours.

Brian Harrison
71 Posted 13/08/2020 at 10:06:01
None of us know who the club are looking to buy; as I say in every transfer window – believe nothing till they have signed. Remember, agents are leaking stories about their clients to all media outlets, whether that's to make some clubs believe other clubs are after the same player, or just to let clubs know "Hey, my player wouldn't be against moving".

Also, clubs are not averse to use the media outlets at this time, either to alert players of their interest or, if they are in negotiations with an agent and they want to speed up talks they release a statement saying they may move to another target.

I think so far we have been mentioned as being interested in at least 20 players, and so far of those mentioned none have yet signed. Now, where we ever interested? Who knows. And this year, the window is still open till October, so we have many more months of this to look forward to.

Fran Mitchell
72 Posted 13/08/2020 at 10:17:43
I think the fact that the Champions League and Europa League are both still running means that any movement in the window will be slow.

We are also dependant on selling of players, we've got too many big wages on the books.

I would have much preferred all transfer activity wound up before the end of August, but that's unrealistic now.

Also, any aspirations on wholesale changes are also not gonna happen.

Sigurdsson, Walcott, Bernard, Iwobi and many others who are cited regularly on here as players to be culled will all be part of the squad for this season.

Tony Everan
73 Posted 13/08/2020 at 10:20:31

The new season starts in less than a month's time: 12 September 2020.

I would like the crucial midfield players in with time to acclimatise, train and get used to their teammates and strategy. Our new midfield has to start the season firing on all cylinders, with understanding, organisation and purpose.

I think we will see Allan coming in before the end of next week. Gabriel sounds like he will make his decision this week too. We have alternatives lined up if he passes on us, so things will move on that.

Also, I think we really need more energy and dynamism in midfield before the season starts. Would love us to sign Buendia or David Brooks to give us a bit of that youthful energy and quality too from players on an upward trajectory.

We may get away with one or two late signings, but the midfield cannot be put off. We can't risk starting the season badly, say 5 points after 5 games and become less attractive as a destination, with the 'crisis club' moniker bandied about in the media.

We have to be strong from the start. Unfortunately, that probably means we will be overpaying on our first one or two signings. We have to get them in and take it on the chin.

Fran Mitchell
74 Posted 13/08/2020 at 10:25:44
Tony: Brooks is being valued at £35 million. That ain't happening.

Bournemouth have said they won't sell anyone on the cheap and, by getting £41 million for Aké, they are probably sitting comfortably.

Buendia again will probably cost a fair chunk, and he doesn't really interest me tbf. I'd much rather Eze from QPR who is available for £15-20 million.

But we won't be getting anyone until we've sold – or at least loaned the deadwood – Besic, Bolasie, Sandro.

Robert Tressell
75 Posted 13/08/2020 at 11:35:10
Sam & Tony – it will make a big difference as you say if we can get the players in soon. The club must be working hard on that. Unfortunately selling clubs and players will be weighing up all sorts of options. We are not first-choice for anyone wanting to play Champions League football any time soon.

So unless we offer a massive fee and wage early doors, we have to wait. That certainly applies to 1st choice targets like Gabriel and Allan. Even 5th(-ish) choices like Adarabioyo will have a few options to weigh up that might provide a better chance of first-team football or even Champions League football with, say, a German side.

I was hopeful but now I'm resigned to a flurry of activity in the latter stages of the window.

Andrew Ellams
76 Posted 13/08/2020 at 11:46:52
There are 3 weeks between the start of the season and the end of the transfer window. I think you'll see a lot of business from all clubs in that period.

There is an international break between the Champions League Final and the opening day of the Premier League season so players will be scattered all around the world.

Steve Ferns
77 Posted 13/08/2020 at 11:46:54
Robert, until we are able to improve our standing in the game, if we want to dine at the big boys table, then we have to feed off the scraps.

If Brands does his job well, then we can shift from competing with the big clubs for big-name players and try to get the up-and-coming players. Which is what Liverpool are doing. Tiago aside, most of their signings are made without competition from the rest of the sky 6 or the euro elite.

We can't just go for these type of players now, as we need major surgery to fix some areas such as midfield where the issues are critical.

Robert Tressell
78 Posted 13/08/2020 at 13:33:45
Steve I agree. It is a curious situation we find ourselves in. I always saw PSV as having strong youth development and links to South or Central America for well-priced prospects. I assumed we'd follow a similar model but it's been nothing like that so far under Brands.

Only Kean and Gbamin are of the type of signings I expected. It seems they want to steady the ship with some experienced pros (eg Allan and Højbjerg) as well as landing highly sought after young talent (eg Gabriel). I think as you are suggesting that's probably the right approach.

I have mixed feelings.

At present we are dull but we are not in danger of going down even with zero recruitment.

With, say, Allan, Bailey and Zouma we'd be a great deal better. Possibly even sneaking top 6.

But if we instead bought Hlozek, Veron, Sangare, Diallo and Adarabioyo (just examples) then we'd have something that might be ready for a tilt at top 4 in, say, 3 seasons. The net spend would be similar.

Having seen almost nothing but dull mediocrity since I started supporting in circa 1988, I'd be happy to see us build that way.

Monaco, Leipzig and Dortmund do this – ie hoover up the conveyor belt of well-priced talent from Ligue 1 in particular. None of them have signed anything remotely like Allan off the top of my head. None of them would buy Zouma now.

Peter Hopkins
79 Posted 13/08/2020 at 20:35:31
Reportedly Jack Butland could be available for around £8-10 million, any takers?
Fran Mitchell
80 Posted 13/08/2020 at 20:38:10
Peter, is he still any good? Is there a reason he is available for that price? As a backup/competition for Pickford, sure. But Butland's stock has fallen far greater than our much maligned keeper.
Paul McGinty
81 Posted 13/08/2020 at 23:02:17
When we bought Pickford I was more of a Butland guy. Particularly because of his relative height.

I haven't seen much of him in the years since; he has one year left on his contract, which seems to be the relatively low price. I hope he has been at least scouted. Memory serves me right, Butland was an okay guy.

Peter Hopkins
82 Posted 14/08/2020 at 21:16:42
He has had a few bad injuries and suffered a loss of form and confidence. We were linked with him a few years ago and I was keen for us to sign him; not sure he is the keeper he was expected to be.

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