January Reinforcements

Sam Hoare 31/12/2020 51comments  |  Jump to last
A quick piece from me on my chosen Mastermind subject: “Unsubstantiated Transfer Speculation”.

In the past (both at Everton and elsewhere, I believe), Marcel Brands has been loathe to dip into the January transfer market, rightly perceiving that the shops are a bit threadbare unless you intend to pay over the odds for players. Most of the players touted around are those who are out of favour or form – or likely both.

Our last serious foray into the Winter transfer market saw us splash around £45M on Walcott and Tosun, whose contributions have been fairly unimpressive and who will leave the club for little or no transfer recompense. However, if you look further back, there have been times when the window has been used well: loans for the likes of Pienaar and Arteta stand out to me especially; both were young(ish) players, both slightly out of favour but with undoubted ability.

With injuries now mounting and an unforgiving mid-winter fixture schedule, I wonder if Brands will be forced to dip into this market more than before and whether the prospect of a wide-open race for the top 4 might encourage Moshiri and Co to take advantage of our excellent first half (almost) of the season?

So here is a shorter piece than my Summer speculations, with some names that I think could be interesting:

A wide player to bring goals:

Milot Rashica – The pacy Kosovan has been out of the team at Werder Bremen with supposedly a few injury complaints which may make him a no-go but I suspect that some of this has been down to him wanting to leave. He’s been pretty good for them the last two season from the wings, scoring around 1 in 3 and getting assists too whilst working hard. He has similarities to Richarlison in that he is quick and good at dribbling whilst able to play across any the front three positions and usually add a few goals from any of those spots.

If we could find someone who could do a job at right-wing but also give Calvert-Lewin a break at times, then that could really be helpful. A loan with option to buy could work out for all parties if he is fit to play. If not him, then someone else with some pace and ideally some goals.

Alternatives: (many of whom may not be available till Summer):- Ihatteren, Stengs, Neres, Bouanga, Hudson-Odoi (on loan), Chukwueze, Diatta, Tsygankov. Malcom, Dan James, Doku, Depay, Bailey

Legs in the middle:

Dele Alli – I’ve never been the biggest Alli fan, but he’s a talented enough player who knows the Premier League and is surely desperate for some game time to try and get back into the England squad for the Euros. At his best, he is an energetic attacking central midfielder who offers movement and a very decent goals return for a midfielder. I’m not sure I’d want to splash a transfer fee on him but a loan could make sense for all parties as he could help us take points off Spurs' rivals though doing business with Levy is always precarious.

If not him then another midfield body who offers some energy, dynamism and maybe goals without sacrificing work rate and defensive shape too heavily. We could use either a central defensive midfielder to potentially free up Allan when he returns, or a box-to-box player to rotate with (or improve upon) Doucouré, Sigurdsson, and Davies.

Alternatives: Cyprien, Wendel, Tonali, Koopmeiners, Da Silva, Soumare, Haidara, Owusu, Barrios, Isco, Khedira, Yazicki, Olmo, Buendia, Michael Olise, Aouar, Fulgini.

An heir to Coleman:

Denzel Dumfries – The Dutchman has yet to leave the Eredivisie and such players always represent a risk but I like the look of him. Fast, strong and hard working, like our Irish captain, he seems to have a knack for often popping up in the box and nicking a goal or two. We need a few more goals from around the team so why not get a right-back who got 7 goals in 25 matches during 2019-20?

He could well turn out to be a Sidibé but he has always looked decent defensively to me on the few occasions I’ve watched PSV. Brands will know all about him, of course, and probably he’s too risky but I just like the look of him.

Alternatives: Aarons, Esteves, Klostermann, Emerson, Mukiele, Montiel, Frimpong, Lamptey, Atal, Muldur, Simakan, Maitland-Niles, Celik.

An upgrade on Tosun:

Odsonne Eduard – The young Frenchman has been a bit less prolific for a faltering Celtic this season but still scores frequently and looks set for a move to a bigger club soon. That point may well come this summer but perhaps Celtic might be tempted to cash-in early as their title push already looks rocky. Edouard is fast and strong but also quite creative for a striker and could possibly operate on the wings though he’s primarily a striker so may not fancy playing second fiddle to Calvert-Lewin. He’d probably cost upwards of £25M too.

Alternatives: Jovic, Cunha, Diego Costa, Evanilson, Darwin Nunez, Millik, Gouiri, Tzolis, Maxi Gomez, Ivan Toney, Boulaye Dia, Moise Kean?!

A big key to players in will probably be players out. If we could shift the likes of Tosun, Bolasie, Pennington and Kenny, that would help. The big earners that I would be happy to lose include the likes of Delph, Bernard and possibly Gomes. I’m not sure we’d have interest in any of those three but there has been talk of Fonseca wanting Bernard back at Roma; he’s a decent player but £120k per week for a player who makes the occasional cameo of our bench makes no sense and if we could sell him from £7m + then I would.

If I were to get even more Football Manager on the scenario, then I’d love to sell:

Delph - £3M to Sheffield United (are they that desperate?)
Tosun - £10M to WBA (come on Sam, you know it makes sense)
Bernard - £7M to Roma
Kenny - £6M to Newcastle or someone.
Bolasie, Pennington etc off the wage bill.

Then bring in:

Rashica (loan)
Alli (loan)
Edouard for £25M
Dumfries for £15M

There’s many reasons why that won’t happen but it will be interesting to see what, if any, moves Brands makes this January. I’d be happy enough with another forward option (we never replaced Kean and Walcott) and maybe another talented youngster (in the Branthwaite style).

I’d also be happy to see Gordon given some more time but Carlo seems unconvinced by him so far. It’s not been often that we’ve got to the end of the year 4 points off the top with a game in hand; it would be nice to build on that if possible.

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Reader Comments (51)

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Ajay Gopal
1 Posted 31/12/2020 at 17:39:19
Yippee, at last an article on transfer speculation to lift the boredom of the Covid discussion. Thanks, Sam. Most of these names are foreign to me, but if the following happens, I would be quite happy:

Diego Costa (assuming he doesn't turn out to be another Samuel Eto'o)
Buendia (right midfield) - part exchange Bolasie
Denzel Dumfries (right-back) - just for the name!

Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 31/12/2020 at 17:56:09
Sam, I love your speculative articles and your always-informative scouting reports on possible future acquisitions, but I'm afraid I must be dismissive with regards to January reinforcements:

Ain't happening.

Outgoing, yes... incoming, no.

I'm guessing that Carlo and Marcel's purchase checks are dated for summer 2021, not January.

Paul A Smith
3 Posted 31/12/2020 at 18:01:30
Interesting write up Sam. I like some names to mull over and see if we can improve.

I think this is our biggest ever chance to jump a level.

Dele Alli I know has had a bit of a quiet spell and something isn't right at Spurs but there is a top player in there somewhere.

His record up to the age of Gerrard and Lampard up to the age of 23 pisses all over them and he hasn't played as many as them.

I truly hope we bring some quality from your list.

Tony Everan
4 Posted 31/12/2020 at 18:27:42
I always look forward to yours and Robert's transfer window pieces, thanks Sam for taking the time.

Yup Mike's right, I think it will be a quiet window, it's unlikely but Tosun out maybe to West Brom or Crystal Palace and a replacement in on an initial loan. Or at a push Milik for a greatly reduced fee as he is out of contract in June. (Napoli want €14m! but they are pissing in the wind and will end up accepting a lot less or he will be gone for zilch.)

In the summer the world will be a different place. We will be free and Everton will have qualified for the Champions League. It will be an interesting window, Brands wants quality youth players, Ancelotti wants tried and tested experience. I expect we will get both.

I would like us to be signing our own Bruno Fernandes in June. His energy, zest for the game and dynamism in getting forward from midfield has transformed Man Utd's fortunes. If we can find a <25-year-old with those qualities this signing could really boost the team.

Could Tom Davies be that man? The jury had condemned him but now it's back in the meeting room debating. Just lately there are positive signs, but we need to see this consistently.

Tony Hill
5 Posted 31/12/2020 at 18:33:22
Excellent, as ever, mate. I agree with Mike that we'll see nothing coming in. Your knowledge and research are formidable.

With me, like most Blues I guess, it's a contest between my miserable and my happy sides. Most of the time, the former wins but the happy waves are amplifying.

David Pearl
6 Posted 31/12/2020 at 18:41:28
I prefer Davies sitting in the hole where he can't run around like a headless chicken, so l would keep him as back-up to Allan.

If we can get a few off the wage bill, then 100% we have to get a forward in. If both Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are out, we are screwed.

Go for it, Brands! Let's grab this season by the balls.

Will Mabon
7 Posted 31/12/2020 at 18:47:21
Interesting suggestions, Sam.

After you threatening an article the other week, I feared this may be about having to cash in on our better players if big offers came along.

Jason Li
8 Posted 31/12/2020 at 18:47:26
Sam, that's nice research and good viewpoints

Paul @ 3, totally agree regarding Alli.

If it's as a number 10 to challenge Sigurdsson, then yes. Form is temporary... and all that. One thought that would always play on the mind, is if he's run into the box and James is playing on the right, that's two passengers when it comes to the defensive side, especially if the other team wins the ball in their box.

The big plus is that Digne and James finding Alli or Calvert-Lewin would be fun to watch when it clicks.

All speculation.

For me, I'd like to see a very good lower league player like Godfrey, Cahill, Jagielka or Lescott recruited who can be polished from the bench and eased into the team to challenge with all the ingredients for 10 years at the top level.

It might be hard to find a first-team player to bring in to dislodge a player in a team that's fought to be in 2nd place in the league, when James is back soon and then Digne and so on.

Keith Monaghan
9 Posted 31/12/2020 at 20:22:06
INS - Our priority needs are more goals, pace and energy from midfield, and a right-back to make the position his own. Coleman has been a great servant and is now only good enough as a stand in and / or to start against the weaker teams. Any signings we make should be younger, with good potential to improve and have a very good fitness record, eg, Ben Godfrey.

OUTS - Tosun and Bolasie never were good enough, injuries seem to have taken the suspect Besic to a lower level, Delph a rash gamble – we've too often gambled on crocks who are rarely fit (eg re-signing Ferguson and McFadden; Delph).

Robert Tressell
10 Posted 31/12/2020 at 21:25:38
Thanks for pulling this together Sam. Always good fun to speculate. Unlikely to be much movement in Jan but certainly plenty of scope to right the wrongs of our squad in Summer.

To avoid people shouting at me, I will park my overly laboured preference for U21s recruitment and go for people I think we could actually get. These are essentially non-regulars at major Champions League clubs, regulars at Champions League clubs from non-major leagues and regulars at non-Champions League clubs.

I think the first 11 will benefit most from a dynamic force in midfield who actually poses a goal threat. Dele Alli fits the bill in some respects – but it's concerning to me that Mourinho has obviously decided he's not for him. I've also watched him many times for England (without Eriksen pulling the strings) and wondered what the fuss is about. The main alternatives for me would be Loftus-Cheek, DeBeek and Kudus (Ajax). The latter is potentially world class but I expect he'll stay at Ajax till Summer 2022 at least.

Alternatively, you could throw in additional legs / bite in the form of Tolisso (Bayern), Guimaraes (Lyon) or Mangala (Stuttgart) – but they are all quite like Allan and Doucouré, rather than players who offer something different. We'd certainly be competitive though – and use the ball well.

The other area that will make a real difference is on the wings. When fit / available, Richarlison and Rodriguez are very effective. But as we have seen, they are not always available.

As you say, Memphis Depay is an option. He would be an outstanding addition, because of his versatility and the fact he's matured massively since leaving Man Utd taking responsibility for leading both Lyon and a very good Netherlands side. Suspect he's destined for a Champions League club but, as a free agent, he'd be an excellent acquisition. Rashica, Neres, Bailey and Diatta all look very good too as genuine wide players – with Lemar, McNeill, Sarr, Gonzalez (Stuttgart) and Boga (Sassuolo) good options too for genuine end product. Had he not got injured, I think Gonzalez would be a real stand out target for a lot of top clubs. Ihattaren is a wonderful player and, like Anthony of Ajax, a potential heir to James Rodriguez once his delicate testicles finally call time on his Everton career.

Right backs, plenty available. Likely to be one of Aarons, Lamptey, Dagba, Celik and Emerson. Lamptey is likely to be very expensive - £45m+ which probably prices him out of a move. I hope we get Dagba as part of the Kean deal to PSG.

Centre forwards: Edouard would be an excellent fit for us. The two more experienced strikers we could get are Milik (whom you mention) and also Mariano Diaz of Real. Other than your suggestions, I think Maupay would be a good fit (able to replace or supplement Calvert-Lewin) albeit likely to be very expensive. Also Koita & Daka (Salzburg), Barrow (Bologna) and Macias (Guadalajara) – the latter maybe Mike Gaynes has an opinion on because the US were trying to get him to play for them instead of Mexico.

Personal favourites change day to day – but if we're going for the more mature player then something like Loftus-Cheek, Gonzalez, Diaz and Dagba would give us real depth, versatility and extra firepower at a price we can probably afford.

Anyway, thanks again for pulling everything together. Wishing everyone all the best for next year.

Thomas Richards
11 Posted 31/12/2020 at 21:32:10
Mohamed Kudus.

My tip for the top over next 2 years.
19 years old I believe.

Robert Tressell
12 Posted 31/12/2020 at 21:46:40
Quite right Thomas - he's superb. Alas, our chance to sign Kudus was probably this summer or last. By joining Ajax he may well step straight up to the likes of Man City in 2022.

Not all is lost though. Kudus's former club Nordsjaelland in Denmark also have Sulemana. Then there is Sima of Slavia Prague and so on. Exceptional players are always out there.

Thomas Richards
13 Posted 31/12/2020 at 21:48:14
Hopefully Brands has the list, Robert.

All the best, mate!

Andy Crooks
14 Posted 31/12/2020 at 23:07:26
Love this stuff, Sam. I think we underuse Bernard, however. I think we should keep him.
Neil Copeland
15 Posted 31/12/2020 at 23:27:36
Sam, I always enjoy your posts and this one is no different - thanks.

Andy, agreed. The little fella has looked a different player in his last couple of games. He seems fitter with more energy and looks happier for it. I think we need to keep him until at least the summer.

Sam Hoare
16 Posted 31/12/2020 at 23:30:33
Thanks all.

Robert@10 some interesting additions as always. A fit Tolisso would be a serious upgrade and I was a fan of Loftus-Cheek before his injury.

We really lack a central midfielder who can carry the ball forward reliably, like Barkley used to on his better days. Loftus-Cheek could do that as could Anguissa who's been as good for Fulham as he was in Spain last year.

Kudus looks a talent and anyone from Salzburg has usually been well scouted and trained.

Certainly talent out there.

I would very much like to have got Caciedo before Man Utd.

Jerome Shields
17 Posted 31/12/2020 at 23:56:39
Interesting list. Addressing the main lack of depth areas. Glad there are alternatives out there, beyond Italian press speculation.

I do think it will be a more off-load situation. As you say, Brands has his opinion on January transfers.

Happy New Year.

Christy Ring
18 Posted 01/01/2021 at 14:02:41
Sam Agree with your outgoings, but as you say who would sign Delph, injury prone even before we signed him, a daft signing. If we could get rid of Bolasie, Tosun and Bernard, it would lower our wage bill and make room for a few in comings. We definitely need a striker to take the pressure off Calvert-Lewin, a right winger and depending on Gbamin's progress, a midfielder.
Keith@9 to say Coleman is only good enough as a stand in, or to play against weaker teams is a total insult, he's back to his best this season until his hamstring injury.
Clive Rogers
19 Posted 01/01/2021 at 14:23:04
I think we should keep an eye on the age of players even though we have a relatively young squad. Midfield in particular is beginning to look older with Siggy, Allan, Doucoure and James with injury problems. Allan is thirty this month and is having his second spell injured. It is noticeable that the younger players are not picking up the same number of injuries. Davies never seems to have been injured.
Mike Gaynes
20 Posted 01/01/2021 at 15:31:01
Robert #10, I knew you'd be weighing in on this subject! What took you so long?

I don't get stumped often on North American players, but you accomplished the mission on Macias. I never read anything about the US recruiting him, and I believe he's been locked into Mexico for over a year. Anyway, I think he's not our kind of striker. 5'10" and no physical presence.

Jim Bennings
21 Posted 02/01/2021 at 09:12:03
After some of the mundane and rather limited performances of recent weeks I'd say it's imperative this squad has fresh blood.

We can't rest on our laurels because we had a good run before Christmas, the performance of have been laboured and the football style lazy.

I won't even hazard a guess as to who we might sign but we need a striker to help out Calvert-Lewin because the lad is becoming a marked man with our one dimensional style of play and looks jaded

We need at least two or three players but whether we get them or not who knows.

Sam Hoare
22 Posted 02/01/2021 at 10:01:59
I think it was clear last night that any transfer moves really need to address our lack of creativity and firepower. Richie has been looking terrible, Bernard sadly offers very little and Sigurdsson is inconsistent to say the least. Rodriguez is obviously a great playmaker but depends upon movement around him and he’s missing the runs of Digne.

Any of the likes of Edouard, Rashica, Alli etc would be helpful. I also noticed that Leipzig have said Nkunku could be bought for £25m; I think he’s a really talented and versatile young player who would create more for us. He’s in the top 7 in Europe this season for shot creating action between Grealish and De Bruyne. Another player I mentioned in the OP called Yazicki is actually number 5, he could be a really interesting addition.

Sam Hoare
23 Posted 02/01/2021 at 10:04:18
On another note Khedira is not going to help us create more. I expect him to be like a latter day Schneiderlin, decent positioning, slow mobility and lots of sideways passes. Useful perhaps if it frees up Allan but not the priority for me.
John Williams
24 Posted 02/01/2021 at 14:03:19
Good article, Sam.

Definitely the squad needs improving this window but, as always, it seems moving on deadwood, the likes of Bernard and Tosun, dictates any new signings. Between them, they earn £180k a week I believe... for what? Absolutely mind-blowing.

If we could only bring in two players, for me, it would be at right-wing and left-wing. Other positions can wait till the Summer. This would free up Richarlison to play central if need be. We could also then try James or Iwobi at Number 10. Both could excel in that position and give us some badly needed creativity in the middle of the park.

Agree, Sam, regarding Khedira not being what we need at all.

Tony Everan
25 Posted 02/01/2021 at 14:31:02
Sam, I agree about Khedira, not a priority.

I think above all we need that midfield dynamo. The Bruno Fernandes player. Someone to stretch and test defenders and who will drive forward. But just as important be a tenacious and menace of a player with an edge and a single-minded winning mentality.

It's this player that knocks organised teams of journeymen out of shape. Such a player can light up a team and give it life as an attacking force, puts defences on the back foot and allows wide players to make runs against full-backs. This player also allows our defensive midfielders to be more in control of their game. This is the key player, the missing link in this Everton side. Sigurdsson has been, sort of, playing the role but although he is trying he just hasn't got the mobility or skill set for a top 4 team.

From your list, I've liked Buendia for a long time, he has creativity, seems bursting with energy, is tenacious and chips in with assists and goals. The lad is only 24 still and ready to step up. I think he would be a major upgrade for that midfield role. There's got to be three or four good or and possibly better options for the position around Europe but it's likely we will have to wait until the summer.

Ajay Gopal
26 Posted 03/01/2021 at 07:51:58
Tony, absolutely agree about Buendia – I have been banging his drum for a while. I think it was Sam who originally brought up his name in one of his transfer articles in the summer. Moshiri should break the bank for him – £30-40 million for a world class midfielder is peanuts today.

Again, like Tony said, look at the difference that Bruno Fernandes has made to Man Utd. And the players around him like Pogba, McTominay, etc have all improved. I am confident that Buendia can be that type of player for us.

Norwich may not sell in this window unless it is an eye-watering amount, but throw in Davies (on loan), Delph, Besic, Bolasie, Tosun and they could be tempted.

Sam Hoare
27 Posted 03/01/2021 at 08:31:25
Yes, Buendia looks a very interesting player. He seems to have added goals to his game and got a nice one the other night. I’m not sure Norwich will sell him in January though with looking to have a great shot at automatic promotion.

Not sure why we didn’t try and get Eze. £17m for a youngster who can beat men with ease and score and assist was a good deal. His stats in the championship were great and in a season or two Palace will sell him for £40m+.

A Fernandes type would be great but we already have Sigurdsson and Rodriguez who play there. And possibly Iwobi, Bernard and Gomes may be best there too. I think movement and pace is lacking (especially without Digne). There’s no point having a great playmaker if there’s a static team around them. I expect a right winger and an attacking right back might be the priorities.

Eddie Dunn
29 Posted 03/01/2021 at 08:39:47
Interesting piece, Sam... here's one to get the hackles up. How about going for Origi from our neighbours? We know he has a good touch, can score goals and has been well coached. Not sure how old he is but I hear he may be available.
Sam Hoare
30 Posted 04/01/2021 at 14:01:37

I'd happily take Origi if he were available for a good price. Say £8-10M. usually the reds seem to sell for inflated prices and I can't see them loaning him to us but, in some ways, he's exactly what we need as he is fast and strong and capable of playing across the front 3.

He's not a brilliant player but he's only 25 and, over his career, he's scored at roughly 1 goal every 3 games which is not too shabby. He'd be better back-up than we currently have but not one to get excited about.

Alan Johnson
31 Posted 04/01/2021 at 15:55:37
Hey Sam,

Great article. Out of all your suggestions and bearing on mind that we probably won't be bringing many in. I think a defensive midfielder to free up Allan could be done. I've been really impressed with Allan bringing the ball forward. With a strong defensive midfielder, he would be able to do this more often.

Sam Hoare
32 Posted 04/01/2021 at 22:31:54
Some rumour chat today that we may be in for Zeki Celik. Very good RB from Lille. He’d help I think.
Sam Hoare
33 Posted 06/01/2021 at 11:13:38
Rumors today linking us to Moise Caciedo, fantastic young Ecuadorian midfielder. I really like the look of him so fingers crossed.
Brian Murray
34 Posted 06/01/2021 at 11:22:54
Sam. Man Utd also heavily linked according to that whopper on their website Mark Goldbridge.

We just want Brands to be really pro active this window. It could make a hell of a difference the next few months to us.

Rob Dolby
35 Posted 06/01/2021 at 11:33:26
Everyone loves a bit of transfer speculation. In this most random of seasons, an inspirational addition could make a massive difference.

Personally I want proven quality as we genuinely have a chance this season.

Short term deals for Khedira, Diego Costa and Isco would do me.

Long term I would like us to break the bank and go for Philips, Rice, Grealish.

Fringpong at Celtic also looks a prospect to replace Coleman at some point.

We can dream can't we.

Ian Bennett
36 Posted 06/01/2021 at 12:21:17
I can see us taking Trippier in the summer for right back.
Sam Hoare
37 Posted 06/01/2021 at 12:27:19
Brian, yes I thought he had signed for Man Utd but not yet. I've read a few rave analyses of him and he looks a really interesting player. Don't think he'd go straight into the first team but could be a Branthwaite type signing, though probably a bit more expensive.

Sam Hoare
38 Posted 06/01/2021 at 12:31:52
Rob, I’m not too sold on Costa or Khedira, both have been terrible recently. Isco could add something though I’m not sure his work rate would fit in.

Rice, Phillips and especially Grealish would all be fantastic additions but young English talent comes at a premium and none of them would be less than £50-60m I don’t think. There may be players abroad of similar talent but for half the price.

Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 06/01/2021 at 19:14:43
Sam (38),

I'd always prefer British players, the trick is get them before their talent is known all over the place, like Maddison going to Leicester for £12M. We were in for him but he preferred Leicester because it was nearer to his parents home. Bowen was snapped by Moyes for around £15M from Hull.

We got two this year from Norwich and Carlisle who will serve Everton well in the future and, even if they move on, we'll still reap the benefits with a good profit.

There are plenty of good players out there; getting them early is the hard part.

Dave Abrahams
40 Posted 06/01/2021 at 19:18:15
That should have read “reap the benefits”.

Michael, that bleedin' wordchecker is takin' the piss out of all of us, not another year with him is it? @ 39.

Sam Hoare
41 Posted 06/01/2021 at 19:40:54
Dave, He's not British but Michael Olise is a player I like a lot from the Championship. He's been very handy for Reading this year playing across the attacking positions and looks like he could be a real player though he's still very young. Ivan Toney also looks interesting but wouldn't come cheap.
Robert Tressell
42 Posted 06/01/2021 at 19:56:55
Olise is definitely the pick of the talent in the Championship other than the usual suspects at Norwich, Watford and Bournemouth. Bit doubtful about Toney.
Steve Shave
43 Posted 06/01/2021 at 20:05:19
Dave #39,

Aarrons would fit that criteria. Thanks, Sam, for posting about one of my favourite subjects, transfer speculation. I've always loved it, makes me think of panini stickerbooks etc.

I'd add to your right-back list the Dane Maehle from Gent (or Genk, can't remember which!) who is a real prospect. On the wing, there is also Bailey from Leverkusen though you might have mentioned him already.

Interesting what you said about Rashica, whilst I knew he was a good prospect (Liverpool have sniffed around him before apparently). I didn't know he was a hard worker as well, this is key if you ask me, someone to match Richarlison's workrate on the other flank would really suit Carlo's model I think.

This is why I have pushed for Buendia so ardently, guile, graft and creativity is hard to come by and costs a pretty penny. I'd like to know more about Moises Caciedo, is he a central midfielder or a wide man? It's hard to tell from his highlights reel. What more do you know about him?

Sam Hoare
44 Posted 06/01/2021 at 20:15:40
Steve, Maehle has made the move! To Atlanta, who can usually be relied upon to find a bargain. I like Buendia a lot too but I'm not sure Norwich will sell any of their stars with promotion looking very possible for them.

Caciedo is a central midfielder in the Kante or Gueye mold but with a bit more skill on the ball. Very young and raw but could be a real star and is already good enough I think to make an impact.

Steve Shave
45 Posted 07/01/2021 at 07:38:44
Thanks, Sam, I didn't know he'd moved, shame. I have been looking at Olise too, another Eze type player, as you say very young and Carlo doesn't seem to want that at the moment.
Steve Shave
46 Posted 07/01/2021 at 08:13:07
As much of a prospect Caciedo sounds, CM is not a priority area for us by a long way, unless of course Sigi and Delph are going somewhere. he says hopefully.
Sam Hoare
47 Posted 07/01/2021 at 13:31:23
Steve, I agree that centre-midfield is not a priority but then we still don't have that 3rd central midfield place locked down. And Allan is 29 and already missing games injured. We need to have one eye on the present and one on the future.

If Caciedo only costs the £5.5M reported, I think we should definitely pull the trigger. Decent chance he's worth 8 times that in 3 years time from what I've seen.

Andrew Ellams
48 Posted 07/01/2021 at 14:14:26
I don't have Sam's in depth knowledge of players outside the UK but priorities need to be a RB, pacey right sided attacker and ship some the deadwood out and bring in better quality backup behind the first choice MF and front 3.

This won't all happen this month but a good chunk of it needs to happen by August.

Tony Everan
49 Posted 07/01/2021 at 14:26:15
If Tosun goes to West Brom or Palace then the short term priority will be a back up forward. Most likely on an initial loan until June. I think we will be looking for a forward with a bit of pace to try and make an impact from the bench. At the moment when we start making substitutions to rescue a game it’s time to turn the telly off because it’s sad to say you know nothing will happen.
Sam Hoare
50 Posted 07/01/2021 at 14:34:19
Yes, Tony. If Tosun is shipped out I would not be surprised to see his wages offered to Josh King would be able to help up front or play in one of the wide positions. That would seem the obvious move but i'm sure Brands has a few options up his sleeve. Milik might be another one, who Carlo knows.
Tony Everan
51 Posted 07/01/2021 at 16:35:24
Demarai Gray is another with plenty of pace. Frozen out at Leicester after not signing a new contract. His current one is about to expire. He would likely want more than a 6-month loan deal though and will be entertaining only 4 year contracts on mega wages as he is on a free.

He's 24 so will have some resale value, fast, but I've never been entirely convinced by him but he is now entering his prime and some improvement in his composure and end product could be eked out of him by Ancelotti. Gray and Milik could be picked up for peanuts as they are out of contract in a few months. The challenge would be to apply sensible wages.

It would leave a much more healthy transfer pot for top quality strengthening at right-back and a young quality midfielder with massive potential.

I think we are going to have to do some shrewd deals and box clever with our financial situation as it is.

Bill Gall
52 Posted 07/01/2021 at 17:06:46
Regardless of who Ancelotti and Brands wish to bring in or ship out, I hope they do it sooner rather than later. As it takes time for a new player to settle in, the sooner we can bring in any of our wanted players, the better.

Transferring players out that is dne for financial preferences can take longer. We need quality coverage for certain positions so hopefully we can get them in this month.

There are so many names mentioned, it is hard to determine who the club will bring in, if any, I just hope it is done quickly.

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