If the club's recent frugality results in success either in ending their trophy drought or a Top 6 finish, a lesson will be laid down to the rest of the Premier League about efficiency in the transfer market
After five years of spending in the transfer market, Everton held back in the summer of 2021 and searched for bargains rather than high-priced options. The Toffees spent over £500 million in transfer fees since 2016, producing a total net spend of £275 million, which was only topped by Manchester United and Manchester City. Although Chelsea splashed out more than the Merseysiders, the Blues were able to recoup a large portion through player sales.
Despite Everton’s significant outlay on transfers during the Farhad Moshiri era, results on the pitch have generally failed to improve. The Toffees have been thwarted in their bid to break into the Top 6, and also cycled through six permanent managers, although Carlo Ancelotti’s exit was due to the lure of Real Madrid rather than his dismissal.
Rafael Benitez was not a popular appointment with the Goodison Park faithful after spending 6 years in the Liverpool dugout. However, the Spaniard has shown positive signs in the early days of his tenure, getting the most out of his talent on the pitch. It has been a long time since Everton have been competitive in the Top 6, last finishing in 5th place in the first year of Roberto Martinez’s reign in the 2013-14 season.
The Toffees have been unable to add silverware either, with their last trophy coming in their 1995 FA Cup Final triumph against Manchester United. Benitez would endear himself to the fanbase by ending their drought being backed in the outright Oddschecker football markets at 20/1 to win the FA Cup this term.
There are reasons to believe that Everton could achieve the feat with the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin operating at the peak of his powers alongside Richarlison. The two men have been the standout players for the Toffees for the past three seasons, and have carried the fortunes of the club at their feet.
James Rodriguez, Moise Kean, Alex Iwobi and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, among others, were supposed to carry their weight to support the duo in the final third. Everton spent huge amounts to secure the signatures of those players from around the Continent and the Premier League, but all failed to make the grade.
Due to the vast expenditure, Everton were forced to cut their cloth last summer, signing Andros Townsend, Demarai Gray and Salomon Rondon for a combined £1.7 million. Townsend and Gray have hit the ground running with outstanding performances, scoring and creating goals for the Toffees. In addition, Benitez has a great relationship with Rondon, and the Peruvian could be the man to ease the pressure on Calvert-Lewin over the course of the campaign. Those signings have proved that money is not the be-all and end-all for clubs wishing to compete for a place in the Top 6.
Benitez and his team have been savvy, with the Spaniard displaying his world-class coaching skills to coax the best out of players with potential. Everton appear to have the right blend in the attacking third of the pitch that has eluded them over the past years and to the tune of millions of pounds. If it results in success, either in ending their trophy drought or a Top 6 finish, a lesson will be laid down to the rest of the Premier League about efficiency in the transfer market.
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