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Nunes's on-off Everton move revived

| Tuesday, 03 August 2021 281comments  |  Jump to last
Matheus Nunes could yet become an Everton player this summer amid recent reports that Rafael Benitez has warmed to the idea of signing the Brazilian after initially pooh-poohing the transfer.

Nunes appeared to be Goodison-bound for around £18m when Nuno Espirito Santo was on the verge of replacing Carlo Ancelotti in June. However, talks with the Portuguese collapsed and talk of the Sporting midfielder joining the Toffees cooled amid the ensuing uncertainty.

Benitez's arrival seemed to kill the deal altogether as the Spaniard committed to assessing the squad he had inherited and, in the beginning at least, convinced Marcel Brands to focus on other positions.

Speculation that Benitez has since run the rule over Nunes and is now attracted to the prospect of bringing him in has increased in Portugal over the past couple of weeks and there now stronger suggestions, in particular from CMTV pundit, Fernando Mendes, who says the deal is already done while Correio da Manha TV say the move is imminent.

Original Source: Sport Witness  


Reader Comments (281)

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Gavin Johnson
1 Posted 03/08/2021 at 17:26:27
Seems to make sense. James is going to be sold, and we're unlikely to see Sigurdsson play for the club again. I know Nunes is more of a No.8 type but I can see him playing the No.10 role a bit like Ross Barkley used to.
Dennis Stevens
2 Posted 03/08/2021 at 17:48:50
I thought we were skint?!
Michael Boardman
3 Posted 03/08/2021 at 17:54:02
If we've got a spare £18m, there's probably a decent Dutch right-back who might be worth looking at, rather than another Andre Gomes, although I do appreciate one is never enough
Dan Nulty
4 Posted 03/08/2021 at 18:20:35
This kid looks to be everything Gomes is not. Actually attempting to go past players. Not seen enough of him though to pass a confident judgement. He does offer something no one else does in our midfield currently by the looks of it. Remains to be seen if strong enough to play 90 minutes in the Premier league. Doesn't seem to be a queue of teams waiting to sign him. Hopefully there will be by the end of the season.

I really don't think we should be letting James go though. I'll be disappointed if we do.

Bill Gienapp
5 Posted 03/08/2021 at 18:24:53
Agreed. If we have this money available, I'd rather spend it on Dumfries (or another comparable right back). It also makes me nervous that Benitez may or may not be fully on board with the move.
Tom Richards
6 Posted 03/08/2021 at 18:26:27
Suggests someone is on the way out?
Or, do we have any transfer funds available without having to sell?
Justin Doone
7 Posted 03/08/2021 at 18:29:06
If he's got the Premier league basics, pace, power, passing and can add some fight and some ball carrying ability then great.

If he's only got 1 or 2 basics or is more of a keep it simple and play backwards then no thanks.

Neil Thomas
8 Posted 03/08/2021 at 18:29:35
Looks like a player we’ve been needing for a while. Plenty of pace, likes to run at defences, and ain’t scared of working back too. Would love to see James stay, but looking more likely he’s going to leave. Not sure what Benitez is planning, but we’ve been wanting a player with James’s reputation for years, so to just ship him out without giving him a chance is a very risky move by Benitez, especially with him already having a up hill challenge of winning over all the Everton fans.
Robert Tressell
9 Posted 03/08/2021 at 19:00:59
Right sort of profile - 22, pace, decent physique, career on the up and under £20m. You can build a squad with this sort of player at relatively low cost and risk.

Probably not top of any fan's wish list but same could be said for many of our best signings.

Colin Glassar
10 Posted 03/08/2021 at 19:18:46
Rumours are that Chairman Bill, aka Mr Blobby, was seen sharing a kebab with Joao Moutinho in the Bootle area. Watch this space.
Michael Boardman
11 Posted 03/08/2021 at 19:26:03
Chilli sauce Colin? That may give us a more concrete indication.
Christy Ring
12 Posted 03/08/2021 at 19:30:34
A young skilful attacking midfielder with pace, something we definitely lack, hope it happens, and try and offload Delph and Iwobi.
Tony Everan
13 Posted 03/08/2021 at 19:34:02
Gomes going back to Portugal as a makeweight? Highly unlikely as it’s not even been mentioned, but it would help the FFP situation and both players could be a good fit for each club.
Tom Richards
14 Posted 03/08/2021 at 19:48:37
The wages would stop that one Tony.
Steve Shave
15 Posted 03/08/2021 at 19:49:12
Yes this smacks of a deal in the pipeline going out if true, most likely a midfielder or two. James almost certainly it seems (I hope we can get a bit of wedge for him) and as Tony says, might be Gomes on the move too, that would make sense. That would be a lot of wages off the books - imagine if we got rid of Delph on a free as well, that might cheer me up. Surely Besiktas would take Tosun for £7M!?
Neil Thomas
16 Posted 03/08/2021 at 19:56:26
Why are we so say having trouble spending £20m because of the FFP yet Man City can go out and spend £250m on two players?
Barry Robson
17 Posted 03/08/2021 at 20:02:19
Probably because Man City have the best lawyers in the world, Neil.
Neil Thomas
18 Posted 03/08/2021 at 20:13:04
Surely though, Benitez wouldn’t have been so keen to join us, if he knew there was no money to spend.
Winston Williamson
19 Posted 03/08/2021 at 20:18:18
Colin: there’s no chance Mr Blobby would share a kebab! Tightarse that he is
Jim Jennings
20 Posted 03/08/2021 at 20:30:30
This transfer looks a goer. Benitez was just on the radio and said:

“I don’t like to talk about players who belong to another club. But jes, this is a player I like. He can be for me now, what I had with Momo Sissoko at my Liverpool”

Mike Gaynes
21 Posted 03/08/2021 at 20:35:00
Neil #17, do you seriously believe that a shrewd operator like Rafa -- living right in town and apparently going through an extensive interview process -- didn't know exactly what was going on at the club?

Tony Abrahams
22 Posted 03/08/2021 at 20:37:38
I heard that he thought he could get rid of Iwobi, until he heard how much he was on, Mike!
Brian Murray
23 Posted 03/08/2021 at 20:41:44
Jim post 19. He would do well to stop referring to them over the park as an example. His coat is already on a shaky nail. Little things like that can shape his tenure here.
Richard Mason
24 Posted 03/08/2021 at 20:47:54
I see Dumfries not playing for PSV tonight. Hoppe from Schalke seems to be growing legs as well, £5 mil be quoted. That would be 3 good signings, young profiles, up-and-coming, all good prices...
Neil Thomas
25 Posted 03/08/2021 at 20:50:05
Mike #20
So do you think we have more money than we’re letting on?
Ian Pilkington
26 Posted 03/08/2021 at 21:36:26
Despite incessant talk on here about the Premier League's Financial Fair Play regulations, which are supposedly preventing us buying expensive new players unless we sell, other than Paul the Esk's scholarly assessment of our player trading losses, I have seen no proof of the requirement for this whatsoever.

The new stadium is clearly being financed by Messrs Moshiri and Usmanov, its construction costs will have no influence on player expenditure and will not be putting us into debt like Arsenal or Spurs.

Benitez needs time to assess the squad and, after making three modest purchases with three particularly costly players gone, he is surely poised to make some far larger moves in the market soon.

We are certainly not skint!


Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
27 Posted 03/08/2021 at 21:50:25
No we are skint. We have no money. And the owner and his best mate have drawn in the strings so we have little of no money.

(Hopefully this post is read by the chairmen on PSV, Schalke and Sporting Lisbon who now know they can't play hard ball. And the latter owes us a favour as we let them have Yannik Bolasie for a season on loan).

Robert Tressell
28 Posted 03/08/2021 at 22:04:04
Brian, I think (hope) Jim was joking. Very realistic dialogue though. I can just picture him saying it with his trademark far too long tie.
Barry Hesketh
29 Posted 03/08/2021 at 22:15:16
Ian @25

Everton's owners may not be skint, however, the educated guess amongst many, including Paul (the Esk) is that the club has made significant losses over the past 3 years, which means that at best the club is sailing close to the wind in relation to FFP.

That's the reason people are realising that we are in a sell-to-buy situation for this summer's window. We could have the richest man on the planet as the owner, but the restrictions set out by the governing bodies would still apply.

Brian Wilkinson
30 Posted 03/08/2021 at 22:23:10
Dennis @2, we are not skint, we have shed loads of money.

However, our hands are tied with FFP, which means we cannot spend much, but the teams at the top in fairness, should have received a transfer ban, or points deduction, are fine on spending over £100 Million on Harry Kane, should they wish to do so.

So the same teams will nearly always finish in the Top 4, and have more to spend, with the Champions League income each season.

Until FFP is relaxed, the remaining teams outside the Top 4 are screwed, mate.

Don Alexander
31 Posted 03/08/2021 at 22:31:29
So little faith do I have in the integrity of financial fandangling, in what our proud "leaders" describe as "first world" politics, legalese and accountability, that I'm gobsmacked that alleged accountancy magicians such a Moshiri (with whomever might be backing him) are so easily brought to heel by the bent likes of Uefa and their FFP "rules".

Seems to me that Moshiri has now well and truly learnt from someone in the boardroom that, for all his weird words and bizarre actions, he might just as well continue a 30-year policy of meaningfully doing fuck-all because, apart from criticism from owd Toffees on this site, the fan-base will essentially accept it – as we all have, in effect.

Sam Hoare
32 Posted 03/08/2021 at 22:32:07
I hope we won’t be paying £20m for a player who’s almost 23 and barely made 20 league starts in Portugal.

He would bring some much needed pace and ball carrying through the middle but quite a raw player. I’d hope we’d not be paying much more than £10-12m for him; especially as Olise (a better player I’d reckon) only cost £8m.

Bill Watson
33 Posted 03/08/2021 at 22:51:56
We still have the Arteta money!
Paul Smith
34 Posted 03/08/2021 at 22:53:34
Seems like it could happen.

Having clout as a brand is different than having rich owners. We have the latter which does us little good at the moment apart from the state of the art, worldy stadium they’re building for us.

Mike Gaynes
35 Posted 03/08/2021 at 23:46:30
Neil #24, no idea about that. I just don't believe Rafa has been in any way surprised by our situation.

Bill #32, won't do us any good. Nobody can find the key to the ring-fencing.

Nicholas Ryan
36 Posted 03/08/2021 at 23:55:33
Could it be that Rafa Benitez is our manager because we have no money? Perhaps he was the only candidate who said: 'I can improve the current squad, while only spending sixpence'?
Kristian Boyce
37 Posted 04/08/2021 at 00:13:32
Mike @20, I’m pretty sure this is the reason Moyes was linked as well. His history with us when we were broke. He probably didn’t want to go through buy to sell again
James Flynn
38 Posted 03/08/2021 at 00:21:54
Ian (25) - "I have seen no proof of the requirement for this whatsoever." Because there isn't any.

Silly season with a vengeance. Same sites "reporting" we're in for this one, just stated we walked away from Dumfries cause of FFP.

Anyway, this rumor is a re-hash from a couple months ago. With 3 years left on Nunes's contract, Sporting look for a fish to bite.

The kid's barely okay playing in Portugal, but he'll do well in England?

I'd rather Dumfries at the same money.

Mike Gaynes
39 Posted 04/08/2021 at 00:30:00
Kristian #37, I never believed for a moment that we were interested in Moyes... or that Moyes was interested in us. Paul Joyce at the Times started the rumor, and then the crapola outlets kept pumping it.
Derek Thomas
40 Posted 04/08/2021 at 01:09:36
He may be a handy player, but top of the list must be a right-back... and not 'one for the future' either.
Brian Murray
41 Posted 04/08/2021 at 01:42:26
Robert post 28. My bad. Didn’t read it proper. Just seen red mist ( rs) and jumped the gun. Coyb
Joe Digney
42 Posted 04/08/2021 at 01:45:30
Plenty of reports coming from Portugal on social media saying he’s basically signed.
Not sure how reliable the sources are but there’s multiple running the story now.
Andrew Ellams
43 Posted 04/08/2021 at 06:39:53
I wonder if this one has been revived because we are going to lose an attacking midfielder due to non-footballing reasons?
Mark Murphy
44 Posted 04/08/2021 at 07:57:13
An attacking midfielder?? Who??
Justin Doone
45 Posted 04/08/2021 at 08:01:33
FFP who cares. If we get banned for a season so what.

Spend big, build a quality squad, challenge and win some silverware than we can talk about FFP.

Until then it's meaningless. We don't play in Europe anyway so what does a one season ban hold over us.

Think big, think past next seasons telling off, get a team and squad to be proud of to win some silverware in the domestic league. Fill the new trophy cabinet with trophies and tell UEFA we are financially secure.

There's far worse team's in masses of debt that are at more risk than us. Look at Barca, willing to risk their future sinking into more debt to keep one player happy.

Robert Tressell
46 Posted 04/08/2021 at 08:05:52
Olise at £8m looks ridiculously good business, Sam.

On a different note, I see Zirkzee has gone on loan from Bayern to Anderlecht. That's one of our most persistently linked targets now at a new club.

Maybe young Dobbin can save us a fortune after his hat trick of hat tricks pre season.

Paul Hewitt
47 Posted 04/08/2021 at 12:03:32
We won't be buying anyone unless we sell someone first.
Tom Bowers
48 Posted 04/08/2021 at 12:37:24
Would appear so at this stage. There appears to be a lot of dead weight still hanging around who nobody else wants so we are stuck with them pulling good money and doing very little to get this team where it needs to be.

However, Rafa may find something in one or two of them (we hope). We definitely need a solid midfield if we are going to be competitive and I am hoping that Doucoure, Gbamin and whoever can maintain a high consistency to achieve that otherwise DCL, Richie and Kean will have very little in the way of a supply line.

Tony Everan
49 Posted 04/08/2021 at 12:47:32
It’s starting to look like one of those transfer windows where there will be an avalanche of transfer activity in the last week of it when entrenched positions will be left behind.
Mick O'Malley
50 Posted 04/08/2021 at 12:58:03
Aston Villa spending a fortune again, City about to sign Grealish for an obscene amount of £100 million, Chelsea sniffing around Rom for possible £88 million plus, Arsenal £50 million on a centre half and we’ve spent 30 Bob on a couple of squad players, I thought the clubs were on their arses after the pandemic? Looks like Rafa will have to perform miracles to get us anywhere near European qualification,
Danny O’Neill
51 Posted 04/08/2021 at 13:16:14
I'll play Devil's Advocate here Mick. Both sides of the debate.

It's about how you spend, not what you spend. If there is a club that epitomises that it's Everton. Spanked millions in recent years on shite. Conversley, we've unearthed the odd gem for a relatively modest fee.

In my lifetime most of our favoured players came from Dunfermline, Liverpool reserves, Bolton's injury list, Wolves, Millwall & Sligo Rovers. And more recently Real Madrid. Transfers are always a gamble whether you spend 60m or 60k.

I said Devil's Advocate. There maybe is the problem. If you want to win you buy quality. Not squander money on average players or, alternatively you take a punt on someone who may or may not come good.

David Israel
52 Posted 04/08/2021 at 13:32:15
Phil #27 I very much doubt Sporting feel we have done them a favour by loaning out to them Bolasie!
Mike Doyle
53 Posted 04/08/2021 at 14:02:19
Danny I think you are spot on. The Moyes regime did seem to invest a lot of time and effort checking out players before signing them (for fairly meagre fees).

I wonder who checked out the likes of Bolasie, Klaassen, Delph etc before pressing ahead?
And don't forget that ex-binman Howard Kendall signed from Bury!

Robert Tressell
54 Posted 04/08/2021 at 14:41:40
Danny, you're right, our best signings come from a variety of sources and often at modest cost. But I'd say almost none have come from other Premier League clubs, except possibly relegated clubs or the bench of a richer club.

Notice Villa have gone for younger players on the up like Buendia and Bailey to replace Grealish - rather than, say, established but fragile stars past their peak like Coutinho and Douglas Costa. Or extremely expensive but not top tier Premier League players like Zaha and Traore.

In the case of both Buendia and Bailey the proof will be in the eating but it looks like good value and good business.

Bill Gall
55 Posted 04/08/2021 at 14:51:09
I keep reading of all the players we are supposed to be interested in buying, 1 or 2 I think that they would be a good signing, but then I think, we are pretty strong in that position so why go for them when we need more strength and coverage in other areas?

Looking at how Brands and Benitez have done so far, they have brought in 3 players without anyone really thinking about them, including the media, that have strengthened the team, with going on today's crazy fees, at a reasonable amount. All 3 players are capable of being in the starting 11 and 2 will be putting pressure on some of the existing squad for a start.

I realize the problem with FFP, and expect Everton to be cautious in their dealings, but I believe that Brands and Benitez will bring in a couple more players that no-one has been talking about to strengthen the positions we are weak in, and they will surprise us again with who they are.

Hopefully this is after we are able to get rid of some players who are not good enough, and most supporters have their own ideas who they should be.

Tony Everan
56 Posted 04/08/2021 at 16:00:10
Robert, good points.

Villa look much stronger to me as a result of the impending Grealish transfer. Very astute business and also done in a professional and timely manner, getting the players in before the star man is sold. As you say, quality young players on the up with further improvement likely.

Aston Villa trying to become the next ‘Leicester City'. We have some serious, possibly more creative work, to do in the transfer market to finish 6th or 7th which will be generally regarded as acceptable, incremental progress.

Robert Tressell
57 Posted 04/08/2021 at 16:36:49
Yes Tony, I'd have said that, player for player, 8 other clubs now have a better first XI (and probably squad) than us. That's the Rich 6, Leicester and Villa. None of them look especially vulnerable either, although Arteta still has much to prove and Nuno may find life difficult at Spurs if they end up losing Kane. Going to be a really hard season for Benitez - but you can go a long way with a mean defence. So there's some hope.
Brian Murray
58 Posted 04/08/2021 at 16:40:13
Tony. Getting the players in before the star man is sold. Now that's a quaint novelty. We are still waiting for the Lukaku replacement. Clocks ticking on the catering kopite get a grip, mate, and you, Marcel. Europe really is there for the taking; outside the Top 4, it's all much of a muchness.
Rob Halligan
59 Posted 04/08/2021 at 17:34:09
Aston Villa bringing in quality, young players. Well, before today, it was 'young player'. Can't say quality in respect of Buendia as I've never seen him play, but that's not to say he isn't quality. Oh yeah, their only other signing before today was 36-year-old ex-player Ashley Young!

Should Villa eventually sell Grealish, then in my opinion, that will weaken their squad. Ok, they will have money to buy further players but, for fuck's sake, stop “bigging” them up like they are suddenly the new messiahs. No doubt some will soon be saying Villa are the team we need to look up to!

Barry Hesketh
60 Posted 04/08/2021 at 17:59:38
Rob @59

Don't you know how it works, mate? Player x joins any other Premier League club for whatever fee and whatever wages and they are a superstar in the making; whichever player arrives at Everton is a failure in the making and wouldn't be wanted by any Top 6 club, in fact, they'll probably be Championship level at best.

Come on, Everton, get to 40 points ASAP, as we obviously won't be any good for the new season, no chance of getting carried away on this site most of the time.

Despite the failures of last season, and there were many, Everton was not that far away from Europe and probably on balance should have been more than capable to have achieved that target.

A new season offers the players involved in that debacle a chance to redeem themselves and, whatever else can be said about Benitez, I don't think they'll be allowed to take their foot off the gas at any point during his tenure.

Rob Halligan
61 Posted 04/08/2021 at 18:42:36
Barry, yeah I believe it's something like that. I've also heard we only sign players because nobody else at all wanted them, not just the so-called Big 6 clubs. Although there were rumours we were after Bailey, that's all it was, a rumour. There was no battle between us and Villa for his signature.

Another favourite for some on TW is “If he were that good, then why weren't any of the so-called Big 6 clubs queueing up to try and sign Bailey?”

Hope you're right about this coming season. I still haven't taken to Benitez being in charge, but should his heart really be in the job, and not just here to “top up his pension” (another favourite TW saying, not mine), and he can get us somewhere near the European places along with a good cup run(s), then I might start to warm to him.

As we speak, Villa sign Danny Ings from Southampton.

Steve Mink
62 Posted 04/08/2021 at 19:22:33
Ings to Villa - another smart move by them.
Danny O’Neill
63 Posted 04/08/2021 at 19:30:33
Two years ago, it was Wolves. Stop the short-term views on the latest and greatest. Next, it will be Leeds.

Let's just focus on Everton and what we do, not worry what others are doing. We are building for the future, not next week.

And I say that married to a Villa supporting wife of 29 years with a healthy mix of Wolves, West Brom and Villa supporting in-laws.

In those 29 years and in my lifetime, those 3 clubs have been relegated multiple times. We have never been.

Michael Boardman
64 Posted 04/08/2021 at 19:32:55
Villa are either looking very promising, or are spunking their Grealish money in much the same way as the RS did with Suarez, Spuds with Bale, us with Lukaku etc etc.

You can only replace one player with one player in the team... but they do seem to have spent well.

Brian Harrison
65 Posted 04/08/2021 at 19:33:00
I think the mindless spending that was given the green light by Moshiri will now have repercussions. It seems very clear that, according to Paul the Esk, the figures we submitted at the end of June will see us overspending our FFP limit. So our spending will be severely curtailed.

I think the club were hoping that PSG would sign Kean for in excess of £25 million and we may get another £20 million for James, seeing Benitez has told him he is surplus to requirements. But at best PSG will only entertain taking Kean on a loan deal, so that avenue looks like it's closed, which just leaves the possibility of money from James.

This at a time when some of the clubs we will be competing with for a Europa League slot, the likes of Villa and Spurs, look like the sale of Grealish and Kane will give them the finance to massively improve their squads.

So I just hope, with a fairly easy opening set of fixtures, that we get off to a good start, as I fear, if we don't start well, we may struggle to get into the Top 10 and possibly even worse.

Also, depending on how the Premier League deal with our transgression of the FFP rules, hopefully just a fine and not a points deduction, but this being Everton, who knows how the powers that be will interpret our FFP transgression? But, even if we just get a fine, if we start badly, we won't be able to go into the transfer market in December unless we offload one of our key players.

Michael Boardman
66 Posted 04/08/2021 at 19:34:43
Plus, what happens if Grealish doesn't sign for Man City in the end? Villa must be right royally fucked in regards to FFP.
Andrew Keatley
67 Posted 04/08/2021 at 19:45:38
Michael (66),

The Grealish deal was agreed ages ago. Villa wanted to get their incoming business signed and sealed before the Grealish sale went public.

Rob Halligan
68 Posted 04/08/2021 at 19:50:21
Andrew, the Grealish deal may have been agreed ages ago, but what happens if he fails a medical, assuming of course, he's yet to have one? Man City would probably back out of any deal should he fail his medical.
Dave Williams
69 Posted 04/08/2021 at 19:55:23
£30M for a 29-year-old is not great business. Way overpriced imo.

Villa will miss Grealish – players like him cannot be replaced easily.

Michael Boardman
70 Posted 04/08/2021 at 19:56:22
Or he crashes his car...
Bill Gienapp
71 Posted 04/08/2021 at 19:59:46
Re: Villa, let's not forget they finished below us last season, and looked very ordinary whenever Grealish was out of the lineup. They seem to have bought well this summer, but then people said the same about us when Koeman and Walsh were splashing the cash. We won't know anything until we see them in action.
Jim Jennings
72 Posted 04/08/2021 at 20:04:38
Danny (63)

In those 29 years one of those three clubs (Villa) has won more trophies than we have. They’ve also come a hell of a lot closer to winning the league than we have. They’ve also spent roughly the same on Bailey, Buendia and Ings as we have on have on Tosun, Iwobi and Bolasie.

Marc Hints
73 Posted 04/08/2021 at 20:10:43
Apparently we have offered a straight swap: Gomes for Nunes, which has been knocked back.

Why can't we just get a transfer done, why is everything always drawn out with Everton?

Sam Hoare
74 Posted 04/08/2021 at 20:15:31
Watching Villa in this transfer window is giving me some sort of PTSD flashbacks to how poorly we spent the Lukaku & Stones money! £175M spent on Bolasie, Sigurdsson, Klaassen, Schneiderlin, Tosun and Walcott!! And crucially only Klaassen (£14m?) recouped in any sales.

Surely there has never been (and never will be) such a poor recruitment period by any Premier League club?!

I think Villa are doing better for the most part though: £25M on a 29-year-old with injury issues could go badly.

John McFarlane Snr
75 Posted 04/08/2021 at 20:28:13
Hi Brian [65],

I'm as disappointed as anyone but hindsight is a wonderful thing, as you say, "The mindless spending that was given the green light by Moshiri will now have repercussions."

I would hazard a guess that most of us were delighted at the time, but it would appear that Moshiri was let down by his advisers. I would think that he knows little about football but plenty about money. I have no idea how much the players are paid, but some on this site are quoting astronomically huge figures, and things don't favour their removal.

I tend to look on the bright side: every team starts with no points, and because football (like life) is unpredictable, I will be in my customary seat in the Park End.

Robert Tressell
76 Posted 04/08/2021 at 20:33:49
Bill, I don't think anyone was saying we spent well under Koeman & Walsh. It looked like a disaster at the time and soon proved to be.

Villa have spent very well and decisively. Whether the arrivals compensate for the loss of one very good player remains to be seen but, on paper at least, their first XI and squad is a fair bit better than ours. Only Godfrey and Digne would get in their first XI – possibly Calvert-Lewin too. but it's a bit marginal with Watkins.

Andrew Keatley
77 Posted 04/08/2021 at 21:00:37
Sam (74) - Slight rewriting of history there. After we sold Stones (for £50 million) we brought in Bolasie, Schneiderlin, Williams, Gueye, Lookman and DCL (total spend roughly £75 million).

In the 10 days before we sold Lukaku (for £75 million), we brought in Klaassen, Keane, Onyekeru, and Pickford (for about £83 million), and then spent another £45 million on Sigurdsson and a further £10 million on Vlasic. Then the manager that shall not be named spent £40 million or so in January on Tosun and Walcott.

It still doesn’t make for pretty reading at all but it isn’t quite as flat-out disastrous as your post makes out.

Chris Hockenhull
78 Posted 04/08/2021 at 21:21:52
Dear Lord. Is this an Aston Villa fan site I’ve tapped into tonight? And does anyone recall the comments made about their spending / finances over the years on this site???? Suddenly they’ve become the role model to follow????
Dale Self
79 Posted 04/08/2021 at 21:28:28
Thanks Chris 78 and Danny 63 and Andrew 77.
Dave Williams
80 Posted 04/08/2021 at 21:41:43
Robert,

I have huge respect for your knowledge and most postings but to say Villa have a better team or squad is very debatable.

Pickford, Godfrey, Digne, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison would be nailed on for their first team and an on-form Allan and Doucouré, not to mention Seamus at his best (even now) would be strong contenders.

We might surprise a few people, especially if Gbamin stays fit.

Michael Kenrick
81 Posted 04/08/2021 at 21:44:04
I see 30-year-old James McCarthy has signed with Celtic for the next 4 years, after being released by Crystal Palace.

I can't believe there has been no clamour to bring him back into 'the family'?

But I guess we just have to wait a year or so as some seem to think (despite recent evidence courtesy of Jonjoe Kenny) that you just have to play a season in the Scottish Premiership to become hot property and set for a £10M move to a big club in the Premier League.

Really?

Andrew Keatley
82 Posted 04/08/2021 at 21:56:23
Dave (80),

It'd be interesting to see who would get the nod in a Best XI made up of Aston Villa and Everton players – but the one player Villa have who is nailed on to be in everyone's joint XI is Grealish, and he'll be a Man City player by the end of the week.

I reckon there's not much in it for most positions, with the probable exception of Digne (who is superior to Targett).

Danny O’Neill
83 Posted 04/08/2021 at 21:59:19
Jim @72.

If my memory serves me correct, since I've been married to my good lady, Villa have won 2 x League Cups and we've won 1 x FA Cup. Technically, they've won more, but that's splitting hairs. They've also been relegated more than once in that period. We haven't.

I'm more interested in being the next Everton – not the next Villa, Leeds, Wolves… and if we rewind 12 months, Sheffield United.

Yes, Sheffield fucking United.

We are Everton.

Rob Halligan
84 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:13:28
Jim #72,

You say that in the last 29 years, Aston Villa have won more trophies than us, and come a lot closer to winning the Premier League than we have.

We can go back to season 1992-93, funnily enough, 29 years ago, when they came anywhere near winning the Premier League, finishing second to Man Utd. Since then, however, they have finished no higher than 4th, 1995=96 season, and had a couple of 5th and 6th place finishes.

So their Premier League record has been no better than ours in the last 29 years. In fact, you could say we have been nearer to winning the Premier League in the last 20 years than they have, with our 4th place finish in 2004-05.

As regards winning more trophies than us in the last 29 years, well yes, they have… one! However, since we last won anything, Villa have only also won one trophy, plus suffered the embarrassment of relegation. So I think I will give up the League Cup that Villa won in 1995-96, for the embarrassment of relegation.

Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:15:16
And Danny and Rob, don't forget... we won a Florida Cup too, and Villa sure as hell doesn't have one of those!

(eye roll)

Terry White
86 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:15:31
It's your cue, Christy (#81).
Danny O’Neill
87 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:19:06
I'd've loved to have been out there for that, Mike. Out to my house in late October / early November so will be looking to watch the Blues and probably Villa (wife) in a decent local sports bar. The US do sports bars on a different level to us Brits!!
Gary Smith
88 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:19:35
Why the feck are people getting wound up by Villla? Good luck to them.

Their fans suffered relegation, and only a year back nearly went straight back down. Only doing what we did a few years back, splashing the cash.

Could be the next Leicester City… or it could work out as shit for them as it did us. Who cares?

Bill Gienapp
89 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:21:46
Sam (74) - I'm pretty sure we got like £2 million from Nice for Schneiderlin, which frankly felt like winning the lottery.

Robert (76) - I was referring more to the outside perception of what Koeman & Walsh were doing. Fans of other clubs mostly said "Everton have brought in some good players, they mean business" without giving it too much thought.

Sam Hoare
90 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:22:05
Andrew @77,

A bit harsh! I think an abridgement rather than a re-writing. And personally I think disastrous is exactly what our recruitment has been (in football terms).

We are in the Top 4, I believe, for net spends over the last 5 years, not including this summer, and yet have gone backwards in terms of squad quality and have finished outside the Top 9 for the last two seasons and are reportedly struggling with FFP this summer due to lack of useful player sales.

Robert Tressell
91 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:23:27
Dave @ 80, it's all opinions after all. You might be right. Very little to choose between Pickford v Martinez, Godfrey v Konsa, Richarlison v Bailey and Watkins v Calvert-Lewin.

Godfrey is the most obvious winner for me. Personally, I'd go with Calvert-Lewin but it's marginal. Richarlison knows the Premier League so maybe edges Bailey but that's very marginal too. Digne is definitely a cut above Targett.

I would definitely take Mings, Cash, Luiz, McGinn and Buendia over Mina, Coleman, Allan, Doucouré and whoever our third midfielder is.

Danny O’Neill
92 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:27:03
Haven't looked it up and happy to be corrected, but in my lifetime (born 1971) only 3 teams that have never dropped out of the top flight:

1. Everton
2. Liverpool
3. Arsenal

Mike Gaynes
93 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:33:32
Robert, Mings over Mina? Not for me.

And little to choose Pickford over Martinez? Nah, I'd say that's pretty clear-cut for Jordan, although Emi did have a great spring and summer. Let's see if he maintains that level over a more extended period of time.

Rob Halligan
94 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:33:59
Danny, in my lifetime, there has only been two teams in the top division, Everton and Arsenal.

By the way, Danny, is your good lady a Brummie girl? I've got cousins who live in Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield who are Villa fans.

Rob Halligan
95 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:35:16
Mike, Mings is bloody useless, and that’s putting it mildly.
Danny O’Neill
96 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:40:05
When I first met her, Rob, she said Birmingham. When I got to know her better, she declared Dudley. When I drilled down and got to know the family, it was Pensnett if you know the area!!

She had to get to know Speke and Garston on my side. In fairness, she ended up living in Speke initially and then Woolton (nice) before my Army travels took us elsewhere.

Barry Hesketh
97 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:51:26
With all of the discussion about how few teams have remained ever-presents in the top division within their lifetimes and with the arrival of Brentford in the Premier League, I have a question for you all.

Since the resumption of football following the end of World War 2, which 10 English clubs have appeared in the top division but haven't, as yet, appeared in the Premier League?

Rob Halligan
98 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:53:46
Brentford,

Bristol City?

Andrew Keatley
99 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:54:23
Sam @90,

Fair enough, but I reckon we made back £2 million on Schneiderlin, £27 million on Gueye, £16 million on Lookman, £12 million on Klaassen, £12 million on Onyekeru, and £14 million on Vlasic – which is £83 million in total. Big losses on Schneiderlin and Klaassen, but profit on the other 4.

The last 6 years has definitely seen us make a series of horrendous missteps in the transfer market, but most of those players have now left the club. Even without any major expenditure, and Gray, Townsend and Begovic joining, it feels to me like our squad is starting to feel more balanced than it has for a while.

Barry Hesketh
100 Posted 04/08/2021 at 23:01:37
Okay Rob I worded the question wrongly, as I wasn't going to include Brentford. Bristol City is correct, so another nine to name.
Andy Crooks
101 Posted 04/08/2021 at 23:04:04
Barry, Carlisle Utd?
Barry Hesketh
102 Posted 04/08/2021 at 23:04:57
Correct, Andy.
Sam Hoare
103 Posted 04/08/2021 at 23:06:50
Yes, Andrew. It wasn't all duds but it definitely feels we had an opportunity to do something like what Leicester City did and re-invest funds to build a strong squad capable of challenging for Top 4.

Comparison is unhelpful perhaps as every situation is different but it certainly feels like a fair few of our more expensive purchases (Sigurdsson, Tosun, Gomes, Mina, Bolasie, Keane) are probably worth less now than we paid for them. Richarlison and maybe Kean and Godfrey are the only players over £20M who may make us a decent profit?

Yes, finally the deadwood is thinning and not much to risk in signing Gray and Townsend for £1.5M.

Rob Halligan
104 Posted 04/08/2021 at 23:08:36
Swindon Town.
Northampton Town.
Barry Hesketh
105 Posted 04/08/2021 at 23:18:23
Rob @104,

I bet you haven't been to Northampton to watch Everton, have you? I can't remember Everton playing them since they were relegated in 1966. Swindon played in the Premier League when Mike Walker was at Goodison. Seven more to get.

Rob Halligan
106 Posted 04/08/2021 at 23:21:39
I haven’t, Barry. Didn’t go to Swindon either.
Barry Hesketh
107 Posted 04/08/2021 at 23:31:42
I'd better post the answer, before I log out for tonight.

Brentford (Premier League 2021-22)

Luton Town
Notts County
Millwall
Oxford United
Bristol City
Carlisle United
Northampton Town
Leyton Orient
Preston North End
Grimsby Town

Kristian Boyce
108 Posted 04/08/2021 at 23:32:18
I'm waiting for Sky and TalkSport to cream over how Villa have 'won' the transfer window, like they did for us a couple of years ago. Unfortunately that didn't work out too well for us for the rest of the season, so I'm not banking much on Villa.

Michael @81, I saw a stat earlier when they announced that McCarthy has played less minutes in the last 5 years than Callum McGregor did during the whole of last season.

Rob Halligan
109 Posted 04/08/2021 at 23:34:09
Cheers, Barry.

Difficult that.

Ray Robinson
110 Posted 04/08/2021 at 23:34:22
Barry,

Leyton Orient, Preston North End?

Barry Hesketh
111 Posted 04/08/2021 at 23:36:20
Yes, Ray @111,

They have all played in the old First Division since the War, but not in the Premier League.

Bill Watson
112 Posted 04/08/2021 at 23:47:08
Mike; Mings is minging!
Andrew Keatley
113 Posted 05/08/2021 at 00:28:27
Robert (76),

I seem to remember that, the summer Lukaku left and we brought in Pickford, Rooney, Keane, Klaassen, Sigurdsson, etc, there were plenty of pundits and analysts claiming that Everton had “won” the transfer window.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but don't pretend that people were forecasting the extent to which that transfer window would end up providing us with so many problems on and off the pitch.

Steavey Buckley
114 Posted 05/08/2021 at 00:55:42
I am not sure if Aston Villa have won the transfer window. But they have signed Bailey (previously, a Everton target) and have just signed Danny Ings for £25 million – a prolific goalscorer with Southampton.

But will they miss Jack Grealish, a gifted footballer, heading to Man City? Man City are also likely to sign Harry Kane for 'silly' money.

Brian Murray
115 Posted 05/08/2021 at 04:20:12
Our stature, whether we have more than Villa etc, won't get us a trophy parade in May. I don't give a fuck about that. Even this idiot owner (football-wise) said we are a museum club. Less Hickson history, more making history... okay, Blue Boys???
Kieran Kinsella
116 Posted 05/08/2021 at 04:48:03
Steavey Buckley,

How was Bailey an Everton target? Maybe among ToffeeWeb regulars but I never saw the club announce he was a target.

Moreover, how can you compare Everton with Villa? The latter had been English Champions before entering a period of relegation-threatened decline whereby a skinflint “fan” took control of the club and encumbered them with massive debt, false promises of a new stadium and decades of failure before selling them for profit onto a foreign billionaire of a mug. How is that in any way reminiscent of Everton and our illustrious leader, Kenwright, and our years of success before selling us to a brilliant billionaire who, unlike Randy Lerner, didn't squander a fortune employing shit managers and shit players while getting worse and worse?

Ok fuck it, we are Villa 2.0 … But we never officially wanted Bailey!

Danny O’Neill
117 Posted 05/08/2021 at 06:17:21
Clever, Kieran. I like that!

I'm probably biased with Villa due to the family connections but you have to respect them. Huge club with a massive fan base. Until 1985, equal to us on league titles. Until 1993, equal to Manchester United. Have lifted the European Cup. Proud club with heritage and history. But relegated 3 times in my lifetime.

"Winning" transfer windows? Is that the space Sky has got us into? We should know and have learned that, within reason, it's how you spend, not what you spend. Not until you get there.

Ings is a gamble. £25M for a 29-year-old with a dodgy injury record? Well, I guess all on here would be delighted with that one? Oh wait?!!!

Then again, I told the wife, for very different reasons, that £33M on Watkins was a gamble last year. But let's see how he goes second season. He surprised me last season to be fair.

Simple fact is, you never really know. Every signing is a gamble. Sometimes you get a Peter Reid or a Tim Cahill. Others you get a Krøldrup or a Niasse.

Chris James
118 Posted 05/08/2021 at 06:41:15
Wow, people seem pretty upset here about Villa… not quite sure why. They have sold their biggest game-changing asset for £100M and are spending the money in a way that looks sensible enough, but is entirely unproven.

> Ings at £22M does seem a decent move… if he stays fit (and last season he was very patchy: 13 goals from 33, vs 25 from 42 the season before), although Watkins won't be happy if he gets sidelined.

> Buendia has talent but is a luxury player (Norwich fans weren't too sad to see him go) and is not close to Grealish's standard, plus at £25M isn't cheap.

> Bailey (also £25M) could prove to be a great signing, but it's too early to say if he'll settle in the Premier League.

> Young (£1M) is obviously cover, experience or something but, at 36, he's not really going to be an up-and-down wingback… and how much is he going to play?

> Cantwell (£25-30M?) – if they get him, would also seem a decent signing on paper, but is way off Grealish's standard and again (like Buendia) he was part of a relegated side and didn't get picked up previously despite interest.

So yes, some potentially good business done on paper, but football is played on grass and none of these would be described as world class. The wage bill will also be increased substantially and they may well end up with 'Everton-style' issues in a season or two.

If Man City get Grealish and Kane, they will have indisputably 'won' the transfer window... and pretty much the Premier League. (Although I'd say Kane is more important of the two by far, I don't really understand why Man City needed another creative midfielder, unless Sterling is moving on.)

Personally I don't think ours has been too bad so far, certainly in comparison to previous pre-Ancelotti windows. There's been no big-name excitement but...

> We've brought in players in positions we actually need at a cut-price rate (hopefully one of Townsend and Gray will work out on the flanks; I'd probably start both before Iwobi, sadly), plus Begovic is a great back-up keeper.

> We've also got rid of some deadwood and big wage-earners (Bolasie, Walcott, Bernard and Besic), with hopefully one or two more to come.

I don't actually think we have a bad squad at present if you can step back a bit and ignore some of the recent dramas:

> Pickford, Digne, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, Allan, Mina, Godfrey and Keane are all decent 'international standard' first-team players, as is Coleman (still) but he needs a decent understudy or replacement now, obviously.

> We have others who could be great if they play to their potential or previous levels: Doucouré, James, Holgate, Sigurdsson (assuming he stays and clears his name).

> Some decent-looking potential (if given a chance): Kean, Gordon, Gbamin, Gray, Nkounkou, Kenny, Townsend?

> Squad players – Not sure where to put the likes of Gomes and Davies, to be honest; I quite like them both on their day, but neither can deliver consistently enough or are likely to get decent sale prices, so 'squad players', I guess?

> And then some deadwood to shift: Tosun, Delph, Iwobi.

For my money, assuming we keep Richarlison, and Benitez fancies giving Kean a chance (who clearly has some potential), we need a right-wingback and someone who can sit in front of Allan, Doucouré or Gbamin and make the play tick (and ideally make some goals).

Gomes was brought in to do that and has the passing range but is too lightweight and inconsistent for the Premier League; Sigurdsson has done that at times (but often seems too slow and could be out of contention anyway); James could totally do that (if he could be bothered or motivated but let's be generous and call him 'mercurial'), although Benitez doesn't seem to fancy him.

Alan McGuffog
119 Posted 05/08/2021 at 07:09:38
Danny Dudley is Black Country, no? Most folk I've met from there are quick to point out that they're not Brummies. And they tend to follow the Yams or the Baggies.

I envy you your courting days down there, mate, supping the wonderful Batham's and Holden's beers. None better!

Sam Hoare
120 Posted 05/08/2021 at 07:27:31
Chris @119,

If you think Buendia was a luxury player, then I can only assume you've not seen him play much or haven't seen his stats; he's extremely hard-working and makes more tackles and interceptions than many of our so-called defensive midfielders. Every Norwich fan I know is gutted that he's left, even though they were expecting it.

Villa will miss Grealish, of course, and I've no idea how quickly their new signings will gel and adapt but I definitely think Buendia and Bailey are two players who we could really use; I expect Villa to be competing alongside (hopefully not above) us this season.

Tony Abrahams
121 Posted 05/08/2021 at 08:18:08
I think the bigger of the two problems for Everton is how much money they are wasting on wages. When Brands first came to Everton, he came out with a great line about having money can make people lazy, and this is exactly what has happened to us.

The money has taken away the desire from players who were only average at best anyway, and this has been the biggest problem. They know they will never get another contract like the one they have received from Everton, and so the only place they are going is on loan at a push, until their contract has finally finished.

Maybe Rodriguez going will help, maybe Moise Kean eventually going will also help from the domino effect. People are gutted they are not going to see James in the flesh but I honestly can't wait to see Ben Godfrey – he's a player with great potential, I still think he's very naive, and needs someone better alongside him. That is why I still think we definitely need another better centre-half.

John Keating
122 Posted 05/08/2021 at 08:42:16
As it's still a team game, we don't have to spend zillions on transfer fees and wages. A good recruitment team and management can still find the odd gem here and there.

Okay, maybe spending a bit on a player that doesn't work, we might still get our money back moving him on. Think back to our successful teams from the '60s. Yes, we had some expensive players but we also had many who weren't.

The right team, the right mix… and the right style and tactics to suit/

Danny O’Neill
123 Posted 05/08/2021 at 08:47:56
I think you're right about the wages thing, Tony.

Way before this era of waste, wasn't it said that our last throw of the dice at trying to look like a big club in the transfer market during the '90s was when we threw wages at Slaven Bilic? It wasn't the £4M transfer fee that killed us, it was the wages that followed. That's what is often overlooked; the wages, because that is the enduring cost on the club (business), not the transfer fee.

Great player (Bilic), by the way, just not in an Everton shirt. I hope you're wrong about James. I want to see him play for Everton, even if it's just once. And like I've been in the minority since January, I would love to see a better partner play alongside Godfrey.

Yes Alan, Black Country and they are proud of that distinction from Birmingham. When we went posh, we used to go to Kingswinford for a drink. The father-in-law used to take me to a place called Gornal. Now I'm well travelled and have experienced many accents and languages. But Black Country Gornal is a dialect out there on its own!!

Ian Burns
124 Posted 05/08/2021 at 08:56:50
Tony #122, I always find your posts interesting and knowledgeable. Ever thought of applying for Brands's job?

It is interesting you feel Godfrey needs another centre-back alongside – but, out of all those we have on our books (including the younger brigade such as Gibson et al), you don't think there is one suitable to partner up with him? Mina?

What about Zouma (Chelsea) – would he fit the bill, as he appears to be surplus to their requirements?

Tom Richards
125 Posted 05/08/2021 at 08:58:22
Killing us the wages that we gave out, superstar wages to bang average players.
Danny O’Neill
126 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:01:27
Godfrey would be perfect alongside a more experienced centre-back. Mina is still relatively young for a centre-back and I'd keep him. We need depth and quality in the squad.

When you consider a centre-back won't hit top maturity and potential until around 30 to 32, young Ben is going to be immense in my opinion.

I just hope the Goodison crowd give him the time and patience they didn't give a young John Stones.

Nervous Norris' because we had a centre back who can actually play football. Just surround him with better players.

In an ideal world, Ian Burns, I'd pick Koulibaly, but Zouma is not a bad shout. Great recovering centre-back. Can play high up the pitch but can get back and recover when needed. Unlike Michael Keane.

Sam Hoare
127 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:27:06
I think Mina could have a great season if he stays fit. Statistically he was our best centre-back last season despite not often getting consistent time. He's a big character and capable of being a leader. I think it's not impossible that him and Godfrey could become a very good pair but the best partnerships take time.

As for Zouma, I've always been a fan; brilliant in the air, lightning fast and strong as an ox… but he's not an organiser or leader, so I don't know that he'd be a good partner for Godfrey.

Ian Burns
128 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:27:14
Danny,

At least Zouma has Goodison Park and Premier League experience but I suspect Brands et al have more important positions to fill, such as right-back etc.

Maybe at my age, I will still see the day when we will be linked with a Grealish or a Kane – but probably Iwobi's brother!

Tony Everan
129 Posted 05/08/2021 at 09:28:00
There’s still three or four weeks to go and Marcel Brands is not wet behind the ears. He’s a highly paid professional who knows what he is doing. It’s fair to say that Villa have done well to compensate for the impending loss of Grealish, but ultimately the only thing that matters to all of us is Everton being better.

There’s still good time for us to make a couple of signings to strengthen where necessary, I think we will see Brands bring at least two new faces in and two or three outgoings.

I agree with the comments above, a Centre Half to better compliment Godfrey (will only happen if if one of Yerry, Keane or Holgate are sold) . A Right Back and a Kean / James replacement to strengthen our forward line (if he is sold). Koulibaily, Demiral’s names appearing regularly that we are interested and get Matheus Perreira in for not too much net outlay and Brands can bring in a well sourced RB we will be looking a more complete outfit, stronger in defence and more attacking options, goals and assists.

Christy Ring
130 Posted 05/08/2021 at 10:31:10
Terry #86, Thanks!

Great move for McCarthy joining his boyhood idols, and finishing out his career there. A perfect replacement for Scott Brown.

I still thought he was outstanding for us beside Barry in his first couple of seasons. Hamstring and horrific leg break were huge setbacks, but some comments making a laugh and seem to forget this, we gave him away for a pittance. He played 52 games for Palace in the last two seasons.

His replacement cost Everton £8M, on double his salary… Delph, what a player.

Andrew Ellams
131 Posted 05/08/2021 at 10:46:08
I see parts of the always reliable media are claiming this one is off again as Sporting were unwilling to accept a swap deal involving Gomes.
Brian Williams
132 Posted 05/08/2021 at 12:36:10
Phil Kirkbride (admittedly of the redshite Echo) says simply that we have no interest in signing him.
Steve Shave
133 Posted 05/08/2021 at 12:54:16
Chris 118,

I admire the optimism mate and applaud your blue-tinted view towards our current squad of players, let's hope so eh.

I have to disagree as well regarding your comments on Buendia, he was my dream signing for this season and would have been worth breaching our record signing fee for. Mark my words, he will be worth double what they paid in 1 year's time.

I will also concur with Sam's comments, he is far from a luxury player, even in the No 10 role. He is hard-working, highly industrious, and I am willing to bet he creates more than Grealish does this season, even in this all-star Man City side!

Screw it, I'm gonna say it: He is going to be better than Grealish! Only my opinion but one helluva signing for them and we will rue the day we didn't buy him last season to operate two hard-working flanks on the opposite side of Richrlison, that would have made us very hard to play against. Sigh.

Robert Tressell
134 Posted 05/08/2021 at 13:04:18
Christy - McCarthy, Barry and Barkley had a lovely balance of experience, composure, intelligence, aggression and magic. McCarthy was a big part of that and Delph has offered nothing by way of replacement. Hope he does really well at Celtic.

Otherwise, the Villa developments and our troubles with FFP etc have obviously got us all a bit tetchy. What a strange situation to find ourselves in. Feels a bit like the window we sold Rooney and bought Bent in many respects. Hopefully the following season plays out like 2004/05 season.

Ray Roche
135 Posted 05/08/2021 at 13:20:42
When I see the signings Villa have made, I think that they'll be pushing for Top 6 at our expense. The three players they have signed are more than a replacement for Grealish.

We are no stronger in real terms despite Gray, Townsend and Begovic; we look like being weakened even more if James and/or Richarlison go.

The relatively low cost players we're supposed to be interested in, like Dumfries, are apparently out of our reach. Where to now?

Andrew Keatley
136 Posted 05/08/2021 at 14:31:28
Ray - I disagree. Grealish is a unique player who can slow the game down and speed it up at will, and who can carry the ball well wide or centrally. There is no replacement for that. Bailey, Buendia and Ings all have their relative merits, and will improve Villa as a squad, but I think Villa have lost something that they cannot replace.

As for Gray and Townsend, I think they are decent acquisitions that give us something that we have lacked for a while – players who can beat an opponent with skill and/or pace. A decent couple of players (probably on loan) and we are in okay shape to make progress this season, especially at home.

Ray Roche
137 Posted 05/08/2021 at 14:42:04
Andrew, Grealish is indeed a special player and Villa will miss the many free-kicks that he “earns” them but I think that the benefits of a proven goal scorer in Ings, plus the attributes the other signings bring, make Villa a stronger squad.

Gray and Townsend are good acquisitions and Gray, in particular, will give us the pace we've lacked, but will they propel us into the Top 6 or Top 4? They may help us to tread water, nothing more.

I'm trying to feel optimistic but constant reports of losing our best and most creative players is dispiriting.

James Newcombe
138 Posted 05/08/2021 at 16:15:49
129 - Tony – unbelievably, Matheus Perreira is going to Saudi Arabia. Which is a shame, as I thought he really stood out in a relegated team, and could have been a superb signing for us. Oh well.
Tony Abrahams
139 Posted 05/08/2021 at 16:40:46
I'd say Mina would be the best to pair with Godfrey, Ian, but he gets injured too much, and he also stupidly gets involved with the opposition sometimes, which can affect his concentration; otherwise, he could still become a very good player.

Maybe Brands will get better? I think him being foreign, and also never having any experience of the English game, has made him make some poor decisions... but hopefully he will improve.

I like the way he's starting to try and fast-track the younger players, which might just turn out to be very successful in the future, and is also “a plan” that I find intriguing.

Andrew Ellams
140 Posted 05/08/2021 at 16:42:50
James,

I saw this coming with Perreira. The fact that he wasn't being linked to anybody in the Premier League made me think that he had told his agent that he didn't want to stay in England.

Justin Doone
141 Posted 05/08/2021 at 16:50:43
When the saints march all over us, the cheque book will hopefully be found.

Transfer deadline day, here we come!

Tom Richards
142 Posted 05/08/2021 at 16:55:09
Not worth us turning up then, Justin?

Come on, lads, the season hasn't even kicked off yet.

Pickford
Coleman
Godfrey
Mina
Digne
Allan
Doucouré
Gbamin
Townsend
Calvert-Lewin
Gray.

That team, playing with passion and spirit, will give most teams in the Premier League a game.

Paul Smith
143 Posted 05/08/2021 at 17:08:26
Tom, you sold Richarlison?
Brian Murray
144 Posted 05/08/2021 at 17:09:53
Justin.

Are you sure your surname is Doone and not Doom? 😂

The only one laughing at us is Ritcharlison, with us saying Yes to his every whim and obscure jaunts anywhere on the globe. Imagine Pep agreeing to all that. No chance.

Plus no doubt he will be burnt out before Xmas, just before he gets his agent to get the wooden spoon out again for a move.

Tom Richards
145 Posted 05/08/2021 at 17:10:23
No, Paul.

My team was based on him not being available for selection, mate.

Bobby Mallon
146 Posted 05/08/2021 at 17:20:33
We will finish 14th this season. I just hope it's playing decent football.
Dave Williams
147 Posted 05/08/2021 at 17:56:21
Tom,

That is not a bad side at all. We are allowing the FFP situation to depress us but we have two new outfield players plus two more in Gbamin and Kean who were not available last season. That is in effect four new players to strengthen the squad for an outlay of £1.5m.

Okay, we need a few more in an ideal world but, if Rafa can get this lot to work harder, play with pace, and fight harder on the pitch, we may surprise a few people.

Let's not forget that we finished last season pretty close to the Champions League places and that was managed by a bloke who picked two keepers for the bench and even declined to fill the bench on a couple of occasions. Rafa will not play silly buggers like that.

Hopefully one or two younger players will come through too. All is not lost; take away the Mancs, Chelsea and RS and we can at least be a match for the rest – and if Rafa instils pace and aggression, the Big 4 won't relish playing us either.

Tom Richards
148 Posted 05/08/2021 at 18:06:08
It's a decent side, Dave.

The key, as you say, is the attitude, work rate and desire. If, if they have that, it will be a Top 7 finish.

I believe, if we were at it in every game last season, we would have finished a lot higher.

Dave Abrahams
149 Posted 05/08/2021 at 18:18:09
Dave (147),

I'd rather look on the bright side, like you are doing, than getting all worried and frustrated before a ball has been kicked in earnest in the new season. With three weeks remaining for the squad to look stronger than it does now, a bit more hope and a lot less despair is in order.

I do understand some of the posts but let's see the strength of the squad on 31 August.

Kevin Prytherch
150 Posted 05/08/2021 at 18:22:36
Tom, although there are some obvious limitations, the squad isn't as bad as some make out. Players you haven't mentioned:

Bergovic
Kenny
Holgate
Keane
Nkounkou
Davies
Gomes
James
Richarlison
Kean
Gordon

That doesn't even include Delph, Iwobi, Tosun, or he-who-shall-not-be-named... never mind the youngsters such as Branthwaite or Simms who could be more involved.

I'd love to see us sign some big names, but maybe we need a season of consistency to improve.

Andrew Ellams
151 Posted 05/08/2021 at 18:26:09
Tom, a Top 7 finish is a big shout for us right now. Who do you see us finishing above out of Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and Leicester?
Tom Richards
152 Posted 05/08/2021 at 18:27:34
A few there I don't think are good enough, Kevin, but you are correct in saying the squad is not as bad as is being made out. Positive vibes only from me.


Leicester and Spurs should be our targets, Andrew.

Colin Glassar
153 Posted 05/08/2021 at 18:34:19
Messi is on the verge of leaving Barca. Surely he's one of the 3.000 on Rafa's Rolodex? If you want to go big, Farhad…..
Danny O’Neill
154 Posted 05/08/2021 at 18:38:49
Bobby @146. Go and take your mouthwash.

I'm full of my usual pre-season optimism and have said this elsewhere.

More signings to follow.

6th place finish so European qualification.

And a trip to Wembley in May.

Andrew Brookfield
155 Posted 05/08/2021 at 19:06:31
Wages, not transfer fees, are what dictate where clubs sit in the final Premier League table. Man City have the biggest wage budget and win. Liverpool have the second biggest, followed by Chelsea, Man Utd, Tottenham – that is what makes them the Big 5.

Everton spend big, but pay small, because our players aren't worth it. We think if a player is on £100k per week, they are on mega wages; in reality, Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool all have players on £300k plus.

If you get a great player, and you pay to keep him – Rashford, for example – you're not wasting money on transfers.

If Pickford, Godfrey, Digne, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin were at a bigger club, they'd be getting paid more. Take Pickford: probably on £100k a week at Everton. At Man Utd, De Gea is on £325k, his backup Henderson is on £120k.

We went from shopping at Primark to having money and shopping at All Saints and Hugo Boss; the people at the top are in a different level and shop exclusively in Harrods.

There are a lot of 'with hindsight' comments on this thread, which are frankly not true. Walsh did a fairly decent job in recruitment. Calvert-Lewin is probably worth 20 times what we paid for him, Gueye went for a significant profit, Pickford would go for profit, Lookman was break even, Vlasic made us a profit, Onyekuru made us a profit.

Sure there were some duds, but net net, his spend probably left us in a positive position – people forget the assets we keep on our books, ie, Pickford and Calvert-Lewin.

@Ian, with regard to why we need another partner for Godfrey. Godfrey is a fast, tough-tackling, small defender. To complement this, we need a fast reader of the game, a tall defender. Our problem is:

Keane: Not fast;
Mina: Statistically slower than Keane and not the best reader;
Holgate: Small and not the best reader;

I like all of these players, but each has a weakness that doesn't complement Godfrey or the high line you want to be playing.

Kevin Prytherch
156 Posted 05/08/2021 at 19:10:56
Other than Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea, I reckon everyone else is vulnerable.

Liverpool are on a downward slope; Arsenal flatter to deceive; Leicester are still too reliant on Vardy and an increasingly erratic Maddison; and Spurs will be nothing without Kane.

Leeds will eventually burn out and are too reliant on Phillips; Villa have lost Grealish and are implementing our scattergun approach to signings...

I don't think there's anyone else worth mentioning.

Andrew Brookfield
157 Posted 05/08/2021 at 19:17:46
Andrew @151,

Arsenal were not better than us last season, they've signed an over-priced defender (though I do think he's good) but have lost a couple of players too, like the two loanees from Real Madrid. If I was an Arsenal fan, I wouldn't be expecting us to finish above Everton as a given, I'd be worried and moaning.

Spurs struggled to finish above us, they're losing their captain and talisman. They have a manager we didn't want (as in ToffeeWebbers) and they haven't signed anyone. If I was a Tottenham fan, I wouldn't be expecting us to finish above Everton as a given, I'd be worried and moaning.

Leicester are a really good side, but I expect a couple of their players to be found out, a bit of lack of confidence to creep in, and their talisman, Vardy, is a year older and more injury-prone. If I was a Leicester fan, I'd back my team to finish above Everton but you always know one team is going to have a bad season.

Equally, one team is going to have a good season; if I was a betting man (which I am), I wouldn't say that would be Everton... but I don't think the season should be written off before it's started.

Andrew Brookfield
158 Posted 05/08/2021 at 19:20:46
Or maybe we've just been keeping our powder dry for Messi!
Conor McCourt
159 Posted 05/08/2021 at 19:27:06
Funny thing is, Kevin, I'd fancy your team to beat Tom's!
Andrew Brookfield
160 Posted 05/08/2021 at 19:40:55
Pickford
[Right-Back] Mina Godfrey Digne
Gbamin
Allan Doucouré
Gray Calvert-Lewin Ritcharlison

That's a pretty decent team. Press high, midfield two-touch passing straight to the forwards... most teams would fear that.

If it's not going to plan, take out a midfielder, bring on James, and watch them panic – this season could be what last season should have been. We need to replace Coleman though.

Stu Gore
161 Posted 05/08/2021 at 19:45:18
So where does Messi fit in that side…?
John McFarlane Snr
162 Posted 05/08/2021 at 19:51:32
Hi Dave [149],

Like yourself, I tend to look on the bright side, but I fear for the game. I know that this is off-topic and I run the risk of it being deleted. You, I, and others on this site can recall when the record transfer fee was £34,500 when Jackie Sewell moved from Notts County to Sheffield Wednesday, and the maximum wage was £20, but it's debatable how many players received that amount.

For what it's worth, I believe a maximum wage should be reinstated, and a ceiling put on transfer fees. On reflection, I would have been quite happy to have seen the back of the breakaway 6. I appreciate that there has always been a financial gap between clubs, but that's now becoming a gulf, and today's top footballers are yesterday's film stars.

Rant over.

David Thomas
163 Posted 05/08/2021 at 19:52:01
Unless we sign some genuine quality in the next few weeks, then we are going to have another season of disappointment.

Anyone who thinks the squad isn't bad has either wiped last season from their memory or didn't watch us play at all.

Justin Doone
164 Posted 05/08/2021 at 19:57:30
I'm trying to be positive. We will finish Top 10 but, to challenge for European places, we need a couple of signings.

We may also lose a few players; some we want gone... others will be a big loss. Either way, a few very good signings are needed.

We have until the end of the month and I'm optimistic we will recruit further.

The Saints have started the last few seasons very well. It's a bit of an ask for us to go there and win. But any negative result or performance may help highlight what we need.

I'm not all doom, just positively realistic. Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool are my Top 4. I'd love us to be 5th, but I'll be happy with an FA Cup win in 2022.

John McFarlane Snr
165 Posted 05/08/2021 at 20:02:24
Hi Justin [164]...

The Saints are coming here on the opening day.

Raymond Fox
166 Posted 05/08/2021 at 20:16:00
We don't have a clue what our squad will look like yet, but I'm not expecting anything exciting going off the vibes.

We will be a competitive no-nonsense outfit with Rafa in charge, capable of beating the great majority of our opposition on a good day. That will be good enough for me.

I'm rather looking forward to just watching the games without unrealistic expectations.

Danny Baily
167 Posted 05/08/2021 at 20:18:55
Any possibility of Ross Barkley coming back? I see he's surplus to requirements at Chelsea… a return might reignite his career.
John Cook
168 Posted 05/08/2021 at 20:20:03
Messi a free agent now, can't we sign him?
Tony Abrahams
169 Posted 05/08/2021 at 20:21:52
Totally agree with you, John Mc, although you could argue that the wage cap is already here, under a different guise. Although it's meant to keep clubs in check and to live within their means, it's obvious that it helps the richer clubs a lot more than anyone else.

It does effectively mean that football has gone, especially when you read Andrew's interesting post @155, explaining what a mega-wage really is.

Maybe give Messi the building contract for Bramley-Moore Dock, John, and we might just get around these badly hampering FFP rules, mate!

Brian Williams
170 Posted 05/08/2021 at 20:22:40
John #168.

Well, he's not actually a free agent any more.

I got a call today from a guy that delivers the sausages to Finch Farm... that's all I can say at the moment.

Justin Doone
171 Posted 05/08/2021 at 20:30:03
A salary cap would only help owners to become more profit hungry.

If commercial deals double, then why shouldn't players get some of that extra revenue?

I like the idea, but every other league wants to copy the Premier League's success.

A salary cap would simply send players to others leagues, eg, China, Japan, UAE, USA, which has already happened. It doesn't help Everton get to the next level.


Mike Gaynes
172 Posted 05/08/2021 at 20:34:28
John #168 and Brian #170, I have it on the best of authority that we are in negotiations with him right now. The voices in my head have told me so.

Danny #167, Ross was deemed "surplus to requirements" by all three managers he played for at Chelsea and one at Villa after being sold by us. And I'm not sure how you "reignite" a career that actually hasn't generated even a puff of smoke for the past four years.

Tony Everan
173 Posted 05/08/2021 at 20:44:43
James @138,

My sentiments too, unbelievable. Pereira going to Al Hilal in Saudi for £20M and £4M per year contract. It's a shame his talent won't be on show here or even in the Premier League.

Derek Taylor
174 Posted 05/08/2021 at 20:50:20
Looks like Brands – a director – has pulled rank over our latest passing manager. <{P>I can't see the two of them lasting until Christmas so put your money on Benitez if he wins a few!
Andrew Keatley
175 Posted 05/08/2021 at 20:56:26
David (163),

Your binary thinking is not very nuanced. I think that a few tweaks to the squad can improve us hugely in terms of last season's squad and performances.

Bolasie, Walcott, Bernard and King contributed next to nothing last season, so Gray and Townsend will hopefully give us the continued threat that those former players never really managed.

I'm not sure what constitutes genuine quality for you, but I reckon if we get a couple of decent honest athletic players through the door before the end of August – on loan or not – then I think (depending on any outgoings) we will be equipped to better our points tally from last season.

If we do end up losing players, then I reckon Gomes and Kean are the ones to cash in on (without really weakening us).

Barry Hesketh
176 Posted 05/08/2021 at 21:00:13
Grealish has officially signed for Man City, fee reported as circa £100m. If Kane goes to Man Utd, some are saying that Spurs will bid for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and if Lukaku returns to Chelsea, it's been hinted by some that Moise Keen would go to Inter.

It could be a hectic couple of weeks coming up.

Andrew Keatley
177 Posted 05/08/2021 at 21:00:35
Michael (66) and Rob (68) - Oh, would you look at that… Grealish has signed for Man City.

As I said, done many moons ago.

Craig Harrison
178 Posted 05/08/2021 at 21:02:29
Does Messi as a free agent put the Grealish to Man City deal in doubt (persuming City will want to sign Messi ahead of Grealish)?

And if so, where does that put Villa with the money they have spent?

Or maybe not... just saw he signed already.

David Thomas
179 Posted 05/08/2021 at 21:40:57
If we are going to have any chance of competing higher up the Premier League this season, we need as a bare minimum:-

Right-back
Attacking midfielder
Winger

Soren Moyer
180 Posted 05/08/2021 at 21:45:37
Have we signed Messi yet lol? Imagine how RS would feel if we did!
Andrew Bentley
181 Posted 05/08/2021 at 21:54:26
Loving the positivity on this thread but Kean won’t be here when the window closes and we can’t rely on Gbamin with the terrible injuries he’s had.

I’m really struggling to see how we kick on this coming season without more incomings at the club as we could end up looking like relegation fodder quickly.

Tom Bowers
182 Posted 05/08/2021 at 22:12:25
Any incoming move that will improve Everton's midfield is welcomed. We have been woefully inadequate in that area mainly due to inconsistency with all the participants who had many opportunities apart from the injured Gbamin.

If Gbamin can form a formidable force with the likes of Doucoué, Iwobi, Townsend, Davies, Gray and Gomes, then we should be strong enough but I am not so sure they are all worthy starters.

Christy Ring
183 Posted 05/08/2021 at 23:39:10
It makes sense: a straight swap, Messi for James, plus compensation.
Don Alexander
184 Posted 05/08/2021 at 23:39:29
Think about it folks, the vast majority of our squad have, ever since they signed, correctly believed they hit the jackpot contract-wise, and they and their agents know this (Tosun, for one, spelt this out when he signed). So they ride their contracts out, without ever trying to extend themselves of course, and, least of all, play well enough to attract better players to rival them in the squad.

Finch Farm perpetuates this mundanity of course, manager after millionaire (in compo costs alone) manager. Meanwhile, Dunc and Unsy have another sausage barm (or two) before getting the bibs and cones out for another day in their endless careers as in-house coaches.

And we on TW go on and on trying to be whatever "positive" means to any of us, some now even eulogising Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend as the season-changing signings to catapult us into a second- or third-rate Europa League place.

If it wasn't so sad, it'd be comical.

And spare me the "true-fan-has-hope-in-his-heart" mantra, because 30 years of very shifty shite from our boardroom, ongoing as it's now been ever since Moshiri baselessly decided he was a football genius, have ground any optimism out of me.

And the fact that they've now appointed Rafa "Small-Club" Benitez to allegedly find a mere basis for optimism is Pythonesque.

Bill Gienapp
185 Posted 06/08/2021 at 00:51:46
Danny (167),

Barkley is at precisely the sort of career crossroads many of us predicted when he left. He simply isn't good enough to stand out at a loaded club like Chelsea, and once Villa declined to make his loan permanent, his options were left looking pretty stark. Feels like next stop: Newcastle.

Don Alexander
186 Posted 06/08/2021 at 02:05:49
Bill, I take no pleasure in having long described Barkley as a thick footballing seal, ie, fabulous ability with a ball without a clue what to actually do with it in the context of a professional football match, and I therefore suspect you're right.

Just why you single out the Barcodes as his deranged next destination is beyond me though.

His self-serving agent will surely have a list of clubs willing to sign on the footballing muppet he is who are happy to pay five figures a week for the square sum of fuck-all because that's what he's always delivered.

And, genuinely, I don't criticise Barkley. His head's been cabbage for years as a result of Finch Farm coaching and/or his family upbringing.

The very first time I saw him, at Blackburn Rovers, he burst into tears and had to be substituted for giving up possession that led to them going one-nil up about 15 minutes into the game. (Arteta, in what turned out to be his last game for us, scored an injury-time penalty to salvage a point.)

He's continued in that vein but he's now 28. I've more belief in the Tooth Fairy than Barkley becoming a viable football player.

Steve Brown
187 Posted 06/08/2021 at 03:04:38
Bill @ 185,

If it feels like next stop Newcastle, then he should probably re-sign for us.

Steve Brown
188 Posted 06/08/2021 at 03:13:49
Come on Don, stop being a grouch!

We have signed a reserve winger from Leverkeusen, the Bournemouth keeper, an out-of-contract player from Palace, and the ex-manager from Dalian Professionals.

It's all gravy from here on in.

Andrew Keatley
189 Posted 06/08/2021 at 03:26:13
Christy (183) - A straight swap? I know you’re not being remotely serious but Messi is a free agent, so Barcelona are no longer involved in who he eventually signs for. Keep up, lad.

Don (184) - If you think that professional footballers view Everton, or any other club, as a place where they can comfortably down tools and collect their fat salaries then I think your cynicism is out of control. The vast majority of footballers want to win, want to win trophies, want to represent their countries, and want to continue to climb the ladder to the very top - but if they suffer injuries, or loss of form, or anything else that might push their dreams of success backwards, then they have the security of their contact to fall back on. It’s just the way it works; players have more loyalty to themselves and their families than they do to the bottom line of the football club, and that is as it should be.

Darren Hind
190 Posted 06/08/2021 at 03:49:55
After 48 appearances for Chelsea in two seasons (despite injuries), Barkley made 26 Premier League appearances last season (again despite injuries).

He is younger than Gomes, Doucouré and Allan, the Brazilian Peter Reid, and he has scored more top flight goals than all three of them put together. He has also created more than all three of them and he has won more.

Barkley may not have lived up to his early billing (few do) but there are too many people in this particular glasshouse throwing too many stones.

Not only do we have the most negative self-proclaimed positives in football, we also have the choosiest beggars.

Barkley may well be a shadow of the player he was predicted to be, but he is still light years ahead of the gruesome twosome Carlo Fantastico brought in.

I'm hardly sticking my neck out when I predict that not only has Barkley scored and created more than Davies, Gomes, Doucouré and Allan combined, but he will continue to do so throughout the rest of his career.

That's one of them-there foregone conclusions.

Mike Gaynes
191 Posted 06/08/2021 at 05:13:26
Darren, Barkley also spends his time 30 yards farther up the field than those guys. Allan and Davies are defensive mids and Gomes is a traffic cone who makes pretty passes. So hardly a fair comparison.

Let's compare apples to apples, attacking mids.

Barkley last season, 27 appearances all comps, 4 goals, one assist.

One.

He-who-shall-not-be-named, 44 appearances all comps, 8 goals, 10 assists.

By any measure, including the eye test, he was a much better player than Barkley, as he generally has been for the past four years. And we all agree we need somebody better.

It sure as hell ain't Ross.

Danny O’Neill
192 Posted 06/08/2021 at 06:16:04
Well, my family Villa links come back again!

I watched Barkley with interest last season but kept my opinions to myself to let the wife and in-laws figure him out for themselves.

Early excitement gradually led to frustration before he pretty much didn't feature, is how I recall it.

I was excited about Ross when he came on the scene and, as mentioned, like many, had high hopes for him. He still possesses a tremendous amount of ability; that doesn't go away.

I've always believed (assumed – I obviously don't know) that he wasn't coached correctly as he was developing. I assume he was bigger and quicker at a young age and used to stand out so was just left to do his thing without being corrected.

To repeat, I don't know that, but it's just my hunch from watching him too many times try to win the game on his own, like a 12-year-old, rather than looking for the simple pass.

I don't think I'd be too disappointed with taking him back, but I'm not sure. He might actually complement a midfield 3 alongside Allan and Doucouré.

I could also see it being the sort of loan or cut-price deal we would go for if on the table. If we are to believe the FFP dilemma.

Now, to Messi. Oh wait, wages aside, he's probably too old for many and why should we be taking Barcelona cast offs?!!

Christine Foster
193 Posted 06/08/2021 at 06:49:24
Darren,

I was (in the back of my mind admittedly) wondering who would raise the discussion of Barkley returning on a freebie... and whilst you are correct in summation, that he is still head and shoulders above some of the midfield we currently have, would he actually return, even if wanted, which I am not sure he would be by Benitez? One also would have to ask if the reasons he left town are still there, in which case, no matter what, he isn't coming back.

He had been badly managed in his time here and left on a really sour note, but has had the opportunity to shine at Chelsea and Villa. In truth, I didn't expect him to get much game time at Chelsea, way too much competition and he was coming back from a bad season injury-wise.

Villa? I think he got off to a decent start but faded and it's probably debatable if he lost his confidence in the team or the team lost confidence in him.

It sort of wouldn't surprise me if he came back (this is Everton) but honestly, I think he has burnt his bridges... Shame, but that's the way it is.

Sam Hoare
194 Posted 06/08/2021 at 07:25:37
The Messi stuff is bad for us potentially. Odds are he'll go to PSG which will severely lessen the chance of them buying Kean, who is our only valuable fringe player. Potentially less for us to spend this summer as I believe we may be somewhat bound by FFP.

If we can't raise any sales, then it could be negligible transfer funds for us. Not that spending money has worked out well for us! Perhaps shopping in the bargain basement will help us find players with a bit more grit and hunger?

As for Ross Barkley, if we could get the 2015-16 version, I'd snap your hand off but I fear that player has long since disappeared. Benitez likes hard workers in the middle... not sure Barkley fits that requirement. I wonder if he feels any regrets or if his bank balance is enough to ensure not?

Bill Gienapp
195 Posted 06/08/2021 at 07:43:23
Okay, let's get a grip. Barkley has won more? Because he sat on the bench while Chelsea won the FA Cup? By that standard, it's only fair to credit Gomes with everything Barcelona won while he was there.

And for all this talk of his scoring and creation prowess, Barkley has produced 7 goals and 10 assists over the past four seasons. In that same span, Doucouré has produced 18 goals and 14 assists.

I don't even have anything against Barkley. There was nothing vindictive about my post – it was simply a statement of cold, hard fact. Most of us said when he left that he wasn't good enough to cut it at Chelsea. And sure enough, he wasn't.

He hasn't improved at all. So now what? Villa's already rebuffed him. What top-half club, save maybe us, would even be interested in him? Landing at Newcastle, or Crystal Palace, or Brighton feels like his inevitable career trajectory right now.

Barry Robson
196 Posted 06/08/2021 at 07:44:42
Rumour is Kean will go to Inter for £40 million if Lukaku joins Chelsea. £40 million will be reinvested in the team.
Danny O’Neill
197 Posted 06/08/2021 at 07:51:56
I wouldn't be surprised to see Moyes take him to West Ham, Bill.

And I'd also have a punt on Gerard taking him north of the border. That could work for the lad as he'd be head and shoulders in that league.

Tom Richards
198 Posted 06/08/2021 at 08:02:59
Barkley? No thanks.

As pointed out above, what teams would be in for him? Bottom-half clubs only.

I can see him at Glasgow Rangers, to be honest.

Conor McCourt
199 Posted 06/08/2021 at 08:07:04
I think a player who we should be going all out to sign this summer is Donny van de Beek. He is exactly what we are missing in midfield. He has looked poor at Man Utd at times but I think he is being slightly misused because his game is all about intelligence and his third-man runs into the box and he is not as creative as the likes of Bruno.

I think if we could get about £10-15 million for Allan, then I would imagine Van de Beek would only cost about £25 million in today's market. If we have Gbamin or Davies sitting, Van de Beek could play either side with any other of our midfielders in a three and give us the goals and assists that we miss there, with only Doucouré really contributing any.

On the subject of Barkley, I wouldn't be in favour of him coming back for reasons outlined by Mike but I do note how people are quick to dismiss his qualities yet talk up the likes of Gray or Townsend where neither would hold a candle to Ross. Strange indeed.

Eddie Dunn
200 Posted 06/08/2021 at 08:07:07
Barkley looked at his most impressive for a couple of months at Chelsea and their fans seemed to be taking a liking to him. He still had his old flaws, the wrong pass, too late, the cut inside for the shot, delayed, delayed, then lost possession or a shot into the stand. The lad is a big unit but seems weak in the tackle, the lad is a little greedy and he doesn't read the game.

He is still a reasonable Premier League player simply because he has skill and some pace. He can shoot and pass.

I can't see him coming back after his brush with the underworld.

His time at Villa is a good litmus test of his value. He lost his place and Smith eventually didn't even use him off the bench in some important games when they were without Grealish.

He is destined for a team in mid-table... oh, hang on!

Robert Tressell
201 Posted 06/08/2021 at 08:22:34
£40M for Kean would be excellent business, Barry @196.

Based on current rumours, it would get us:

● Jorge Sanchez for right-back at circa £7M
● Solomon Rondon as back-up striker for free
● Joquian Correa as the Number 10 just off Calvert-Lewin, for about £30M

That would leave us with a decent side on paper, albeit Sanchez is a completely unknown quantity.

There will be countless variations on this theme if the rumours are to be believed. Expect the season to be in full swing before anything materialises – a lot of last-minute trading.

Robert Tressell
202 Posted 06/08/2021 at 08:34:23
Conor @199.

He might be someone we could get on loan too. A very neat and tidy player who can score goals if played in his specialist position.

No shame in being squeezed out of the first XI by Fernandes. He's still a very good player.

Steve Shave
203 Posted 06/08/2021 at 08:52:22
I don't think it is wise for anyone to make plans around Gbamin, we should view any Premier League involvement this season as a bonus only. Given the extent of the injury problems, it is unfair of us to expect him to come in and be the beast we had hoped. I want him to so so much, however.
Conor McCourt
204 Posted 06/08/2021 at 09:05:56
Steve, you don't need to. If we replace Allan with Van de Beek, then you are essentially replacing Delph with Gbamin from last season. Tom was excellent as the defensive shield and we have other options to Gbamin if needed, eg, Holgate, Godfrey, Doucouré and Gomes could all fill in with that particular shape.

Sam Hoare
205 Posted 06/08/2021 at 09:20:25
Barry @196,

I'd heard that Inter are targeting Zupata from Atalanta to replace Lukaku, with Abraham potentially going to Atalanta. I'm increasingly doubtful we will get bids we may want for Kean and Rodriguez.

Not sure on Van de Beek... gives me Klaassen vibes; though I did read he'd done a lot of work to improve his physicality and athleticism this summer.

Steve Brown
206 Posted 06/08/2021 at 10:32:52
Sam, we haven't had the best luck with Dutch footballers. 'Disco Ball' Royston Drenthe, Van Der Meyde's deep love of strippers, and papier-mâché Davy Klaassen.

It all began with Ray Atteveld, a Dutchman with no skills or technical ability (I didn't think that was possible until I saw it).

Van de Beek will not be available on loan, unfortunately, but Barkley will. He has pace, technical ability, scores goals and, with the right focus, might prove a useful squad member given we will not be able to buy anyone unless we sell. However, I doubt our Spanish Oliver Cromwell will want to sign him.

Ciarán McGlone
207 Posted 06/08/2021 at 10:53:24
Unbridled optimism on this thread... not sure it's grounded in reality... but I hope it turns out to be founded.

I can't see anything but a shitshow ahead.

Dave Williams
208 Posted 06/08/2021 at 11:59:22
Donny van de Beek??

Man Utd have skinned us before but not even they would believe we would spend £25M plus wages on a player who has merely duplicated what we saw with Klaassen.

File this one under “Ridiculous”.

Jim Lloyd
209 Posted 06/08/2021 at 12:05:19
Well, a few weeks to go and it's, "what we've got" versus "what we hope for or end up with."

Looking at what we've got, we're not any worse off than last season and, maybe, in a better state. We'll find out if Gbamin is able to progress with his fitness; if so, that's one quality midfielder added to this team.

We may well have no or little funds to buy anyone unless we sell. Paul the Esk's article points out our financial position. Other teams know what position we're in so they're going to take advantage if they can... eg, PSG and Kean; anyone and Jimmy Rodriguez; and anyone and Richarlison. The others who I don't see as sellable are a lead weight that we'll just have to get on with or maybe get out on loan.

First of all though, I'd look at Mr Moshiri as Everton's chance to a) get a new stadium, that we would never have got, and b) Eventually a much better side than we could ever have hoped for under the previous owner's "stewardship" of EFC.

So, even for his mistakes, we would not be going down to the Bramley-Moore Dock to watch the match in a couple of years time. But only going for a pint in the pub with the same name, if it still managed to stay open.

This year and whenever the contracts run out on some players, we won't be able to just buy who we want.

I think the players that Rafa Benitez & Marcel Brands have brought in are a good start to add speed and crossing ablity to the squad. I thought Gray played really well in the American games, and Begovic was very capable in goal. Nothing fazed him.

I haven't heard that the club have put Rodriguez up for sale (maybe I've missed the notice) and if he stays, then he would be a very useful but maybe mercurial player or sub. Personally, I'd love to see him play for us but could understand the manager querying his reliability.

I'm sure the club want a replacement or backup for Seamus but we'll have to wait and see what happens.

If we can keep Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, and Digne, then we have a good first team and a reasonable squad. It might be that the youngsters will get more of an opportunity this season (and I'd just like to see what Ellis Simms can do as well).

Hope I'm wrong, but I can't see Iwobi ever being able to be a reliable winger, for either speed or crossing, but he might be more useful in the middle... I doubt it, though (hope he proves me wrong).

I think the most important aspect is that we have a manager who will get the team organised and I look forward to seeing some of them not wandering about the pitch but the whole team working for every 90 minutes of every match.

The way it is, I have some doubts about us finishing in a European place this season but my heart says we will; I don't see us being as poor as we were in the second half of last season.

Andrew Keatley
210 Posted 06/08/2021 at 12:28:54
Conor (199),

Don't be distracted by the fact we only paid £1.8 million for Demarai Gray; he is an excellent footballer and we have signed him at a very good time in his development. I think a good season will reveal a player whose true value is at least £20 million and possibly a good deal more.

Townsend on a free is also excellent business; his best years are probably behind him but, for me, in the Premier League, he is a huge improvement on the powder-puff Bernard.

Paul Hewitt
211 Posted 06/08/2021 at 12:33:15
If we do sell Kean for £40 million, I wouldn't expect us to spend it on new signings. We will apparently be around £50 million over FFP once the accounts come out. We may buy a right-back for around £10 million or get a loan. The rest will go to get FFP down.
Robert Tressell
212 Posted 06/08/2021 at 13:00:05
Given the look of the squad relative to others, we should finish around 8th and, if we can become very mean defensively, may have a shot at 6th.

It's a couple of seasons since we finished as high as 8th. So that would be an improvement, albeit a fairly dreary one. As I say, there is a possibility of a 6th place finish but I don't think we've gone higher than 8th since Martinez' first season. So with this ordinary squad that would be an unlikely achievement.

So my guess is 8th.

Dull as that sounds, it could give a platform for much better things to come especially through integrating Gordon, Branthwaite and maybe Simms into the squad - and a few other youngsters getting closer to first team reckoning.

Jim Lloyd
213 Posted 06/08/2021 at 13:00:55
Paul (211) The way I've read the article by Paul the Esk, even if Mr Moshiri pays £50 million into the club and legally binding, at that; we'd still be £105 million in the red. I agree with you that it doesn't look like we are going to be spending much.
Andrew (210) Spot on! Both players look to be an improvement on what we have, and Gray looks to be a real, quality player.
Paul Hewitt
214 Posted 06/08/2021 at 13:09:47
Jim@213. If that's the case. Then I would expect a points deduction this season.
Paul Hewitt
215 Posted 06/08/2021 at 13:13:40
And I would guess plenty on here still think Moshiri is doing a better job than Bill did.
Jim Lloyd
216 Posted 06/08/2021 at 13:33:34
Paul, Yep, that's what he was pointing to and I agree about possibility of points deuction. One lad put a really witty post on about the situation. Saying that if had been one of the Slimy six, they would have found some rule from somewhere to give them the benefit of the doubt.
As it's Everton, we'll end up in division Six!
Absolutely right about Mr Moshiri, some seem to have forgotten the Dire days of the King's Dock, Kirkby, The Money's in the Bank, Goodison won't get a safety certificate and more.

Robert (212) That's what I see this season as. A platform to build on and finishing 7th-9th giving us time to get the lead weight off our back, will count as a successful one to me.

Jim Lloyd
217 Posted 06/08/2021 at 13:39:16
Type or paste your comment here. PLEASE capitalise initial letters of proper names and use proper grammar. No txt-speak; all-lowercase posts are likely to be deleted
Jim Lloyd
218 Posted 06/08/2021 at 13:53:40
Pressed the wrong button! Anyway, I look at this coming season if we have the same squad, as a fitter more organised team and more made of every individuals talents. That's for starters!.
Again If, Jimmy boy stays and weaves his magic, then he's a great benefit to the team. Especially, Dom and Richie could benefit from his passing skills opening up defences, as could the whole team.
Paul Hewitt
219 Posted 06/08/2021 at 14:14:12
Only Everton could acquire the world's worst accountant.
Barry McNally
220 Posted 06/08/2021 at 14:26:35
Kean for £40m - it's a bit like your own car - what you think it's worth, take 25% off to get a more realistic value - in the case of Kean, take 50% off!
Andrew Ellams
221 Posted 06/08/2021 at 15:07:44
Barry, there is about to be a striker merry go round in Europe so fingers crossed that might inflate his value a bit at least.
Jay Harris
222 Posted 06/08/2021 at 15:12:34
The worrying thing is not what we are not spending but what others like Villa are spending and the quality they are bringing in. If you stand still you go backwards and as far as I can see we've demotivated James, brought in another Walcott type and another Lookman type who was allowed to go by one of the only teams to consistently challenge the so called big six over the last few years so that tells you all you need to know about Gray..

And all this while we fail to address our lack of goalscoring and weakness on the right flank.

We have also lost our number 10 for the foreseeable future and although he divides opinion he does contribute to the goalscoring effort.

However with our 12th man back at GP our home form must improve mustnt it?

I try to be optimistic and say that Benitez will be a good appointment

Barry Hesketh
223 Posted 06/08/2021 at 15:35:28
It used to be that Bill Kenwright got the blame for the way the club was run and in my opinion very often deservedly so, but point-scoring by some saying that Moshiri has done a far worse job in order for them to feel justified about defending the former Boys Pen visitor is annoying and really doesn't take into consideration that almost as soon as Moshiri took over, the inflationary fees and wages took off. I agree mistakes have been made and not much has gone in the club's favour in recent years, but a new bad leader doesn't absolve the previous bad leader.

I wish they'd both go away and we could land somebody with real football nouse to take over the running of the club. then we could avoid having a 'bean counter' who has no apparent knowledge of the game or a 'bums on seats' merchant, who thinks that a football fan is the same as a theatre-goer.

Grateful for Bill taking over when he did, ungrateful that he has been involved for so long, although his influence is on the wane. Grateful for Moshiri taking over the club and bankrolling us, ungrateful that he has made such a hash of most of it, apart from securing the possibility of a new stadium.

Matthew Williams
224 Posted 06/08/2021 at 15:37:11
For me,we still need both a left footed attacking Midfielder and Striker for some real balance to the team...

Pickford
Kenny Godfrey (CPT) Branthwaithe Nkounku
Gray Gbamin Lolley Townsend
DCL Shick

Looks fine to me... 💯% balanced throughout... finally!.

Bill Gall
225 Posted 06/08/2021 at 15:42:51
Lets face facts we will be starting our first league game with practically the same team that started the first game last season. We are missing 2 players one who would have been a starter, and one who has been missing and who,s future is not known. We had a good start but once we started getting injuries and suspensions we were exposed to use a very poor backup squad. This poor squad led to players being used out of their usual positions and having to change tactics that didn't suit them.
So far we seem to have improved the team as a squad but I still believe there should be improvements in the midfield and right back. The team in a number of games last season appeared to tire for the last 15/20 min of a game and hopefully we have the right Manager and coaches to rectify this problem.
We are not as bad a team as a number of supporters seem to think and there is still time to bring in a couple of quality players and not the usual high priced failures.
As supporters we want the best every season, and suddenly we are beginning to realize the mistakes in player buying from all previous managers has suddenly accumulated into a very large problem, with FFP.
Other teams are spending on transfers in and out but we have proved over the years that spending money on players does not always bring success.
We may have finished 10th last season on goal difference but I think our home defeats were to blame for that, and hopefully our home attendances will help solve that problem.
We are not a top six club who seem able to spend outrages fees for players and not fall foul of FFP, but we are supporters who fully support our club and always believe we are better than the rest and will prove it.
Robert Tressell
226 Posted 06/08/2021 at 16:02:26
Demiral has just signed on loan for Atalanta. He's no longer in the picture therefore (if indeed he ever was).
James Flynn
227 Posted 06/08/2021 at 16:03:02
Don (186) - "Bill, I take no pleasure in having long described Barkley as a thick footballing seal."

First, "thick footballing seal". What a description!

As to "I take no pleasure". Chelsea players sure did.

Re: Sarri and Ross,

"And he [Sarri] wasn’t afraid to shout at his players, with ex- Everton attacking-midfielder Barkley often on the receiving end of a few of his rants in which he would shout his name."

". . . . . the verbal lashings became something of an inside joke around the Chelsea camp, with one incident in particular getting Sarri riled up."

"“Ross would notoriously do something wrong in training and Sarri would shout at him in is low, hoarse voice from all the cigs: ‘RRRRROOOOOSSSSSS’. "

“It became a huge joke in our team and we would shout at him like that too."

I hold Ross in some affection for the "every now and then" thrills he provided. However, If I'm "waxing nostalgic" for a former player who hasn't fulfilled his potential, I'd take Delboy over Ross every day of the week.

Danny O’Neill
228 Posted 06/08/2021 at 16:30:44
6th, Europe and Wembley in May.
Conor McCourt
229 Posted 06/08/2021 at 18:04:06
Do those who make uneducated comments about a player actually watch the players mentioned? Davy Klaassen was a talented individual type, flat-track bully, a stocky little player who had guile but was lost in the intensity of the Premier League due to his lack of athleticism, fitness, speed, stamina... and was defensively weak.

Donny van de Beek is quicker than Kuyt, Winjaldum or Klaassen. Not only this but he has athleticism, stamina, plenty of desire and is very clever. Although lacking a little physique, his self-dedication has seen him spend all summer on his strength which he couldn't do last campaign to prepare for this league (a different mentality to Klaassen). He always passes forward and is a great team player who always looks to create space for himself or others. He is good on the ball (career over 80%) and without.

I couldn't see any less similarities in two players except they played for Ajax and are Dutch. Those worrying about a £25 million fee would have said the same about players like De Bruyne, Grealish and Douglas Luiz at similar stages. Not saying that he is the calibre of the former players but he will come good in the right set-up.

For those worrying about valuation and wages, I suspect his overall package would work out the same as trading Allan plus about £8 million. We would be replacing a liability with a young exciting talented player with a point to prove and one who would enhance others around him.

Andrew, I get your view on Gray but I disagree. He is very talented but flatters to deceive, a poor man's Ademola Lookman, in my opinion.

Andy Crooks
230 Posted 06/08/2021 at 18:24:15
Good post, Conor. Horses for courses etc. Sometimes it just doesn't work out. In my view, our best chance of success is hitting lucky with someone for whom that has happened.

Van de Beek, for me, would be a cracking signing. He's a fine player and will show it somewhere.

Paul Tran
231 Posted 06/08/2021 at 18:41:32
Barkley? Dear me, not again.

One of many players I have seen over the years with talented feet and nothing between his ears.

There is a yawning gap between what people want him to be and what he produces. A huge difference between ability and effectiveness.

The fact that we have recruited consistently appallingly does not make him a better player. And does not mean we should even think about bringing him back.

Darren Hind
232 Posted 06/08/2021 at 18:45:03
Christine, I agree: too much baggage and too many question marks, too far gone. I don't think a move for Ross would be on the cards.

I always enjoy Barkley being mentioned on TW because you can guarantee that there will be a determined attack on him... usually from people who have happy clapped the arrival of some desperately poor midfield player we have on our books.

I love that every stat in the book is dragged out in an attempt to overturn the fact that he has scored more top-flight goals than four of our regular midfield players combined... and yes, that includes Doucouré. I love that the TW professor repeatedly calls him 'thick' without even a hit of irony.

I love the claim that he plays 30 yards higher up the pitch than our midfield players, and that's why he scores more. He must play his footy on an Aussie rules midden.

I love that a serious manager like Sarri let his soft out by selecting a player he saw as a figure of fun about 40 times (by my reckoning) in a single season... Including most of the games in a successful European campaign, culminating in a final appearance for victorious Chelsea.

I love that that success was ignored while the fact that he was an unused sub in another final was put up as denegration of the success he has experienced.

Barkley will always make for great entertainment in this glasshouse. The very mention of his name brings the stone-throwers out in force.

Yeah he lacks heart; yeah, he has wasted his talent... and yeah, he has deffo been a bit of a knob... but have you seen the cut of our midfield? We've spent over £100M on a gallopper, a tackling machine, and a fucking statue! On more than one occasion, I've seen Barkley bring the house down at Goodison. These three couldn't bring the coffee bar shutter down between them.

Andrew Ellams
233 Posted 06/08/2021 at 18:57:32
Still seeing lots of comments suggesting we sign players that are going to cost a lot more than we have right now.

We ached for the money when Moyes was here instead of fishing around for bargains. We got the money and blew it so no we're back to fishing for Moyes type bargains.

Brian Harrison
234 Posted 06/08/2021 at 19:05:53
I have always used the maxim of "never going back to a club" – be it as a manager or a player. I can't recall many going back to a club and being as successful as they were first time round.

Also, too much water under the bridge for Ross Barkley to come back, in my opinion. I think a bigger worry for us Blues is with seemingly little money to spend and a squad who have mostly underperformed, how we are going to keep ourselves away from any relegation worries?

We have hired a manager who a majority of fans can't take to and you can well imagine a poor start and an unpopular manager, then Goodison could become very toxic. Given how easily this group of players have folded when put under any pressure, I wouldn't like to bet my house that they won't fold again if the going gets tough.

Brian Williams
235 Posted 06/08/2021 at 19:19:50
We've got enough poor midfielders, no need for more.
Jerome Shields
236 Posted 06/08/2021 at 19:21:40
I am beginning to think that there could be an anything can go attitude and any player could be up for grabs for the rest of the Transfer Window as Benitez tries to get in the players he wants. If money or a swap for Rodriguez can be got, he will be gone. Also, a few players of potential, who might come good, may be gone as well, if rumours regarding Tom Davies are true.


Paul Tran
237 Posted 06/08/2021 at 19:22:12
The problem about the Barkley debate, Darren, is that it descends into a 'who's been the least ineffective player' argument.

I was happy to see Barkley go, unhappy with who we've bought since in vaguely the same position. Are Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Bernard, Gomes, Schneiderlin better? No. And, of course, they were all far more expensive.

For me, Allan & Doucouré are both effective signings. The type of players that may well have helped Barkley in his younger days. Different players to Barkley.

We have to stop pretending that previously ineffective players 'weren't that bad really' and look forwards.

Ian Burns
238 Posted 06/08/2021 at 19:26:13
Ross Barkley – what was that song, “Nice legs, shame about the face”? For Ross read, “Nice feet, shame about the brain”.

Wonderful player if only he had a brain to tell his feet what to do next. Never go back, it doesn't work.

As for Van de Beek, each time I have seen him play for Man Utd, he has been ordinary – why do we want to pay for ordinary? Like every poster, I could make a very long list of ordinary players we have paid for “ordinary”.

Yes, we need a right-back; a top quality attacking midfielder... but Ross is not the answer.

Christy Ring
239 Posted 06/08/2021 at 20:01:38
I was always a big fan of Barkley and I believe Koeman hung him out to dry, and was one of he reasons he left. He's still a better attacking midfielder than anyone we have at the club, but I don't see him coming back.
Jim Jennings
240 Posted 06/08/2021 at 21:04:14
“I love that the TW professor repeatedly calls him 'thick' without even a hit of irony.

I love the claim that he plays 30 yards higher up the pitch than our midfield players, and that's why he scores more. He must play his footy on an Aussie rules midden.”

Take a bow, Darren Hind.

Jay Harris
241 Posted 06/08/2021 at 21:14:34
And an arrow Jim.
Tony Everan
242 Posted 06/08/2021 at 21:16:35
Stop talking about Ross Barkley, Mr Kenwright may get wind of it and start hatching one of his sentimental plans.

Jerome Shields
243 Posted 06/08/2021 at 21:25:05
Bartley had a serious injury and needed serious surgery as could be seen by the scar up the length of the inside of his thigh. Koeman publically attacked his performance and continued to play out a obvious disagreement publically between him and Bartley throughout his recovery. No wonder Bartley left. A loss to Everton never to return.

Koeman is still at Barcelona and they have problems other than him. Evertonians and Vaclencians would say to Barcelona look behind you.

Ray Said
244 Posted 06/08/2021 at 21:27:30
When he was first coming through Ross gave an interview in which he said his best position was as a second striker.
He can beat a man, he is big and strong, he has a powerful shot and can head well. He cant track back and has little defensive positioning skills. He has off field issues.

Some club will sign the lad one day, listen to him, look at his known attributes and will say 'stay close to the box, beat your man and have a dig' and we may see the real player or its the end of a long week and I am talking rubbish...again

Jason Li
245 Posted 06/08/2021 at 21:47:59
Most will disagree with me, but if we want to beat the FFP rules and be a top 6 team in the next three years, we need to sell most of our expensive players aged 28 and above. That would mean Digne, Gomes, Keane and Allan too. Next year Pickford.

If we keep a player whose over 28, it's because they can be outstanding for longer than the average Premier League player like Baines, Jags and Distin were.

It's a paradox as most players peak at 25-31, but values plummet for 29 year olds. Look at the RS: Salah, Van Dyke, and Manes values have plummeted just because they are 29 or above. Harry Kane 2 years later will be worth £70-80 million less.

However by being logical and selling, it means we can bid for some top talent who are already very good at 22-25 years old and will beat the FFP rules. Look at how Richarlison, Godfrey and Digne worked out. We need to be brave and sell at top prices and bring in more young players or we'll be back to the skint Moyes years with the current rules where we're constrained again for many years.

Barry Hesketh
246 Posted 06/08/2021 at 22:24:25
Jason @245
Everton has to work a great deal harder on increasing revenue for the club, sell to buy as a policy is fraught with dangers, particularly when you haven't got the basis of a top squad already in place. Not saying that we couldn't try to lower the average age of the squad overall, but selling our top players every few seasons, hasn't exactly been a recipe for success has it.

I suppose it depends on whether the club wants a good team to compete at the top level or another decade in the wilderness, hoping that a good team appears by accident.

When I'm at Goodison I have never once thought, oh that player will make the club a few bob when we sell him, it's a false narrative created by men in suits looking for ways to keep us all happy. Good business sense is fine and has been lacking at Everton, but my only interest is to see good players, playing in a good Everton side.

Jason Li
247 Posted 06/08/2021 at 22:44:23
Barry @ 246

All fair points and opinions.

The only problem is, in 3 years time we have to sell our best young players to replace the old players plus the youngs player we've just sold too if we leave it too late.

Case point when the RS try to replace Salah, Mane and Firminho where Sky and the media had them worth £400 in their prime. How do they replace that quality in 2-3 years time? Especially if one or two of these forwards lose a yard of pace and they finish 5th in the next three years.

On the upside, we do have some decent young back-ups now created by Brands from Virginia the goalie, Branthwaite in defence to Gordon so a decent squad of youth coming through.

Paul Hewitt
248 Posted 06/08/2021 at 23:36:52
Ross Barkley.is an excellent footballer that has lost his way. Maybe Rafa can work his magic on him.
Steavey Buckley
249 Posted 07/08/2021 at 00:29:02
Are Everton so stretched for cash they will be returning to Bill Kenwright's couch to unearth the lost Arteta transfer money?
Derek Thomas
250 Posted 07/08/2021 at 01:40:32
Barkley? Who? Oh him; No! - He's got all the physical attributes, but footballing brain of a dustbin...and that's being harsh on the bin.
Anyway, I believe the Fatwa is still out on him.
Brian Murray
251 Posted 07/08/2021 at 04:22:37
We apparently can’t scrape together the Denzil fee so trying to get him on loan. Any half decent Inter offer and that’s another one off the list. We really are the gift that keeps on giving. Sniggering kopites galore no doubt. We can’t expect his club or any club to wait around for us in the hope we get rid of idiots like iwobi Delph tosun etc. Oh and when can we get siggys observe wage off the books ? Sensitive subject or not I don’t care about some millionaires trials and tribs. Get him gone soon as same as rest of em.
Brian Murray
252 Posted 07/08/2021 at 05:20:13
Jason 247. Then shiesters over the park have always had a better scouting network even with our expensive dof marcel who is starting to look very hit and miss. Probably before your time but they had a scout in the 60 s and 70 s called Geoff twentyman who unearthed the likes of neal keegan clemence Hughes and so on while we had to put up with the likes of sergeant Lawson Bernie the bolt tiger maglauchlin ( excuse the spelling ) Still brings a shudder thinking of what we went through in the 70 s especially.
Mike Gaynes
253 Posted 07/08/2021 at 06:04:31
Paul #237 and Ian #238, spot on.

Jerome, who the hell is Bartley?

Matt Traynor
254 Posted 07/08/2021 at 06:19:41
Cheer up Blues, seems Salomón Rondón is being released from his contract from Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional, and whilst our expectation-limited Geordie friends were hoping for a reunion after a semi-successful loan spell under Rafa our gaffer, there seems to be genuine concern that Rafa our gaffer will now swoop in to sign him. He turns 32 next month.

So question fellow Blues? Would he be an upgrade on Richarlison if he moves on? Pass me the valium...

Danny O’Neill
255 Posted 07/08/2021 at 06:28:22
Ross will always generate debate. I don't really think there's any determined attack on him here, just opinion however much that differs. Most of us see the genuine talent. The vast majority (if not all) wanted to see him succeed. And to do so at Everton. For many reasons that most of us don't know and never will other than speculate about, he didn't reach the heights we hoped. But that is harsh. He's a top flight English footballer, something all of us only dreamed about being.

He didn't establish himself at Chelseas other than be part of a squad. Nothing wrong with that. But then many lament our current talented players because they don't play every week. That's the modern game. I think what surprised me the most is how he didn't grasp the Villa opportunity. As I said, I stood back and let the other side of the family assess. They were mildly unimpressed. I'll go back to my original view and this is not aimed at Ross. He wasn't coached correctly as a youngster to maximise the potential. Footballing ability wise, there's not a lot wrong, but at the highest level, it's the fine margins that matter.

Love that Steavey. We are still looking for the Arteta money!!!

Brian, if the reported fee is what I think, then risk the FFP wrath and get Dumfries. I think it says a lot that we can't get a fee or interest in Kenny other than loans. In the overpriced market for English players, you'd expect in excess of £10M, which would pay for Dumfries, but seemingly nothing. Another player we are stuck with, that we don't use or would rather not.

On the DoF, I don't blame Brands. We have just not fully implemented the model and allowed the DoF do his job. Too much collective interference from Owners, Chairman and controlling managers. His hands have been tied in my opinion. If you're going to have a DoF then empower him. I think it would require a younger head coach. Not a traditional controlling manager like we have, and have had, in recent years.

Darren Hind
256 Posted 07/08/2021 at 07:08:31
"I don't think there is any determined attack on him here"

Thats makes me laugh. What else drives people to put up so many obvious falsehoods ?

Take this little gem - "He didnt establish himself at Chelsea"

When Barkley signed for chelsea he was injured, Everybody knew it and his first season was a non starter.. but he then made SEVENTY NINE appearances for them in his next two seasons scoring ten goals.

Good job he didnt establish himself...Fuck knows how many times they'd have wheeled him out if he did

Brian Murray
257 Posted 07/08/2021 at 07:26:21
Matt post 254. The fans of this club are second to none in their support. What other club would sell out their away allocation every other week. Even them daft geordies who we hear are the best most loyal only take half their allocation to Goodison if it’s a midweek. Having said that we are also very fierce in praise or criticism and with this managers history he should be very careful if he tries to load the likes of Rondon on us. As I have said before there is a big faction of blues that won’t give him a chance. Me personally I just want a team to compete at or near the top. So all this ffp is not helping his future as our boss. Same with ( hopefully) outrageous rumours about some ex toon donkey as a striker. Coyb lets to offload and get this full back maybe two more.
Brian Murray
258 Posted 07/08/2021 at 07:30:56
As for the Barkley tittle-tattle. It would show Brands has little or no vision to unearth sod all. Same with the manager's big database of players he says he has. Ross is twice as effective as Iwobi or Gomes... but let's leave that alone.
Graham Mockford
259 Posted 07/08/2021 at 07:31:58
‘He didn’t establish himself‘ at Chelsea is patently true.

He arrived as an established International player. In two years he made 13 PL starts in each of both seasons and lost his England place. He was then shipped out on loan to Villa.

Fuck knows what your definition of establishing yourself would be.

Danny O’Neill
260 Posted 07/08/2021 at 07:56:47
Pleased I can make you laugh early on a Saturday morning Darren. That's made me smile, so thank you. Glad you're hanging off my comments and words that you chose to quote.

I know you won't, but if read what I'm saying, I'm actually a Ross Barkley fan. Always have been. It means I can also point out his failings, just as I can my own.

I still hope the lad goes on to succeed. He has the talent. I maintain, I'm suspecting he wasn't coached correctly as a youngster that would have seen the natural ability and talent do even better than it has.

Brian Williams
261 Posted 07/08/2021 at 08:45:36
Danny, you can't criticize a Scouser. ;-)
Darren Hind
262 Posted 07/08/2021 at 09:02:41
Not particularly hanging off anybody's comments

I'm drawing attention to all the falsehoods. They are always there in abundance when Barkley is concerned.

I think people know he is not the player he was expected to be and it has to be recognisd that serious injuries have impeded his progress. Quite why people would deny facts is beyond me.

We have bought some utter dross. When the toothless gruesome twosome arrived last it was to a fanfare. A testment to Carlo's pulling power.
I guess its easier to slag off another player than to accept you have been taken in again.

Barkleys 79 appearances for Chelsea - including an excellent winning campagne in Europe - came in the face of fierce competition from top class team mates also looking for places. Chelsea were operating at another level.
That he was replaced by very top draw players at both club level and at international level does not take away the fact that he is has more skill in his left sock that the 100m trio have between them.

Danny O’Neill
263 Posted 07/08/2021 at 09:11:22
Carlo has gone. We move on.
Darren Hind
264 Posted 07/08/2021 at 09:17:27
"Carlo has gone. We move on."

We'ere now denigrating players who played for us 5 years ago instead!

Robert Tressell
265 Posted 07/08/2021 at 09:17:31
Jason @ 247. You ask how the RS will replace Salah, Firminho and Mane.

Interestingly, I think FFP and financial issues at Real and Barca have probably changed their plans. They could reasonably have expected a very big fee for one or two of that trio. Probably not going to happen now.

That means the replacements may well be Jota and Elliot - already at the club - and one other.

That one other could be a strategic investment at high cost. I expect they want Haaland like everyone else.

If they cannot get a player of that sort of calibre then the replacement it'll be interesting to see what they do.

They will probably carry on picking up young talents to develop through the academy or on loan. Obviously hit and miss but generates them a lot of sale proceeds to reinvest.

They might pick up someone with the talent but not yet the output - like Vinicius at Real. Again someone to develop into a top class player.

They could also "do a Bayern" and pick up a top class player on a free. FFP might see more top players running down their contracts to avoid career stagnation.

The point being to avoid an expensive exemergency acquisition of a fairly established player of inferior quality to, say, Mane (or someone who will also need replacing in short order). That's how you get into a cycle of decline.

It might mean a couple of seasons or so of transition while they try to ready the squad to go again.

Tony Abrahams
266 Posted 07/08/2021 at 09:19:27
All this talk about a kid who had all the talent in the world, whilst Norwich have just gone and took that other kid from Chelsea, called Billy Gilbert.
Graham Mockford
267 Posted 07/08/2021 at 09:21:29
I’m not sure many would deny Ross’s abilities and he would certainly be an improvement on some in our current squad.

I’ve always thought he’s a very instinctive player, prepared to take a risk but it appears he hasn’t developed as a player from the promising young player we were all so excited about. You would expect a midfield players decision making to improve with experience, I’ve not really seen that and leads me to think he lacks the footballing intelligence to match up with his undoubted footballing ability.

Danny O’Neill
268 Posted 07/08/2021 at 09:26:39
Quoting me again, Darren.

I haven't criticised Ross Barkley, just gave a view.

On a lighter note, my son was home last night. He goes away in October to a place I would rather he didn't and one his mother is fraught with worry about.

I told them not to worry because, when he gets back in April, he can see us cross the line for European qualification and get home in time for a trip to Wembley.

My wife ordered a taxi after shaking her head!!

Sam Hoare
269 Posted 07/08/2021 at 09:30:36
Conor@ 229 so you believe those making comparison between Van De Beek and Klaassen are making "uneducated comments"? Does that include Ruud Gullit?

He said: “What immediately occurred to me is that he should be careful not to become a second Davy Klaassen. Van de Beek is a younger copy of Davy in terms of play.

“Klaassen chose Everton, but the game of those two comes into its own most in an offensive squad, and therefore it should be easier for Donny at United than it was for Klaassen at Everton. The latter was snowed under. United plays a game in which Donny can flourish, but at the same time, he remains dependent on his fellow players as attackers."

But I'm sure you know more about Dutch footballers than him, right?

Jason Li
270 Posted 07/08/2021 at 09:41:02
Brain Murray @ 252

I wasn't around in that period of time and your post makes a really important point that makes real sense.

If you think about how much we bought the likes of Coleman, Lescott, DCL, Stones and sold for, for Everton we can say it's undeniable that having the best scouts in the land is still valuable today. Are the scouts in the Moyes era still here?

Our scouts must be decent (a few years ago) as we were Moneyball during the Moyes era before Leicester became a sell high to buy the next model that the footballing world is celebrating.

Problem one: Is that recently we got money and stopped the model that was working and bought loads of established players at overpriced value and high wages, but not many were brilliant - Delph is the worst possible of these.

Problem two: Of the younger players we bought, we never bought for defined positions like Godfrey when Moshiri came, or we'd be in a fantastic position today.

Lookman, Iwobi, Moise Kean, Klaassen and Vlasic were decent young prospects when we signed them, but I still can't decide which position or areas of the pitch they are brilliant in. Yes, players can change positions during their career. But one of our failures has been signing young prospects in the last 5 years who don't have a defined position where they are brilliant and can improve further.

Compared with when we scouted and signed for defined positions:

Richarlison very good on the left and now also as a 10 or 9.5 works,
DCL as a 9 works,
Godfrey as centre-back or back up full back works.
Coleman as right wing back or full back works.

Paul Tran
271 Posted 07/08/2021 at 09:44:54
Tony, Chelsea loaned Gilbert to Norwich because a) he'll get game time in a footballing team and b) they don't see Norwich as a threat.

I'd have him in a heartbeat, but I suspect they wouldnt loan him to an upper-mid-table team like us. Just in case.

He's going to be some player, that lad.

Danny O’Neill
272 Posted 07/08/2021 at 09:56:53
Holland has consistently produced players of a a high standard over many years. To a far higher standard than this country. Their youth and coaching system is second to none and a model that should be copied.

When you consider they are a country that has less than a 3rd of the population of ours, it speaks volumes for their grass roots.

I need say no more than Cruyff and the Ajax Academy.

They have contributed to the beautiful game in a way that not only punches above their weight, but has actually influenced how the game is played. Barcelona was built on Ajax and Dutch philosophy.

Klaasen was and is a good player. Just because he didn't cut it at Everton in what we all acknowledge was a turbulent period with owner, Chairman, manager and Walsh pulling in different directions, doesn't change that. He looked good for Werder Bremen from what I saw.

But to be good you have to be English and get stuck in right? We know best.

Dave Abrahams
273 Posted 07/08/2021 at 10:14:32
Tony (266) and Paul (271),I can’t believe Chelsea have let that kid, Billy Gilbert, go on loan to Norwich, I thought he would be part of the first team squad at Chelsea, he certainly knows how to play football, not in any way overawed by the stars around him, constantly asking for the ball and going forward with it, pass and move is this kid’s motto, Norwich will see he gets plenty of games Paul, his ability will demand it, no matter how much Norwich paid for the privilege of getting him on loan, and it wouldn’t have been cheap, this kid will be a bargain. Lucky Norwich!!
Robert Tressell
274 Posted 07/08/2021 at 10:24:18
Gilmour will pick up where Jorginho leaves off after his experience at Norwich. He's a super player. Would love him at Everton but not to be. There will be others - the players are always out there.
Brian Harrison
275 Posted 07/08/2021 at 10:25:04
How come no postings on todays last game before the season starts, instead of talking about young Chelsea players going out on loan or whether we should pursue a move for Ross Barkley. I would have thought Michael or Lyndon would have posted something regarding todays game especially as it is against a fellow Premier league side.
Danny O’Neill
276 Posted 07/08/2021 at 10:38:16
In fairness Brian, and I can't speak for all, but never really cared much for pre-season.

They're training matches and don't really tell you too much.

I'll keep an eye on it today, but won't be paying too much attention until next week. Still hopeful of getting a ticket.

Dave Abrahams
277 Posted 07/08/2021 at 10:42:18
Brian (275), yes I am interested in today’s game at with Man. Unt. hopefully I can get to watch it on the Everton FC site, waiting for details of how to get it.
Conor McCourt
278 Posted 07/08/2021 at 14:50:12
Wow, Sam, you are scraping the bottom of the barrel now!!

So someone who fancies himself as an encyclopaedia on 17-year-olds playing in the second tier of French football can't spot the difference between Van de Beek and Klaassen?

I have already presented to you Van de Beek's superior fitness levels, professionalism, mentality, team play, work rate, defensive responsibility and game intelligence. Van De Beek has already proven himself at a higher level with his Champions League exploits and being a key player for his country. Had he been fit this summer, he would already have more National caps than his compatriot despite being nearly 5 years his junior.

Because you have no basis for argument, you have now thrown up a 'superstar' name in Dutch football to scramble some semblance of foundation despite the obvious flaws in logic. Firstly, players who follow in the production line always get compared to their predecessors, just like Ronaldo was the next Figo, even though totally different animals, so these two will always get coverage in Dutch circles.

Secondly, let's see how accurate your bastion of Dutch football has been so far:

A) Klaassen failed because we didn't have the right offensive set-up for him. Really? I think you could count Evertonians on one hand, if any, who would suggest that as a statement of fact.

B) Van de Beek will flourish because of Man Utd's game and their offensive players. Again, first season evidence he is wrong.

Your man is 0-2 so far.

Thirdly, since you place so much emphasis on authority, Donny himself totally rejected the early lazy journalistic comparison between himself and Klaassen because they came through the Ajax academy. But maybe Donny doesn't know as much as Gullit as to the type of player he is and his attributes.

Anyway, if you were watching the game today and still feel Van de Beek is another Klaassen, I would hate to see who would compare Allan and Doucouré to.

Sam Hoare
279 Posted 07/08/2021 at 20:06:05
Conor, obviously there are differences between the players as noted in my original post on the subject but there are also similarities; hence the comparison by Ruud Gullit, whose evaluation of Dutch players I will take over yours thanks.
Phil Bickerstaff
280 Posted 08/08/2021 at 12:32:46
Makes me laugh, all this transfer speculation. Correa, Hermoso, etc.

Everton's level unfortunately is free transfers like Townsend and players that can't make the grade at top clubs like Leicester!!!!!!

Absolutely dreading this season with the fat red Spanish waiter in charge

My once brilliant Everton are in shit creek with totally awful players and a shite manager.

Tony Everan
281 Posted 09/08/2021 at 14:27:13
Nunes deal now aborted according to some reports. We have “other priorities”.

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