The transfer window shut last week in a rather anticlimactic fashion as far as Everton are concerned with more outs than ins. Whilst money has been spent in theory, in practice most fees have been deferred and the Athletic claim that only money actually spent this summer will be the £2m loan fee for Danjuma.

So how did we do? I’ll take a look at the individual incomings and outgoings, and then a collective appraisal.


Ashley Young (free transfer):  7/10

The veteran may not have been a move to set pulses racing but, on a free transfer and low wages, it’s hard to describe this move as anything other than very sensible. He is a consummate professional who sets good standards on and off the pitch and offers valuable versatility, being able to fit in anywhere up either the left or right flank. Early season has seen him as a starter at left-back and doing okay-ish. Personally, I’d prefer a stronger option but I’m not sure Mykolenko is that.

Arnaut Danjuma (loan & £2M fee):  8/10

Danjuma offers quality on the ball and good movement and crucially goals. He’s managed 2 goals in 300 or so minutes already and arguably should or could have more. Like Young, he offers the sort of versatility that is crucial for a small squad and can fill in all across the front positions. It may be that when McNeil comes back, he is played instead of Doucourà as a No 10 with a bit more guile and technique. A very useful option to have that should ensure we look more potent.

Yousseff Chermiti  (£10.5M rising to £13M): 7/10

Difficult to give an accurate score as clearly Chermiti is a player whose been bought for the future, having only just turned 19. Initial glimpses of him in an Everton shirt have been mixed but he certainly seems to fit the profile of being tall and mobile (like Calvert-Lewinand Beto). Only time will tell whether it’s a good purchase but this would look potentially like the sort of succession planning which we always envy Brighton for…

Jack Harrison (Loan, no fee): 8/10

Another very sensible move. And very affordable thanks to his relegation clause. Harrison can play off the left or right but will presumably be used more off the right. He offers workrate along with creativity and goals and should fit in perfectly well with the ethic that Dyche demands. Apparently he is back in training and should be back soon after the international break. Hopefully he can bring balance to a right-hand side that has struggled.

Beto (£21M rising to £25M): 9/10

Finally, we have a striker! And he looks a corker. There will be rawness and misses I’m sure, but Beto looks like the dream Dyche lone striker, strong and tall enough to hold the ball up and win towering headers but fast and mobile enough to run behind and exploit space. It’s early days but initial signs are that he looks like a perfect fit and takes the pressure off Calvert-Lewin. I’m excited to see more of him and would hope he can manage 10-15 goals for us this season whilst also bringing others into play with his hold-up skills.


Ellis Simms (£6M rising to £8M): 7/10

Many thought that Simms could make it at Everton but I was less convinced and certainly Dyche did not seem to fancy him. For a big lad, he struggled to hold it up much and win much in the air. But he will hopefully score goals in the Championship and get us the full add-ons!

Tom Cannon (£7.5m):  6/10

I was more upset to see Cannon leave than Simms but again it’s a decent-ish fee (including a good sell percentage) for an academy product that the manager did not seem to fancy much. Time will tell whether we’d have been better off loaning him out and getting more money and integrating him in at Goodison. But it’s decent and much-needed money.

Alex Iwobi (£22M): 7/10

Many celebrated the departure of the hard-working Nigerian but I was one of his biggest fans and I think the fact that a team higher than us in the league were willing to pay that much to get a player with 1 year left on his contract speaks to his quality. We will miss his creativity but getting that much money for a player who would have left on a free next summer is undoubtedly good business.

Neal Maupay (loan):  6/10

A shame that Maupay should leave just as we finally have a striker he could play off. Difficult to give a score without knowing what purchase price has been included in the deal but hopefully it’s around £8-10M. We would seem to have enough forward options now without him.

Mason Holgate (loan): 6/10

Who on earth agreed to pay him £75k per week?! He is not in Dyche’s reckoning and will hopefully do better than his disastrous debut last weekend which saw Southampton lose 5-0 to Sunderland. I think we’re still paying half his wages but better than nothing I guess.

Ishé Samuels-Smith (£4M): 6/10

Perhaps one of the most disappointing departures, especially given our weaknesses at full-back. Difficult to pin this on Everton though as the youngster apparently wanted to leave and wasn’t signing the new contract. £4M is a decent fee for someone without a senior appearance.

Niels Nkounkou (£4M, including sell-on): 5/10

Another left-back with a bright future? His sell on of £2M to St Ettiene was pre-agreed and then they sold him straight to Frankfurt giving us some sell money. A little profit made on him but maybe one who was worth giving more of a shot to? Probably more a wing-back than a full-back (like Patterson?)

Also left club: Yerry Mina, Jean-Phillipe Gbamin, Tom Davies, Asmir Begovic, Andros Townsend, Conor Coady (Loan ended), Ruben Vinagre (Loan ended)

Overall Score: 7/10

A tricky one to score. Most of us expected at least one more incoming on deadline day, especially with Iwobi leaving and the addition of Wilfried Gnonto would have been very welcome. I also worry about our options at the back and we saw those limitations exposed against a lowly Doncaster team.

Having said that, it would have been near impossible to fix all the problems in one window and clearly cash flow is a massive problem.  I think we are a much stronger starting team now than we were last season but the issues come as usual with depth. A few crucial injuries, especially to Tarkowski or Branthwaite, could really derail us.

Will Demarai Gray stay? Or will he get a move to Saudi before their window closes on 7 September? Either way, it is hard given the public airing of dirty laundry to see him featuring too heavily under Sean Dyche.

As ever, the transfer window has been a scrap. But to give us these much-improved forward options by only spending £2M (due this year) is somewhat remarkable and perhaps deserves a tip of the cap to Kevin Thelwell.

We are around £35M in profit this summer (£60M if you include the deferred Moise Kean fee) and questions must be asked as to where or to whom that money is going. But on the pitch, I believe we should have enough to be competitive so long as injuries do not bite too hard!

I would expect us to finish somewhere between 13th and 17th and I guess this would constitute ‘success’ given the meagre resources available to Dyche and Thelwell. Until investment is found and the new stadium is finished, this is likely to be the sorry state of affairs we find ourselves in.

We will have to be clever and take the right deals. It is estimated that we have taken £40M off the annual wage bill. It would appear that we have done that without sacrificing a huge deal in terms of first-team quality; that in itself should be deemed a small success.

Reader Comments (31)

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Craig Walker
1 Posted 05/09/2023 at 16:57:31
Thanks Sam.

I'm quite a lot less enthusiastic about our window than you.

I know it's not a popular opinion but I like Dyche and want him to be given time as I think he deserves a lot of credit for keeping us up last season when a lot of the more winnable games had gone and the fact that we were without a recognised striker for most of the time.

Being positive, Beto looks a good signing but it is very early days and we've had forwards (Andy Johnson, Newell, Cottee, Jelavic, off the top of my head) who have started brilliantly but then faded. Danjuma on loan looks fairly astute but the lad seems wasteful and needs to learn to get his head up when in promising positions. I do like Harrison as a player and think he will be a better player than Iwobi was for us. The other transfers seem dubious. Chermiti looked really dreadful against Doncaster last week where he didn't even demonstrate the basics of holding the ball up and retaining possession. We look woefully weak at left back and right back and lack any sort of creativity in central midfield. I'd argue that Beto and Branthwaite look our two best players. Ashley Young was cheap and that's about it. I'd rate our window 4/10. We've cut some of the dross but we are massively short in most key areas and I feel it is going to be another long season that goes to the wire. I really hope I'm wrong.

Sam Hoare
2 Posted 05/09/2023 at 17:06:14
Thanks Craig. I think it depends on how much you take context into the question. Certainly we have not bought the players in to enable us to push for Europe. But realistically we are a long way off that given the poor squad and financial restrictions. I think given those restrictions Thelwell probably did almost as well as could be expected. As I said to strengthen how we have whilst cutting £40m off the wage bill and making a £50m profit is good business; even if its not the summer any of us dreamed of.
Sam Hoare
3 Posted 05/09/2023 at 17:06:48
Also, I've only just noticed that Robert Tressell posted a very similar article to this a few days ago! My apologies!!
Tony Everan
4 Posted 05/09/2023 at 17:11:37
Fair enough Sam.

Iwobi. It will be very interesting to see how Iwobi does at Fulham. I have to admit I’ve not been crying myself to sleep over his departure. Thelwell deserves credit for that deal alone at up to £22m. I wish him well , I thought the criticism of him was often over the top as he contributed a lot more than many players over that period .

Three big signings for next to nowt! The “I’m not a magician” comment is a yearly occurrence at EFC but Thelwell has pulled a rabbit out the hat here.

Abracadabra. Ali Thell-Bongo;

Danjuma is a positive player, I love players who just can’t help but being in the thick of it. There’s always something waiting to happen with this player, a very good signing for £3m, I can see us making that permanent.

I want to copy and paste those sentiments for Jack Harrison, but he’s got to show it on the pitch. I think he will, and too will be permanently signed.

Then the biggest Las Vegas worthy magic trick, signing Beto for nothing up front. How ? I don’t care! Well done Super Kev!

We’ve only had a couple of looks at him but he has made a massive difference. The lad is no one trick pony target man, he’s got a bit of everything in his locker. Sam, I think the 10-15 assessment is fair and on top of that the adds to the team with winning the ball up front holding it up feeding it wide or to midfield. More still ,he works hard, bounds back and tackles defenders winning the ball back or making them spill.

Long way to go and early days but I am delighted with Beto so far. He tired a bit in the last 20-30 understandably, but with DCL returning they will share duties and be an absolute full on nightmares over 90-100 minutes for defenders all season.

Chermiti, need to see more, but time is on his side, looks ok to me, strong and confident but needs a planned development.

Young is a decent quality cover. He shouldn’t be starting every game. Myko was very rusty against Doncaster first half but improved after the break. He’s a limited but honest player, but I think he’ll be given he nod if fully fit and Young will go back to his emergency cover day job.

It’s certainly obvious that Thelwell has been tasked to improve the squad enough for 17th or better and also reduce the wage bill and sell some players.

Moshiri trying to make the club look like a better proposition to widen the appeal to prospective purchasers?

Hopefully the plan works and we get sold to a wealthy and knowledgeable investor. Then we will get an opportunity to build the strong, comprehensive and well run Everton we all want to see.

Kevin Molloy
5 Posted 05/09/2023 at 17:20:06
I'm quite surprised there is not more concern over what has happened here in the last 8 months. Our gobshite owner has taken in well over a hundred million in player sales during a cliff edge relegation fight, and allowed the manager the princely sum of £2m for new arrivals. I read also in the Athletic that the powers that be at Goodison were surprised/disappointed that West Ham didn't also take Onana of their hands.
People may be thinking 'well he's got the ground to deliver. He needs the money for that.' I would suggest anyone who thinks Moshiri is funding the last 300m of the cost to get the ground done is living in cloud cuckoo land. Right now, I would say he's got one objective. Get as much money back as possible, and then Get Out.
Adam Oakensworth
6 Posted 05/09/2023 at 17:28:44
I wonder if part of the wage bill reduction and leaving some cash on the table for future transfer windows is part of a strategy to make investment more attractive to a future buyer who wants some room to maneuver when they come in?
Barry Hesketh
7 Posted 05/09/2023 at 17:49:59
Adam @6
I think Kevin @5 is closer to the possible truth. Whomever, buys into or gains overall control of the club, will have their work cut out. Many contracts come to an end next summer, and those players, regardless of their current use to Everton, will have to be replaced by new arrivals.

Next year's budget has already been eaten into, so there won't be much to spend, unless the club can pull off the same magic trick which they did in this latest window. We will be possibly relying on the younger players already here, to replace those who leave, and that doesn't look likely either, not with Sean Dyche in charge.

Sam Hoare
8 Posted 05/09/2023 at 18:23:50
Kevin@5, I think lots of people are very concerned. I certainly am. It would seem the only way we can survive is with some large scale investment and that seems unlikely given the huge amount of debt we’re carrying.

The Esk tweeted this valuation earlier, hard to imagine anyone meeting this sum:

Conservatively a new owner needs to provide £300-350m to complete stadium, £200m to repay 3rd party debt, £100-150m to recapitalise/reinvest in squad.
That's £600-700m before paying Moshiri a penny. If Moshiri wants £0.5bn that's £1.1-1.2bn to buy/recover Everton football club

Andy Crooks
9 Posted 05/09/2023 at 18:24:05
Good articles by both you and Robert, Sam. We're lucky to have them. Surely are position re FFP is less perilous. How do Forest man age with what must be a huge wage bill?
Dale Self
10 Posted 05/09/2023 at 18:35:42
Good stuff, Sam, I'll take 7/10 with the headwinds we faced. While I will share concern there is the duality that the cull and future contract expirations make the club a more attractive investment. Also, we got through this window without putting Onana or Pickford in the window ,if you know what I mean.

If Dyche makes Thelwell's signings productive, then we may have some destiny outside the pure influence of a takeover. If that is the case then all the more reason to give Dyche some space to make it work.

Barry Hesketh
11 Posted 05/09/2023 at 18:40:45
Andy @9,

According to the link below, Forest's annual salary outgoing was circa £54M, Everton's was £83M. I don't know, to which point those salaries were calculated, probably before the latest summer window opened.

Salary Sport

Kevin Molloy
12 Posted 05/09/2023 at 18:44:28
Sam, yes, fair enough. the numbers you quote are jaw-dropping.

Unless something miraculous happens (which can't be ruled out), I think we may be looking at that ground just never being completed. There's a big payment coming due, who's going to pay it?

If they don't get paid, off that site they go. At least we may survive in that scenario.

Barry Rathbone
13 Posted 05/09/2023 at 19:11:13
I would halve the scores on all incomings simply because we haven't seen them play more than 5 minutes (zero for some) and they are all low end acquisitions for a reason

We have a record of hardly ever finding cheap unknowns who can play at a consistently high level, so the best we will get is good and bad day performances dependent on the vagaries of the wind, colour of socks etc etc.

Hopefully it will be enough to see us safe but such players can only ever be 5 or 6 out of 10 contributors.

Barry Hesketh
14 Posted 05/09/2023 at 19:29:32
In relation to the link that I posted earlier, it says Beto is on £6,500 pw? Makes me wonder how accurate and reliable their info is.
Tony Everan
15 Posted 05/09/2023 at 23:10:05
Sam, Robert... one for the database.

Stephan Negru, young 21-year-old centre back-came over from Shelbourne, Ireland in January, been catching a lot of eyes playing at Oxford Utd who have rewarded him with a 2½-year contract.

So much so that Brighton have been scouting him a few times and considering a move and they are pretty shrewd judges in recent times. We must be aware of him especially with Stan Mills being monitored there on loan; I hope we've sent someone down there to watch him.

Laurie Hartley
17 Posted 06/09/2023 at 07:26:30
I think Thelwell has played a blinder.

In Beto, we have got exactly the type of centre-forward we need. I am tipping he will act as a catalyst for an overall improvement in the team's performance – and Calvert-Lewin will benefit greatly from the competition also.

Danjuma is a player who can run at the opposition with the ball and has an end product.

In Harrison, it seems we have solved the problem of who plays infront of Patterson.

In Young, we have cover for both full-backs.

They were the four things I wanted from the window and the sale of Iwobi for £22M to make our books look better was the icing on the cake.

Sam and Kevin – here is a link to Farhad Moshiri's current net worth; I imagine Forbes is a reliable source.

Have a look at the graph on the bottom of the page - it appears his wealth has risen quite steadily since 2018 with a bit of a blip in 2022.


How much of that is Everton FC? I don't know but, in the scheme of things, selling Everton at a bargain price isn't going to hurt him much. He will get it back somewhere else.

The key for him is to get the stadium finished and I am absolutely certain he will.

Jason Li
18 Posted 06/09/2023 at 08:18:31
With the money thrown around by the Middle East teams, and Messi and Hollywood promoting "soccer", there's going to be more interest in Everton if by the end of the year it looks like the club is doing better than last year because a mid-table Everton with a new stadium has lots of potential. Hopefully that allows Moshiri to sell up and Kenwright to sign off at the club.

As mentioned before me, I also reckon the manager has a kitty for January to fill in positions that he feels are missing a player or two. If the team is performing better, the club might be more attractive to better players, so may be a positive in January.

Of course, depends on the recruitment team having a list ready for every position and type of player in January that Dyche has approved, so they can be ready to work on before the window in case he says: "Make it happen!"

In fact, Branthwaite is the only sure bet at the back if we want to go towards Europe long terms, so need to start finding at least 3 new centre-backs to develop who are 20 years old or less, I'm hoping. And a couple of attacking midfielders to develop like Chermiti.

John Burns
19 Posted 06/09/2023 at 15:21:42
Sam and Robert. Thanks for two really good articles.

Sam reckons it needs about £1.2 billion to reset Everton with new owners to purchase the stadium, settle debt and invest in players. I honestly don't think that's too great an investment for one of the top clubs in the Premier League.

Despite where we currently are in terms of almost everything bad, we still remain a club with a massive following, history and prestige. TalkSport where asking the question the other day, 'Can Everton still be considered a top club? One of the statistics that came out was that, despite our present predicament, we are still the seventh most popular club on social media with about three million followers. Their verdict was Yes!

If one Liverpool player can be valued at £200 million, a figure that would just about pay off the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, then it's hard to imagine that the Everton empire with all its potential can't be worth just six times more. I'd certainty invest if I had few billion!

Anthony Flack
20 Posted 06/09/2023 at 15:29:54
Apologies if this is already posted - but interesting analysis off a link on the BBC site

Demo-economic analysis of player transfers (2014-2023)

If you scroll down to Figure 10, it lists the top 20 clubs in Europe and their negative spend, ie, what they spent minus what they recouped from transfers.

We are there but there are several Premier League teams with a worse position than ours.

Mark Dunford
21 Posted 07/09/2023 at 09:12:50
I'm in broad agreement with these assessments. It all leaves us very short of cover in some areas and the loss of older players to injury, suspension or international "duty" – Gana or Tarkowski – could leave us exposed. Cover across the defensive area is shallow while the forward line is strengthened despite not having a right winger of note in the squad.

I'd take 17th now – we've lost two home games we needed to win and, of the 17 remaining home fixtures, only two (Luton and Sheffield Utd) are comparable must wins. The rest are more challenging.

On the plus side, Sheffield Utd will have marked our visit down as a home win so that is a point gained. We need to target at least 38 points; realistically speaking, we are at least five down on where we should be relative to the target.

Chris Leyland
22 Posted 07/09/2023 at 10:49:00

We lost to both Fulham and Wolves at home last season and the season before that and survived relegation both times. As such, we aren't necessarily 5 points down as there's a long way to go.

I expect results to improve as Beto beds in further, more goals from Danjuma, the return of McNeil, and then the integration of Harrison. All is not lost yet!

Mark Dunford
23 Posted 07/09/2023 at 12:09:33
I'd like to share your optimism but we're losing to a poorer Wolves team each season and Fulham should be an easy win. It just means we have to overachieve against better teams and have created a low starting point where we've effectively disadvantaged ourselves at the foot of the table. I agree that results should improve and the performances - bar Villa and a significant period of the Doncaster cup tie - have largely been encouraging. Beto looks like an excellent signing and hopefully he can rectify the transparent failing in the two home games.
Gaute Lie
24 Posted 08/09/2023 at 00:48:28
I am sort of pleased.

Most important was a striker who can play up alone. Beto is big, Maupay was not. Beto looks like a threat. Maupay was never a threat in our games.

But I would have hoped for a commandeering midfielder, with creativity. Gueye is not up to much any more. Perhaps if Onana steps up... In midfield, we need warriors. Not knights.

We should also have one more central defender. One who can also do trickery as a defensive midfielder.

Thanks for the article, Sam.

Phil Friedman
25 Posted 08/09/2023 at 02:34:26
I’m sorry to disagree over Iwobi’s “creativity”, but 15 assists in 109 games (all comps) over the past 3 seasons isn’t it.
Jim Bennings
26 Posted 08/09/2023 at 08:05:23
I think the jury is out on the Chermiti deal, the lads played too little football yet to tell if he will be anything better than the young lads we've had on the books and sold to lower level clubs over the past decades.

Ashley Young is let's be honest, not really a great option at left back but Mykolenko is equally average and that lad doesn't cross the halfway line. I still feel shortchanged at left back area to be honest.

I feel the Jack Harrison signing could well be the best piece of business as he's here on loan and I think he will offer something to the side we haven't got.

Danjuma and Beto should offer some kind of goal threat and I'd be disappointed if they don't both combine to score 16-20 goals between them, realistically that's not an unreasonable ask is it.

Still feel like we are lacking though in central defensive options and a lack of pace in wide areas too.

Steve Shave
27 Posted 08/09/2023 at 08:07:56
Thanks, Sam. I think overall it's been a good window if we look at it through a fiscal lens and that we managed to get a striker and ship out deadwood, the other additions seem sensible too.

I think we did well to get the money we did for Iwobi and we have to take those opportunities when then arise. The model has to change, money should be spent on young, hungry players who we develop and sell.

This brings me to January, there may well be some money in the coffers, maybe a new owner too. We are bound by P&S Rules but no reason I think we can't go all in for Wharton to cover losing two midfielders to Afcon.

For this reason, I feel the current window can be bettered if we can ship Gomes to Saudi Arabia in the next week. We are unlikely to get a fee unless there are several interested but 100% of his wages off the books would certainly lighten the load.

Brian Harrison
28 Posted 08/09/2023 at 08:43:26
I think it’s probably a bit early to judge how this window will pan out, as we have yet to see Harrison, and Chermiti is obviously one for the future. In purely financial terms, it’s been a good window: we have let some high earners leave and have reduced the wage bill.

I am always very cautious about making predictions on new players, but I will say Beto excites me a lot. Time will tell but he is big and aggressive and has pace and seems to know where the net is. When we learn more how to get the best out of him, that excites me.

Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 08/09/2023 at 10:39:42
Brian (28), yes I think we did okay considering the way Thelwell and Dyche had to deal getting any players in, we got some big wages off the books, had to pay less to Dgabin(?) got a good payment for Iwobi instead of nothing, same with Gray.

I think we are left weak in defence and central midfield and we will really struggle if any injuries and suspensions occur.

Let’s see how we operate after the international break and some experienced players come back, although even now I worry that Danjuma will frustrate us more than please us, mind you if he carries on scoring as he started that might ease my worries!

Jamie Sweet
30 Posted 09/09/2023 at 11:42:36
Anyone see the absolute stinker Mason Holgate dropped on debut for Southampton? I was embarrassed for him.
Jim Bennings
31 Posted 09/09/2023 at 16:36:20
I seen it Jamie yes.

When you watch Holgate, it's that whole demeanor he's had that thinks he's a million miles better than he actually is, and what you get it a pretty shockingly bad football player.

I honestly believe that he thought he was the next John Stones and believed the hype but he was nowhere near Stones level.

Robert Tressell
32 Posted 10/09/2023 at 08:36:58
Pleasing to see the turnover in a squad that has failed us for many years now. Hopefully Gomes will follow other underperformers out of the door and ease the strain of the ridiculous wage bill.

It's going to take at least two more summer windows to turn the squad around. Hopefully the squad is now stable enough to focus more attention on development players like Branthwaite in the past and Chermiti this window. Who knows, it might be your Stephan Negru, Tony – the Irish Moldavan I'd never heard of till you mentioned him.

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