It’s set to be a busy summer at Everton. Refreshingly, it would appear at least on the surface that the blues are trying to make decisions and do deals early. The release of Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz while sad (in Distin’s case anyway) are hopefully a sign of a club trying to reduce the age of the squad. Couple this with the early capture of Tom Cleverley, who while very much getting mixed reviews from Evertonians, is still young enough to achieve his initial potential, and we have the starts of a good transfer window.
The question now is who’s next? We have released John Lundstram and George Green, both of whom were players who showed great promise but it is likely that next season Tyias Browning, Ryan Ledson, Brendan Galloway will be pushing for places in the first team squad. We also have the likely permanent capture of David Henen, who impressed both in terms of attitude (which was rumoured to be suspect on arrival) and goal return in his time with the under 21’s. In short, the squad going into the new season already looks to be younger if somewhat lacking in depth.
This brings us to who we need to bring in. The rumours, which will not come as a shock to anybody, are that we haven’t got the biggest transfer kitty in the World. Cleverley adds depth and experience in a variety of positions but we are still missing that bit of quality out wide and through the middle. Remember, “We had no money so we signed our players on loan“? Well let’s add to that the odd free and the squad might look a little better. Micah Richards has become something of an Alan Smith to Evertonians. Every transfer window he is linked with a move to us but at 26 year’s old he again fits the Cleverley mould of potentially fulfilling the promise he had. He would add much needed quality and competition to the centre back position. It’s easy to forget that John Stones is still a child in footballing terms and putting too much on his shoulders is a risk.
Social media is awash with rumours of Gerard Deulofeu making a glorious return to Everton this summer and although many would prefer a permanent signing, another loan might be the most likely and least risky option for all parties. Deulofeu struggled at Sevilla but he is worshipped already at Everton and could well thrive if given a regular starting position. He would certainly add an unpredictability that only Kevin Mirallas really offers the team right now.
However, the priority for me has to be a playmaker. Ross Barkley is going to be a great player but he’s under too much pressure to be that player now. A quality playmaker who can take the responsibility of providing key passes and through balls is something that Martinez thankfully has identified as vital post season. We have been linked today with Dimitri Payet and although he is perhaps older than some people would like at 28 years old, he fits the bill of the sort of target who could alter the dynamic of our team in the coming season.
Many would say we need a Goalkeeper and a Striker too and in an ideal World we would certainly be looking at that. However, I think it’s likely that we will once again go into the new season as they are unless we have an injury crisis. This does once again put the weight of our goalscoring on the broad shoulders of Romelu Lukaku but again, there is nothing to stop us going into the loan market if required.
You will notice I haven’t really talked much about any of our big players leaving. This is because I just don’t see it. There’s perhaps still a chance of Mirallas leaving but all his comments point to him staying at the moment and I find the rumours of Mc Carthy moving laughable if I am honest. Are the possible transfers I have listed above enough? I think we would be a lot stronger if we went into the season if things panned out this way.
How about you? Who would you target? Who can you see coming in or going?