General Category > The Lower Burrens Forum

January Transfer Window for us

(1/295) > >>

Do we reckon we will sign anyone?

Interesting ideas and names on this Athletic article :

Marcel Brands is not a huge fan of doing business in January transfer windows. 

Everton’s director of football has made just one signing in the winter market since arriving in the summer of 2018: youngster Jarrad Branthwaite from Carlisle United for an initial fee of less than £1 million.

It is a response, in part, to the simple fact that, very often in January, clubs do not get what they want. Top players come at an absolute premium, while the sides that do the most business tend to be those in the most peril.

Instead, what you get at mid-season is normally the excess. The players out of favour. Brands is acutely aware of this.

Last winter, shortly after the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti, Everton did at least sound out the prospect of signing a midfielder to strengthen their options. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, then of Southampton, was high on their list following a personal request from the new manager. Yet the logistics of a deal for the Dane never really made sense and Hojbjerg went on to join Tottenham Hotspur in the summer instead.

With Everton fourth in the table at Christmas, the question now is whether this particular January window will be any different. As injuries mount and a European qualification charge looms over the second half of the season, will Brands and co decide to change tack?
Once again, there will be a predominant focus on trimming the squad. Earlier this month, the club announced record losses of £139.9 million in their latest set of annual accounts, £67.6 million of which were put down to the impact of COVID-19. The year before, that figure was just under £112 million.

Everton have long been aware that a loss of this magnitude was on the cards, and have planned for it. The Athletic understands the overarching plan is unlikely to change as a direct result of this new set of figures.   

Yannick Bolasie, Muhamed Besic and Matty Pennington are among those who will be allowed to find new clubs. Bernard, courted by Roma, was also available for transfer late in the summer and is likely to be again.
Everton will look at and assess their options but it would be a surprise at this stage if significant money was invested in new signings.
The caveat here is that the same appeared to be true at the end of the summer window, when loans were initially sounded out for central defenders before the addition of Ben Godfrey for an initial £20 million. Farhad Moshiri’s penchant for ploughing in extra funds when most needed, and the willingness of Norwich City and Godfrey to discuss a move, serve as an example of how quickly things change.

It is why nobody at Everton will completely rule out new signings this time around, especially if the right option comes available.
All of this is not to say the club should not do business.

Despite their impressive form in the first half of the campaign, they have suffered with injuries that led to Godfrey and Mason Holgate filling in at full-back. Although they have done so admirably, eventually, the pair will be needed elsewhere.

In this context, the lack of faith shown by Ancelotti in Jonjoe Kenny, together with Seamus Coleman’s age (32), means a long-term right-back option remains somewhat of a focus, as it was over the summer.   

Godfrey’s former Norwich team-mate Max Aarons has recently been linked and would provide the energy and thrust that Brands and his recruitment team like in their right-backs. While left-back Lucas Digne tends to cross the ball from slightly deeper, the demand on the other side is to penetrate into the box wherever possible.

Aarons does this expertly, but he would come at a premium and Everton are unlikely to risk stockpiling players in an already-bloated squad. Unless Kenny leaves, a right-back will not be a priority.

Instead, the overarching focus should be on forward options.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been in scintillating form this season, but with his 11 league goals accounting for nearly half of the team’s overall total, Everton’s reliance on the 23-year-old is clear. No other player has more than three goals.

Everton, meanwhile, have lost all three of the league games Richarlison has missed this season. At present, injury to either Calvert-Lewin or the Brazilian risks derailing the side’s progress under Ancelotti.

If there is room for improvement, it is arguably here.

Ancelotti lacks options on the bench who can change the course of games and currently is forced to rely upon Cenk Tosun, a player deemed surplus to requirements by Everton in previous windows, as his backup striking option.

So far this season, no Everton substitute has scored a league goal, while on only one occasion has someone from the bench even provided an assist. Only three of the other 19 clubs — Burnley, Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion — have had fewer direct goal involvements from substitutes. It is characteristic of an overall lack of depth of quality in forward positions, which would only be exacerbated if Bernard does leave. 

The irony that two players out on loan, Moise Kean and Theo Walcott, would serve as decent cover options for the two forward positions should not be lost. But Walcott is out of contract at the end of the season and Kean is not currently expected back at Goodison until the end of his season’s loan at Paris Saint-Germain.

Everton must either target a versatile forward capable of covering for both Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison or two specialists — one for the wing and another up front.

They have explored the possibility of doing the former before, monitoring Bournemouth’s Josh King over the summer only to be put off, like many other clubs, by a prohibitive price tag for a player who, at that stage, had just a year to run on his deal.

King appeals due to his versatility, contract situation and physicality. The Norwegian is quick and powerful when sprinting, something Everton’s recruitment team value highly. He is able to sign a pre-contract agreement with European clubs from January and has a long list of admirers. Soon-to-be 29, he would be an option for the short-term above all else. Nor is he likely to massively improve the quality of Everton’s starting line-up.

Brands has long courted a pacy, left-footed option on the flanks who can cut in and provide a goal threat, scouting Nicolas Pepe extensively during the Ivorian’s spell at Lille before he joined Arsenal.

The Athletic used data provider smarterscout’s player comparison tool to find forwards statistically similar to Calvert-Lewin who could come in and do the same job as him in Ancelotti’s set-up. Options were filtered using only Europe’s top five leagues, given Brands’ and Ancelotti’s preference for signings to be able to get quickly up to speed amid the demands of the Premier League.

Wout Weghorst of Wolfsburg and Mainz’s Jean-Philippe Mateta were two options.

Weghorst, a towering 6ft 6in striker, has nine goals in 13 Bundesliga games this season and would profit from Everton’s tendency to flood the box with crosses. Mateta, 23, is five years younger, more mobile and has 10 goals in 14 games across all competitions.

Ancelotti has fluctuated between a number of different systems. He is not wedded to one, preferring his side to remain flexible, but it is understood his current preference is for a variation of 4-3-3 when everyone is fit. The aim is to build from the back, play quickly through the lines and press high. Forwards must be physically robust, capable of winning back possession and offer a goal threat.

For the right-wing role, The Athletic used smarterscout’s player search tool, placing emphasis on players with metrics in the following categories: dribbling, finishing, passing towards goal and the ability to disrupt and recover possession. The search was widened slightly to include the Championship.

Sevilla’s Lucas Ocampos (main image), a player linked to Everton by The Athletic earlier this year, was listed as one potential option. Others included Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze, Ismaila Sarr of Watford and Norwich’s Emi Buendia.

All four have the potential to be astute purchases but Chukwueze, a left-footed Nigeria international known for his dribbling and Sarr, who has already shone at Premier League level, perhaps stand out most given the lack of pace in certain areas of this Everton team.

Whichever route they go down, reducing the reliance on Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison has to be the long-term aim.

Whether that happens in January, though, very much remains to be seen.

I would certainly love us to he ambitious in the Jan window but just cant see it.

Aarons and Bailey for RB and RW would be the dream but it will likely be loans again or only if a deal makes absolute sense.


--- Quote from: Cozzie on December 22, 2020, 05:56:39 PM ---I would certainly love us to he ambitious in the Jan window but just cant see it.

Aarons and Bailey for RB and RW would be the dream but it will likely be loans again or only if a deal makes absolute sense.

--- End quote ---

Not seen much of Bailey - and when I signed him on a version of FM he was a flop. What’s he like in reality?

Douglas Luiz

They’re three midfielders I think would make a massive difference but I highly doubt we’d be able to get any of them in jan.


--- Quote from: Brownie on December 22, 2020, 06:04:43 PM ---Not seen much of Bailey - and when I signed him on a version of FM he was a flop. What’s he like in reality?

--- End quote ---

Admittedly only seen him briefly but he looked impressive.

Only 23 with capacity to get better, got 9 so far for Leverkusen this season.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

It appears that you have not registered with NSNO | Everton Forum. To register, please click here...
Go to full version