Everton have secured the acquisition of Leicester City's highly-rated head of recruitment, Steve Walsh, as the club's new sporting director.
The 63-year-old, who was described last season by Sir Alex Ferguson, as the most influential figure in the 2015-16 title race, fills a new role at Goodison Park and Finch Farm, one that new major shareholder Farhad Moshiri had identified as a vital part of his plans for the club following the dismissal of Roberto Martinez and prior to the appointment of Ronald Koeman as manager.
Walsh, who once served as a European scout under Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas at Chelsea (where he helped sign Didier Drogba, Gianfranco Zola and Michael Essien) and was assistant boss to both Nigel Pearson and Claudio Ranieri at Leicester, has also been credited for uncovering the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and N'Golo Kanté, three of the main driving forces behind the Foxes' stunning 2015-16 Premier League title triumph.
In addition to his 16 years at Chelsea for whom he initially worked part-time while holding down a PE-teacher role in Chorley, he has had spells at Newcastle United, and Hull City. His brother Mickey, now a football agent, was a Republic of Ireland international who played 29 times for Everton in the 1978-79 season, as well as also representing Blackpool, QPR and Porto.
Despite recently signing a new contract with the champions, Walsh now follows Kanté out of the King Power Stadium this summer as the French midfielder makes a £30m switch to Stamford Bridge and Walsh, believed to have been recommended to Moshiri by Koeman, leaves his scouting role to join the British-Iranian billionaire's revolution at Everton.
"I'm proud and privileged to become Director of Football at such a fantastic and historic club," Walsh said on his arrival. "It feels like a new era at Everton and that potential is what is most exciting.
"I know the club well. My roots are in the north-west and my brother, Mickey, was an Everton player in the Bob Latchford era and always proud of that fact. I also did my initial teacher training at Liverpool Hope University many years ago.
"I'm genuinely excited to be here at the club and very much looking forward to getting down to work."
Koeman, meanwhile, welcomed the Lancastrian to Everton by saying: “It's really good for the club to have someone in Steve who has shown his quality in his job at a number of clubs over many years.
“That's the experience and quality he will bring to us at a good time in the season. He has a great deal of knowledge about building for the long-term and the magnificent work he did at Leicester on top of the job he did at Chelsea makes us excited to have him here at Everton.”
Reader Comments (101)
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1 Posted 21/07/2016 at 15:28:59
2 Posted 21/07/2016 at 15:29:03
Koeman you blues!
3 Posted 21/07/2016 at 15:32:38
4 Posted 21/07/2016 at 15:38:25
5 Posted 21/07/2016 at 15:39:33
7 Posted 21/07/2016 at 15:40:24
8 Posted 21/07/2016 at 15:41:46
So, what's left? ... oh, yeah...
9 Posted 21/07/2016 at 15:43:19
In the meantime...Carvalho on his way? Hope so!
10 Posted 21/07/2016 at 15:43:25
11 Posted 21/07/2016 at 15:43:29
13 Posted 21/07/2016 at 15:47:50
15 Posted 21/07/2016 at 16:09:20
17 Posted 21/07/2016 at 16:28:42
18 Posted 21/07/2016 at 16:35:39
20 Posted 21/07/2016 at 16:46:40
21 Posted 21/07/2016 at 16:51:17
Surely the transfers will follow now?
22 Posted 21/07/2016 at 16:54:53
23 Posted 21/07/2016 at 16:57:19
24 Posted 21/07/2016 at 17:07:34
Although there is no age listed on our Steve Walsh's full Wikipedia page, the Wikipedia synopsis that comes up on a Google search for him still mentions that he is 51 because of initial confusion with the other Steve Walsh and the mistake has been propagated by the Echo in their recent reports.
25 Posted 21/07/2016 at 17:12:21
26 Posted 21/07/2016 at 17:23:18
Moshiri is one driven man who likes to stay quiet and just gets it done.
Onwards! Love the current path we're on.
27 Posted 21/07/2016 at 17:34:52
28 Posted 21/07/2016 at 17:37:04
29 Posted 21/07/2016 at 17:41:25
He's not an Irishman, although his parents were Irish and his brother Micky played for the Republic. He's a Lancastrian from Chorley.
30 Posted 21/07/2016 at 17:41:40
Well for starters, I always used to skive PE for my last 2 years of school!
But that aside, he was a genuinely nice bloke. It was known that he did a bit of scouting on the side for Chelsea but he didn't talk about it much, so I'd always just assumed that he was a scout who spotted talent at schoolboy level (just re-read that and it doesn't sound good, but you get my meaning!). My logic for this assumption being that he could combine it with his regular job, and the fact that it seemed strange for a Chelsea scout to be based in Chorley (Croston to be exact).
It was only after I'd left that I'd learnt that he was a first-team scout for Chelsea. I therefore thought that other people were having me on, as surely any PE teacher would use that to ingratiate themselves with the young lads they taught; but fair play to him he never did!
He would always talk freely about football, even with me and I was a total shit at school! He clearly had a big passion for it but, like I say never mentioned his other work.
I then bumped into him a good while after I'd left school (think it must have been about ten years ago now?) in a pub in Chorley. He was as friendly as ever but spoke freely about working for Chelsea and said that he was getting a plane to Germany in the morning because "Jose's sending me to Bremen," anyway I thought that was hot air and 'Jose' wouldn't even know who he was - again, shows you what I know.
My abiding memories of him are that he always used to tell all the lads to "bob down" before giving us instructions; send us "twice round the tennis courts" if we failed to listen to said instructions and also used to sing Billy Ocean's 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going' to us as we slogged our way through driving rain during cross country!
So, in short, Mike, nothing of use!!
32 Posted 21/07/2016 at 17:43:04
33 Posted 21/07/2016 at 17:46:16
34 Posted 21/07/2016 at 17:50:26
35 Posted 21/07/2016 at 17:53:34
36 Posted 21/07/2016 at 17:55:14
38 Posted 21/07/2016 at 18:06:22
Hopefully we will soon see some new players now this role is filled.
Can this be the start of our awakening?
39 Posted 21/07/2016 at 18:14:20
Anyway, our DoF is now in place so hopefully the squad strengthening (and culling!) can now begin.
40 Posted 21/07/2016 at 18:35:34
41 Posted 21/07/2016 at 19:26:11
42 Posted 21/07/2016 at 19:40:48
This is good all round for EFC, and not something to be underwhelmed by! Mahrez no doubt seemed an underwhelming signing.
43 Posted 21/07/2016 at 19:41:26
He has had 20 years experience with the English leagues and obviously knows a player when he sees one.
Onwards and upwards with the Moshirir, Koeman and Walsh ticket.
44 Posted 21/07/2016 at 19:52:16
45 Posted 21/07/2016 at 19:55:59
Not sure still exactly what this role means, but hopefully in a few months it will become clearer when new signings have been made.
Obviously part of Mr Farhad's masterplan for the club and I wish him well.
46 Posted 21/07/2016 at 20:03:25
47 Posted 21/07/2016 at 20:03:41
Couple of signings next week would be nice, now it starts to get interesting!
48 Posted 21/07/2016 at 20:09:27
His 20-odd years experience is invaluable.
Walsh, Koeman, Moshiri: let the good times roll!
49 Posted 21/07/2016 at 20:10:02
50 Posted 21/07/2016 at 20:12:47
51 Posted 21/07/2016 at 20:20:41
52 Posted 21/07/2016 at 20:29:40
53 Posted 21/07/2016 at 20:44:21
54 Posted 21/07/2016 at 20:47:21
55 Posted 21/07/2016 at 20:49:48
Maybe now we'll start having unheralded players linked to us and no more of those insane fees flying around.
56 Posted 21/07/2016 at 20:50:22
57 Posted 21/07/2016 at 20:53:17
Quite right too, as long as it works.
Only time will tell if it does.
58 Posted 21/07/2016 at 20:56:43
59 Posted 21/07/2016 at 21:03:46
We are expecting major developments but it is the curse of Everton that we get our money in the biggest sellers market there has ever been in football.
60 Posted 21/07/2016 at 21:03:49
Hopefully, by the time the current window ends and the new season kicks off, we will see many valued arrivals and a few wanted departures. We need and deserve it.
61 Posted 21/07/2016 at 21:06:18
He's only got 1 year left on his contract but, considering Stoke have just gave Liverpool £13 Million for a player in exactly the same position, I don't think that matters at the minute.
I heard Koeman was summoned to London with Moshiri wanting some major signings, but this isn't easy because our standing in the game isn't what it was. All rumour, of course!
62 Posted 21/07/2016 at 21:21:23
Our current squad could have finished higher last season without anyone in charge...
63 Posted 21/07/2016 at 21:23:58
64 Posted 21/07/2016 at 21:36:17
Still waiting for the MARQUEE to arrive though ...lol
65 Posted 21/07/2016 at 21:41:38
I was talking to one of my mates, and he said he didn't fancy him. I don't watch as much footy these days, but he was one of the stand-out players in the league for me last season, at least until Stoke lost in The League Cup semis on penalties at Anfield when he scored a goal that night.
66 Posted 21/07/2016 at 21:45:06
Totally agree the lack of signings so far supports that. Would have been concerning if they had bought players and then brought him in, and better to bide their time for the right guy too.
Moshiri showing intent of actually running the club like a real business / company.
67 Posted 21/07/2016 at 21:50:24
I'm now a calm bunny. I'm not expecting great things this season, obviously better than 12th but I am expecting great things in the next few years. I don't care who stays or goes this summer, I just know there is a plan in place and I'm keen to see this all through.
68 Posted 21/07/2016 at 21:50:53
69 Posted 21/07/2016 at 21:51:27
£15 Million gets you average these days, so a good talent spotter will definitely be a major asset if he can unearth us some unknown quality.
A lot of Leicester fans are saying that Walsh will be a bigger loss than Kante. I hope they are right, even if they have shown a lot of class with the gracious way in which they have accepted his departure.
70 Posted 21/07/2016 at 22:29:29
Morshiri wanted Koeman he got him;
Morshiri wanted Walsh he got him.
I have officially decided that the good days are just around the corner at Everton...
71 Posted 21/07/2016 at 22:33:32
73 Posted 21/07/2016 at 22:47:46
We might be having a bit of trouble at the minute because our standing in the game has diminished over the years but hopefully we are ready to rise once again?
I also heard Koeman likes the lad Ritchie at Bournemouth because he considers players like this will improve the overall squad.
74 Posted 21/07/2016 at 23:00:06
75 Posted 21/07/2016 at 23:37:26
After all, if we had bought Kante and Mahrez for the fees Leicester did, we would have been grumbling about how cheap they were. Buy them now and they would be marquee signings.
Not all signings have to be for tens of millions. Prices are bandied around now like clubs are using monopoly money instead of the real thing. It's beginning to get unsavoury in what used to be a working class game.
76 Posted 21/07/2016 at 00:04:34
77 Posted 22/07/2016 at 01:30:23
I'm assuming that Ronald is therefore setting the vision for our style of play, which should then go right through the youth ranks and our transfer policy.
But if Ronald leaves... and managers are not long term employees, do we change from top to bottom entirely?
Or is Walsh's role greater than just transfers?
Regardless of the above, people who actually speak to Moshiri seem to be impressed. We might not have had a great outline of his intentions but you know that Walsh and Koeman have... and it's been enough to persuade them that something is happening with us that it's worth being a part of.
78 Posted 22/07/2016 at 07:41:53
Ritchie is a good player, one who will develop into a better player.
Unfortunately he signed for Newcastle a couple of weeks ago.
79 Posted 22/07/2016 at 08:07:33
80 Posted 22/07/2016 at 08:33:19
82 Posted 22/07/2016 at 09:16:43
83 Posted 22/07/2016 at 09:22:06
84 Posted 22/07/2016 at 09:33:23
85 Posted 22/07/2016 at 10:31:34
86 Posted 22/07/2016 at 10:42:33
So what's the issue with somebody being 65 years old? If he can do the job? Many people are older than that and continuing to do responsible jobs.
BTW, how old are you?
87 Posted 22/07/2016 at 13:08:17
88 Posted 22/07/2016 at 13:20:29
89 Posted 22/07/2016 at 16:01:04
Have you noticed what is happening across the park at Anfield? Liverpool have just signed two cracking wingers, while Everton are stuck with likes of McGeady and Niasse.
90 Posted 22/07/2016 at 16:10:04
What's happening across the park mate, I'm so interested... NOT!
So they have bought players that we may or may not have been interested in... so what? Our manager hasn't been in the job too long, give the guy a break already, he can't just sack off players he has inherited it will take time.
Mind you living in the shadow of the all-conquering German and his team does get tedious, particularly when they are constantly used as a reference point for all things Everton.
91 Posted 22/07/2016 at 16:10:16
We are only just into the process of reorganising into a more professional outfit light years ahead of Kenwright's corner shop philosophy and a few weeks in people are pissing and moaning we have not signed anyone yet.
FFS Klopp has been in the job 6 months and I have no doubt the RS had an inferior squad to us.
Rome was not built in a day but at least we are now building on solid ground with Moshiri, Koeman and Walsh.
BTW, I think its a bonus Walsh is 60+, not 40, because he has that extra experience and knowledge.
We were not looking for a sprinter but a Director of Football and he fits the bill perfectly for me.
92 Posted 22/07/2016 at 16:18:14
93 Posted 22/07/2016 at 16:41:14
94 Posted 22/07/2016 at 17:07:10
They've also overpaid massively for some real duds...
Let them do whatever they want. In Koeman I trust...
Lallana, Ballotelli, Carrol, the Welsh Pirlo... the list is longer but I can't be arsed to write or bother...
95 Posted 22/07/2016 at 17:17:34
He never stopped smiling throughout. The words 'project' and 'foundations' popped up a few times.
Seems a nice bloke. I'm excited about this, I'm excited about the future. Early signs are very impressive.
As for bringing in players, I feel confident when we can get the right player, we will get him. I am feeling a faith in the club that I have not had for a very long time.
I can't wait for the season to start! COYB
96 Posted 22/07/2016 at 17:18:35
97 Posted 22/07/2016 at 17:47:41
Have to say I find it impossible to get the least bit excited (even interested) about any signing that isn't a manager or a player.
98 Posted 22/07/2016 at 22:16:08
99 Posted 22/07/2016 at 23:17:52
Someone remind me, please where did we buy him from again?
100 Posted 22/07/2016 at 23:23:24
101 Posted 22/07/2016 at 23:40:21
Even Lineker is capable or irony mate.
102 Posted 23/07/2016 at 07:19:04
103 Posted 23/07/2016 at 13:59:18
105 Posted 23/07/2016 at 21:59:12
For me, a major aspect of having funds available is that we no longer need to sell the best players. That's the main foundation on which we can progress.
106 Posted 23/07/2016 at 22:15:45
107 Posted 24/07/2016 at 03:35:16
108 Posted 24/07/2016 at 06:08:36
You, apparently, are opposed to a DoF but you don't tell us why.
Please do. And give articulate and reasoned arguments not one line generalizations with no substance.
To reiterate, my hunch, I hope it's right, is that Walsh will be our most important summer 2016 signing.
109 Posted 24/07/2016 at 06:20:06
Coupled with Ronald Koeman and the funds that are now in place and assets to sell for serious money, I believe we are on the cusp of a bright future, if not this season then the next couple.
Koeman needs to off load good style as soon as possible. No more rose-coloured spectacles – we are down at the head with the lame and the lazy and need some hard decisions to be made to offload our underachievers.
Stones, Lukaku, McCarthy, and yes even Barkley who I believe has started to believe he's the finished article. I'm not the most patient of men, but I will have to grin and bear it if I want our Blues to be a success.
110 Posted 24/07/2016 at 07:26:27
I was just on another site, that had Leicester reaction to Walsh leaving. There was a comment comparing Everton landing Walsh and LFC (sorry Mike) signing Wijnaldum for 25 million. Liverpool did not fare well in the comparison, in fact, they were "lol'd".
I agree, Walsh will be a monstrous advantage for us, for years to come.
111 Posted 24/07/2016 at 11:32:44
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