Everton confirm capture of Williams

10 August  126 Comments  [Jump to last]

Everton have sealed the signing of Ashley Williams from Swansea City in a deal that is officially undisclosed but is reportedly worth £9m.

The Welsh club accepted an improved offer on what is believed to have been £7m that was offered last week and the defender travelled to Merseyside to undergo a medical at Broadgreen Hospital and finalise personal terms yesterday before signing a three-year contract.

The news follows confirmation of John Stones's sale to Manchester City in a deal that could eventually be worth the oft-reported £50m transfer fee that Everton had been holding out for this summer.

"Everton is a great club with an unbelievable manager, a world legend in football and I believe the club is going in the right direction and it's something wanted to be part of," Williams told evertontv.

"I can't wait to get out there [at Goodison]. I've always enjoyed playing on that pitch and it'll be nice to get out there to see what it's all about as the home team.

"I've scored there and I don't score many goals. It's always a noisy place where the fans get behind the team. It's a difficult place to play as an away player."

"[The fans can expect] an honest player, hard-working. I try to do as well as I can for the fans and the club. Not always perfect but always with the best of intentions and to try and leave everything out on the pitch."

Experienced and a leader

Everton's desire to land Williams was first signalled last Monday when they when their opening offer appeared to have been agreed but it was eventually turned down by Swansea.

32 later this month, Williams brings a wealth of Premier League experience to Goodison Park having played 319 times for Swansea since making a loan move from Stockport County to the Liberty Stadium permanent in 2008.

Over the past couple of seasons especially, the Wolverhampton-born centre-half has established a reputation as being one of the most effective players in his position in England's top flight.

A one-time target for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, he shone for his country at this summer's European Championships as Wales surprised the Continent by making it all the way to the semi-finals where they were bested by eventual winners Portugal.

Williams skippered Wales in all six of their games and scored one of the goals in the quarter final against Belgium that knocked the Red Devils out, eventually paving the way for former Blues boss Roberto Martinez to replace Marc Wilmots as that nation's head coach.

That experience was cited by manager Ronald Koeman as being central to why the club targeted him to strengthen the defence.

“We wanted to bring in a strong player in the central defence position, a player who knows the Premier League and Ashley fits the bill for us very well," the Dutchman said.

“He is an experienced defender and the kind of player we need in the team.

“He is a leader. He showed this at Swansea and he has shown it for his country and he is looking forward to his new challenge here at Everton.”  


Reader Comments (126)

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David Milner
1 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:34:01
Hopefully this is just one of many, if Blue Bill keeps out of the way.
Lewis Barclay
2 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:35:26
Brilliant. Great signing with experience and leadership to help guide the undoubted talent we have come through waiting in the wings.

John Stones could have learnt a lot from this guy and Ronald Koeman. But he won't.

Lee Hind
3 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:35:51
Superb signing – exactly what we need at a reasonable price.

No downside to this deal for me, even allowing for the fact that he's clearly only a two- or three-season solution.

Ian Bennett
4 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:35:52
£9m for a consistent top notch seems a smart move. The opposition will at least have to work a bit harder for goals now.
Darren Dennett
5 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:36:46
Welcome on board, lad. Koeman staying he's just what we need, he is a leader... Captain then?
Brian Williams
6 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:37:54
An absolute steal at £9m. Very good business indeed.
Ian McDowell
7 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:39:09
Great signing this. I'm delighted to have signed a proven CB who knows all about the EPL.
Mark Morrissey
8 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:39:41
A very good signing for any club. Not technically the most gifted footballer but he is solid, reads the game well, is a leader and rips up trees all day long. He will not accept playing with shirkers and would be a good alternative for the captaincy. Good signing at a sensible price.
Brian Murray
9 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:41:07
Great news; now go and get Kone.
Dave Hall
10 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:43:26
Great work Everton.
Shaun Taylor
11 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:43:46
Decent price for Williams considering the amount players are going for this season.
Stephen Coles
12 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:44:57
Very happy with this signing, When watching the Euros I thought we should try and get him.
Andrew Bentley
13 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:46:12
Finally some sanity in the comments thread. Reading another thread earlier some of the comments about this being a bad signing was ridiculous.

Yes it might be short term (eg, not more than 2 years out of him), but that's exactly what we need right now – people who can play today and are solid, a leader on the field, and are strong at what they do.

This guy will break through walls to win the ball and that's what you want in your defenders. I am absolutely delighted! We have enough potential in some of the younger guys like Galloway and Holgate so I'm delighted we've bought in a ready made captain of the team – and I do hope we make him captain.

As much as I loved John Stones and wanted him to stay – getting Ashley Williams with £35m+ left is great business. Roll on Saturday.

David Price
14 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:47:32
Great signing. Welcome to Everton, Ashley. We have just improved our goal difference from last season by at least 15 goals and about 12 points with this leader on board.
Paul Kossoff
15 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:49:43
Why the lower fee?
Stephen Davies
16 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:49:48
Really pleased with this; he should be a great signing for us.
Nathan Snell
17 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:50:05
Fantastic signing! Plenty of premier league experience and quality. Another centre back and a number 10 please Ronald. COYB
Liam Reilly
18 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:51:46
Great signing.

We'll be a loss less fearful of handling crosses into the box with this guy at the helm.

I like the honesty too; not always perfect but doesn't leave anything out there. Good enough for me.

John Critchley
19 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:51:57
Welcome to the best club in the world Mr Williams.

Anthony Burke
20 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:54:00
Welcome aboard.
Conor Skelly
21 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:54:41
This is a great signing. Long gone are the days of signing a player like this and him turning out to be Shite - players are far more professional now. We're getting the Williams of Swansea and everything that comes with it. Made up.
Paul Needham
22 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:54:45
Welcome, Ashley. A great signing. A real defender. Now lets make him captain. Love Jags but Williams has more driving force. Will not be afraid to kick ass if needed.

Joe Clitherow
23 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:55:46
A warrior who will leave his all on the pitch and will start putting some spirit back into a team that frankly looked gutless over the past two years under the clueless Catalan.

I can't see him going off with an upset tummy or bursting into tears at a service station to be honest.

Michael Kenrick
24 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:56:08
I expect he'll slot right in at № 5 in the Everton Squad...

Good to hear all the positive assessments. I shall be watching him closely, assuming he starts for us on Saturday. Is that enough time for him to be assimilated? And presumably we are getting him registered ahead of any deadline for the first round of Premier League fixtures this weekend?

Conor Skelly
26 Posted 10/08/2016 at 16:59:59
New Manager and now new players of influence. He's Koeman's man now. He'd be mad not to make him Captain, which could and probably should spell the end for Jags, great servant that he's been – but never a Captain.
Peter Laing
27 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:00:02
TalkSport also confirming Bolassie at £30 million, is it a done deal too?
Joe Foster
29 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:01:56
Get in there.
Phil Malone Jnr
30 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:03:44
Need quality beside him. Someone who can play if that's how we are to set up. Jagielka is a stopper, but can't pass. Kouilbaly please.
Gordon Crawford
31 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:04:25
Absolutely delighted to get him and for that price, it's maybe bargain of the summer.
Welcome on board, Mr Williams, I pray it's the beginning of something very special for our wonderful football institution. :)
Linda Morrison
32 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:04:27
Am very pleased with this news, some good news at last!

I think he will be the first of at least 4 new faces in the squad which will no doubt give everyone a lift.

On another note I saw in yesterdays press that Tony Hibbert was slagging the club off about the way he was told his contract would not be renewed.

I agree that it probably wasn't the best way to deal with a long term servant, however the club had been very generous to him in terms of renewing contracts even though he spent most of the season in the treatment room!

Kim Vivian
33 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:04:44
And SSN saying we're closing in on Bony at £15m. Floodgates anyone?
Jason Heng
34 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:09:47
Wasn't Williams signed by Martinez at Swansea?
Bill Gall
35 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:10:10
On a previous post I said that looking on last season's performances at the least we needed this season was a commanding keeper and a no nonsense central defender. The jury is still out on the keeper but this signing of Williams ticks all the right boxes to provide more stability in the back 4.
Eric Myles
36 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:10:59
Didn't we have a bid of £10M rejected and come back with a £12M bid according to previous reports??
Mick Hanlon
37 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:11:06
Signing of the summer. Not all about finesse, this fella is made of pure steel which has been missing since Distin's legs went. A leader, a captain. Welcome to Everton, Mr Williams. Just bring your Euro form, please.
Steve Brown
38 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:11:22
We needed 6-8 players after RM's ineptitude – Keeper RB, CB, LM, proper CDM, CAM, LM and striker in my book –so getting there with Stekelenburg, Williams, Kone, Bolasie, Gueye and maybe Bony. That's why Stones went as we needed the money to properly overhaul the squad.

Add in a RB and CAM and we can live with the keeper for now.

Steve Bingham
39 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:25:25
I will stand, support and applaud any player who wears our shirt and gives the effort on the park. This player obviously will and that's more than good enough for me. Welcome!
Stephen Ashton
40 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:25:57
I'm confused. I thought the purpose of Walsh was to unearth some decently priced gems. Frankly I could have done the business that we have done to date. No surprises apart from paying £30m for Bolasie.

I know some will say it's a bit early for him, but if he is that good he would have had players in mind when he was at Leicester.

Brent Stephens
41 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:26:29
Only £9m. Gets even better!
Tom Bowers
42 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:27:22
Although Everton had a big squad they had a lot of average players and sick-note absentees. They may now still move some of these out as they may not see much action especially with some talented youngsters chomping at the bit.

Hopefully they complete the Bolassie deal as he can make a difference up front because what they have now appears to lightweight and Barks is still a bit slow as a forward runner.

Chris Gould
43 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:33:34
He did, Stephen #40, and Leicester bought 5 of them in this window before he moved to us. Musa in particular looks like a gem. Walsh's summer transfer business was prepared for Leicester. We'll see the best of him in future windows.
Pete Edwards
44 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:34:12
Stephen, I'd be pretty sure that Walsh had his targets set for Leicester before he came in and I'd guess they have already signed some of those.

Everton's targets and needs will be different so wouldn't necessarily mean Walsh would go for or recommend rhe players from his list at Leicester

Give the guy a chance to get his feet under his desk and see the squad properly before having a moan about the guy, I'm guessing he's been brought in for the longer haul

Patrick Murphy
45 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:35:39
Stephen (40) Perhaps Mr Walsh had already identified and allowed Leicester City to buy some of the players listed below. Having joined Everton only recently he hasn't had much time to identify which types of players that Ronald may require.

Ron-Robert Zieler £2,600,000
Raul Uche Undisclosed
Nampalys Mendy £13,000,000
Ahmed Musa £16,600,000
Bartosz Kapustka £7,500,000

Maybe you should send in your CV to Mr Moshiri; I'm sure he will be more than happy to take on a cheaper option who can achieve better results?

John Raftery
46 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:37:23
This is a very good signing. As others have said Williams is not only a centre half but also a leader who won't need the captain's armband. His appearance record is very good and he appears not to have suffered any serious injuries in his career.

It would seem in this window is that we have adopted a policy of bringing in experienced players with a proven track record of performing in the Premier League. That is good news because given our struggles in finishing eleventh for two successive seasons, we can ill afford many more gambles on unproven players from abroad.

Mike Dolan
47 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:39:07
Welcome Ashley Williams get stuck in mate. Its great to finally have a center half again. The blue orchestra is tuning up nicely, now we're just waiting for the conductor.
Christopher Wallace
48 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:39:54
Inpressive stat:

Ashley Williams has played 29,062 of Swansea's 29,790 league minutes since May 2008.

Les Martin
49 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:44:56
Just what we needed, a top class defender who cant really defender as good as any. Hopefully Kone will partner him soon.
Christopher Wallace
50 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:46:51
Stephen 40

You certainly are confused! As others have said, Walsh's targets for Leicester would've been identified well before the window opened.

His project for improving our playing squad will be a long-term endeavour, whereas we need some urgent short term fixes, i.e defenders who can defend.

Jamie Tulacz
51 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:47:46
£9m a good deal of true! Pleased that we're strengthening the spine of the team..
Phil Walling
52 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:47:46
Often said on here that a dodgy keeper and a soft defence cost us up to 15 goals last season or at least 10 points.

Pretty sure, Koeman has solved half the problem but just hope he's not going with either of the 'iffy' keepers who played in the friendlies.

Eddie Dunn
53 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:48:42
Delighted to have this guy on board. I am now hoping for a skillful midfielder and another striker to complete the window. I expect Ashley Williams to win the hearts of the faithful with his 100% commitment and leadership on the park.
Gordon Roberts
54 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:49:09
Solid, dependable, strong character who is rarely injured. Just what we need. Who will be our next purchase??
Eugene Ruane
55 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:49:51
We sign Williams, Wenger takes stick - funny old world.

Link

Jay Harris
56 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:51:22
Great signing and just what we need right now. A positive influence in the dressing room and a leader on the pitch as well as being a top class defender.
James Watts
57 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:51:42
When I first heard we were linked with me my initial reaction was 'come on, we can do better!' but the more I read the more I'm happy he's here. Makes perfect sense to have someone like this for a couple of seasons at least. Welcome Ashley!
Mick Davies
58 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:56:20
Smashed his shoulder in at the Euros (v Belgium I think), was obviously in pain but refused to go off. I thought this might have weakened the team but he never bottled out of any tackles; reminded me of the desire we've been lacking since Cahill left.

Will add the steel we need for a couple of years until RK builds a younger backline with maybe Holgate, Galloway etc... good move this

Joe O'Brien
59 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:58:24
Great signing. He will be loved by the supporters. A true leader that we badly needed. I'd give him the armband. I think Jags needs to step aside. Hopefully a classy cm and definitely a striker to follow. Welcome Ashley, you'll love playing for us.
James Stewart
60 Posted 10/08/2016 at 17:59:59
Top player and as stated already by many on here 'exactly the kind of player we need'.
Colin Glassar
61 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:01:11
Welcome aboard Ash, I hope you do us proud.

Lyndon, Michael, you've still got Stones on the main page.

Mike Green
62 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:04:48
Great signing - exactly what we need. Welcome to Everton, Ashley.
Andy Codling
63 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:08:06
Mick Davies (#58) – brilliant, as opposed to Stones whinging to get of the pitch against the shite with a poor tummy!!!!
Steve Bingham
64 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:08:36
Begovic , Bony and Remy straight swap for wavy arms man anyone ???
Amit Vithlani
65 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:10:09
Welcome Ashley, wishing you a long and successful career at Goodison.
Bobby Thomas
66 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:13:20
Christopher #48

Cruciate on his debut then?!

Jim Burns
68 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:20:09
Eugene – absolute pleasure to skim through those posts – thanks.
James Watts
69 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:21:44
Just watched his YouTube highlight reel. Looks like he scored more goals than Niasse!
Drew Shortis
70 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:23:57
Great news. Tough, no nonsense defender who gives it 100% and will instil some organisation and resilience to our back-line. Personally I would appoint him as captain and keep hold of Jagielka as vice captain. I really can't see Jags throwing a tantrum. I think he knows he's not captain material and will be relieved to just get on with his game. I do see the Williams - Funes Mori combo as our best option. Not too gutted about Stones departure. Sure it will be galling if he does turn into the new Beckenbauer, but we need solid defending now, not in three or four years time when he has grown as a player.

I'm happy with the three new players we have so far. I think our next top priority should be a midfield playmaker. Mata would be ideal but someone like Ziyech or Sigurdson would do the trick. Right now it looks like Koeman is setting down solid foundations. We may need to get back into Europe before we can start attracting the marquee signings. I think Koeman will build us back up over the next few transfer windows. Not a 'project' but a gradual strengthening and improving of quality.

Nigel Rickman
71 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:24:44
Great signing, I live not far from Swansea and talking to some of their supporters last night they all agreed a good player, but, one downside was that he is no good in the air. Maybe we might get someone else who is good in the air.
Gordon White
72 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:26:08
Really pleased. Just what we needed, and great value.
Welcome to Everton Ashley.
Stephen Ashton
73 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:38:45
Patrick #45. I'm an accountant not a Director of Football. I'm not complaining, the signings make sense, apart from the amount of money Bolasie is rumoured to be costing. I was just expecting something a little more inventive.
Brent Stephens
74 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:39:16
No signings announced since the Williams signing. What's going on. Typical Everton. Get yer fingers out.
Stu Smith
75 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:45:05
Has anyone noticed the media have been well out with prices? All saying £100m for Pogo and it's £89m, £55m for Stones = £47.5m, £12m Williams and it's £9m. Anyway good captain that I feel we've been missing.
Damian Wilde
76 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:54:58
Just wondering how many times (bar five minutes on MotD) have people seen him play?

My match going Swans friend's view:

"The last two seasons he's been error prone and quick to bollock others, rather than look at himself. Quality leader, but heard the dressing room was getting a bit tired of his leadership. And awful on corners last season.

"He wanted four years, but we only offered two, so your deal makes sense to him, plus we've had eight years of him and he only cost us £350k."

Tamhas Woods
77 Posted 10/08/2016 at 18:56:08
Impressed with him at the Euros – even when his side lost 2-1 to England. Good signing under the circumstances and age doesn't concern me.

Richard Gough was an OAP when he joined us, but anyone who recalls the Campbell derby in 1999 will remember that he had snidey Owen in his pocket all night.

Ian Hollingworth
78 Posted 10/08/2016 at 19:03:50
Great news at last. This will be a very astute signing. Great defender and just what we need.

Now bring on more signings of players who go straight in the first team please.

Christopher Wallace
79 Posted 10/08/2016 at 19:14:51
Just caught the Sky Sports starts from last season regarding clearances, tackles, headers won, etc –Williams top 3 in all categories.
Danny O'Neill
80 Posted 10/08/2016 at 19:15:28
"I look forward to seeing what the manager's plans are for me and the team. He's [Ronald Koeman] been one of the greatest centre-halves to ever play the game, so I look forward to learning from him and seeing what he can teach me".

Interesting perspective. Shame young John didn't see it like that. Seems more wrapped up in the modern frenzy to work for the "super coaches" such as Mourinho or Pep. Probably an age / generation thing.

Also, what was really refreshing was Williams' reference to Swansea. How respectful and dignified; rare to see but refreshing in the modern game. Did Stones give us a mention? If so I missed it.

John Raftery
81 Posted 10/08/2016 at 19:27:30
Interesting to note which manager brought Williams to Swansea: none other than our much derided former manager, Mr Martinez.
Denis Richardson
82 Posted 10/08/2016 at 19:31:37
Great news. Make him captain immediately.
John Crook
83 Posted 10/08/2016 at 19:38:11
At last, a signing that makes complete sense in every way. Sorry Jags but you're going to have to move over as Captain. There'll be none of that penalty shenanigans going on when he's in charge! Well done, Everton.
Rob Halligan
84 Posted 10/08/2016 at 19:44:54
To the tune Can't buy me love...

City thought they bought a star, how wrong can they be.

John Stones is a right arse hole, he won't aim for row Zee.

We stung city for £50 million and now we've bought Ashley ..bought Ashleee, we have bought Ashley...bought Ashleee, Woah Woah Woah Woah woah.

I'll get me coat!!

This is in no way a dig at John Stones, by the way

Colin Glassar
85 Posted 10/08/2016 at 19:48:28
Danny, I suspect that most of these young payers had never heard of Koeman until he arrived at Southampton. These milennials are all about the here and now.
Paul McIntyre
86 Posted 10/08/2016 at 19:49:21
@80..."I had a wonderful time with Everton and wish them and their fans all the best but now I'll give my all for City."

But Jack Rodwell Mk 2 is history.

Welcome Ash. Leader on and off the pitch just what we need..

Kase Chow
87 Posted 10/08/2016 at 19:52:14
Glad it's over the line.
Iain Davies
88 Posted 10/08/2016 at 20:08:16
A true leader, solid and an inspiration for our younger players make him our captain andour defensive future will be bright.

Outstanding stats a true warrior.

Cymru am byth :)

Eugene Ruane
89 Posted 10/08/2016 at 20:17:24
It would be great to know how he'll do, but I suppose we'll just have to wait to find that out.

Or...will we?

Link

Anthony Jones
90 Posted 10/08/2016 at 20:25:41
Out goes the so-called progressive defender who isn't particularly reliable as a defender. In comes a top defender who lacks ball skills but dominates strikers.

Based on last season, we are better off on the pitch as well as in the bank.

Guy Hastings
91 Posted 10/08/2016 at 20:35:44
Can he play in goal?
Barry McNally
92 Posted 10/08/2016 at 20:36:38
Didn't see much of Koeman as a player but know he scored a shit load of goals – was he more Stones-like or Williamsesque in his defending?
Eivind Nyhus
93 Posted 10/08/2016 at 20:39:27
Been wanting him to Everton for a few years now, glad to see it happen!
Mark Fitzgerald
94 Posted 10/08/2016 at 20:48:03
Was a fan of Stones. But for the transfer fee received and this confirmed signing of a defensive rock, I reckon we may have come out of this deal on the winning side.

Already feel more confident about opposition corners and crosses. To see Gunners fans (thanks Eugene for the link) criticising Wenger for missing out on Williams should only confirm how highly this guy is rated around the league.

Bolasie appears to be a done deal, Kone still highly linked, both also appear good signings. No doubt we will have improved the first team come the end of the window.
Still short a world class keeper and, for me, a creative central midfielder (sorry Ross) but optimism is high.

If Rom also gets his desired move, I think the blow from losing another individual will be easily tempered with another huge transfer fee that can be wisely reinvested on several quality reinforcements.

Our starting line up may soon be unrecognisable from last season. And that can only be a good thing.

John Raftery
95 Posted 10/08/2016 at 20:55:24
Damian (76) I saw him play twice against us last season. I thought he was impressive in both games, especially at Goodison in a match Swansea won 2-1. I also watched three of Wales's matches in June. Again he stood out as a commanding centre back who can organise the players around him.

Frankly we have badly needed someone to shout at our defenders and those in front of them. I know we are not signing a new John Charles but in terms of getting back to the basics of defending this signing seems like a move in the right direction.

Rob (84) Box A for effort mate!

Martin Nicholls
96 Posted 10/08/2016 at 20:57:03
Damian (#76), you made your point on another thread so no need to repeat it here.

My take on our CB position is that like most others, I enjoyed watching (some aspects of) John Stones's play. That said, the primary role of a defender is to defend – on too many occasions Stones failed to do that to the standard expected.

I am hopeful that Ashley Williams will not fail us. Defenders are there to do a job, not entertain fans – they do not put bums on seats, that is the role of attack minded players.

To summarise, I have mixed feelings about Stones's departure but have no such doubts about AW joining us.

Brent Stephens
97 Posted 10/08/2016 at 21:17:24
Looking forward to Saturday when I hope Williams gives Spurs a Kaning.
Geoff Evans
98 Posted 10/08/2016 at 21:20:23
A proper old fashioned, solid, reliable, team player. A pros pro. Good business.
Barry McNally
99 Posted 10/08/2016 at 21:24:13
Williams has only trained since the Euros, no game-time so unlikely to start at the weekend.
Dan Davies
100 Posted 10/08/2016 at 21:30:48
Quality addition, any real 'Jack' will tell you he will be missed at Swansea. I know a few Swansea fans and their gutted. Welcome Mr Williams.
Brent Stephens
101 Posted 10/08/2016 at 21:32:36
I think that's right, Barry. I'd like to see Williams and Gana get some time on Saturday but can't see either starting.
Darren Hind
102 Posted 10/08/2016 at 21:36:29
John Stones has gone now. The rights and wrongs can be argued until we are blue in the face, doesn't change a thing, he is no longer a concern for us.

Williams is most definitely not the answer. A decent signing because he a very decent professional, but that can't be it surely? With Jags over the top, we need a younger man. Funes Mori has been cruelly exposed at times. He was rag-dolled on several occasions last season.

Our defence will improve by virtue of the fact that Martinez is no longer in charge, but we are miles away. Williams would be great as a back up but number one defender? The guys thirty two, we need another one in.

Damian Wilde
103 Posted 10/08/2016 at 21:51:00
John, fair review, hope he'll be 'solid' this is well needed.
Christopher Wallace
104 Posted 10/08/2016 at 22:22:29
Darren

Over the past 3 seasons in Premier League, Williams ranks as follows:

Blocks - 1st
Clearances - 1st
Interceptions - 1st
Headers won - 9th

He has only missed 9 games in the past 8 years.

He is a natural leader.

He almost definitely IS the answer for the next few years! I do agree that we need another CB, which im sure we are working on.

David Hallwood
105 Posted 10/08/2016 at 22:28:14
Darren (#102) you are Ronald Koeman and you have just become Everton's new manager, so what do you know of your team? Well going forward they can be one of the best teams in the EPL – in fact you saw that first hand when your new team took your old team apart.

But when you sit down and analyse the DVDs of the last two seasons you're alarmed at the number of goals conceded and the amount of points lost from winning positions and how soft the centre is. So it's a no-brainer where the improvements need to start.

Now don't forget that you were one of the greatest football playing CB to ever play the game, so you getting the defending right will be your priority. Quite simply Stones for all his silky skills and Cryuff turns, defensively isn't up to standard, and you need to sign an organiser, a leader, and a CB who defends – and you've just signed the most consistent CB in the EPL of the last 5 seasons.

Congrats Ron.

Colin Glassar
106 Posted 10/08/2016 at 22:29:20
He's a good defender Darren, not great but he's steady. With Ash, Kone, Jags and Calamity Ram we should be a lot stronger in defence this season.
Christopher Wallace
107 Posted 10/08/2016 at 22:32:48
And so what if he's just turned 32? >Same age as Chiellini, 2 years younger than Pepe, 3 years younger than Barzagli.

Any one of those guys would improve our defence A LOT, as will Williams.

Christopher Wallace
108 Posted 10/08/2016 at 22:40:21
Ignoring age, price, experience, potential for a moment... ask yourself the following:

If I were a Premier League striker, would I rather play against Ashley Williams or John Stones??

No-brainer for me. If anyone thinks it would be easier to play against Williams, I'd be interested to hear your reasons why...

Mike Moore
109 Posted 10/08/2016 at 22:43:59
Superb signing, proper leader, honesty and straight to the point immediately something that's been missing for many a year, you will do us proud Ashley, welcome!
Mike Moore
110 Posted 10/08/2016 at 22:52:40
Agreed Christopher
Colin Metcalfe
111 Posted 10/08/2016 at 22:55:08
Everyone keeps on going on saying Stones wasn't a good defender so can someone enlighten me why has City paid ™47.5M for him ? Do people think we hoodwinked them and they haven't seen the flaws in his game on YouTube?

Or as some out it Pep Guadiola has taken a punt on JS and if it doesn't work out so what it's only £47.5M !!

Come on fellas Pep Guadiola is no fool , he clearly rates JS and it would not surprise me if he sees JS maybe playing in a more advance role , time will tell ...

Jay Harris
112 Posted 10/08/2016 at 23:09:46
Colin,

He has the potential to be great just like Rodwell but for some reason a lot of expensive players also flop particularly at City. Sterling is not the player he was, Scott Sinclair, Bony, Zdecko etc etc.

I don't know whether its the bling bling lifestyle but something has always been wrong at City for certain players so at 47.5m it was a good deal for Everton for someone that would sooner listen to Joe Hart and Raheem Sterling than his own club management.

Jim Hardin
113 Posted 10/08/2016 at 23:17:04
Colin,

Pep also wanted David Luiz when he was at Barcelona. He initially was interested in him at Bayern also. Do you really think David Luiz is a great defender? He has many of the same bad traits of Stones, except Luiz isn't afraid of contact.

Perhaps also, Pep doesn't care if his defenders can defend or not so long as they can play out of the back. Seems at Barca, they were pretty confident that if you press high, retain possession and win it back if you lose it, then the exposure of the backs to actually defend is limited. Pep wanted backs to play the ball as part of the offensive strategy. Plus, Barca could outscore all but Real Madrid in the then, two team league, he operated in.

Steve Powell
114 Posted 10/08/2016 at 23:28:47
John Stones is a good, but inexperienced defender who makes too many mistakes at the moment. I am sure that City will be able to support him into becoming the player he can be and that is why they paid the money. It's a shame that we do not have the cover to do that. We needed him to be at his best consistently right now. I'm sure that's one of the reasons he's gone.

I think Ahly Wiliams is a great buy for what we need at the moment – some one who will bring some solidity and consistency to the defence immediately. This is a short term solution to an immediate problem which will allow RK to continue with his overhaul with a bit more comfort.

Good business.

Barry Jones
115 Posted 10/08/2016 at 23:29:00
He is 31 going on 32, but I believe that he will have no problem performing to the required length of his contract (3 yrs). Three years is a long time in football these days in terms of committing to a club. He will do what is needed and in the meantime, Koeman and Walsh will have active surveillance on some younger models such as Kone. All in all, its a sensible move.
Ernie Baywood
116 Posted 11/08/2016 at 04:09:00
Agree Barry. Half our squad will turn over within 3 years. Not that concerned about his age.

Regardless of what happened with Stones, this is a good signing in its own right. Whether he's captain or not, we have another leader in the team.

Darren Hind
117 Posted 11/08/2016 at 04:46:40
Christopher,

The reason you are very careful to only go back three years is because you will be aware that Williams for most of his career before that was not deemed good enough for the premiership. not one of the twenty teams wanted him.

He is a very fine pro his clearance and block stats will confirm he has worked very hard at his game, but he is no Stones, he is not in the same league, that is why two of the games top managers have wanted to pay top dollar for Stones and Williams has not, throughout his career attracted as much as a second glance from the big boys.

I wonder how this clearly disciplined professional would have done playing for a manager who's criminal neglect of the defensive side of the game had all but destroyed the standing of top players like Baines, Coleman, Jagielka – all deemed light years ahead of Williams when Martinez arrived. That is what Stones has had had to do since he was 19... Yet he was still breaking into the England team at a time when most centre halves have not made their debuts at club level yet . .he was still being courted by the elite.

Football has moved on, it is a more sophisticated game than when we merely expected our attackers to attack and our defenders to defend. the get-rid-of-the-fucker attitude so in evidence on this thread alone, will help you grind out some very hard fought battles, but it will never, ever again win a trophy at top level.

A player is worth what somebody is prepared to pay for him. In today's market John Stones is deemed to be 5 times more valuable than Williams (like it or not, its a fact) To those who are rejoicing a this wonderfully shrewd bit of business I would suggest you take another look in a year, that gap will have widened. In two years time Williams will be worthless, Stones will still not have reached his peak. "Good business"? ...My arse!

I like Ashley Williams, he is a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work and discipline, he has earned his shot at the big time and I look forward to seeing him play in a blue shirt. but lets not kid ourselves here, he is definitely NOT the answer, he is a worryingly short term solution to a long term problem... a nice little sweetener to disguise the fact that we are STILL expecting our managers to bring in at least as much as they spend. The already fabled £100m war chest is clearly an amount Koeman will be expected to generate himself.

I'm smiling inside . . honest

Richard Leeming-McHale
118 Posted 11/08/2016 at 05:28:38
I love his honesty: '(I'm) not always perfect...' - with that attitude you are always open to listen and learn. Great buy.
Ian Jones
119 Posted 11/08/2016 at 07:30:11
Barry @ 92. Kieman was a mix of Williams and Stones. As for goals. He scored plenty. Mostly penalties I think!
Joe Clitherow
120 Posted 11/08/2016 at 08:11:23
Darren

Plenty I could take issue with in your post but there are a couple of things that stick out as, well, just not relevant.

What on earth does it matter that Williams was not rated as a top player three years ago? What does that have to do with anything at all? Some players develop later than others. It is as relevant as saying John Stones was playing for Barnsley three years ago. So what? Far more relevant that Williams has been much more consistent and a better defender over the past three years for me when we are talking about going into season 2016-17.

Frankly I don't care whether John Stones is the new Franz Beckenbauer in three years (I seriously doubt it by the way), it isn't what we need right now. We'll replace Williams and hopefully with improvement in performances in the next two or three seasons will be a better draw to upgrade our purchases at that time. Stones as our central defender would have me nervous for next season and I wouldn't be assured by any amount of people telling me "he's gonna be a great defender one day" when he had Kane running at him, or he misplaces a pass straight to Vardy, or he makes a questionable late tackle in our box rather than jockeying a defender. Or the opposition gets a corner. At any time!!

If we had kept Stones and signed Williams as well who do you honestly think would be getting more game time next season? Meanwhile Stones runs down his contract by another year (obviously he was never signing another one) and we end up getting less for him. Your arse notwithstanding, that's good business for me, not clouded by emotion based on what he may or may not be in three years as there is absolutely no chance he would be playing for us then anyway. His mind was made up, watch his interview.

As for "but it will never, ever again win a trophy at top level.", I'm sorry but that's just ridiculous as a statement of certainty, as Wes Morgan and Robert Huth would no doubt remind you.

Joe Clitherow
121 Posted 11/08/2016 at 08:28:32
Barry

Graham Taylor isn't Ronald's biggest fan either.

Nor is Craig Short, as I can testify first hand!

Mark Tanton
122 Posted 11/08/2016 at 08:32:49
Is he wearing 5, Stones's old number? What numbers are free for Bolasie, I don't think anything suitable in the first eleven is available?
Barry McNally
123 Posted 11/08/2016 at 08:34:05
Ian 119, thanks.
Ian Jones
124 Posted 11/08/2016 at 08:38:40
Appreciate that this is not a John Stones thread or a David Moyes one!

Many of us, including me, on TW have been critical of John the last year or two, his playing style and perceived lack of defensive nous, perceived lack of positional awareness. We can probably remember his 'mistakes'

It's a shame we can't remember his good points. There were many examples of some great performances where he out thought and kept players out of the game. I am thinking the easy Naismith hat-trick game against an admittedly out-of-soughts Chelsea. Coata never got a look in. I haven't checked so I hope I am right that they both played. :)

Cruyff turns etc. Ok. Perhaps not a gd example in the context of the match he did it in.

The Panenka penalty in the pre-season friendly.

As has also been said by many. He's not the finished article yet. He will likely become a great player. Pity it won't be with us.

Perhaps a more Moyes like attitude to defending instead of Martinez would have helped him the last 2 years.

It's up to us as a club to provide the kind of environment that players want to thrive in and not leave which means challenging and winning a trophy or two. Despite how poor we were in most games last year we reached 2 semis last year. Next priority getting to the final. Then winning it!

We need no-nonsense defenders at the moment, eg Ashley Williams .

Joe@120 mentions Morgan and Huth. Not pretty but know a bit about defending including the dark arts of the game. Leicester knew what they were doing. Imagine it wasn't pleasant playing Ranieri's side.

Onwards and upwards.

Dave Ganley
125 Posted 11/08/2016 at 10:00:31
Some good points there Ian, Stones was badly let down by that idiot Martinez. Moyes would have been so much better for him in the last couple of years. However, players also need to take some responsibility for themselves and whilst Stones obviously did do some good things during his time ever here, he also, like Lukaku, thought he was much better than he actually is. Great players actually influence games and perform week after week, whether they are playing well or not. Great players always put the effort in week after week. At Citeh, Stones may well have the quality of players to cover for him when he makes a mistake, and have no doubt that he will make the same mistakes that he made here, but if he costs them games then he will soon hear the backlash from Citeh fans also.

We are where we are at the moment and whilst Ashley Williams may well not set the pulse racing for some he is exactly what we need at the moment. Someone who will defend as if his life depended on it and someone who will clear the ball when necessary and not try to be a smartarse and get caught in possession time and again. Some people may well see it as a negative that someone of Stones ability (and to be fair we all see that he has football ability) has chosen to seek pastures new, but he has done us a favour by going somewhere else. We need solidity at the moment. Maybe Koeman could have instilled that in him but whether he wanted that instilled in him is a different matter. At Citeh he will be able to fuck around during with the ball and play out from the back as much as he wants with Guardiolas system. That system relies on the team having the lions share of possession and also having quality players that can score when in position. We don't have that, whether Citeh can do that on a regular basis remains to be seen but Stones will be able to operate as he has been.

When we have defensive solidity and when we start to operate as a team then we can start to attract the better players back to Goodison. We are actually a poor team and are in need of a lot of restructure. Hopefully Koeman is the man to do that and getting rid of Stones for a vast amount considering how mediocre he was last season is great business

Margaret Walch
126 Posted 11/08/2016 at 10:31:59
Setting aside the interesting discussion about which is the better centre-half, I want to draw attention to the excellent tribute that Swansea have paid to their man as he left. That is a really classy way to part with a player who gave his all for 8 seasons. I would like to see our club do the same in similar circumstances.

And best wishes to Ashley - welcome, we need you!

Zahir Jaffer
127 Posted 11/08/2016 at 10:44:46
I feel a lot safer. It's as if I've taken shelter from the panic attacks I had everytime a cross flew into our box. My pulse would start racing, my hands would start trembling, I would feel truly vulnerable. Gone are those days now; where set pieces meant nothing and crosses into our box were more dangerous than a child locked up with Harambe.

He hasn't even played for us yet, but I already know he's what we needed. A leader. A speaker. A Beast who won't tolerate shit from his opponents. An out and out defender and a man who will always give it his all.

Welcome to the team Ashley Williams. Make yourself at home.

Eugene Ruane
128 Posted 11/08/2016 at 11:56:42
Colin (#111) – 'Everyone keeps on going on saying Stones wasn't a good defender so can someone enlighten me why has City paid £47.5M for him?'

Well, my point isn't about Stones, it's about City, but for the record, anyone saying 'Stones wasn't a good defender' is clueless. He was a very young feller who took his chance when it came and he started brilliantly for us, truly wonderful performances showing brains, skill and calm. And who knows, had the (huge, head-fucking) distractions of Chelsea, England, City etc not got in the way, his performances may not have suffered. But with these distractions and the lack of coaching from RM and his team, suffer they definitely did.

Re why Man City want him – well they obviously (and correctly imo) rate his talent and are probably guessing that once they have him, they'll have a smart lad with a clear, uncluttered, relaxed brain (ie: he won't be reading about himself being poached every single fucking day). Plus they obviously think they'll have a lad who can be improved with better (some..any) coaching.

But re the massive figure of £47.5m, people need to remember that the only limit on City's spending are the (toothless! *) 'financial fair-play' rules on club spending.

Sheikh Mansour (City) doesn't have 'loads of money', he has, in real terms, unlimited money. He bought the entire City 'empire' for £265m then a while later, sold just 13% of it for the exact same amount.

£47.5m to a feller worth over £20 billion?

Fuck-all (he probably makes £10m a day).

* In 2014, City were fined more than Stones cost:- Link and a transfer cap was imposed for the following season...which they completely ignored.

Damian Wilde
129 Posted 11/08/2016 at 12:14:53
Stones is overpriced, but so is Bolasie by the looks of it... crazy money. Everyone's stiffing each other, which I suppose balances out.

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