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For most of last season, Anthony Gordon channeled the passion, desperation and energy of a fearful fanbase on the pitch. 2022-23 was supposed to be a season of further development for him at Goodison but a big-money offer from Chelsea has thrown up a hard choice for the club.

It might be every Evertonian’s dream as a kid — to one day pull on the Royal Blue Jersey and play for the club at the top level. Precious few get to realise that dream; even fewer get to cement a place in the first team, but for the past two seasons, Anthony Gordon has done it — not only on a more consistent basis than, say, the recently-departed Jonjoe Kenny and a more successful basis, perhaps, than Tom Davies but in such a fashion that he has earned the adoration of the supporters.

Not every club has a homegrown, die-hard fan in their ranks but Everton had one at a time they desperately needed it last season when they arguably came closer to being relegated than at any time since 1998. Gordon was almost an extension into the dressing room of a desperate and fearful fanbase; the avatar on the pitch for thousands of Blues whose angst and fears he shared as a boyhood Toffee.

For most of last season, but particularly in the weeks after Frank Lampard came on board and channeled that passion from the terraces into a successful bid to avoid the drop, Gordon played as if Everton’s top-flight depended on it. On him.

He went from a scrawny kid coming off a middling loan spell at Preston and struggling to deputise for James Rodriguez through a difficult autumn under Carlo Ancelotti in 2020 to being a regular in the starting XI under Rafael Benitez… but only after proving the Spaniard quite wrong about his ability to play a full 90 minutes.

Throughout the campaign, he ran himself into the ground for the Blue cause, sometimes defying all outward appearances that he had nothing left in the tank. Again, we loved him for it because it’s what almost all of us would do given half the chance and probably for free — run through brick walls and leave everything out on the pitch for the Everton cause.

With safety assured, another rebuilding project underway under a new director of football, and with Lampard at the beginning of what will hopefully be his first full season in charge at Goodison Park, Gordon’s remit has, naturally, been expanded. To the work ethic, the drive, and the blue-blooded intensity, the 21-year-old needed to add consistency, end-product and more goals to his game if he was to live up to his burgeoning reputation and his semi-ironic “Starboy” nickname.

It may take time. Certainly, the conditions under which he, alongside Demarai Gray and Dwight McNeil, has been forced to operate in the opening two games of the new season have been less than ideal, to put it mildly. With no centre-forward on the pitch until Salomon Rondon was introduced in the 63rd minute of Saturday’s defeat to Aston Villa, Gordon has been forced to alternate as a false nine and play a role of target man at times to which he is wholly unsuited.

With a bit more luck, Anthony might have grabbed a late equaliser at Villa Park rather than see two shots parried away by Emiliano Martinez but it hasn’t really been a surprise that he has struggled to make an impact and the Toffees have suffered back-to-back defeats.

Had one of those efforts gone in, it would have gone a long way to easing the doubts over his productivity in the final third where he, like Gray, has been accused of being profligate in possession and lacking genuine goal threat on a consistent basis. Indeed, Gray played 39 times in all competitions and scored six times, the last in the FA Cup in early January. Gordon made 40 appearances and scored four but there were signs that in a more settled side, one not dragged down by the increasingly desperate Benitez regime, he could weigh in with goals more often.

And that really has been the unfortunate thing for Gordon in his first two seasons as a first-team regular — the instability and the pressure of playing in a struggling side has robbed him, perhaps, of the freedom with which he played as a star in the Under-23s and even in his early cameos in the Carabao Cup.

It has been a long while since he tried one of those audacious curling shots that used to be his staple in Everton’s development sides and almost earned him a debut goal at senior level against Salford City two years ago. His set-piece deliveries of late have been poor, at least since his lovely assist for Jarrad Branthwaite at Chelsea last December. And he hasn’t been able to foster much confidence that in the counter-attacking situations on which the Blues have been so reliant over the past year, he won’t take the wrong option and run down a blind alley rather than execute clinically in front of goal.

In so many ways because all of those circumstances and his comparatively tender years, we still don’t know what Anthony Gordon’s ceiling might be. How good a player could he turn out to be in time and can he be the answer for a side that generally lacks goals and has done ever since Ancelotti’s tenure rather lost its way in its final six months?

And with the news that broke yesterday evening, Evertonians might never get to know the answer to that last question because Chelsea coming in with an opening bid that sources believe they will increase in the coming days throws up the possibility that Gordon might leave Goodison before this month’s transfer deadline.

When there was talk back in June of Tottenham being interested in signing him along with Richarlison, Lampard was adamant that he wanted Gordon to stay and that the club had no intention at all of selling him. Part of that might have been to head off fears among supporters that the Blues might be willing to sell off its most popular players this summer and part of it might have been a signal to Spurs, Newcastle or anyone else who might come knocking that it will take an awful lot more money to prise the homegrown winger away.

A big part of it, though, would surely also have been Lampard’s desire to have Gordon in the team he hopes to build; to hone and develop the talented but raw Scouser into the finished article for club and country. But every player has their price and if the belief is that Everton would consider a bid of around £50m, Anthony will also have his.

When the offers come in that high for an unproven Academy product, sentiment has to go out the window and the cold, hard business logic of a club in Everton’s financial predicament bringing in that much money, all of profit, should supersede the sadness that we might be losing a True Blue without ever having seen the best of him. Because, having seen Wayne Rooney go elsewhere and flourish, we’ve seen that movie before.

Based on the evidence thus far, however, Gordon isn’t Rooney and with the club still flailing in the straitjacket that is the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules and still looking some way short of having a team that could comfortably steer clear of the bottom three this season, “AG10” might have more value to his beloved club by leaving than staying.

His untapped potential could be huge but, as Francis Jeffers, Jack Rodwell and Ross Barkley proved, nothing is a given and no one knows what the future might hold. This time last year Dominic Calvert Lewin was, potentially, a £60m pound player. A year disrupted by injury later, the England striker’s value is currently up in the air. You would assume he will given the marvels of modern medicine and physiotherapy but no one knows at this point if the 25-year-old will ever regain a level of consistent fitness to enable him to perform at the highest level.

Put bluntly, Everton may never realise that astronomic transfer fee for a player for whom they paid a little over £1m a few years ago. It's for the simple reason that a career-altering injury can happen at any time, even leaving aside Everton's current financial situation, that any time an offer comes in for a player as high as £50m the club has to consider it very seriously.


The club's current situation does adds another dimension to the equation, though. At this particular juncture, with Everton unable to shift other more dispensable assets, the leeway a sale of this size could provide in the transfer market would be very valuable. Ultimately, that is what it's about now for clubs outside the so-called "big six".

Should a massive offer come and the board accepts it, it would be indicative of the club now doing what it needs to do — follow a model successfully implemented by its new peers like Leicester City and Brighton of either developing young talent or buying it cheap and selling the players on for huge profit. 

After years of fiscal insanity and waste in the transfer market, it might be the fastest and most sensible way that Everton can rebuild a squad capable of once again challenging for the European places and, ultimately, trying to break the hegemony of the so-called “big six”. Even if it means selling some of the family silver along the way… Let’s see if it comes to that.

Reader Responses

Selected thoughts from readers

Ray Mutch
Posted 15/08/2022 at 06:23:41
Interesting as always Lyndon. If it was a straight £50m without player exchanges, would you take it ? Ray
Lyndon Lloyd
Posted 15/08/2022 at 06:30:05
Assuming we're ready to move on targets who can bring what Gordon has (pace) and what he isn't yet offering (goals and assists), then at £50m I think we have to, Ray, yes.
Jerome Shields
Posted 15/08/2022 at 06:49:48
Gordon at the moment is not being used properly.He is not a Centre forward or Target man.I am always aware when a substantial fee is offered for a,player at Everton, because if it is genuine he inevitably be gone. Everton need forwards and Chelsea have pitched their offer so as to take advantage. The next game is against Forest who are to spend more than any other Premier League Club this summer on current figures.Quite frankly this game worries me, because I can see real concern should the result not go Everton's way, with any forward deals being forced over the line. Lampard and Thelwell will find their free hand in transfers end as they are pulled back into line. The current problem of not having a forward is too easily identified and anyone can think they can sort it out.But to fit in with Frank's system is a different matter.
Kevin Molloy
Posted 15/08/2022 at 07:03:17
how do you take Richarlison and Gordon out of last year's team, and stay up. Seriously. That's all the fight and pluck we have, and most of the skill. Without those two we are completely anaemic. Nobody knows better than us how easy it is to blow through 100m on rubbish, and I have very little faith in Lampard's ability to spend money after the Dele Alli debacle.

Benitez spent months doing the hard yards edging out the crazily contracted James and Digne just to free up some precious funds, which Frank then thoughtlessly blew in ten minutes. These days we're a five at the back team cos we can't be trusted in a four, but still cough up lamentable goals against dross like Steven Gerrard's villa.

Sean Roe
Posted 15/08/2022 at 07:16:11
I would hate to see Anthony Gordon go because he is exactly what we need in terms of commitment and attitude and he is a local lad who loves the club. We all know he isn't the finished article and potential at this stage is just that, potential.

Can we afford to wait for him to grow as a player? Do we have the squad depth to allow for the mistakes and form fluctuations that happen to every young player? Do we have the patience as supporters or will he get the Ossy, Hibbert treatment?

The problem is that we have Gray on the other wing who is frankly a complete, non productive waste of space. Gordon is young and will, in my opinion, get much more productive as the years go on but we can't have two non productive wingers on the pitch at the same time.

Sadly, with the position we currently find ourselves in, if the money was ridiculous and was spent on players with an end product in terms of assists and goals, I would reluctantly sell him. I would much much rather get rid of Gray but he is what he is, a 1.5m player.
Lyndon Lloyd
Posted 15/08/2022 at 07:32:19
I’m not sure Digne was ‘crazily contracted’, Kevin, and I’m also not sure you can apply the term ‘blew’ to two players who, at the time, cost the club nothing in terms of transfer fee. (Added to which, I’ve heard conflicting accounts of just how big a role Lampard played in the Dele acquisition and how much was already in motion before he was even in talks to succeed Benitez.)

Obviously, the idea behind selling a player for £50m is that you can get some quality in the door (or at least better quality than was on the table before, like Che Adams) so while you’d lose Gordon’s fight and tenacity (even while we’ve added some at the back in players like Tarkovsky and Coady), in theory we’d be a better, more potent team with his replacement(s).

‘In theory’ is obviously a big caveat given the transfer history at EFC over the past few years but, as I mentioned on Twitter, if we pass up the same fee we got for Richarlison, it’s essentially a £50m bet on Gordon becoming the player we hope (rather than expect?) he will. That’s a big bet…

Ian Bennett
Posted 15/08/2022 at 07:46:21
I am afraid it is a necessity after squandering £10M on absolute garbage, and having zero goal threat in the squad as a result. Do I trust them to spend it wisely, no chance.

The family silver to be sold with Richarlison to generate £100M plus in fees, to repair the damage done by the £500M+ transfer policy that lived for today. Paying huge amounts for aged players, that went backwards on big fat contracts.

The 5th biggest spenders in Europe. What a joke.
Russelll Smith
Posted 15/08/2022 at 07:57:44
If Chelsea offer Gallagher and Broja as a straight swop, then I think it will happen. As mentioned above, whilst Gordon wears his heart on his sleeve and gives everything in every game his end product is not great (yet).

As Lyndon says, he is not a Rooney, and is more likely to be a Rodwell, nearly brilliant but lacking the X-factor that really distinguishes great players. When we sold Jeffers, he was scoring regularly but he also failed to live up to his early promise.

We need goal scorers, young, energetic players who can pick up the premier league pace instantly. Gallagher and Broja offer those qualities. We have to be less sentimental and look at the bigger long-term picture.
Derek Thomas
Posted 15/08/2022 at 08:05:01
Heart says No, head says push for more, £50M+ then take the money and run.

But God help us... and the wasters if it's then wasted.
Danny Baily
10 Posted 15/08/2022 at 08:16:01
Would be a shame to see him go. However, a bid in excess of £50M and there's no real choice to make, sell! The squad needs balancing and he's a Barkley/Rodwell level play we'll be getting Rooney/Stones money for.
Christine Foster
11 Posted 15/08/2022 at 08:20:41
Lyndon, pragmatic perspective, one I totally agree with. For me he is an unpolished gem that needs expert cutting to be of real value. To get the same money as Richarlison, a Brazilian international, is crazy, so I would snap it off Chelsea, or whoever.

Gordon for me is well short of consistent performance to value sensibly, but it's his potential that Chelsea or others are gambling on. Sadly we are not in a position to exploit potential, as last season proved; we need assured quality and consistency to get results.

That might sound that I consider him a luxury we cannot afford to have, but whilst he will shine in a team that can allow him that growth, we sadly cannot. In fact if we had two strikers, he would almost certainly not be fully utilized.

He has far more potential than anything we have in his forward positions but the managers trade off against an 80% player is clear to argue, so for me, as much as he is such a passionate blue, the hard reality of business would take precedent, take the money...
Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 15/08/2022 at 08:26:51
Heart speaking. This raw potential could grow to be something special. We just don't know yet as he is still very young for an attacking midfielder.

Head speaking. Rarely does a successful team get built around academy products. Especially one player.

Whatever happens, it has to be in tune with the DoF and manager's plans to achieve relative short-term competitiveness for Everton.
Brent Stephens
13 Posted 15/08/2022 at 08:53:18
I go to the U23s / U21s as much as I can. I love to see one of them progress to the first team. It means ability with no / little initial outlay. However, progressing to the first team is just the first step.

What level of performance is then demonstrated, and how consistently? Under what circumstances (such as being played in or out of position)? When in the U23s, Gordon's potential was there to progress to the first team. Having been now in the first team for a season or so, the potential is there to progress to being not just a very good player at that level but a reasonably-consistent very good player.

But I think it's too early to say if we have that very good, reasonably-consistent player. £50m plus says to me "don't wait for potential to possibly develop further - or possibly not develop further". A bird in the hand...

As long as the money is spent well. And past piss-poor spending is no predictor of future piss-poor spending. Water under the bridge.

I would finally say, this is not a case of last year's team now being weaker with the loss of Richie and Gordon. It is already stronger defensively (Patterson, Coady, Tarka, with a rejuvenated Holgate benefiting from Cole-coaching?); and in midfield, Onana (on the basis of more than a delicious ten-minute cameo).

And we have young Stan Mills now threatening to break into the first team, after what I thought was rapid development last season in the U23s - outstripping Dobbin's development. OK, that's only potential, albeit from a lower starting point - but that is the point here - it's potential.

Another £50m spent wisely, with the pressure off our "profit and sustainability" situation...I'd take that.

Finn Taylor
14 Posted 15/08/2022 at 08:56:55
For the money being offered, he has to go. I do wonder if the Chelsea bid is an attempt to smoke out other bidders (Newcastle?)

The paucity of our striking options is... depressing. It has to be addressed by at least 3 new strikers, in, this week. My concern is who?

Dennis would have been interesting but hey ho, he has gone to Forest. We kinda need a statement signing, but who? We need a Premier League striker who knows the league. I've lost count of the links in the past week with players from Ligue 1.

While I am not convinced of Lampard, I like him, he deserves a few signings to build a team, his team. I want him to do well.

We can't afford to lose to Forest.
Danny O’Neill
15 Posted 15/08/2022 at 09:03:08
Wise words Brent, from someone who watches these young players regularly way before the likes of us get exposure.

They key message in your post is to spend wisely if we sell. Reinvest to improve the squad.

Sounds simple, but I guess we are scarred. Or is that scared?!!

Catch you at Forest. If not Arsenal if you're travelling?
Brent Stephens
16 Posted 15/08/2022 at 09:16:13
Might see you at the Forset game, Danny. I'll be going to Arsenal - Thomas the Tank allowing.
Trevor Peers
17 Posted 15/08/2022 at 09:21:54
It would be an insult to our supporters if we sold Gordon and didn't have at least 2 goalscoring forwards already certain to sign before the Forest game.

I don't trust the club to get this right and really do fear that this will be another almighty cock up. Worrying week ahead as usual.
Jim Potter
18 Posted 15/08/2022 at 10:00:28
Because he's one of us, I get that extra buzz when he receives the ball with his electric pace and sets off goalwards. I would miss him for sure.

I don't get the Broja hysteria. A young, big, promising striker. Proven where? I'm not saying he wouldn't be a success, but given his rawness it's hardly a guaranteed win.

I'd prefer Gallagher if we could only get one from Chelsea's stable. Get the strikers elsewhere, but quickly.

I can't see Tuchel allowing two to go. I hope I'm wrong.

One thing's for sure, if Calvert-Lewin had been fit, or we had another decent forward in place earlier, we could have got something out of both games.

It's not all doom and gloom and we can't turn on Frank. At some point, we need to give a manager time to enact their plans.
Peter Mills
19 Posted 15/08/2022 at 10:10:02
In an ideal world, we would keep Anthony. But the world of Everton FC is some way away from ideal, and pragmatism and compromise are going to be necessary for the next few years. This has the feel of a sale for somewhere between £40M-£50M.

We are desperate for some creativity, and for a midfield goal-scorer. From what I have heard from people who watched him last season (albeit in the Championship), Morgan Gibbs-White offers such potential.

He seems to be highly thought of by Steve Cooper at Nottingham Forest, it would be very “Everton, that” if the lad turns out at Goodison next weekend. In red.
Kevin Molloy
20 Posted 15/08/2022 at 10:16:13

I think you make a good point that our gamble may not look good if Gordon doesn't become a £50M player. I would say though, that Gordon is not just about player value. He is a vital connection between the fans and the Everton squad.

If we sell him and nose dive again this season, will there be another player in that squad who has sleepless nights over whether we might go down? That sort of commitment cannot be guaranteed; admittedly you can buy it in – but only if you're a very shrewd purchaser. We are the opposite of a shrewd purchaser.

I know there is an allure about the idea of getting in £50m for a player who costs nothing, but that money will be turned instantly into other players, and if we end up with Che Adams, Little Billy Gilmour and A N Other at the end of the window, I don't think I'm going to be punching the air in delight.
Bill Fairfield
21 Posted 15/08/2022 at 10:50:13
Every player does have his price. We are desperately in need of a centre forward. The £50 million we get, if spent wisely, must be seriously considered.
Finn Taylor
22 Posted 15/08/2022 at 10:52:14
The cynic in me now thinks Gordon won't be sold and no strikers will come in.

We shall get much trumpet playing as 'he is one of us' while he huffs and puffs all season, scoring the odd goal.

Opinion is in constant flow... but I suppose if no-one is buying the players we are trying to offload, where do we turn?
Kevin Molloy
23 Posted 15/08/2022 at 11:25:20
The club are not interested in selling, they've just said.

I think this is Act III of a five-Act play, sadly. If there's one thing Bill does know how to do, it is sell local players at high profit with little rebound onto the club.

The next move will be Gordon's.
Rick Tarleton
24 Posted 15/08/2022 at 11:50:35
I rather agree with Jerome Shields (3), Gordon is not a target man, he is not a natural striker.

A false number 9 sounds technical, but what it actually means is a player who is not a natural striker being forced to play in that position and that is where Gordon is.

I felt that Lampard persisting with him in that role this week was rather like the definition of insanity when you expect the same idea to produce a different result.

Gordon is fast, not lightning fast, but certainly as fast as we've got. He has more vigour than Gray and probably McNeil, all three of them need to have a little more nous, but McNeil and Gordon are young players.

Gray, who has wonderful feet, would have been kept at Leicester had he displayed a bit more heart and a lot more footballing intelligence.

I'd play Gordon on the right, ask McNeil to be a traditional winger on the left and use Gray as an impact sub for both of them.

Everton have to do their sums and decide if Gordon, or any player, is worth the money offered, I hope they keep him, but it's a flexible decision, not one written in stone.

I hope Tarkowski and Coady, who have footballing nous can pass that on to Holgate, Patterson and Mykolenko who all have talent, but are young(ish) and need to learn.

If, and it is a big if, Calvert-Lewin can get fit and stay fit, we'd have the target man we need. Rondon is not there for 90-minute stints and Simms should never have been allowed to go out on loan.

Calvert-Lewin must bemoan his luck, two years ago he was claiming a place in the England squad. He should have been going to the World Cup rather than Abraham and he should have been a key player for Everton and England. But these conditionals, these 'would's and 'should's scream out for an answer.
Jim Bennings
25 Posted 15/08/2022 at 12:12:22
Very few players that we have sold have I felt sadness seeing go.

Rooney first time around yes.

The sale of Kanchelskis who to this day remains the most devastating player I've seen at Everton was depressing back in 1997.

It hurt when the likes of Arteta left, when time arrived for Tim Cahill to finally say goodbye after 8 years here also was heart wrenching.

Maybe I'm just becoming hardened now but the loss of Richarlison or Gordon don't even have the same impact on me as when we sold Lukaku.

Lukaku for me was our talisman that consistently backed it up with numbers.

£50 million for Richarlison wasn't great considering we'd made him a better player than when we paid the same for him in 2018.

£50 million for Gordon I don't know if we can refuse that for a player who cost nothing and hasn't got more than potential behind him right this moment.

Anyway, let's see what happens.

Rick Tarleton
26 Posted 15/08/2022 at 12:27:53
When I wrote "two tears" instead of two years, it was definitely freudian.
Mal van Schaick
27 Posted 15/08/2022 at 12:44:27
Blame the owner, the board and previous Directors of football and managers for our current predicament. Mismanagement beyond belief, when we should have gone from a mediocre mid table team to a top four team with all the money that has been squandered. As for Gordon, I despair that we will lose a young home bred player who will only improve as he gets experience, but without raising funds for strengthening up front we could be in a worse situation in the near future. It’s a conundrum.
Martin Mason
28 Posted 15/08/2022 at 13:05:41
Sad but £40-50M would be an amazing benefit to us but what value do you put on potential?

The answer, I guess, is that, if you're a rich club, investment in potential is essential, and if you're Everton, then it is secondary with the important thing being establishing a position in Europe.

Selling Gordon now means 2 new players and we have a good idea who these will be and that they will improve us? It's not great being a small club in the Premier League. I sincerely hope that we can keep him, he is an outstanding player.

I've been really disappointed with McNeil, btw, could we possibly have made a mistake of that magnitude? He is no forward though, I guess.

The emergence of Alex Iwobi as a top player under the new regime has saved us a fortune and keeping Tom Davies will save us a fair fee, he was very good at Villa.
Steve Brown
29 Posted 15/08/2022 at 13:54:43
‘Benitez spent months doing the hard yards edging out the crazily contracted James and Digne just to free up some precious funds, which Frank then thoughtlessly blew in 10 minutes.'

I haven't read something as laughable as that in a very long time. Imagine still trying to praise Benitez after all the harm he did to the club in the space of 6 months?

One win in 13 Premier League games!
Peter Morris
30 Posted 15/08/2022 at 15:17:25
If Chelsea put Broja and £30M on the table, I think Everton (and Lampard) would take it.
Jamie Crowley
31 Posted 15/08/2022 at 15:17:53
Brent @ 13 sums this whole situation up perfectly for me:

A bird in the hand...

And that's the end game of this I'm thinking. We have to take that kind of money and plug the holes in our squad.

This is a few years early for Gordon to be sold, but this is the business model. Develop and buy young talent, sell at a massive profit, rinse and repeat.
Howard Sykes
32 Posted 15/08/2022 at 15:51:43
Let's be clear a straight cash deal does not get anyone onto the pitch and scoring goals.

Broja (and not on a loan deal) and £40 million plus additional payments might be enough to consider selling Gordon … maybe.

This is not even an offer now just sports journalists trouble making. If we do get an offer, you never accept the first offer anyway.

Danny O’Neill
33 Posted 15/08/2022 at 19:12:41
I keep seeing his name mentioned but I confess to knowing little about him. Broja? Can someone explain what we'd be getting if that happened?
Kieran Kinsella
34 Posted 15/08/2022 at 19:14:08

A lot of brouhaha about him.
Karen Mason
35 Posted 15/08/2022 at 21:04:07
Kevin at #4.

I read the first para of your post & agreed with your sentiment. But what did you take after writing that, before you wrote the next para about Benitez. What the fuck? What hard yards?

Sorry, but no Blue can (nor should) defend the indefensible and what Benitez did to our club is indefensible.

I reeerally don't want us to sell Gordon for all sorts of reasons. Especially when I read which strikers we are supposed to be interested in, in return. Batshuayi. Never made a success of wherever he's been and they've been mediocre clubs. Che Adams? Really? No thanks.

If we sell Gordon for his potential, in return for Broja, are we not trading potential for potential? Nothing proven about Broja. He most certainly would not light up Goodison in the way Gordon does, and now we all know just how important it is to light up Goodison and get the place rockin'.

If we don't have Gordon when Calvert-Lewin comes back, on current form, who will provide the service to him? Who will get the ball into the attacking third and whip in crosses? On current form, not Gray or McNeil (yet).

It will be impossible to tempt a decent goalscorer to us when it's clear Calvert-Lewin will be first choice if he can get through this patch of injury. So why sell our homegrown boy who bleeds Blue, lights up the Grand Ol' Lady, gets the fans roaring on the team, and strikes fear into defenders with his pace?

It's not all about the goals he does or doesn't score right now. For me, it's about all the other things he brings to our club.

Ray Smith
36 Posted 15/08/2022 at 22:49:37
Whether we sell or keep Gordon, he is not a striker.
I think he should stay, at least for this season. If clubs are prepared to pay £50M now, barring any serious injury, his value will not go down (a gamble, yes, but one I'd be prepared to take).

Hopefully Thelwell is keeping his cards close to his chest with regard to signing a quality striker who would be prepared to sign!

The media link us with all and sundry strikers, who at best are good players, but unproven or surplus to requirements for the big clubs. Who would you take from the following:-

Guirassy (Rennes)
Deing (Marseille)
Adams (Southampton)
Gyokeres (Coventry City)
Ajorque (Strasbourg)
Borja (Chelsea)
Batshuayi (Chelsea)
Belotti (Torino)
Semenyo (Bristol City)

Dupont Koo
37 Posted 16/08/2022 at 01:52:02
Another well-written piece, Lyndon.

As mentioned in other threads, we should quote a "Godfather Offer" to Chelsea: £60M (in 1 single payment at the point of finalising transfer, delivery vs payment) with Broja and Gallagher as permanent signings and Batshuayi on a Season-Long Free Loan (Chelsea to pay his full salary and charge us with no loan fees).

If they put down the phone, the sentimental group of Evertonians win.

If they didn't and actually called back with counter-proposals, those of us who bleed nothing but #NSNO win. The negotiating-down process will then begin and the end result might be cash and only 1 player.

If that is the case, then I'll be happy to settle with a £60M fee (paid in full as mentioned above) and Broja or Gallagher as the permanent signing of the deal. For a generational talent like Rooney in today's marketplace, £60M is nothing. As much as we love Gordon, he hasn't shown that he is a generational talent. So, £60M plus another young talent (Chelsea would also very likely to tempt us to settle with either Gilmour or Colvill) would still represent a very good deal for Thelwell and Lampard to continue the rebuild.

Brighton actually has helped us tremendously by setting the market price and the negotiation template for us with the Cucurella deal. If they can get back so much for a foreign, non-spinal player in Cucurella, then we should definitely not be getting anything less for Gordon.

Have to keep in mind that Gordon is worth more to us than to Chelsea because he is a Home Grown Player in our book.
Jay Harris
38 Posted 16/08/2022 at 04:49:09

Under normal circumstances, I wouldnt have any of them.

Belotti has the best history but is too old now.

Ajorque is 28 now and hasn't really stood out in his career.

Guirassy is 26 and has had muscle injuries in recent years and has never been prolific even in Ligue 1. (Another Tosun?)

Broja and Semenyo are young enough with decent pedigrees in English football with potential but nowhere near the finished article. (Like Calvert-Lewin 2 or 3 years ago.)

No wonder all the top teams are searching for the golden one. The likes of Haaland and Lukaku are few and far between and well out of our reach these days.

I really can't understand why Ellis Simms and Nathan Broadhead were both allowed out on loan. Surely one of them would have been a better bet than Rondon and could have had important development time?
Clive Rogers
39 Posted 16/08/2022 at 10:34:13
If Gordon leaves, it will leave us without a decent winger as McNeil and Gray are just not good enough.

McNeil has been a massive disappointment being anonymous in the two league games. Gray looked a good buy for the first eight games or so when he came but has been poor since and really poor in the two games this season, running into blind alleys, losing the ball.

It's not as if our wingbacks excel at attacking. Patterson has potential in that department but needs time. Mykolenko is not really an attacking wingback. If Gordon leaves, we will need a wide player.
Jim Bennings
40 Posted 16/08/2022 at 11:40:05
Clive 39

"McNeil has been a massive disappointment"


He's only played two games at Everton so I'd rather judge his contribution over 20 or 30 games than based on two, both in which I think Frank has got the formation tits up.

Going back to Anthony Gordon, I read an interesting article last night.

As the person pointed out, if we had £50 million to spend on a winger/attacker, would we want this club to go and spend it on Gordon if say he was playing for Newcastle?

I'm not too sure how many Everton fans would say Yes to that?
Brian Murray
41 Posted 16/08/2022 at 11:43:40
Ray @36.

Guirassy and the Bristol City lad. Only going by YouTube so obviously Frank's team are a lot more thorough and professional than that. Yes? Yes!
Martin Reppion
42 Posted 16/08/2022 at 12:02:26
Jim, that is a brilliant perspective. If we had the money (£40-50M) now who would we buy if we didn't have Anthony Gordon?

Obviously we would spend the bulk on strikers, and if there was a bit left, we could take a punt on a young promising winger. But with 2 already in the playing squad, one on the treatment bench and 3 or 4 wingbacks already, not to mention Iwobi who can play that role, I wouldn't see it as a priority.

Just as I would have hated to see us part with Tom Davies when he was flavour of the month, I would like to see Gordon progress with us.

But if Chelsea really want him that much, then we are in a position to cushion the blow of his loss by bringing in what all the amateur managers on here want.
Tony Abrahams
43 Posted 16/08/2022 at 12:23:35
What Benitez did to our club was indefensible, especially after all these years without a trophy, and a chairman who told the fans, "We have had some good times".

When some fans stayed behind after one game last season, quite possibly on the day Kenwright uttered those sickening words, my son told me that only one Everton player was brave enough to come over and talk to the fans.

They all put their heads down and walked the other way except for Jonjoe Kenny, who came over, apologized for the lack of results, and then pleaded with the fans left inside the ground, to stay with the team, because they were all in a bad place, and definitely needed help from the supporters.

I thought Gordon put in some good performances last season, and also think he's got a lot of potential, but he was definitely overplayed last season, and probably because he was one of the very few players that Lampard trusted?

Our manager has said we will be getting a few more players in the next couple of weeks, and so, with the club being skint, or hampered by FFP, it does look like Anthony is going to be the sacrificial lamb.

I also give Benitez praise for helping bring on Anthony Gordon's game, and although it's evident Usmanov should never have brought him into Everton, I do feel Benitez was also another sacrificial lamb, but maybe I'm just being controversial?
Clive Rogers
44 Posted 16/08/2022 at 12:40:27
Jim, 40,

You are correct that you shouldn't judge a player after two games, but when we were linked with him last season, I watched him playing for Burnley several times.

I concluded he just wasn't good enough. He played 38 games for them last season, no goals, 1 assist. A dodgy signing I believe.
Jim Bennings
45 Posted 16/08/2022 at 12:41:01
Obviously a player is only worth what the buying club is willing to pay for him.

We all know that we paid over the odds for Sigurdsson, but at least he put the numbers on board in his 4 years here, he did score a decent amount of goals.

Chelsea are paying for a player with bags of potential but, much like Manchester City buying Scott Sinclair and our own Jack Rodwell, many of these players fall into the abyss.

Richard Parker
46 Posted 16/08/2022 at 14:41:35
For £50M, it would be verging on insanity not to sell Gordon. He looks decent and I might be regretting these words in a few years, but I don't see a top player when I watch him. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up as a bottom-end Premier League or a Championship-level player.

He gave us what we needed last season and I'm grateful to him, as I am to Richarlison, for their key roles in a defining season for our club.

If he isn't going to sign a contract, then it would be criminal not to cash in on him, we are not in a position to let £50M pass us by, for an unproven player.

It's almost a Rooney moment, we cash in big bucks on a young Evertonian, in order to balance a poor squad. Hopefully we can find a few decent players this time out...
Danny O’Neill
47 Posted 16/08/2022 at 14:49:30
In my usual way, I tried to be positive despite my disappointment over the appointment of Benitez. It caused me a lot of angst last summer. The dogs were nervous and worried about me.

Jonjoe and Anthony were young lions last season. In a lot of the away games I attended, they didn't shy from coming over to the fans. Often, they were first to us ahead of the senior players. They didn't shirk at all. They felt it and didn't hide.

Does that make them great players? Of course not. But they felt last season as much as we did.

Sacrificial lamb after sacrificial lamb, Tony. They keep being hung out to dry, whilst the obvious retains his place, looking over the half-way line with a smug, satisfied smile on his face.
Barry Cowling
49 Posted 16/08/2022 at 15:44:50
No one has mentioned Townsend. Does anyone know when he is back? He was a big loss last season in both crossing and dead balls.

I think it s likely Gordon will be sold, lets face it we are not in a position to refuse a deal with cash up front and/or a player plus cash.
Jim Bennings
50 Posted 16/08/2022 at 15:56:23
We can hold Chelsea to ransom if we want.

Chelsea's owner is pure madcap shit, and he's throwing money about everywhere.

I think we could get £60 million for Gordon, working on the strength the amount of cash they have just spent on Cucurella and will no doubt pay for Fofana.

We need a Daniel Levy here to really rinse 'em.
Will Mabon
51 Posted 16/08/2022 at 15:58:08
"As the person pointed out, if we had £50 million to spend on a winger/attacker, would we want this club to go and spend it on Gordon if say he was playing for Newcastle?"

I think this is a moot point, Jim. The answer is - No.

Because we are Everton, as we are now. If we were as Chelsea are now, then quite possibly. The guy has undeniable natural potential that is hard to find. It's worth a risk, if you are structured in a way to carry that risk.
Mike Gaynes
52 Posted 16/08/2022 at 16:07:10
Lyndon, excellent article, mate. And Brent #13, great comment. Jim #40, I hadn't considered that perspective, but it's a great point.
Peter Hodgson
53 Posted 16/08/2022 at 16:41:19
I've nothing against Gordon. In fact ,he has brought a breath of fresh air to the team with his performances and energy. He isn't however doing much yet to enhance his reputation in the way he should be remembered by scoring goals and providing assists for others which is a great shame.

Last week, when I saw the team sheet ,I asked myself "What the hell are they playing at playing him as a false 9?" A stupid decision, I thought.

As the match progressed, my view was re-enforced and I realised that this experimental formation meant that, unless we were very fortunate, we would get nothing out of the game.

The lad is not a goal scorer at the moment. We would have had more chance of getting the necessary with Rondon! Not much chance, I agree, but a better chance.

Gray was atrocious again and there wasn't anyone else playing as a forward who was going to help either so it ended up with Gordon trying to do it all himself again. With that formation, however, we were doomed before we started.

The reason why we should agree a sale with Chelsea is that we haven't had a striker since Lukaku left (stirrer that he was). We still have a desperate need in that department, so I see no alternative to letting one of our best prospects go and develop his skills elsewhere, unfortunately.

If we don't want to be in a relegation fight next Spring, it has to happen and we must hope that those in the corridors of power don't balls it up as usual.
Peter Fearon
54 Posted 16/08/2022 at 20:24:26
How about looking at Antony Gordon's numbers? 71 apearances, 4 goals. 11 of those were for Preston in the Championship where you might expect goals easier to come by.

Various England levels: 25 appearances, 6 goals. As he can neither shoot nor head the ball, these are unsurprising.

The hard truth is that the RS sussed this guy out when he was 11 and showed him the door. I would sell him for half what Chelsea is offering.

Ask yourselves: if he played at another club, would you pay £45M for him? Surely they answer is No!

Peter Neilson
55 Posted 16/08/2022 at 20:32:36
Not so sure the RS would. They paid £35M for Oxlade-Chamberlain 5 years ago. He’s only scored 4 goals in a season once in his career.
Mike Dolan
56 Posted 16/08/2022 at 21:54:38
In an ideal world, Everton hold on to Gordon and he develops into a world class player and an Everton legend.

In the real world, we find ourselves thwarted at every turn by FFP and the absolute failure of the ‘five-year plan'. I personally would value Gordon at around £25M.

I would hate to see him go but it has to be the mission of the club to win things. At £45M to £50M, Chelsea are offering a lot more than his actual worth. We would have a much better chance of winning things by letting him go. Everyone has a price.

Beautifully written article, Lyndon.
Derek Taylor
57 Posted 17/08/2022 at 10:00:01
My worry is very much about who gets signed with the £45M.

Since Moshiri came here with his millions, the players signed have usually been worse than the ones they replaced. And with Gordon the only 'kid' seemingly worth giving a chance to, it will need better judges than those presently in charge to avoid yet another wasteful 'spendfest'.

One or two of this window's signings bring hope but Burnley must be rubbing their hands with the money they got for McNeil!
Michael Lynch
58 Posted 17/08/2022 at 10:06:37
The big question for me is: Did the club ever have a coherent plan for this transfer window? Either they did, and it's been badly executed, or they didn't and this is the result of not being prepared.

Of course, players get injured, but there was no back-up plan whatsoever. We knew Rondon was suspended for the first game and, anyway, it appears that Lampard would never start him in a Premier League game, so it was clear that literally the only striker we had was Calvert-Lewin once we'd loaned out Dobbin and Simms, and sold Richarlison.

Lampard talks about other teams playing "false 9s" but none of our forwards are false 9s, and never have been. It's a panic, make-do-and-mend approach to football, not a carefully worked-out tactical plan.

We are a massive Premier League club, and we have started the season with a 21-year-old winger flailing about like a dying haddock up front. And now it looks like we might not even have him at the weekend. Is there a club more incompetent than ours right now? If Lampard is happy with this, then I worry about his sanity. If he's not, then he should resign.

Larry O'Hara
59 Posted 17/08/2022 at 10:29:47
We don't really know what's going on, let's see what happens, including whether he plays on Saturday, before we pass judgement.
Will Mabon
60 Posted 17/08/2022 at 11:02:41
Michael, for the Forest game, we're playing with a false squad.
Danny O’Neill
61 Posted 17/08/2022 at 11:16:04
I think we've had a decent window so far. We've addressed some issues at centre back coupled with the business we did with the full-backs in January.

Onana looks like he'll add something to the midfield.

Yes, the glaring gap at centre-forward needs plugging. Let's seen what the next 2 weeks bring.
David Hallwood
62 Posted 17/08/2022 at 14:05:27
If, and it's a big if, Lampard prefers 3 at the back, then the width comes from the wingbacks, which means Gordon is an impact sub or he starts to learn the arts of inside forward, to use the old term.

On that basis, if we can get £50M and put it to good use, do it!
Derek Taylor
63 Posted 17/08/2022 at 17:32:13
How long now before Manu make an all time record bid for Pickford. De Gea is on the way out !
Laurie Hartley
64 Posted 17/08/2022 at 23:37:18
Danny @ 33 - here is the answer to your question.

A deal with him coming the other way + a few million would benefit us greatly.

I would do that deal.

Andrew Heffernan
65 Posted 18/08/2022 at 21:18:50
He's bang average with potential - yet for all the huff and puff there is barely any end product. Stats show he was our 6-7th best player last season - with a free run, that's nothing to write home about. If he invested more time in focus than show boating and falling to the ground I'd invest in him. As it stands I would bite Chelsea's hand off day in day out.

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