This summer, you would hope that we will have learned our lessons and that we will at least try get things done at the start of the window. Much has been written on the website recently that given our limited resources, hidden gems, diamonds in the rough and players leaving relegated clubs at knock down prices are our best option. Much has also been written recently of our lack of a strength in depth squad and that certainly one big summer signing just isn't good enough this summer. All of this is true. That is what needs to be done.
The problem is though, to get the job done as we need to, when we need to, means having money at the start of the transfer window. And if he is to do this, David Moyes is going to have to sell players to raise the cash. There is just no other way he can gain access to funds without having to wait for the TV money which, as stated above, apparently only comes through towards the end of the window.
Unfortunately, given our current squad, selling players well mean selling our best players as there are no fringe players left that would raise sufficient funds. Not much of a choice for the manager; try to do things properly may mean selling his best players. Waiting until he has money means getting the same as we have for the last two years.
When you look at what would be regarded as our best players, Yakubu and Arteta won't be match fit and presentable until at least the start of September. This doesn't make them very attractive to clubs. The pressure is off with these two, you would think, for now. This leaves us with Jagielka and Lescott. To sell one or both would mean breaking up one of the best centre-half pairings in the Premier League. Also, you now have to factor in trying to replace them at the same time using the money from their sale to add extra players to your squad numbers.
My fear with selling our star players, though, is not how to do it in the most productive way possible but that we may not get a choice but to sell. Take Jagielka and Lescott for example. Both players were sat on the bench yesterday looking at players on the pitch who they are the equal of in every way except that their current club is either not fashionable enough or because they are being punished for not playing in the Champion's League. If Lescott walks into David Moyes's office in the morning and says, "My agent just rang me. Those paper reports about Arsenal are true, I want to chase that up," would you be surprised?
Lescott has been with the club for I think four full seasons. He has given a lot to the club and has really established himself. At this stage, he has to be thinking about how much further things will go for him with Everton. Jagielka may also be starting to think about what he has to do to gain the recognition his performances this season have merited. Football can be merciless and I think there will be only too many clubs and agents willing to exploit these two players situation.
To me, I think that this summer will make or break this current squad. What ever happens, I just hope it doesn't mean having to make those hard choices.
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