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Martinez will strengthen in January

26/09/2013  Comments (143)  jump
Roberto Martinez is already looking to strengthen and improve his Everton squad as preparation for when the next transfer window comes around in January 2014.

“We're in the position where we've got a bit of money to try to improve the squad for the next window and we're going to do that from window to window,” Roberto Martinez told the Daily Post.

“We have to because I'm sure next time the question will be ‘who are we going to lose now', so improving the squad goes without saying.

“We have got a little bit of money and will always carry on trying to identify targets that can help the group. That will never stop and it will be the same in the window coming. It would be daft from our point of view not to try to help the team that we have.

“Of course we have a very strong team but you always need to be prepared to help the players that we have and use every window to our advantage.

“Over the next three or four months I'll have a clear idea. At the moment on paper we're very strong in every area but football doesn't work like that. Players have moments of form, injuries, certain partnerships that allow you to have that information for the next window.”

© Liverpool Daily Post
Article reproduced here in its original form or abridged for brevity.

Reader Comments

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Sharabi Singh
646 Posted 26/09/2013 at 15:41:26
No more mdfielders please!!
Howard Meakin
647 Posted 26/09/2013 at 15:44:20
Leighton Baines will be sold to Man Utd in January for £20 Mil so I'de pay £10 Mil for Luke Shaw from Southampton and a cheeky £10 Mil deposit on Lukaku. Job Done.
James Martin
649 Posted 26/09/2013 at 15:51:55
Really is difficult to know which way to go here. If Lukaku and Deulofeu leave in the summer then we'll need a striker and wide player. If we have the money now for quality in either of those areas then youd preferably want to keep it until summer. If we bought them in January they might not get much of a look in with 4 strikers going for one spot.

I think this current 11 still needs a midfielder in the Arteta mould, or a real number 10 if Barkley is ever dropped deeper besides Barry/Gibson. If we boguht one though it might use up the funds and then we'd be left short upfront and outwide when summer came and the loanees went back.

I think it would be great saving it all to just give Chelsea whatever they want for Lukakau but I can't see them ever selling him unless Mourinho has one of his weird stubborn episodes.

Nick Entwistle
650 Posted 26/09/2013 at 15:52:42
Just no-one else from Wigan is all I ask for.

One crock defender, one hopefully not over priced Midfielder and an average striker.

On the Kone front, why pay all that much if a better striker was available on loan? We've essentially swapped Anichebe for Kone paying a hell of a lot of money for a bench warmer.

Brian Sharples
652 Posted 26/09/2013 at 15:59:11
I agree, Nick Entwistle. He paid twice the price of McCarthy's worth just as he did for Kone. Perhaps he has one of those special relationships with Whelan!

He will certainly want a replacement for the departing Baines and perhaps a striker if he can unload Jelavic,

Of course a lot will depend on how we are doing at the half-way mark. Who knows, we might be calling for a new manager by then!

Patrick Murphy
655 Posted 26/09/2013 at 16:10:50
At least we have Jelavic Nick, he's not an overpriced striker is he? As for Lukaku he's a £17m player and you can see the difference between him and the other two Kone and Jelavic. It's not the managers fault he has to restrict his spending to the type of players he is able to sign. I think on the whole his transfer business so far has been pretty good. Of course we'll have to wait to see how we do over time to be able to give a valued assessment.

On the point about January, it would seem that LB is destined to leave and we'll have to hope that we get a better offer than the one we refused in the last transfer window. I too share the view that it is unlikely we will sign Lukaku on full terms but perhaps he might stay another season if the special one doesn't think he is ready for Chelsea duties.

Mark Taylor
656 Posted 26/09/2013 at 16:06:17
If he is 'sure that next time, the question will be "who are we going to lose now"', then that doesn't suggest we are going to be seeing much of the alleged leftovers revenue from the Fellaini transfer.

More likely, we sell another player- Baines or Barkley- and buy replacements for half the cost with the rest 'banked' alomg with part of the Fellaini money.

Keep going like that and we will be in one hell of a fix when our two most exciting players, Lukaku and Delboy, head back to their respective clubs at the end of the season.

If there really is any spare money that doesn't come from yet more selling off of our prime assets- which I seriously doubt- we would be better to hold on to summer when we are going to need to conjure up as much as we can to replace the two loanees we have.

Sam Hoare
657 Posted 26/09/2013 at 16:07:29
Only time will tell how £20m+ for Kone and McCarthy turns out but so far I've been more excited by the loan signings than the permanent ones.

If like last season we are very close to the top 4 then another player or two where needed in January would be a boost. Otherwise I'd save it for the summer where there is more choice at better prices.

Dan McKie
658 Posted 26/09/2013 at 16:10:46
Ah, the old 'we have money for the next window' soundbite, right after the previous one has just closed. Does anyone really still believe these?
Kevin Tully
659 Posted 26/09/2013 at 16:07:46
'Kin 'ell - we've only just recovered from the trauma of the last transfer window!

James Martin
660 Posted 26/09/2013 at 16:12:07
Nick, if anyone had said at the start of the summer would you swap Anichebe and a million for Koné I think most would have taken it. To be fair to him he's barely got on the pitch. When he's fully match-fit playing regularly then will be the time to judge him. He can't be blamed for missing a few during half-fit cameos.
Tony Sullivan
662 Posted 26/09/2013 at 16:03:04
Surely what RM is saying is that he is looking to the future and what sort of additions he may require in January. He is also aware of how the current PL market operates inasmuch as he does not know 'who we may lose now'. I must say that I prefer this style of forward thinking which I believe bodes well for the future of our club.

When Kone was purchased, the availability of potential loan players such as Lukaku was not known, in fact Lukaku did not become an option until the last hour of the window, it showed great awareness by RM to bring him in, so to level it as a veiled criticism of RM is just a cheap shot.

James Lauwervine
663 Posted 26/09/2013 at 16:12:41
I didn't see what all the fuss was about Lukaku, until I went to the Fulham game that is. Not a great game by his standards I'm sure but he is just awesome I think. So big and strong and knows how to use it, but great vision and touch too. Made me realise how useless Anichebe really is after watching him for years, not to mention other so-called strikers we've fielded over the years. Certain players just make me happy when I see them in an Everton shirt and Lukaku is one of them! Yes I could have put this comment on another thread but if we could get him permanently somehow that would be the best business of all.
Andy Meighan
666 Posted 26/09/2013 at 16:27:16
Regardless of how many Lukaku scores, he's going back to Chelsea and I think the media are certain of that. It's all "how could Mourinho let him go and keep Torres, Ba etc" — that's going to hit a raw nerve with someone with an ego that size. So basically we're going to need a striker... it just depends on how much money he has. The likelihood is Baines will go with possibly Heitinga and maybe one more fringe player so that should free some funds up , shouldn't it, Bill? Bill..... Bill!?!?!
Brian Harrison
667 Posted 26/09/2013 at 16:36:19
We have just gone through months of worrying who we might lose in the summer transfer window, and what happens when we think we can relax from that trauma for a few months. Our under 21s manager tells us our best player actually wanted to join Man Utd, and as if that's not bad enough now our manager comes out and starts talking about the possibility of losing a player in Jan. My advice is Roberto just get on with managing the players we have now and maybe if we are inside the top 6 come Jan then our best players might not want to leave and if European football is a possibility maybe it will be easier to get in better players than if we weren't in a European qualifying position.
Ian Daniels
668 Posted 26/09/2013 at 16:37:47
I'd hope we can get a few quid for Naismith off Stoke or Hull etc. And I can see Kone being surplus to requirements if he doesn't have any impact but I wouldn't imagine we would get our outlay back. So, even £8mil for them two could go in the kitty. I'm still hoping Jelavic starts nicking a few without the pressure of being No 1 striker.
Alasdair Mackay
670 Posted 26/09/2013 at 16:41:43
I'd love us to get Lukaku permanently, but I don't think it will happen.

If Baines goes it has to be for £20million+, but I actually think that we should hold off on a diret replacement. Oviedo is a good player and works incredibly hard and Luke Garbutt is coming through and looks to have great potential.

The priority for me is to strengthen up top by either securing Lukaku permanently or bringing someone in of that standard on a permanent basis.

We have supply in the form of Mirallas, Coleman, Barkley, Barry (who I believe will sign a perm contract next summer), Gibson, Pienaar and Osman, even if Baines does go, but in terms of people who get themselves in positions to finish chances off we have Naismith, Kone and Jelavic as the only permanent squad members.

Linda Morrison
671 Posted 26/09/2013 at 16:51:55
I agree with the last comment, we need another striker. There's no way we can afford Lukaku, he'll be a much better player at the end of the season than he was when Chelsea paid £20 million for him.

I think we need to be less cynical about the board, after all they provided Moyes with money to buy players when it could have all gone to pay off the debt.

Trust me, LB won't go in January unless Man Utd come in with an offer about 20million plus and that won't happen.

My friend's son is a policeman, he was on duty at the Manchester derby, between the 2 sets of fans (rather him than me). The vitriol against Moyes and MF went on the whole match, all that money for that rubbish etc. so I can't see Moyes wanting to go through the whole thing again with Baines.

He'll sign his new contract either January or the summer, COYB.

Steavey Buckley
673 Posted 26/09/2013 at 17:15:22
If there are players coming in January, players should be leaving as well:

Make a list:

Keith Glazzard
675 Posted 26/09/2013 at 17:17:07
Steavey - do you mean Jelavic and Heitinga? Neither seem to have much of a future with us and still have a market price.
James Flynn
688 Posted 26/09/2013 at 18:19:26
The window's closed. Why this now? Why?

Sam Morrison
691 Posted 26/09/2013 at 19:00:36
I must admit I'm surprised at the amount of anti-Martinez sentiment on here. He's barely got his foot in the door, has lost the midfield general, brought in new players and is trying to overhaul our style of play. Now I was certainly underwhelmed when he was chosen to succeed the last fella, but even without all the above you need to give the new guy breathing space. All things considered I'm impressed so far.
Drew Shortis
693 Posted 26/09/2013 at 18:51:44
The last transfer window went very well for us and I'm optimistic about the next one. Its almost certain there will be speculation over Baines if he has not signed a new contract and I expect the media will go ape shit over Barkley if he continues to perform as he has been. I just hope we are in a strong enough league position by then to convince them that Champions League football is an obtainable goal.

Although I was frustrated by the last minute nature of the Fellaini deal it does mean we have a transfer fund. Add to this the Anichebe money and the money we had to spend on McCarthy that was not dependent on sales and we could do a few decent deals.

In some ways it is a good thing Roberto didn't get all the money early in the window and brought in more players who would all need time to bed in. This way he has time for the new additions to settle whilst maintaining the continuity of the squad and assessing who fits in with his plans. In January he will know exactly where he needs to strengthen.

Any good General keeps a reserve ready to throw in at the vital moment in a battle. For us this could be January, and unlike last January where we had an opportunity to push for a Champions League spot but had no cash to throw behind the bid, Roberto could bring a few quality players to give the team the boost they need!

If Baines does decide to move on and United come in with a serious offer (surely we shouldn't settle for less than £25m) then Luke Shaw looks like a quality replacement. I sincerely hope he decides to sign a new deal though. As the West Ham game showed, Baines is more than a defender, he is a match winner. I don't think this speculation is going to go away unless a new deal is done.

Trevor Lynes
698 Posted 26/09/2013 at 19:16:35
Whatever the situation come summer I find it really refreshing that Martinez is talking of strengthening the squad in the next window.
I for one have been really disappointed at seeing loads of Yozzer Hughes types coming as stopgaps instead of trying for top players.

Our bench has been the weakest in the division until this season when we have had genuine reliable subs who can come on and change games. Unfortunately our best acquisitions have been the loan players although I want to see Kone tried. I believe he would be a proper impact sub or starter in the absence of Lukaku for any reason. Jelavic has had lots of chances and although I like his effort Im afraid he lacks the ability to upset defences. I have said for ages that he badly needs support upfront and cannot do the target man role. I think that Kone is stronger and more mobile and deserves at least as many chances as Jejavic has had.

We still badly require a proper playmaker though and Arteta is NOT the one ! Perhaps with experience Barkley could develop and improve his vision and passing ability. I hope so as it will save the club money. I don't see anyone else on the books who can do the job, Im afraid Ozzie has less impact and Pienaar lets himself down with his final ball.

Mark Frere
699 Posted 26/09/2013 at 19:14:47
It would be nice to get rid of some of our deadwood players in January. Naismith, Jelavic and Heitinga should be moved on IMO, quite frankly, I don't want to see any of the above playing for us again - they're just substandard players.

With any money left from selling these players and money saved on wages, we should buy a top young talent like Tom Ince.

The majority of our transfer activity needs to happen in the summer when Lukaku, Deulofeu and Barry's loans have expired. These players will definitely need replacing.

As for signing Lukaku or Deulofeu on permanent deals - dream on! This will definitely be Lukaku's only season with us. At a push, we might get Deuofeu on loan for another year.

Harold Matthews
700 Posted 26/09/2013 at 17:53:26
If Baines signs a new contract he'll probably stay with us forever. If he doesn't sign he'll go for buttons. £10mil-£11mil.

Lukaku is interesting because Mourinho doesn't rate him and Chelski might want him off the wage bill. They may also want a tidy fee.

With Kone, Alcaraz and Pienaar up and running and Gibson eventually match-fit, it will put a different slant on things and, personally, I would prefer to wait a while before trying to second-guess the targets Martinez has in mind.

Brian Sharples
703 Posted 26/09/2013 at 19:18:13
Drew, are you saying that if Baines makes it clear he wants to move and the Mancs come in with a £20M bid, he should be made to play here until his contract expires and we get nowt?

He's a lovely bloke but somehow I fear that might not be the best outcome for either party, do you?

This is football in 2013 not 1984 !

Colin Glassar
705 Posted 26/09/2013 at 19:31:14
I still don't think Bainsey will leave in January but if he does I'd rather keep Oviedo and Garbutt to fill that role and spend the money (£20m) on a top striker. I look at Soldado and Negredo and think, wow. If we can't buy Lukaku I think we should go out and get a top striker. I also think we could end up buying Del boy as I honestly think he won't make it at Barca as there is just too much competition there.
Drew O'Neall
713 Posted 26/09/2013 at 19:59:50
Oviedo cannot defend for toffee (or Toffees).

His body position was all wrong tracking the Fulham striker in to the box on Tuesday and I would be shitting my pants with him at the back every week if I were Syl or Phil.

I don't know what to do with him to be honest, he's not a winger and he can't defend.. His best future position is probably left back of the two but he needs such a lot of work on his game that I don't know if he's worth the time investment.

It's like he's never played at the back when you seem him there.

Raymond Fox
720 Posted 26/09/2013 at 20:07:14
Good that RM is thinking about improving the squad already, he will have a much better idea of the players abilities by now.

Our biggest problem at the moment is putting the ball in the net, I'm not bothered how they do it but we need goals, I think more shooting practice is in order!

It's increasingly looking to me like Stubbs was telling it like it is, and Leighton wants to go to Man Utd; the game at West Ham told us, if we didn't already know, how valuable Baines is to us.

The question is how much is he worth? Well it's a great deal higher than £15m after those two free kicks — any team in the world should want a player that can do that. It's no less than £25m for me, even though he's 29, he's 3 or 4 good years in him yet. Seems likely there will be more than Man Utd interested in buying him; if he has to go it should be for £25m+.

Ian Bennett
722 Posted 26/09/2013 at 20:45:00
I would expect a left-sided centre-half after we failed with a bid for Astori from Serie A, whilst I would expect Jelavic to be moving on... (West Ham maybe?)
Colin Glassar
723 Posted 26/09/2013 at 20:46:52
Raymond, Maldini played until he was 39 at LB for Milan. All this 'so many years left in him' is a load of rubbish. Just look at Distin, he's 36 and is better than ever (and quicker). Need I mention the likes of giggs, sheringham, Beckham etc.....?
Barry Rathbone
728 Posted 26/09/2013 at 20:59:01
Drew 713, agreed, if Oviedo is anything he's a midfielder - possibly a replacement for Pienaar.
Denis Richardson
742 Posted 26/09/2013 at 21:28:35
Wow - lets see:

i) half a dozen games into the season, unbeaten in the league (the only side that is!), ii) a future world class striker in the squad, iii) Barkely finally being given the freedom to play, iv) a young kid from Barca who's the best dribbler we've had in.....20 odd years? v) 27.5m for Fellaini, vi) baines not sold, vii) 5m for vic! viii) stones looking like a top player

And yet there are people having a go at the manager, whose only been in the job for 2 months.

Really guys, finally deal with the fact that Moyes has gone and give the new man a chance FFS. If (well when actually) we beat the barcodes on Monday, we may be in the top 4 after 6 games - and still be unbeaten.

Stop moaning about the fact that Lukaku and Delboy are loanees - SO WHAT? They are with us for the whole season! Lets just enjoy the next 3 months and worry about Jan when it comes.


Jamie Carroll
745 Posted 26/09/2013 at 21:50:28
The most worrying thing to come out of the Stubbs comment is how this "Oh he's off in January" etc seems to be the norm now for Everton employees. lt's like the media are controlling our thoughts!
Kevin Tully
746 Posted 26/09/2013 at 21:49:57
We can actually sign Barry on a pre-contract in January, as he will only have 6 months left to run on his current deal.

Lukaku will probably go back to Chelsea, unless they go for another striker in the meantime.

Deulofeu may well stay for another season if he's getting some game time, he won't be playing for Barca's first team next season.

Or alternatively, it's all shite, and we're doomed.

Ian Bennett
748 Posted 26/09/2013 at 21:49:21
Harold - It was interesting watching a different style as a youngster, whilst in terms of ability as it was about the same time as the humiliation as seeing Steve frogget take the piss on the big match with my complimentary 'programme'.
Mike Green
751 Posted 26/09/2013 at 22:12:56
“We have to because I'm sure next time the question will be ‘who are we going to lose now', so improving the squad goes without saying."

That sounds like a man who knows it's going to be very difficult to keep hold of Baines in January, but is going to make the best of it if we don't.

Lewis Barclay
759 Posted 26/09/2013 at 22:52:49
Luke Shaw, or Ben Davies would be a good replacement for Baines.

Up front we need one or two top class strikers if both our loan signings are gonna leave, but naming realistic targets for them is a challenge!

Dominic Tonge
761 Posted 26/09/2013 at 22:28:03

I read FourFourTwo this month as well... But I hardly think our current crop rate highly enough for either of the Milan sides to be mentioned alongside them. The Martinez quote shows he is getting to grips with the Bill Kenwright regime: one window slams shut, Bobby is actually in not too bad shape and, just as the rest have, Bob has just realised it is going to be Ross or Baines off down the road next.

I am not having a pop at the chairman here: he has more cash than me, less than Ambramovic, he hasn't sold us to a chicken magnate at least. [Although free KFC would be better than free Crabbies.... just saying.]

Anyway, if we are losing either or both of Baines and Ross, then there has got to be some money kicking about for replacements – as indicated by RM.
I am wondering who we actually could get, genuinely. Shaw is a no (Saints don't need to sell), Ince apparently doesn't want to come because of lack of first team football). We can't really offer guaranteed European football and so would we attract a top end player?

I did see a call for suggestions at replacements though so here goes:
Rooney back, after another season of being taught his defensive responsibilities, not training with a ball and snide references to books, Mr Rooney throws toys from pram, packs bags and comes home. He will move (we all know it) and you cant get alphabetti spaghetti or chicken nuggets in the shape of dinosaurs in Paris, Madrid, Barcelona or Munich.

Lukaku, enraged at Jose's public pursuit of Rooney, decides to stay at Goodison where he is loved –- a season in which he scores 30 league goals helps.

Cesc Fabregas – can't even think how that would happen......
Robben? ah now I am just being daft

Darren Alexander
777 Posted 27/09/2013 at 00:08:07
Will be interested to see who else Martinez has in mind for January - would be keen to see him use his Spanish connections to land a couple more players. And I think us now having 4 of the players who started Wigan's FA Cup Final win is more than enough; much as I like McArthur, McManaman & Maloney, I feel very uncomfortable with the £20M that RM put into Whelan's pocket for Kone & McCarthy - especially when OFM hardly treated Kenwright the same way with his cynical transfer approaches.

Like some others, it's the loan signings of Lukaku, Barry & the Barca kid that have really got my interest; and while not a big fan of Kone, I'd have happily taken him in exchange for Vic, which in financial terms is effectively what happened.

Roman Sidey
793 Posted 27/09/2013 at 01:23:11
January will be all about squad management rather than trying to buy our way to the top four. I desperately love Heitinga, but the fact that he has denied a contract extension and that he will be out of contract in May/June means we need to sell on January 1. We'd need to bring in another centre half of a mid-twenties age because Alcaraz is old and shit, Stones is still Green, and the club obviously doesn't rate Duffy.

If Baines stays the left is fine, as Oviedo has shown in his last two games that he is going to be a good option when the manager finally realises that Pienaar is finished. We still need a right winger though, as Mirallas is a striker and will not stay put for long if he is stuck out there. With him and Lukaku we have two good strikers, and Jela and Kone are squad players now. For the record I think signing Kone was a massive mistake. Hope I turn out to be wrong. Deulofeu, I think, will be with us on loan again next season if he does well enough this season.

On Lukaku, I think the best thing for us is Mourinho stays at Chelsea for a long time. He's only ever going to play one striker if any, and he obviously has his favourites. I can see him bringing the Spanish style to Chelsea and playing three midfielders and three attacking midfielders, which means we have a better chance of picking up the "scraps" that are his strikers.

Harold Matthews
794 Posted 27/09/2013 at 01:13:21
Yes Jackie. He is doing a pretty good job and, as someone stated earlier, he's a breath of fresh air. Brightens the whole place up and fills most of us with renewed vigour. Brought in surprise packages like Lukaku and Deulofeu and generally refreshed the whole squad. Not bad for a guy who has only been with us for a couple of months.

As for changing the way we play. I think he had to. The way Wigan ripped us apart in the Cup suggested we had weaknesses he could exploit and my God. He did just that. We were annihilated good and proper.

Right now it's early days and he probably hasn't had his strongest team together yet. He's still learning about the squad members and studying the various partnerships. How players knit together and hit off one another appears to be a big thing for him.

Personally, I find it all very exciting. A bit like living on the edge. The guaranteed safety stuff of recent seasons is all well and good but I much prefer to ride on the Martinez Mystery Express and see where it takes me.(sound of speeding train and high pitched whistle).

James Wong
796 Posted 27/09/2013 at 03:29:42
RM hints at what he's going to be buying when he says 'who is going to leave us' - Heitinga is probably leaving, Delofeu and Lukaku, so he's probably on the lookout for a centre half, winger and striker...

Would like it for once if we spend the whole lot on a striker... if we can't get Lukaku, what about Benteke? - Villa purchased him around $1.2m Euro... Maybe $20m will do the trick. Would be the same price as Lukaku right and a step up for Benteke?

Vijay Nair
799 Posted 27/09/2013 at 05:08:44
James, I highly doubt we have the capacity to spend 20 million on one player . And I don't think we are gonna fetch much for Heitinga i'm afraid. He has hardly raised his stock lately. Then again, stranger things have happened (e.g, Anichebe for 6 Mil??!!)
Vijay Nair
800 Posted 27/09/2013 at 05:16:46
Oh and James, Martinez is talking about buying in January.
My understanding was Deulofeu and Lukaku were with us for the whole season... so they will still be here then, along with Barry.
Matt Traynor
801 Posted 27/09/2013 at 05:41:13
James #796, Villa paid £7m for Benteke, still cheap by modern standards, but considerably more than you suggest. Also, if Villa are to sell him, it will be for north of £25m and won't be to Everton. These players want regular CL footy. Similarly those suggesting Luke Shaw as a replacement for Baines are also wide of the mark. Having just signed a 5-year deal, he'll go for top dollar, more than we'll get for Baines with 12 or 18 months on his contract, and again to an established CL club.
Graham Mockford
803 Posted 27/09/2013 at 07:00:57
Baines needs to be offered a new long term deal before the window. If he doesn't sign then you know he wants off and therefore you cash in along with Heitinga and Jelavic. Assuming we have banked the net profit we made in the last window, that still gives you a minimum of £30m to play with.
John Zapa
806 Posted 27/09/2013 at 07:01:42
I can't see the club spending money to add to the existing squad. I think it will be a case of just replacing whoever leaves.
Craig Mills
808 Posted 27/09/2013 at 07:40:36
If Baines goes I think Everton will get about £16M for him, I do think a replacement is required and I would like to see Ryan Bertrand ? from Chelsea brought in as a direct replacement, I would think his value would be £6-8M in the current market.

With every penny left and the carry over from the summer transfer gains, I would offer Chelsea £25m for Lukaku – it is only that type of quality striker, with Premier League experience, who will move us to the next level. If he goes onto even better things, he is only 20, so his resale would be on another level.

Sam Hoare
811 Posted 27/09/2013 at 08:01:21
People claiming Benteke and Shaw are viable targets are well off the mark i'm afraid. Unless perhaps we get top 4 this season.

I'd be very surprised if Baines left in January. Martinez is not likely to sell his best player half-way through the season unless a ridiculous offer came in which Man Utd would have made this summer if they were going to.

Peter Foy
812 Posted 27/09/2013 at 07:48:27
I presume you mean that Alcaraz has been 'shit' at being injured and Kone was a 'mistake' because his bench warming skills are not up to scratch, or are you really serious? Did you spend last season watching Wigan or are you just talking shite for the sake of it?
Kieran Fitzgerald
814 Posted 27/09/2013 at 08:41:32
Considering the season he had last season, and the start he has had to this one, Benteke has already proved himself in the PL. Come January, it will take a top four club to attract his attention. As for Luke Shaw, Southampton are a positive and progressive club. He could be very settled there right now and may hang on for another season or two.

To raise funds for players, I think Hetinga will go in January. I wouldn't be surprised if Jelavic went as well. I think we will get some of the profit from the summer window. Not it all but enough, along with money from player sales, to buy a decent striker. Tony Hibbert is the one player that I will be watching with interest over the next couple of windows. I would like to see him finish his career at Everton. Half of me says that this is what he would like but I could also see him going to another local club such as Bolton for a season or two just to keep playing.

I would like to see us buying a striker as we just don't score enough goals. However, I wouldn't write off Naismith just yet though. He now has two goals in the space of a couple of games, is getting a settled run in the team and his confidence must be up. He may not be Messi but if he was close to double figures for goals come January, I would give him the rest of the season to see what his final tally is. If a striker is in form and scoring goals, you don't drop him. It will be interesting to see what Martinez does with Naismith when Kone is fully fit.

Max Wilson
819 Posted 27/09/2013 at 09:57:51
699 Mark Frere is on the button here. Quite right Mark in your assessment. Before we do any buying we've got to lower the wages bill by moving on the players that have not been doing the business. And by doing the business doesn't necessarily mean not scoring goals, but first time ball control, speed of thinking, tactical sense, support of other players. Long term we still need a good striker and a perhaps a spare goalie. So we know who has to go. Does Roberto? I still worry about the guy sometimes even if we are sixth.
Roman Sidey
830 Posted 27/09/2013 at 11:58:32
Peter Foy, I watched Wigan a few times last year, but it's enough to know Alcaraz is shit that he was part of a defense that conceded 73 goals last season. Okay, shit might be a bit harsh, but he's certainly not the caliber of player I wish Everton to be signing, even on a free. Once again, I hope I'm wrong.

Likewise for Kone, I should have qualified that signing him for five million was a mistake. It's money we scarcely have, and should be very careful with. Quite frankly, that much money on a striker from a club in the champo who is then about to go on a month long fast is quite ridiculous. Did people expect him to come through that month in good health and up to scratch? For me, when you pay good money for a player, and regardless of how much the money clubs are paying, five million is good money, you should be getting a player that is ready to play.

I've reserved judgment on McCarthy, but at 13 million, it seems as though we've been stitched up royally by the Wigan. I think he could be a good player for us, but the games I've seen him play so far, I'm a bit disappointed that he has commanded our second highest ever transfer fee.

Trevor Lynes
831 Posted 27/09/2013 at 11:58:57
At last our manager is talking about strengthening the squad in the same way as every positive club should.

The best teams strengthen even when they are doing well, that has been a weakness in Everton's thinking for years. When we had trophy winning teams we broke them up and signed poorer players and that is why we have never established continuity. We have never replaced Arteta as a central midfield general. Pienaar did an excellent job in Arteta's absence with injury but his best position is left sided in front of Baines. Im afraid that Arteta is on the wane and I have not been impressed by him at Arsenal. He is overshadowed in midfield by other players there. He plays much deeper and does not make defence splitting passes, he tends to play short passes which do no real damage. His stats for accuracy of pass is good but he plays safety rather than with real attacking intent. With us he was a star when at his best but not at Arsenal.

I definitely think that Kone will come good and I would brinbg him on from the bench rather than Jelavic. If Lukaku is not available for any reason then I would start with Kone as he is much stronger and more mobile than Jelavic. Jelavic would possibly do better if he was played alongside Lukaku or Kone but certainly not up front on his own.

Talking of Baines, if he doesn't stay what is wrong with playing Stones at left back ? He is a better defender than Oviedo and is fast enough from what I have seen. I maintain our most important need is for a playmaker and if McCarthy is not the one then why did we buy him ?

Phil Sammon
833 Posted 27/09/2013 at 12:15:03
Which games Roman?

Alcaraz is a good player. He'll surprise people when he's given a chance. He should also allow the sale of Heitinga, who should still fetch £3M and a fair old whack off the wage bill.

Phil Sammon
834 Posted 27/09/2013 at 12:21:13
From Pie

You voted and the man who so far has changed our season in the four games he has played, came out on top. It looked like the Paraguayan defender Antolin Alcaraz would miss the entire season, but his return in the second half of the Liverpool game has sparked a four game unbeaten run.

Antoilin Alcaraz featured in all four of the games in March. His return against Liverpool was timely and he stopped the flow of goal as we held out for a 4-0 defeat. Then in the next three matches of March he started all three and helped the team to conceding a single goal against Newcastle United.

The man has been an inspiration, making last ditch tackles and vital game winning interceptions. It shows how much we have missed the player with how well he has performed in recent months, had this man been fit all season, we may not be where we are now.

Mix that with his possible partnership with Ivan Ramis and we could have had a brilliant defensive line up. The two of them would be a defensive partnership that we have been crying out for in recent years, and I hope the club see that and will get Alcaraz tied down to a new long term deal.

If anyone deserves a new deal, it is this man. He helped the side to a 1-1 draw at the weekend, as he was vital in controlling a QPR side that was quick to break on our defence.

Alcaraz is a deserving winner of March’s award, and I hope he can continue his fantastic form right to the end of this season, and help the team lift the FA Cup and gain Premier League survival.

Sam Hoare
835 Posted 27/09/2013 at 12:42:38
Not sure I can see Alcaraz replacing Distin to be honest who has been pretty immense this season. If anything Jags has been the weaker of the two but can't see Martinez dropping the skipper easily.

Does anyone know what is up with Kone? Presumably he has some sort of injury but how serious and for how long? Could really use some penetration up front to aid Lukaku who will presumably be first choice starter from here in.

Harold Matthews
838 Posted 27/09/2013 at 12:32:42
Phil. Thanks for the Pie-eaters post. The lad sounds very useful but it doesn't surprise me. In South America, the expertise of no-nonsense Paraguay defenders is very well known and goes back many years.
Denis Richardson
839 Posted 27/09/2013 at 13:08:00
I'll be happy if we just get rid of the likes of Heitinga, Gueye and Vellios in the Jan window and bring no one else in (assuming no one else leaves). Players who, realistically, will never feature regularly in the first team.

That'll free up around 90-100k a week for a new signing or two, maybe someone whose contract is expiring in the summer, or simply to give Baines and Barkley substantial increases on new 4-5 year contracts.

Next summer Martinez can look to trim the likes of Hibbo and maybe even Ozzie from the wage bill - two great servants of the club but who are getting near their sell by dates. Think Hibbos contract is up next summer as it is and Ossie has until 2015.

Jan is still a way off, lets hope we can pick up a load of points up to xmas.

Gavin Ramejkis
840 Posted 27/09/2013 at 13:15:43
Roman, my nephew is a season ticket holder at Wigan, He told me Alcaraz only played in about 8 games last season because of injury, think you are talking shite.
Chris Rudd
846 Posted 27/09/2013 at 14:29:07
I know a few Wigan fans and their view on Alcaraz is that it was his absence for most of last season that caused their demise.
Andy Boyer
848 Posted 27/09/2013 at 14:54:31
Gavin, correct and yes he is talking shite....

Chris, a friend on mine in work echoed the same sentiments just after the relegation.

Rant begins,

The whole subject of Baines leaving or staying has been brought back up because Alan "moron" Stubbs decided to open his big fat gob and spout crap we already knew.....

Not long ago there was a story on here about how Baines had said that he would love to stay but that if an offer acceptable to the club came in from Gollum, he would go, at the time I thought fair enough the lad is being both honest and also loyal then the window shut without any sign of him playingup or going on strike or biting anyone and I thought that's that until May then......but oh no Stubbs had to go and spout off a load of regurgitated shite, he may have been a loyal player for the club but surely he's been hauled over the coals for this, what a tit.

End of rant.

Ken Crowther
852 Posted 27/09/2013 at 14:58:38

I've crossed swords with Roman in a previous existence; he's actually quite a nice bloke; but does tend to polarise himself by taking up extreme positions..viz. "Alcarez is old and shit".

I think Alcarez is 30, I wish I was that old.

I may be wrong but I think Roman is a yank who lives in Queensland (or has some similar "colonial" background), so when he says he "watched Wigan a few times last year" he means on Foxtel.

Drew Shortis
867 Posted 27/09/2013 at 16:50:06
Brian Sharples 703
My comments about Baines must have been badly worded. I think that if he still wants to go and if United put in a sensible offer we should take it, but we should not be robbed of our best player for a pittance. £15m is nowhere near enough for the player who won us the game against West Ham with two world class free kicks. If we can get £20m plus I think we will have to sell rather than lose out and a fee altogether. I just hope our season goes well and he decides to sign a new deal.

If he does go we need to shell out a fair bit on a decent replacement for left-back (Shaw or Bertrand both look promising). We won't find another left back as good as Baines is right now. But if we can find a solid replacement with a long future ahead of him I think we stand a better chance of replacing Baines creativity and free kick ability with someone extra in midfield where flair players are in greater abundance.

If Baines does leave and we add that money to the Fellaini money and any other funds we have Roberto can do some serious business in the market and reinforce the team with players who will thrive under his system. Quite a different situation that the one he has been used to at Wigan. So far I'm impressed with his dealings. The only serious cash he has spent is on McCarthy who I believe will develop into a super player for years to come. Kone was a little pricey, but at the time we purchased him we were in need of a goalscorer with premier league experience. Not many of those around for £6m! I think he will also make a big contribution this season, though I'm glad Lukaku has come in to get lions share of the goals.

From what I have seen of Alcaraz pre season he looks very comfortable with the new system and I expect he will surprise a few once fit again. Even if he fails to make an impact there was no fee involved, so no great risk.

Brian Sharples
871 Posted 27/09/2013 at 17:28:15
I'm being told to be patient, Drew, so too early to make any judgement on his ex-Wigan men. Alcaraz seems permantently injured and Kone is still recovering from his fast ! (Noticed that Moeen Ali has never stopped scoring runs either during Ramahdan or since but perhaps cricket is not so taxing !)

Robles looks decidedly dodgy to me and McCarthy is yet to start a Prem game,I think.

Left-back will be the priority in January as Oviedo has failed to impress in that role and they don't rate Garbutt, I hear.

Harold Matthews
872 Posted 27/09/2013 at 17:30:38
In the latest EFC training session, is Alcaraz the tough looking guy with technical ability?
Patrick Murphy
873 Posted 27/09/2013 at 17:45:55
Didn't Kone become a father during the summer? If so there may be domestic issues that need to be addressed.
Peter Foy
874 Posted 27/09/2013 at 17:50:03
In the 2008/2009 season Portsmouth conceded 66 league goals. Guess who was playing centre back?

I disagree also on your opinion of James McCarthy. He is good on the ball and not scared to make himself available for a pass. This is what the three players purchased from Wigan have in common. None of them are ever looking to hoof it.

It was Distin by the way.

Raymond Fox
878 Posted 27/09/2013 at 18:08:00
Your not Phil Wallings love child are you Brian, because your singing from the same hymn sheet.
Does anything about our manager please you?
Paul Ferry
880 Posted 27/09/2013 at 18:12:19
Roman Sidey (#830) — you are so wrong and my friendly advice would be to give up now.

You show zilch knowledge of Alcaraz and Wigan last season when he played a grand total of eight games and when he got on the pitch around Spring he looked very good; have you forgotten his top-drawer display against us in the cup?

Alcaraz is not in your words 'shit' okay? It is your judgment that is 'shit'. Quite frankly I don't believe that you watched a few pie-eaters games last season with – what? – your eagle eye trained on Alcaraz?

Alcaraz looked very good in the one decent stint he has had on the pitch for us so far and – if you wish to be shown how wrong you are – read the post-match comments on these boards about his performance.

Bobby is being interviewed on Sky Sports News at 7 by the way.

Brian Sharples
883 Posted 27/09/2013 at 18:28:09
He smiles a lot and his general demeanour is a big improvement on the Ginger One !
Raymond Fox
884 Posted 27/09/2013 at 18:36:23
Now you've made a start, see you found something to praise.
Roman Sidey
904 Posted 27/09/2013 at 21:51:47
Peter, have a look back over the fan comments about Distin when we signed him. It was at least a year before everyone warmed to him, and he still splits some quarters with occasional brain explosions. I am happy to have him.

As I said, if I am wrong about Alcaraz I will be very happy. If the reviews Phil has dug up are replicated by Everton people after he's played a few games, then that's great. But at the moment, any player taking a wage out of the club that isn't contributing, in my eyes, isn't worth it.

On McCarthy, what do you disagree with that I have said? All I've said is that I am disappointed that he is our second most expensive player, and he comes from the champo. This is true and I am disappointed about it. Nothing to disagree with there.

Ken, thanks for the character reference. I think you're spot on - I am a nice bloke, but can polarise my opinion. For the record, Queenslander living in Canada. And yes, foxtel was how I watched my football in the first half of last season, so I was able to watch every single game in the EPL. Knowing that Bill would go for someone like RM when Moyes pissed off, I went out of my way to watch Wigan on quite a few occasions.

Peter Foy
907 Posted 27/09/2013 at 22:16:42
While you're disapointed with McCarthy I'm encouraged by him.
I don't remember Distin taking a while to win over the fans and he was probably the only player that could have made that mistake against the shite at wembley and not be criticised by the fans. He had earned the right to make the odd mistake.
Besides, I seem to remember a certain Neville Southall taking a while to warm to the fans and look at how that turned out.
Raymond Fox
908 Posted 27/09/2013 at 22:09:42
Roman, RM hasn't been wrong about much up to now so I think I'd prefer his judgement on the Wigan players who he managed from 1 to 2 seasons against your 3 matches!

It disapoints me why some people such as yourself make posts slagging off players abilities, when you don't really have a clue, having only seen a very small amount time while their playing.

Joseph Bell
911 Posted 27/09/2013 at 22:46:44
Just a word about Baines’s replacement....Oviedo. I think he needs to be given a chance. We have not seen enough of him. Potentially he could be the answer. He is only 23, an international and has champions league experience.

He is similar to Baines in a few ways. He is a similar stature, he is left footed, skilful and likes to get forward.

For those of you who may be thinking "What are you on about?" I am thinking about potential, as Baines was when we first signed him. Do not forget that Baines spent much of his first seasons at Everton on the bench.

Just something to think about.

Kevin Rowlands
913 Posted 27/09/2013 at 23:06:40
Michael Kenrick, I looked on here and did not see any of my posts this morning on a certain subject/person from yesterday, they had been deleted, wanted you to know I agree with that stance 100% and will no longer participate in that discussion.
Roman Sidey
914 Posted 27/09/2013 at 23:21:57
Peter, to be clear, I'm not disappointed with McCarthy as a player, I just think we paid far too much for him.

Raymond, I am fairly happy with RM as well, and think all the signings he made in the window that weren't Wigan players were very good business and foresight - and I wouldn't even say all the Wigan signings were bad signings. I wasn't excited about Kone and remain so until he gives me reason to feel otherwise. I don't think we have room in our budget for a 31 year old centre-half who has barely scraped together 200 games in 13 years. And I also think we overpaid for McCarthy by about 3-4 million quid - I guess the extra four we got for Fellaini (ha!) makes that less of an issue. Robles will probably be a good 'keeper - he looked good when I saw him in Miami.

On the first three, I will keep repeating, I hope I am wrong. I want to be wrong.

Phil Sammon
915 Posted 27/09/2013 at 23:33:28

I think everyone has raised at least one eyebrow over the figure we paid for McCarthy. It is an awful lot by our standards and I can't say he's ever impressed me. That said, I don't think Gibson, Barry, Distin or Jagielka impressed me before they established themselves at Everton. What I will say is that Martinez was clearly desperate to get him. I'll hold my judgement but I can understand your viewpoint.

On Alcaraz I can only conclude that you either watched Wigan games that Alcaraz didn't play in or are just guessing at how he played having not paid particular attention at the time. He has had some ridiculous injuries, but the guy is a very good defender...and bloody good on the ball for a centre back.

Kone is a mystery. I mean, what is going on there? He was treated as the marquee signing when he joined and now there is virtually no communication as to the reason for his absence. That said, when he finally plays I am quite sure he will be a big success for us.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
936 Posted 28/09/2013 at 10:40:43
Thank you, Kevin (#913); things had strayed off-topic and I ended up culling a number of posts.
Roman Sidey
078 Posted 28/09/2013 at 20:38:59
So on my original point, if Heitinga leaves in January (which would be the best move for all concerned), you guys are happy to have Jags, Distin and Alcaraz as our only senior centre halves? I'd add Stones in there but still can't tell if he's supposed to be a fullback or half. The thread's about strengthening, and this is the position I think needs serious attention.
Craig Fletcher
215 Posted 29/09/2013 at 08:12:51
Strange how we all seem to be pre-empting Baines's move to Man Utd. Personally I don't think he'll go – and with more results like WBA's today, and if we continue to look down on them on the table, what incentive does he have to leave for them in January?

Our side is probably as well-balanced as it ever has been over the past few years; but perhaps the two biggest areas of concern are replacing our loanees at season end, and there is still a need for a creative Arteta-esqe midfielder. The centre of defence will require a bit of succession-planning, too – Distin won't be around forever, and Heitinga I'd like to see move on, his wages don't justify him as a bench-warmer.

Eric Myles
219 Posted 29/09/2013 at 08:30:50
Craig, the history of player departures from Everton has not been about whether they are moving on to better things. It has largely been about needing the money from sales, so in that respect it is not up to Baines whether he wants to go or not, the same as it was not up to Rooney or Arteta.

However I would expect that in January we are in an improved financial pposition and would not have to force Baines out the door either to balance books or fund incoming transfers.

Summer may be another story altogether though..

Craig Fletcher
222 Posted 29/09/2013 at 09:05:11
The other side of it is players such as Lescott and Fellaini who "had their heads turned" after a fair bit of agitation from the clubs who were after them. Valid point though, Eric - our financial position has improved a hell of a lot after the Fellaini/Anichebe sales, so surely money isn't the motivation if we were to sell him. Baines also wouldn't command anywhere near the money we got for Fellaini, either (considering the remaining contract length). We have now more valuable assets at the club anyway from a financial point of view - one Ross Barkley (I'm certainly not advocating a sale, by the way!).

Simply put - the higher we are up on the league table come January 1, the better our chances of retaining our best players from admiring suitors. Bainesey signing a new contract between now and then wouldn't hurt, either.

Jamie Carroll
228 Posted 29/09/2013 at 09:29:10
I'm sure if Roberto can get Everton in a really good position by January, then that could convince Baines to stay put until the summer. Roberto's comments about the future will change depending on league position.
Roman Sidey
369 Posted 29/09/2013 at 19:48:00
Is Baines' contract up next summer or the one after?
Dave Lawley
523 Posted 30/09/2013 at 12:37:45
If Baines must go we want a good wedge, over £20 mil, I think Bertrand will be an excellent player for the first club that gives him a season in the first team, I reckon we can get him for £6 mil and his value will double in 12 months, he's like Ashley Cole only he's not a complete cock spanner!
Gavin Ramejkis
555 Posted 27/09/2013 at 13:15:43
Roman, my nephew is a season ticket holder at Wigan, He told me Alcaraz only played in about 8 games last season because of injury, think you are talking shite.
Gavin Ramejkis
557 Posted 30/09/2013 at 15:48:12
Spooky double post, iPad going bit Pete Tong after IOS upgrade sorry
Max Wilson
061 Posted 02/10/2013 at 09:49:57
Sometimes these columns are hilarious.Make my day. But it does seem that " Mid table Moyse" is still after our Bainesy and I can believe,as many appear to do, that he's telephoning his agent all the time, destabilising the player, perhaps affecting his morale, and that in consequence, Baines will ask for a transfer in January. Its not quite commercial espionage like theft of intellectual property but I think, morally, it is reprehensible conduct. Baines joined us to further his career. Everton has done that. Now the club has taken him into the top four. His career with Everton already has made him an international player. What more could he want? I feel sorry for him really. He could be making a bad career decision.
Noel Early
146 Posted 02/10/2013 at 17:12:09
We can forget about Luke Shaw, kid for worth more than Baines when you consider his potential and age, think we need to look at getting another striker in.I bet Martinez wishes he kept that £5m he spent on Kone.

Heitinga and Jelavic could also be shown the door in January but considering Heitinga's contract is nearly out we wont get much for him now. Can't believe we have held on to him for this long.

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