Winter Reinforcements: A new spine needed?

Sam Hoare 03/01/2020 55comments  |  Jump to last
A very quick version of my annual summer transfer speculation about the sort of players that we could use and who some of the options might be. With a new manager in, there is some fresh belief and results against Burnley and Newcastle added to the good work done by Duncan Ferguson to give us a platform to believe this season may not be quite so dead as most of us believed. At the time of writing, we are only 5 points behind 6th place with only a handful of teams in the Premier League playing with anything resembling consistency.

We could well use bolstering all over the pitch but it is the middle where we look most bare to my eyes. Partly due to some bad injury luck (in midfield) and partly due to a lack of transfer activity (in defence). In both midfield and defence, we could badly do with a bit more pace and athleticism and general energy; midfield especially could use some more players who can actually keep hold of the ball. We still lack a top-class striker but Calvert-Lewin is proving his worth more and more and Kean will surely get more time under Ancelotti. I expect them and Richarlison to be our striking options unless a particular juicy offer presents itself.

Brands is not known for liking the January window and those such as Paul the Esk will tell us that we do not have money to spend unless we want to run into Financial Fair Play issues; the sales of Tosun, Niasse etc could help to that end. Anyway, here are some players.

Central defenders

Jean-Clair Todibo — Young defender who has found minutes very hard to come by at Barcelona (sounds familiar?) but was pretty good for Toulouse though he didn't play alot at senior level. He's fast, good on the ball, but very raw. Similar to Holgate in fact and would be as likely to make mistakes as keep things tight. Could be a loan or purchase with buy-back.

Mohammed Salisu — Similar in many respects to Todibo. 6'-3", strong, quick-ish and young left-footed centre-back. Not played a huge amount but has looked very good this season at Valladolid. Not expensive as has a £10M buyout, could prove a bargain.

Armel Bella-Kotchap — This one is even younger at only 18! Has been good when played for Bochum in the Bundesliga 2 but this would be a huge step up. Very raw.

Djene Dakonam — More experienced at 28 and has been very good at Getafe for the last few years. Quick and strong, not the tallest but blessed with a good leap. Plays the ball forward well and would hit the ground running hopefully. Probably in the £25-30M range.

Kalidou Koulibaliy — One of the best defenders in the world. Seems highly unlikely he would come to us but if he did we'd instantly improve as a team. Would cost upwards of £50m.

Presnel Kimpembe- One of many talented young French defenders the PSG man has not played much this season and would surely be looking for more minutes. Perhaps a loan or even a transfer could be on the cards?

Ibrahim Konate — One of the many excellent defenders at Liepzig. Konate has not had many appearances this season though would still likely cost a big whack. Maybe one for the summer; there would no doubt be others interested.

Boubacar Kamara — The talented young Frenchie is a bit like our own (sorely missed) Jean-Philippe Gbamin in that he can play in either midfield or defence. Like Holgate too perhaps. He is fast, reads the game well, and looks comfortable on the ball. He is doing very well at Marseille who are having an excellent season.

Central Midfielders

Adrien Rabiot — Talented young Frenchman who has been left out at Juventus and would be a big Schneiderlin upgrade. Good passer, good tackler, and more mobile than his compatriot. His wages would be big and he comes with some 'personality baggage' but, if he came either on loan or (unlikely, I think) permanent transfer and Ancelotti got the best of him, he would be a big asset.

Franck Kessie — The young star was a massive breakout at Atlanta but has been woeful since joining Milan. He has energy to burn but has not seemed effective in the last few years. He could be available on loan and could be awesome if re-discovering his form… but that seems a big 'if'.

Piotr Zielinksi — Very classy all-round midfield player coming into his prime. Napoli grabbed him for only £14M a few years back and this is the sort of deal I'd be hoping for from Brands. Now he'd cost upwards of £40m probably but he'd be very useful.

Ibrahim Sangare — A player I wanted all summer. He's not been as good this season for a terrible Toulouse team but still tackles well, passes well, and carries the ball effectively enough. In a better team with a good manager, I think he'd do well.

Denis Zakaria — Very mobile rounded player whose been doing well for an over-achieving Borussia Moenchengladbach team in the Bundesliga. Unlikely to leave or want to leave them currently but certainly a player who should be on the radar.

Emi Buendia — Another player who won't leave now but don't underestimate how good he has been for Norwich this season. One of the few players in the league to make over 50 tackles and also create over 50 chances. Very interesting young player.

Boubakare Soumare — Many teams will be after this talented young Frenchman whose been good at Lille this season. On the radar of some big clubs for good reason as he seems another well-rounded player with athleticism to spare.

Xaver Schlager — A less well-known name but the young Swiss has been decent at Wolfsburg since moving from Salzburg where he was excellent last season. Very quick across the ground and very hard working.

Eduardo Camavinga — One of only two players in France to make more tackles per game than our missed Gana Gueye this season! The youngster (only 17!) is having a breakout season but has been very impressive both with and without the ball. Big clubs lurk but perhaps it would be too early for them to put a big bid in? Maybe a risk worth taking?

Kalvin Phillips — One of the best players in the Championship this season, the 24-year-old combines hard-tackling with very impressive vision. Leeds are unlikely to want to sell him with promotion being chased but again, worth a look at.

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Reader Comments (55)

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Jerome Shields
1 Posted 03/01/2020 at 17:36:43
I very timely report , showing there are players out there who would improve Everton in the two areas, that need improving if they are to challenge at the highest level. Particularly interested in Edurdo Canavinga , the type of player we need in midfield and Boubacar Kamara in defence.
Andy Walker
2 Posted 03/01/2020 at 18:25:17
We are at financial fair play limits. It ain’t happening unless we sell a major player, maybe a Richalison.
Simon Smith
3 Posted 03/01/2020 at 18:29:27

A slightly unrelated question for you. In the summer you questioned why we weren’t in for Haller. After seeing him at West Ham for the past 6 months, would you swap him for DCL?

Keith Harrison
4 Posted 03/01/2020 at 18:55:53
You should submit reports directly to Marcel and Carlo, Sam. Well thought out article - you should be chief scout (Europe). Koulibaly still for me. Massive statement, and massive player. 1 huge player per window to build a team.
Sam Hoare
5 Posted 03/01/2020 at 19:01:08
Simon@3 interesting question. I think under Silva I probably would have swapped them as were slinging in so many long balls and crosses; and Haller is (marginally) better in the air and at linking play.

I think now under Ancelloti Calvert-Lewin’s pace and all round game could be more useful.

It will be interesting to see who finishes the season with more goals.

Haller was expensive but at the time we were looking for a focal point who would bring goals. He’s been decent in a poor team and certainly made more impact than Kean. So far.

Simon Harrison
6 Posted 03/01/2020 at 19:39:16
Hi Sam,

This is a very thought provoking article, and thank you for taking the time to write it up.

Could I ask a question though, do you know the state of the EFC scouting network, Data collection and analysis departments, and if we would still be looking for 16-17 y.o.s for the Academy?

It seems that most clubs now are using metrics regards selecting player recruitment, and I was wondering where EFC stand in relation to the rest of the clubs in the PL.

Cheers again :D

Sam Hoare
7 Posted 03/01/2020 at 20:04:34
Thanks Simon@6 I’m afraid I’ve little idea what systems Everton use. I’m pretty sure Brands is very forward thinking so I imagine he has an open mind is using pretty up to date metric systems. It’s the club’s holistic approach that may need work, the union of philosophy throughout the club. For example Unsworth was not playing the same formation and tactics as Silva was. Continuity and clarity of approach are crucial. A club like Dortmund and more recently Leipzig are excellent examples of this.
Christy Ring
8 Posted 03/01/2020 at 21:20:08
Would Nzonzi not be a good addition in January, he's on loan at Galatasaray from Roma, so wouldn't be overpriced, and certainly a massive physical presence in midfield. It seems Delph has another knee injury and doubtful for Sunday, I said it when we bought him, he was too injury prone, and many thought it was a great coup by Brands, who gave him bigger wages than City.
Tony Everan
9 Posted 03/01/2020 at 21:37:18
Thanks Sam, always interesting to read your 'players that should be on the radar' articles.

Mina has impressed me this season, he has knuckled down to his defensive role and shows a touch of class. Converting a few more headed chances would be the icingson the cake [starting Sunday!] Holgate impresses me too since he has taken over and similarly shows a touch of class. Keane is backup at the moment. A solid loan deal maybe the way to go for a CB this window, see how Mason progresses these next few months.

Centre Midfield is the more urgent requirement. Siggy and Tom are struggling to an extent, Delph is a little slow and a fraction off the pace mentally, he would improve with a run of games without injury, but that is unlikely.

Is Nzonzi still available ?, I thought he would be on your list, a quality loan would suit us whilst Gomes and Gbamin recover. Zeilinski of Napoli would be an good signing for us in the summer, if we can do some wheeler dealing, get some players out and a player of his calibre in it would be great business.

Tommy Carter
10 Posted 03/01/2020 at 21:57:17
I think I’ve seen enough from Jack Grealish this season to recognise that he is ready for a move to a bigger club. I thought he was outstanding at times last season and he is showing a leve if consistent quality now that will not go unnoticed for too long amongst the top 4.

This is a guy with real character and lots of ability to go with it.

Out club should put plans in place now to make this transfer happen.

I think it is highly unlikely that Villa will sell in January. No amount of money will replace him now and the chance that he will spearhead them to safety.

But come the summer, one of two things will happen.

They get relegated and the scramble for his signature begins. A lower transfer fee is commanded and wage offers therefore become extortionate.

They stay up. Villa can command a much higher fee and also have some influence over his loyalty.

For me, look at the latter. I think they’ll stay up. Meanwhile we can have a deal in place that suits this outcome. All other clubs will gamble on Villa going down and being able to poach Hrealish on a lesser fee

Sam Hoare
11 Posted 03/01/2020 at 22:01:04
Christy and Tony, Yes Nzonzi could be a decent option if available on loan but i'm not sure i'd fancy him on transfer at his age unless it was cut price. Always liked him as a player and as Tony says he'd be a good stop-gap till Gbamin is fully settled and fit and Gomes is back in the fold.

Plenty of players. Another defender worth considering is Demiral who has struggled for time at Juve. Leicester have apparently bid for him and if they pair him with his countryman Soyuncu they'll have a decent defense sorted for the next few years.

Tom Bowers
12 Posted 03/01/2020 at 22:03:55
I think Jack Grealish is a great talent and should have moved when he had the chance.

Staying with Villa was a big mistake and I can only think they made him an outrageous offer at the time.

Yes, most clubs would love to have him but I am thinking that Villa would now ask the earth for him.

On another note whilst there is no denying what Klopp has done for RS is everyone getting tired the way he keeps slagging off the league for his fixture problems.
The fact that RS went to Dubai for 2 meaningless games as far as the league is concerned and they obviously got paid big for it is of their own doing so he should just shut up about it.

Andy Crooks
13 Posted 03/01/2020 at 22:22:11
Sam, I love this stuff. Well done.
Andy Crooks
14 Posted 03/01/2020 at 22:22:11
Sam, I love this stuff. Well done.
Jerome Shields
15 Posted 03/01/2020 at 22:31:03

I didn't know that Unsworth was playing a different system to Silva. Explains alot.

Paul Birmingham
16 Posted 03/01/2020 at 22:53:25
Sam, great write, and you should be a scouting consultant for Everton.

This assessment and the media suggesting the potential of the big Uzbek, supporting EFC, plus the time to build a solid foundation for the future of the club, suggests that the board may now have a plan.

Let’s hope so, and hopefully a good result on Sunday.

Andrew James
17 Posted 03/01/2020 at 23:21:34
Not sure about Grealish as he strikes me as similar to Zaha whereby he works better as the big fish in the smaller pond.

Mike Gaynes
18 Posted 03/01/2020 at 23:26:04
Sam, you are quite the scout, mate!
Roman Sidey
19 Posted 04/01/2020 at 00:54:48
What is the injury outlook on Gbamin? Likely we'll see him this season?
Si Cooper
20 Posted 04/01/2020 at 01:16:12
From what I’ve seen I would have said Grealish had stepped things up a notch or two this season, but he seems to be quite marmite amongst Villa fans. I’ve only seen bits and pieces on TV so it is hard to say whether I’m seeing the bigger picture or just a media promoted ‘highlight reel’.
Some players seem to get away with generally average performances interspersed with just enough flashes to make them appear extraordinary. David Platt was one who I thought was dismal 95% of the time but the 5% of good stuff seemed to make him a great player in the eyes of many.
Si Cooper
21 Posted 04/01/2020 at 01:18:03
I’ve asked that question a couple of time recently Roman. I’ve yet to see a response so I guess nobody outside of the club actually knows what is going on with him.
John Zapa
22 Posted 04/01/2020 at 04:45:02
Ake and Ndidi from Bournemouth and Leicester would make the spine very solid. I can't see any sales happening in January. Any big spending would put the club at risk of falling foul of FFP rules
Steve Brown
23 Posted 04/01/2020 at 05:17:59
We shouldn't sign players from the lower half of the division in January. No point in replacing mediocrity with mediocrity.

The priority for the club in the next two windows unfortunately is to continue the job that Brands began to meet FFP rules - to get wages off the books. Martina, Niasse, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Bolasie, Walcott, Tarashaj, Martina, Sandro, Besic, Garbutt...I am sure there are more that I can't even recall.

Until USM starts sponsoring every at the club to generate commercial income, we will need to be pragmatic. Maybe one or two will come in, but not more at this stage.

Sam Hoare
24 Posted 04/01/2020 at 08:55:18
Romans and Si, last I heard Gbamin was expectedly back in training in January hopefully ready for first team some time in February.
Sam Hoare
25 Posted 04/01/2020 at 09:02:54
Steve@23 “ We shouldn't sign players from the lower half of the division in January. No point in replacing mediocrity with mediocrity.”

Crazy thinking. Mediocre teams do not mean mediocre players.

That lad Van Dijk has looked alright since leaving Southampton! There’s a long, long list of excellent players coming from lower teams but here’s a few off top of my head: Mane, Henderson, Lallana, Alderweireld, Valencia, Robertson, Maguire, Maddison, Vardy etc

Robert Tressell
26 Posted 04/01/2020 at 09:21:08
In January, the options are very limited. You can only realistically sign other clubs reserves or pay over the odds. A club at risk of relegation is unlikely to sell - and its a non starter expecting a club in the mix for top 4 / honours to sell a player.

For defence, the options are:

- todibo (classy but v young and right footed. Doesnt give us much balance).

- niakhate of Mainz (big left footed captain)

- salisu

- pau torres of Villareal (big, classy left footer)

- ndicka of frankfurt (big left footed)

- amir rramani of verona (uncompromising tackler, right footed, having good season)

- rugani and demirel of Juve. Rugani not really developed from a v promising youngster. Demirel, I suspect, is the young player they will build their new defence on. Excellent Turkish player.

All are young but experienced (for context only niakhate and pau torrres are older than Feeney). Pau Torres would cost about £35m and the rest cheaper. Salisu is very good and would be good value - maybe £15m. These are my two favourites.

Ake is good too but Bournemouth won't sell for fear of relegation. Wait till summer when they are relegated.

Midfield is more complex. You've listed some v good players but in a mix of positions.

Also Camavinga is destined for an Elite club next, Zakaria will be playing champs league next season and kalvin phillips is Leeds' best player in their bid for promotion. All out of reach (as are grealish, ndidi, doucoure for various reasons).

Looking at what we have, we seem to need either a box to box player or an upgrade on schneiderlin (although Gbamin is really our upgrade on schneiderlin).

Options for the holding midfielder are:

- sangare (surprised he's not playing in the prem already. Young, good value looks v promising).

- sander berge (koeman nearly signed him. Big, classy and likely to move soon)

- rabiot (would be ace. He's not just a sitting midfielder though, he's approaching box to box)

- lobotka (short playmaker type, Celta Vigo may sell in anticipation of relegation / or even if we offer Tosun, say)

For box to box:

- maksimovic of getafe (stylish and intelligent positionally, good passer)

- Emre can (possibly more gettable than Rabiot)

- bruno guimaraes (excellent midfield prospect from Brazil. May take him time to settle in)

... And at that point I've run out of steam. My point is that the options are narrow but the players are always there. Summer is a better time to buy but January offers a great deal if weve got some dosh to spend on a couple of v good quality players.

Colin Glassar
27 Posted 04/01/2020 at 09:34:08
We need not only a new spine but players with brains.

Our lads seem well intentioned but don’t have a bad bone in their bodies. They need to be sly, like gerrard. They need to manage games better, waste time, use the black arts etc To be able to do this you need to be clever. Our players always seem slightly thick to me and too honest for their own good. Brains not (only) brawn.

Eddie Dunn
28 Posted 04/01/2020 at 16:36:35
Apart from whatever Brands is lining up, I would imagine Carlo has a few Italians in mind.
Sam Hoare
29 Posted 04/01/2020 at 16:55:21
Thanks Robert @26. Diakhate should have been on my list. Think he could be a good fit. I like Berge but not sure he’s quite as mobile as some of the others. Guimares is an interesting one.

There’s also the kids at Benfica Gedson Fernandes and Luis Florentino. Like you say it’s not the easiest time to get players but still lots around.

Robert Tressell
30 Posted 04/01/2020 at 17:53:01
The other left sided centre half is gabriel maghaeles of Lille. He really is good. V big, left footed and would fit right in. Doubt Lille would sell now - but maybe in summer.

In terms of midfield the sorts of players available in summer would also include :

- marc roca of espanyol (like a spanish gareth barry but more mobile) and probably to be relegated

- teun koopmeiners of az alkmaar maar (as above, scores goals too but a bit raw for the prem right now)

- max eggestein of werder bremen, quick energetic and versatile (and also about to be relegated)

- florian grillitsch of hoffenheim, big athletic and versatile

These are all v good quality and gettable I'm summer certainly.

But with a few quid to spend id love to see some real quality reinforcements. Personally Rabiot and Pau Torres would be dreamland - with James Rodriguez on loan (or maybe Calvin Stengs in summer).

Rob Marsh
31 Posted 04/01/2020 at 18:24:55
The good ship EFC has sailed throught the worst of the storm and with a very good chance we'll see action in the Prem next season.

I don't see the need to be out there buying at silly prices, let's keep our powder dry and do our strengthening in the summer window when the choice is at its maximum and prices lower.

I can only advice my fellow toffewebers to moderate their expectations for the remainder of the season, we're not going to make the top 4 and there's a reasonable chance the FA cup will be gone this weekend, who wants to be in the Europa? Going into next season fully strengthened and not over burdened will give us the best shot of a CL place.

I'm all for seeing the season out and starting afresh in the summer.

Robert Tressell
32 Posted 04/01/2020 at 18:36:57
I want to win a cup and get in the Europa league. I love the Europa league.
Paul Birmingham
33 Posted 04/01/2020 at 18:57:42
I don’t think the club will splash out on any player for the sake of it, and I hope Carlo, has a big say in any transfer deals.

Hopefully via his network he’ll have some decent players that can complement and improve this squad.

Go big in the summer unless there’s a few killer opportunities to exploit.

Every hour the media links EFC, with a new player, which is the normal this time of year.

Let’s hope if we buy, we buy proven quality.

Rob Marsh
34 Posted 04/01/2020 at 19:43:32
Paul #33

I'll agree with any killer buys, another Gueye (@ £8m) would be marvellous, anything else can wait until summer.

Robert Tressell
35 Posted 04/01/2020 at 21:51:30
Sam, I get the feeling that whoever takes a punt on Berge will have an absolute class act on their hands. Not that mobile, true, but very intelligent with and without the ball.

It was an interesting list you put together. I'm a nerd about these things but the lad at Bochum was new to me. I like Buendia. Strange how many norwich players look promising (cantwell, aarons, Godfrey and Buendia) yet they're a bit shit. I'd be happy with all of them - yet no-one at Sheff Utd grabs me even though they're doing great.

Sam Hoare
36 Posted 04/01/2020 at 22:21:43
Robert, yes I agree, Berge looks top quality but I’d be worry about pairing him with someone like Gomes. Perhaps with Gbamin it could work.

Yes, I’m a nerd too. Jude Bellingham at Birmingham is another interesting one. And would have loved Palacios from River.

Jerome Shields
37 Posted 05/01/2020 at 00:37:04
Apparently Real Madrid have been approached by Everton regarding a loan deal for James Rodriguez. Ancelotti has had him out on loan before.
Derek Knox
38 Posted 05/01/2020 at 09:15:26
Well compiled Sam, some I have never heard of, especially the guy whos parents named him after a bottle of Tomato Sauce.

We certainly need reinforcements in both of those areas, but not sure where we stand in the FFP stakes OR how much Carlo has been allotted for this Window.

At the very least we need a strong midfielder, even if it is on loan, with an option to buy or not. Central Defence certainly needs bolstering as we don't have a rock we can call reliable or consistent at present.

Hopefully between Carlo and Brands they can pull something off.

Steve Shave
39 Posted 05/01/2020 at 09:37:18
I love the transfer gossip me, also brings out my inner nerd. I think Zouma will be gettable as I think chelsea will go for a CB. he's not pulling up tree's there but we all know what he is capable of and is loved here, I think that is important. Buendia is not what is needed immediately but I hope we have eyes on him. My view is we will go for a rampaging box to boxer, I like some of the names mentioned above but I thought Berge was more of a CDM? Ideally we'd have someone who could play 6 and 8. Rabiot fits the bill but prefers 8 its always a lottery as to who is going to step up if signed outside the premier league. We all know how tricky it is to pick up players of quality for value in Jan. However, we should be looking to continue forging relationships with the big boys I.e. Barca, Juve, Munich etc as they will have a plethora of talent and sometimes want to shift one to buy the player they think will improve them. Any players suggestions from those types of teams? Vidal on loan???

Tommy Carter
40 Posted 05/01/2020 at 10:36:21
@39 Steve

You’d seriously want Zouma?

He did a job last season, but he’ll never be top class.

He proved as much ant goodison this season when run ragged by a team in the relegation mix.

Zouma is the type of player who to some fans looks great. Last ditch sliding tackles, steaming into challenges around the box to put the ball out for throw ins, using his excellent pace to recover.

Distin was very much in this category for me and people loved him. But he couldn’t lace the boots of Joleon Lescott, whom he replaced. Lescott was a far superior player.

The better defenders hardly resort to this type of defending. They don’t have to. They position well, they sense danger and prevent it from happening. Defending is more skill than it is physicality.

Italian football places great emphasis on real defensive strategy. And I expect Ancelotti to try and bring in players capable of implementing this type of defending.

Sam Hoare
41 Posted 05/01/2020 at 11:09:35
Tommy@40 I’ve played CB all my life (albeit to a low standard!) and I feel you’re oversimplifying a bit. Defending is not just one thing or one way. It depends on the opposition, the league, the standard. In the PL physicality is a huge part of the game and that’s why many defenders who have done well enough in Serie A have struggled over here; Koldrup was a decent example of this. Positioning and awareness is of course vital but it often needs to be allied to physical abilities. That’s why the fast, strong beast that is Van Dijk is the best in the league (world).

I’d have Zouma back in a heartbeat at the right price; he has those extraordinary physical capabilities and is good enough to be coached better positioning etc. He’s not world class but in this league, when well coached, he’s a very good defender. And we are desperate for pace at the back.

Eric Paul
42 Posted 05/01/2020 at 11:22:40
If Zouma is not good enough for Chelsea why is he good enough for us
Robert Tressell
43 Posted 05/01/2020 at 11:28:44
Certainly the simplest way to improve would be to have Zouma back - or someone with similar characteristics. That would allow us to play a high line which in turn allows us to play a more offensive game. Totally true Zouma is not top class. But few are. Pau Torres whom I mentioned could fall into that bracket but he'd possibly need a Zouma like beast beside him to provide additional physicality. My favourite CB partnership in England is Vidic and Ferdinand. The former was extremely aggressive the latter was an absolute class act and with a tremendous physique too. Salisu actually has that Vidic like aggression and good positioning. Not all about diving tackles. He could end up being top class too but is still v young. Personally I think Holgate is our best bet at centre half and we should buy to complement him. Zouma would do!
Ian Riley
44 Posted 05/01/2020 at 18:15:24
The question is who would buy our players? If so, a loss will have to be taken! Any ideas please send to: Everton football club, goodison park, Liverpool.
Robert Tressell
45 Posted 05/01/2020 at 19:54:47
Sam can you pls draw up plans for a completely new first 11. Sick of the lot of them
Jerome Shields
46 Posted 05/01/2020 at 21:05:01
Desperately need Zouma back if we can get him.
Keith Harrison
47 Posted 05/01/2020 at 23:25:33
Complete new skeleton required unfortunately, Sam.

My youngest grandson is 1 on Tuesday, and I even despair of him ever seeing us win anything. I've already blighted him by buying him Everton gear he is just growing into.

Sam Hoare
48 Posted 06/01/2020 at 09:56:27
Yeah, forget spine. Let’s get a whole new squad!

Aarons Salisu Niakhate Grimaldo
Berge Sangare Rabiot
Chiesa Osimhen Barbosa

Tony Everan
49 Posted 06/01/2020 at 11:49:42
Not so sure it is Zouma we are missing most.

Idrissa Gana Gueye is the loss we have not recovered from. In 2019 Gana was irrepressible, some of his performances were tantamount to having two players on the pitch. Put it this way, Gana would have done more work yesterday than Sigg and Schnied combined. Gbamin may have filled the gap, but with his injury we have to rely on Tom to do his best to fill it. Sigg, Schnide and Delph are slow and poorly motivated journeymen, not in the same class as IGG as players or as professionals.

Peter Gorman
50 Posted 06/01/2020 at 11:58:34
Given how utterly shite the likes of Digne, Mina and Sidibe have been this season I think we should pause before buying up these bench-warming talents from the greater clubs. They don't have the correct attitude to really take us back up the table.

I'd rather scour the leagues below for the next Cahill, the talents that deserve a greater stage and have the hunger to prove themselves.

The next Vardy or Moise Kean? It'll be harder to find the former but the latter is a complete waste of space and money.

Fran Mitchell
52 Posted 06/01/2020 at 20:09:46
Players we should have got from Championship, but instead went for 'tried and tested and PL proven' - should have gone for Maddison, or Brooks, went for Sigurdsson. Should have gone for Webster, went for (and failed to get) Zouma. And there are plenty others. So we should go.for some too quality championship players, far better than below average Premier league players.

I think we should go for Jarrod Bowen, arguably best player in the Championship. Goals from the left hand side, will be a huge improvement on Bernard.

We should then go for Eberechi Eze from QPR. Goodbye Sigurdsson.

Then Kalvin Phillips from Leeds, tchau Schneiderlin.

Ollie Watkins up front too.


Fran Mitchell
53 Posted 06/01/2020 at 20:12:06
Also, Max Aarons from Norwich. Tchau Coleman. Kenny back, tchau Sidibe.

Play Gordon on the right, tchau Walcott.


Sam Hoare
54 Posted 07/01/2020 at 11:12:45
Fran, I wonder how much those players would cost? Probably more than their foreign counterparts but depends on the circumstances of the team. I doubt Leeds would let Kalvin Phillips go for less than £35m and even then it might be hard.

Whoscored (which is far from perfect but has its uses) has John Swift as the best player statistically in the Champiosnhip, closely followed by Eze with Bowen not far behind.

Bowen will almsot certainly get a move to the PL this January i'd think with Newcastle the frontrunners; will be interesting to see how he does but for every Maddison there is a Dwight Gayle or a Scott Hogan, players who excelled at Championship level but never cut it in the PL.

I do think the Champiosnhip is a good source that we under-use. Who was the last first team player that we bought from there? Holgate?

Robert Tressell
55 Posted 07/01/2020 at 19:37:55
Jarrod Bowen is a good player. Dynamic, left footed and scores goals from right wing. He is the sort of player we'd have bought under Moyes. Since we've had money it feels like we turn our nose up at the Championship. But it's a stronger league than most top flights around Europe bar the big obvious ones. Him or walcott right wing? Probably back Bowen to be more productive. Quite what the best transfer strategy is now though after painful defeat plus record financial losses I do not know. Still feel a couple of v good signings could transform things. But now catching up with popular belief that sigurdsson and schneiderlin should be strolling around a pitch in Beijing or Miami, not Goodison.
Martin Berry
56 Posted 09/01/2020 at 08:48:58
Jarrod Bowen as mentioned is a bargain that some club will snap up and then others will be saying "why didn't we take a punt". At 23 he will only get better and has all the attributes to be a success.
We need young, hungry, energetic and skillful players who are used to or can adapt to the competitiveness of the Premier league not some 28/29 year old who has been strolling around in European leagues smoking a cigar !

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