Staying Positive in the Apocalypse

Unfortunately, we cannot spend big this summer but we can still improve the team a great deal by spending well. Great players don’t need to cost a fortune.

I expect everyone feels absolutely gutted about the sale of Richarlison to Spurs of all teams. But don’t lose hope; the mood in the camp and the contribution of the fans last season was extraordinary and gives us something to build on.

What, though, are we building towards, at least in the short to medium term?

The answer to me is very clear: we must aim to qualify for and attempt to win the Europa League. Failing that, the bizarre Conference League thing that, like many of us, Brendan Rodgers had to admit he’d never heard of. We can't win the Premier League — but I still want silverware in the cups.

So how do you build a squad capable of winning the Europa League? Let’s look at the last 3 winners, Eintracht Frankfurt, Villarreal and Seville.

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Eintracht Frankfurt

Squad value £202.32m – with a record transfer of £20m paid for Luka Jovic (now in Real Madrid’s reserves) a few years ago.

Frankfurt’s squad mostly comprises players bought in their early to mid-20s for between £3m and £10m. They have built up a really good team but their main “difference makers” are:

  • Kevin Trapp (goalkeeper) – bought age 29 from PSG for £6.3m
  • Evan N’Dicka (centre back) – bought age 18 from Auxerre for £4.9m
  • Tuta (centre back) – bought age 19 from Sao Paulo for £1.62m
  • Djibril Sow (central midfield) – bought age 22 from Young Boys Berne for £9m
  • Jesper Lindstrom (attacking midfield) – bought age 21 from Brondby for £6.3m
  • Daichi Kamada (attacking midfield) – bought age 20 from Japan for £1.44m
  • Filip Kostic (left wing) – bought age 26 from Hamburg for £5.4m
  • Rafael Borre (centre forward) – bought age 25 from River Plate on a free transfer

This really is an example of spending well and developing talent. It is extremely astute club management.


Squad value £348.30m – with a record transfer of £21.5m paid for Arnaud Danjuma from Bournemouth.

Villarreal’s squad mostly comprises players bought in their mid-20s for between £5 and £15m. They have built up a really good team but their main “difference makers” (bought rather than home-grown) are:

  • Juan Foyth (right back) – bought age 23 from Spurs for £13.5m
  • Pervis Estupinan (left back) – bought age 22 from Watford for £15m
  • Arnaud Danjuma (wing / forward) – bought age 24 from Bournemouth for £21.5m

Unlike Frankfurt, Villarreal bring through really good players like Pino, Torres and Chukwueze. They also have a strong tradition of bringing in talent from South America so their shopping sprees in London and the South Coast are a bit surprising.


Squad value £333.99m – with a record transfer of £21.5m paid for Rony Lopes from Monaco.

Seville’s squad is really good. It mostly comprises players bought in their mid-20s for between £7.5 and £20m. They have built up a really good team but their main “difference makers” (bought rather than home-grown) are:

  • Jules Kounde (centre back) – bought age 20 from Bordeaux for £20m
  • Youssef En-Nesri (striker) -bought age 22 from Leganes for £18m
  • Diego Carlos (centre back) – bought age 26 from Nantes for £13.5m (just joined Villa)
  • Gonzalo Montiel (right back) – bought age 24 from River Plate for £10m
  • Lucas Ocampos (wing / forward) – bought age 24 from Marseille for £13.5m

What does all this mean?

What I take from this is that it doesn’t cost the earth to build a cracking side.

We currently have a squad valued at £356.18m and a record signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson at £45m. We also have a long list of very undistinguished acquisitions in the £20m to £35m category which include:

  • Iwobi age 23 (£27m)
  • Bolasie age 27 (£26m)
  • Keane age 24 (£25m)
  • Kean age 19 (£24m)
  • Klaassen age 24 (£24m)
  • Gbamin age 23 (£22.5m)
  • Gomes age 25 (£22.5m)
  • Allan age 29 (£22m)
  • Schneiderlin age 27 (£20m)
  • Walcott age 28 (£20m)
  • Tosun age 26 (£20m)

In short, we’ve spent a lot of money to build up an average squad. We all know that. But even if we’re skint in Premier League terms, we’re still pretty rich in global terms. We really can compete financially with the likes of Frankfurt, Villarreal and Seville for transfer fees and, in particular, wages.

But isn’t the Premier League so competitive that we can’t risk these low-cost speculative signings?

Personally, I think this is a complete myth.

The truth is that high-cost “Premier League-ready” signings of very average players is what has seen the squad quality deteriorate so badly. Would Harry Winks, for example, improve either of the last 3 Europa League winners? No. They will buy players comparable to Harry Winks for between £5m and £10m.

These three recent Europa League winners are proof that there are really excellent players available for around £10m to £20m if we look in South America, France, relegated Premier League clubs and the Championship. The price tag can even be a lot lower than that if you look into Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Asia.

Unfortunately, we cannot spend big this summer. But we can still improve the team a great deal by spending well. Great players don’t need to cost a fortune. With Lampard building on that team spirit and Thelwell delivering the right players, we really could be lifting the Europa League in the next few years.

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Reader Comments (33)

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Paul Kernot
1 Posted 01/07/2022 at 07:31:34
Love this type of thread Rob. You've obviously done some homework on the subject and I thank you for the hope provided for a bright future following confirmation of Richarlison's sale today.
David Thomas
2 Posted 01/07/2022 at 07:49:47
I agree Rob, but unfortunately I have no faith in Everton finding these players, as shown by looking at Harry Winks which just looks a typical Everton target.
Tony Shelby
3 Posted 01/07/2022 at 07:50:43
Christ, our list of £20m+ players is depressing.

Pedigree Chum wouldn’t sign most of them.

Andy Finigan
4 Posted 01/07/2022 at 08:03:08
Made my day a lot brighter reading your superb post Robert. Just goes to show how many good players we can get for our 48 million sale (net) of Richy if spent wisely. Up the mighty blues, have a great day fellow Evertonians.
Peter Neilson
5 Posted 01/07/2022 at 08:03:20
Thanks for the article Robert, I completely agree with the view. It makes it all the more depressing that we’re linked with Winks rather than finding unproven PL talent. Do we even have the scouting/recruitment network to do this? Sandro, Niasse, Klaassen and Tosun amongst others suggest that we don’t.
Gary Jones
6 Posted 01/07/2022 at 08:17:56
Fabulous and utterly horrifying article. That near £300m player list is stuff of horror.

Issue is the “premier league premium”. If any of our list had gone to Germany the price would have been half. If any of their list came here, the price would have been +50%.

Not excusing the club, moneys money and they should be able to gazump these continental teams with hard nosed negotiators…..but we have Bill.

Tony Abrahams
7 Posted 01/07/2022 at 08:19:23
Those were exactly my thoughts as well Tony S. Money can make you lazy, uttered Marcel Brands, and although he wasn’t responsible for a lot of those signings, I don’t think he’s ever spoken a more honest phrase.

You put a lot of time and effort into this type of stuff Robert, and because football has never been played on paper, I just hope that Everton now start taking a different direction, especially when looking at that depressing list, of the twenty million or over players, who have mostly contributed next to nothing, and must all have at least £5 million in the bank, thanks to Everton FC.

Maybe that word “unfortunately”, that you use in your last paragraph might be the making of us Robert? Who knows, especially if we get off to a good start and continue to have a very passionate crowd behind us?

Jim Lloyd
8 Posted 01/07/2022 at 08:45:43
It's a smashing article, Robert. I think there's two things that might help us now, choose players more wisely. We haven't got the money to throw away on expensive players who don't deliver. as Koeman did when he came here, followed by a list of thwe others that you've included. That's an awful lot of money on transfer fees and a big load on wages.
I think that Frank Lampard and his chosen Director of Footy (well, I think he chose him but I really rate him whoever did) know they won't have a great deal of money to just throw away, like the club has done.

Between the two of them, and working (hopefully) with a much more savvy board, we'll start building a proper young squad, with the occasion oul arse player who can get the team's rhythm ticking properly.

Those teams who have won who Robert has mentioned, I think have more of a chance of getting into Europe because the competition for euro places are less fierce. I think though that the club might just begin to be run on a professional footing and our management and recruitment team will build out squad up into getting into the top seven in a few years, maybe only a couple of seasons to get us into europe if we do well in a cup competition as well.

Stu Darlington
9 Posted 01/07/2022 at 09:14:19
Great article Robert.It supports a strategy you have been advocating for some time and I completely agree with you.
Essentially it is “ Moneyball “you are advocating. The players are definitely out there.
The only worry I have is do we have the skill and expertise in the club to scout them,and having found them the bottle to go out and sign them
I’d much prefer we did that than go for players who can’t get in their own clubs first team, and with a record that doesn’t inspire confidence.
I’m not sure we have that kind of expertise or mental attitude in our recruitment set up.Maybe that’s where we start?

Danny O’Neill
10 Posted 01/07/2022 at 09:33:49
Sad to see Richarlison go.

Very good detailed analysis as always Robert.

I want a short term approach backed up by a strategy. I acknowledge that statement is contradictory but also makes sense.

Win a trophy and qualify for Europe. Put ourselves on the map and then build on that platform. Something we failed to do previously, the last time being 1995.

But others have done so. The Chelsea and City projects took years before they won the league. But the steadily improved on and off the pitch and won trophies along the way as well as playing European football.

To those who sneer at European football as a Sam Allardyce type inconvenience, I just have to disagree with you. And even regarding the new conference or 3rd level competition. Well, as I've repeated myself many times, one of our greatest nights was lifting Europe's 3rd tier trophy in Rotterdam in 1985. Give me that again any time soon.

We are selling. As long as we recycle and reinvest wisely, it is just how it works. Don't fear selling your best players. Other clubs do it including the one we are selling to with Richarlison. Bale & Modric spring to mind. Kane was rumoured last season and could still go this one.

It's not what you sell or spend that matters. It's how you sell and then re-invest. How you spend, not what you spend. We should know that more than most by now.

I could mention another club good at it, but I won't as I'll get told off.

And please, look beyond this league and these shores. This "must have Premier League experience" tag has frustrated me for years. The vast majority of the most successful players and managers of the Premier League era didn't achieve that success until (guess what) they made their first appearance in the English Premier League without previous experience.

Barry Rathbone
11 Posted 01/07/2022 at 09:50:02
I hate Everton - the version post Big Joe anyway - but I've never given up hope.

The positivity caper I find impossible because of the unassailable facts governing footy. If you have money you challenge if not you sit in the inconsequential nob'ead bin.

The nob'ead bin is split into two groups historic big clubs like Newcastle and Villa (and now us) cuddling up to rank outsiders like Birmingham, Portsmouth, Wigan, Swansea et al. The latter examples have since departed the Prem but notably all won cups along the way.

The point is you have to fly under the radar and not be seen as a threat to win something from the nob'ead bin. Sneak through unheralded then hope the gods favour you in the final. Us and other "names" can never fly under the radar somewhere down the track opposition wake up to who they are playing and kick their heads in.

As a "name" residing in the nob'ead bin with no money we have the double whammy that takes winning a cup down to the near zero mark. But not being quite at zero we can hope but not be positive. Delusional positivity affects mental health and almost certainly results in erectile dysfunction.

You have been warned

Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 01/07/2022 at 10:01:19
Excellent and well-researched post, Robert, as usual from you.

The scouting(?) for lots of the players we have signed at ridiculous prices and longevity of the contract plus the exorbitant wages are bordering on criminal, lots of us on ToffeeWeb after a few looks scouting these players would have swerved them.

Let's hope the new scouting team can do much better than the last few, I'd give them a tip: take you with them when they are looking at any prospective new signing, and that's a genuine compliment, Robert.

Tony Everan
13 Posted 01/07/2022 at 10:30:28
Thanks Robert for an uplifting article, these Europa winners are clubs with a plan. I think that’s what Kevin Thelwell has been brought in for. To make our game plan and systems clearer and recruit players to fit that system. I think the ‘due diligence’ comments about Winks show that Thelwell is putting good arguments together whilst keeping Frank on board.

I always try to be optimistic, so this latest bout of optimism is attached to Kevin Thelwell making a long overdue difference.

As ever talk is cheap, the proof will be in the quality of recruitment. The next few weeks will tell us more about the new direction.

After selling Richarlison, possibly Kean this window, Mina a maybe we could have 80-100m to rebuild (I said maybe) . As your detailed article points out we could pick up four players for that who would make a real difference.

As much as I loved Richarlison he didn’t fully compliment DCL, so bringing a left forward in who does could go some way to compensating his loss. Chip in a few goals and get DCL to 20+.

Zinchenko is in the northwest with his family, we could have an opportunity to sign him for the left sided slot in midfield. Still only 25 and a solid forward thinking positive player . I think he would help give us more stability and control as a team. He should be a big target for us.

Then the priority, a tough quality DCM, you tell me who for 20m ?

Then a loan from Chelsea, hopefully Frank will choose well and essentially get an option to buy too.

Dale Rose
14 Posted 01/07/2022 at 10:36:46
Very interesting and a lot of hard work gone into that. The difficulty I see with scouting for players is having the boots on the ground for doing it. Information and intelligence are the by words for the current time. There again this is Everton and the emperors new clothes, spring to mind.

I'm glad Lampard has knocked Winks on the head, this will bode well for the future.

Robert Tressell
15 Posted 01/07/2022 at 11:02:51
As an aside, I think the only signings by any of the clubs which required any proper scouting we're Kamada, Ndicka and Tuta for Frankfurt. All the others were playing for well known clubs in well known leagues, and many were full internationals already.

So I don't see this as requiring any great scouting revolution. Our scouts will be well aware of the players. And I don't see it as moneyball as such either. It's more a case of looking for good value / low cost when buying players - which typically enables sell on value and other benefits.

Personally I can't see why we'd ever spend more than about £20m on a player. And most should be cheaper than that.

Andy Finigan
16 Posted 01/07/2022 at 11:04:20
The only thing that worries me slightly is since our owner arrived apart from Silver all the other managers were bought in with a memoranda of wanting to bring in there own experienced expensive players ready to go streight into the side and even Silver splashed some cash.

Now was Frank hired with that veiw or has he now been told a new plan must be implemented like Robert has suggested to move this club in a savvy operating direction.

Either Way with potentially new owners comming in and the fact our money pot big is sealed and putting a knife in the slit and tipping it up side down only let's loose change out, I hope Frank can stay and work with our DOF Mr Thelwells and not only implement a style in all our teams weather that be 433 or451 or even 5141 but accept paying less for young players that fit that bill is the only way we can go from now on.

James Flynn
17 Posted 01/07/2022 at 11:56:39
We better sign players gonna help us knock 20-25 goals conceded from last year's 66.
Mal van Schaick
18 Posted 01/07/2022 at 11:59:03
Good appraisal of what we could achieve given that everything has to fall in place for us to acquire better quality players.

However, my head is spinning (for want of a better word) with twelve managers in ten years and the absolute dross, that they have brought to our club, and unfortunately we are still laden with a few.

If Lampard and his back room staff, can bring in a reputable goal scorers and some creative midfield tough guys, that may change my prospective of the future. Only time will tell.

One thing is for certain. We cannot continue in the same vain of buying less than average players, who either don’t play or make up the numbers on the bench.

Tony Hill
19 Posted 01/07/2022 at 16:13:55
Sound medical advice, Barry @11.
Gary Jones
20 Posted 02/07/2022 at 07:32:00
Another angle to positivity is youth coming through. If 1-2 could burst through each year in the way Gordon has (or even more steadily, with the obvious quality, like Branthwaite) then we'd be heading the right way.

I'm praying one of Warrington or Onyango can make the step up this season, and ideally both of Dobbin and Simms. With Anthony switched to the left, I'm thinking Dobbin could be an answer on the right. And (whilst not a kid), I also think Broadhead may have a role this season.

5 subs and a limited squad depth = great chance for youth!

Stu Darlington
21 Posted 02/07/2022 at 09:49:12
I wouldn't say Gordon actually burst through, Gary,,he looked very tentative and lightweight for a while until he got some games under his belt and his confidence and self-belief grew.

Would he have got those games without our injury problems? I doubt it but, now he has, he is obviously one for the future.

I agree fully with you and Robert, that good young players with potential at the right price are the way forward for us, but I think we also need a blend of experienced players, à la Barry and/or Neville, to get the balance right.

Gary Jones
22 Posted 02/07/2022 at 10:02:50
Stu – last summer he was worth a couple of million, this summer most fans would be fuming if he were sold for £40M+. If that's not “bursting through” I've got no idea what is.

Doubt there are many players on the planet who haven't been tentative across first 6 months as pro.

As for “only got games cos others were injured” – I've rarely heard such bollocks in my life. He got games when the negative fat waiter got fucked off, and someone allowed him to be the attacker he is, not insisting on him being a covering winger in a 4-4-2 system that died in 2005.

Danny Baily
23 Posted 02/07/2022 at 10:18:07
Re Gordon, I found the response to the Spurs rumours interesting. There was no way a club like Spurs would be interested in Gordon, it was clearly nonsense.

If he was 16 and playing the way he did last season, then maybe… but he's 21. It's clear that our opinion of him is much higher than those outside the club. He's ours for as long as we'll have him, just like Osman was, and that's great.

I notice the odds on Lingard joining us are shortening.

Robert Tressell
24 Posted 02/07/2022 at 11:27:51
Tony, you ask who are the sub £20m defensive midfielders.

The reality is that there are probably at least 15 players of the right sort of profile.

The 3 Europa League winners would look at players like:

- Krejci of Sparta Prague
- Kiwior of Spezia
- Danilo of Palmeiras
- Varela of Boca Juniors
- Ampadu of Chelsea
- Fuchs of Peterborough

Wolfsburg have just bought a holding midfielder, Franjic, from Dinamo Zagreb for £6.5m. Leeds have signed Marc Roca from Bayern for £11m.

Not all of these will be a success. But at that price it's fairly low risk. We've been paying £20m plus and big wages for players of the same standard or worse.

It would be like buying Scott McTominay now for £25m. Basically the most expensive average player we can find.

Back in the day we filled this key position with Lee Carsley - and before that Joe Parkinson. Both of these players would walk into our First XI right now and both were really cheap, unglamorous signings at the time.

Jim Lloyd
25 Posted 02/07/2022 at 11:30:13
I often wonder whether Kevin Sheedy was pushed out or just decided to get a better job. I always thought he was a really intelligent player and could coach young players the skills of the game.

I thought Gary Jones's point about the 5 subs from god knows how many was a good point. When I first read about it, Andros Townsend mentioned how Klopp had been whining about and I could see Towny's point.

But it could work for us as well, with some decent young players of ours getting more of a chance for first-team action, but being able to come off if it got too much.

Stu Darlington
26 Posted 02/07/2022 at 17:12:47

£40M+ for Gordon after half a season in the Premier League? You're having a laugh. I'm not saying he hasn't got promise, but he's not there yet by a long way.

Clearly your opinion of him is much higher than others outside the club.

Dupont Koo
27 Posted 03/07/2022 at 02:40:29
Thank you, Robert, digging through some of the lesser known names as usual for a lot of us.

Quick tangent: I read an article earlier this week about the City Football Group, the group that manages Man City and their 9 (!) sister clubs across the world.

Other than maintaining a Global Database of players and staff that are shared amongst all the clubs within the group, there is one interesting fact about using their financial resources well: they actually employ 2 Argentina based full-time scouts, a feat that even the mightiest Brazilian clubs like Corinthians, Santos and Flamengo don't care to do, given they have been able to raid the Argentinian Giants like River Plate and Boca in the past decade with their relative financial might (granted, domestic market in Brazil is already big enough to dig out diamonds-in-the-rough almost every minute).

So, how can we leverage our South Amercian connections (most notably, with our cousin at Chile, Everton de Viña del Mar)? Previously, many have argued that the UK Work Permit is a deterring us from investing resources in signing South American players. Nowadays, after Brexit, it is no longer the case: signing a youngster from Belgium for example has to go through similar hassles as signing someone with similar background from South America.

Despite Brands's best effort (never forget that he was heavily compromised by the dynamic duo of Moshiri & Kenwright), only nominal progress was made in our excursion into the South America market. And now, we might have too many problems domestically for Thelwell to lay out our own International network, but IMHO we are at least 15 years too late and whatever minimal progress that we can only make now is way better than the status quo.

Jay Harris
28 Posted 03/07/2022 at 03:41:17
Excellent analysis and intriguing post, Robert.

I understand your feeling that the Europa League is no longer to be sneezed at but I think none of the 3 clubs you mention would last a season in the Premier League.

It is a long hard marathon and my first preference is for Frank to stabilize us in the top half before any thought is given to taking risks on cheap signings with potential.

If Brands did anything right, it was bringing in low-cost players into the youth sides for development but very few were first-team successes.

First-team players need to hit the ground running in the Premier League as we see with the so-called Top 6.

Hard work and determination used to bridge the gap but the top sides have sussed this now and it's in their DNA too.

The only avenue we have to be able to improve and compete is teamwork and tactics. Hopefully this is being worked on already but, as we all know, the current squad is not capable of taking us where we would like to be and everbody and his dog know who the up-and-coming players are and agents already know the Premier League is awash with money and that is in short supply for us.

I'm sorry to be so negative but, with Fred Karno's circus in charge of the club, I am getting more depressed every day.

Jim Lloyd
29 Posted 03/07/2022 at 07:59:09
A good post, Jay. I agree with your point that we are in a poor financial position, and the same goes for our squad of players. I think Robert's point of us buying players who weren't in their clubs' first teams, for lots of money in transfer fees and also ridiculous wages, has left us with a sizeable proportion of first-team squad players, not good enough and who we're unlikely to be able to sell. Then there's the takeover business, or not!

However, we can only start from where we are; and the first thing our management team will have done is sort out who we can get rid of and who we can keep... and who we're stuck with! If it's not rock bottom for us, it's not far off it; but with astute signings, as Robert has indicated, we can start to rebuild our squad.

I think Frank Lampard and Kevin Thelwell are a team who know a lot of decent players and, because of who they are, can attract some of these to our club. But they've got to sell the prospective players a vision, the club has to back them, I'm sure they can.

Just like Howard Kendall did, when he brought in a mixture of Liverpool reserves, young players who he felt woud fit into the team, some of them from other divisions, and a couple of older players, one reputed to be a crock and the other a top centre-forward who was also reputedly past his best.

So we got Kevin Sheedy, Peter Reid, Andy Gray, we had the world's best goalie and mad Pat van den Hauwe. It turned out that, with the other lads who came in, we became the best team in Europe!

Times change but crafty work and a good management team, along with a manager who players wanted to play for; rather than these £20- to £30-odd million useless "steals" we ended up with, can begin the revolution needed in our thinking, our recruitment and our footballing ethos.

Overnight? I very much doubt it; but if we start off right, then who knows. We have to have a longer term vision and live up to our motto. Liverpool have the saying "We are a club who are here to win things." Well, we must start believing in our own motto and, I don't care if it's the Liverpool Senior Cup, a friendly match or a third tier cup, we must have winning a trophy as our aim.

First things first, is to repair the damage Pinky and Perky have left us in. So, if we are not taken over (and I really hope we are!), if we are stuck with "we've had some good times", then I hope he will keep his nose out of our manager's and DoF's jobs of turning our club into where we should be... not where we are.

Tony Everan
30 Posted 03/07/2022 at 16:40:31
Robert 24. Thanks for the list.

The young Chelsea defensive midfielder, Ethan Ampadu, is a very interesting player; it's easy to dismiss him based on his early lightweight performances for Chelsea when he was a teenager. I'm probably guilty of that to an extent.

They've had him out on loan, getting hard but very valuable experience into him. Played appx 30 games for Sheffield Utd in 2020-21 and similar for Venezia in Italy, 2021-22. So he passes Frank's robustness requirements. Also growing international experience with some glowing reviews for Wales.

The kid is still 21 and could now be ready to take the next step up. Frank Lampard will be well aware of him, it'll be interesting to see if he rates him highly enough for us to get involved.

He could well fit into the model of a player signed for £12M before they make it to being a big name £30M+. Hopefully we can do that instead of say Brighton.

Ajay Gopal
31 Posted 13/07/2022 at 11:16:17
I just came across this very interesting, but strangely, 'sleeping' thread.

Thanks, Robert, for painstakingly putting together the key players signing data for Seville, Villarreal and Eintracht. That list shows me that, when money is spent wisely, a competitive squad can quickly be built up.

On the other hand, you list of £20M+ Everton signings over the past 4 or 5 years, is a stark reminder of how things can go badly wrong when using a scatter-gun approach. To your 'horror' list of Everton signings, I would add:

Mina: £27M
Godfrey: £25M
Doucoure: £20M

For the money and wages being paid to them, I would say their playing impact for Everton has been underwhelming so far. Hopefully, the tide is turning with the signings of Mykolenko, Patterson and Tarkowski.

I also note that the club is trying to re-sign the forgotten academy player Lewis Gibson. If they do that, then for me it is a sure sign that Lampard is thinking of selling one, maybe two centre-backs out of Mina, Keane, Holgate, Godfrey.

Personally, I would be happy if we could raise about £40M selling both Mina and Godfrey. And reinvest about 75% of the £100M (£40M + £60M from Richarlison) in the likes of Broja, Zinchenko, and one of the defensive mid-fielders from Robert's list in post #24.

Personally, I would prefer someone like Loftus-Cheek, who is still quite young at 26 years, but experienced enough in the Premier League, and has the right physicality and energy to play in the defensive midfield role. I think he is someone who would also improve under Lampard.

Robert Tressell
32 Posted 13/07/2022 at 17:12:53
Thanks Ajay. I would say though, even Seville, being the richest of the 3 clubs I mentioned, would not even consider buying Zinchenko or Broja because the fees are far too high. Same goes for Gibbs-White.

They seem to have found perfectly good alternatives at much lower cost.

Based on the quality of their squad and stature in Europe I reckon Seville would finish between 6th and 10th in the Premier League.

I think we're seduced into thinking Premier League players are much better than they actually are. Many of them, even those getting regular games at Rich 6 sides, are really nothing special at all.

Nick Page
33 Posted 13/07/2022 at 17:36:10
It's not just who you sign, it's signing players to fit in a system. If you have a well-developed style of play (system), then going and finding players to slot into those positions is actually quite easy.

Liverpool do a great job of this – because Klopp has a system and they're upgrading their playing staff all the time. Man City the same – although it's more subtle.

We've just gone out and signed players cos we fancy them, have then changed managers, and the playing staff are effectively in limbo and being squeezed into a system they weren't bought for.

This is why we look so shite and disjointed. It all starts from the top, though, unfortunately.

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