Here’s my usual article with about 2 weeks left on the transfer window, to reassure myself and others that we can still improve the playing squad. 

The lost targets

The likes of Rodrigo, Toure, Gyökeres, Boniface, Tete, Elanga, Sarr, Ndiaye, Kent and DeWinter have now gone elsewhere. It looks generally like we’ve lost out to clubs who can offer better financial packages to the selling club – or maybe just a more attractive home for the player concerned.  All of these are good but not great players – so it’s no disaster to have lost out.  There’s plenty more fish in the sea.

A few good fits now gone

We’ve obviously got such a difficult financial situation that we can only bring in the free (with low wage demands), loans and those available for a low up-front fee we can pay for on the drip.  Not many such players have moved who we’d be interested in – but here’s a few:

  • Tillman: loan from Bayern to PSV after a cracking 2022-23 season for Rangers
  • Ampadu: Chelsea to Leeds (I’ve wanted him for years)
  • Vini Souza: Lommel to Sheff Utd (he was very good on loan in La Liga for Espanyol last season)
  • Faivre: Lyon to Bournemouth – but I think (hope) Harrison is a better signing

Oh well – no biggie.

The sigh of relief

A number of experienced but unremarkable players have moved – the sorts of players you might have expected Dyche to be interested in – Weghorst, Rodon, Doherty, Winks, Barkley and Trusty.  Interesting that we’ve swerved the lot of them (as they're not as bad as made out and beggars can't be choosers). I still think we’ve gone for some more exciting targets though – of which more below…

The targets still to move

The future is still to be resolved for a few players we’ve been very strongly linked with:

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  • Ekitite
  • Brobbey
  • Piroe
  • Dia
  • Iheanacho
  • Daka

Wing/ forward

  • Gnonto
  • Sulemana


  • Solet
  • Maguire
  • Chalobah

Encouragingly, the focus seems to be on the positions where we are weakest.  It looks like it might be between Gnonto and Sulemana to replace Gray, and whoever we can get in to supplement Calvert-Lewin, Chermiti and Maupay.  It wouldn’t surprise me for some other player to come out of left-field fairly late on.  Maguire seems like a very unlikely signing unless on loan with heavily subsidised wages.  Same too for Chalobah.  Solet might also be a possibility on loan from Salzburg with an option to buy.

Leftfield options

There are also a few gems that the likes of Brighton and Brentford seem to bring in to the Premier League – here’s the tip of an iceberg:

  • Thielmann of Koln, diligent and fast right midfielder / winger, out of contract in June 2024.
  • Burkardt of Mainz, high-quality versatile forward / striker who missed much of last season with injury. He was linked with Real Madrid as a possible Benzema replacement before then. Also out of contract June 2024.
  • Diaz of AEK Athens, versatile Trinidadian forward who is good in the air.
  • Tresor of Genk, Belgian winger / midfielder who plays a bit like Steven Pienaar.
  • Paintsil of Genk, genuine consistent goal threat and pace from the Ghanaian right winger.
  • Nuamah of Nordsjaellend, latest big talent coming through from the Danish development club that brought you Kudus and Sulemana. Very fast left-footed winger with end product.
  • Orban of Gent, possibly the best young striker in the world right now hitting incredible figures in Belgium and Europe.
  • Flemming of Millwall, possibly the most “Dyche” type player in the Championship – an all-action attacking midfielder / second striker with aerial ability and goal threat.
  • Mejbri of Man Utd, extravagantly talented French Tunisian midfield general who is out of contract June 2024 and may fancy talking about the ancestral homeland with Portuguese Tunisian Chermiti.
  • Broja of Chelsea, he seems to be fit now but no closer to starting after Chelsea signed Jackson for the centre-forward slot.  Would be an interesting signing given how we were so close to getting him this time last year.


This might be at least as important as arrivals.

We’ve got quite a few players we’d all be delighted to see the back of: Maupay, Alli, Gbamin and Gomes.  Hopefully they will go for fees or at least on loan.

Gray, Iwobi and Keane aren’t everyone’s cup of tea – and the contract situation of the former two means they might be sold. But they make a pretty big contribution so will be hard to replace. No disaster if they go, but they do need to be replaced. Much as these players get grief, it’s by no means a given that the replacements will be better.

Hopefully we’ll keep Pickford, Onana and Branthwaite. They are all Champions League type players (if not quite consistent at that level yet in the case of the latter two). Personally, I hope we keep all three.

Reader Comments (90)

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Andy Crooks
1 Posted 15/08/2023 at 21:39:33
Really good piece, Robert. Interesting on the bullets we have dodged. Let's hope Maguire stays out of the picture. No signings are better than what we have often landed in the past.
After Maguire, my biggest fear is a journeyman striker. If you had one feasible choice, who would it be?
Denver Daniels
2 Posted 15/08/2023 at 21:50:42
Great piece as always, Robert. In terms of journeymen strikers, how about Bas Dost, Andy? Free agent after a 1 year deal at Utrecht. 34 now so getting on a bit but 9 in 24 so can still find the back of the net. Experienced, free and cheap back up for Dom?
Christy Ring
3 Posted 15/08/2023 at 22:06:16
Good article Robert, and our problem is that when you can't offer cash upfront, the players that you really want to sign are gone elsewhere, that's how we got Maupay unfortunately. Disappointed Maguire didn't go to the hammers, don't want to see him in any type of swap deal.LinkLink
Christy Ring
4 Posted 15/08/2023 at 22:06:16
Good article Robert, and our problem is that when you can't offer cash upfront, the players that you really want to sign are gone elsewhere, that's how we got Maupay unfortunately. Disappointed Maguire didn't go to the hammers, don't want to see him in any type of swap deal.LinkLink
Christy Ring
5 Posted 15/08/2023 at 22:06:16
Good article Robert, and our problem is that when you can't offer cash upfront, the players that you really want to sign are gone elsewhere, that's how we got Maupay unfortunately. Disappointed Maguire didn't go to the hammers, don't want to see him in any type of swap deal.LinkLink
Christy Ring
6 Posted 15/08/2023 at 22:06:16
Good article Robert, and our problem is that when you can't offer cash upfront, the players that you really want to sign are gone elsewhere, that's how we got Maupay unfortunately. Disappointed Maguire didn't go to the hammers, don't want to see him in any type of swap deal.LinkLink
Neil Copeland
7 Posted 15/08/2023 at 22:19:11
Thanks for the article Robert, all good stuff and interesting.

We are being linked with Beto a lot at the moment but I see you didn’t mention him. Do you think it is just paper talk/click bait? If not, what do you think of him?

Ian Jones
8 Posted 15/08/2023 at 22:21:33
Interesting artcle, thanks. Agree with most of what you say, except I am not part of the 'we' who want to see the back of Alli.

I would be happy to see him get his chance

Neil Copeland
9 Posted 15/08/2023 at 22:27:47
Ian #8, yes I agree. Chances are slim but while we have a few games to find out before having to pay I would say we need to try (assuming he gets fit and shows a good attitude of course).
John Raftery
10 Posted 15/08/2023 at 22:34:36
Thanks Robert, very informative.

I can envisage Gray leaving simply because he offers a goal threat along with a touch of class. If he was more consistent he would not be with us. I will be surprised if either Iwobi or Keane depart. Neither would command a big transfer fee. We don’t have, and cannot afford, ready made replacements.

The obvious priority at this stage must be to bring in a striker. A dilemma for our decision makers is whether or not to risk recruiting a player from abroad with no experience of playing in this country. Most imports usually require a settling in period. Can we afford that?

Tony Everan
11 Posted 15/08/2023 at 22:41:04
Robert, Excellent work this window, always enjoy these articles.

I’d like Thelwell to be backed to get Gnonto and Iheanacho, ( who I think could well be a perfect fit for us to challellege, rotate and back up Calvert-Lewin).

Then tell Manchester United no sale for Onana or Branthwaite.

We played well on Saturday just need to put a chance or two away, also very unlucky to get Keane’s goal ruled out. Reactions can be overblown sometimes, but I think we are headed in the right direction. I don’t think we are too far as from being a decent side, which has scope for improvement too.

Ed Prytherch
12 Posted 16/08/2023 at 00:17:18
I don't understand the enthusiasm for Gnonto (my wife and I call him Gnocchi). He is less productive than Iwobi and apparently is worth 3 times as much. But I do like Iheanacho.

Maguire would be fine if he were on 60K/week.

Mark Taylor
13 Posted 16/08/2023 at 01:12:02
I doubt we'll lose too many players. Only Pickford and maybe Onana could earn more elsewhere and I doubt even the latter could, he's not that good.

It's pretty clear we overpay massively, the likes Davies can't even get a new job despite being a free signing. And who in their right mind would pay the wages of our Invisible Trio of Gomes, Gbamin and Dele, let alone a transfer fee?

Gray is our most saleable asset, not because he is much good, but because his wages are affordable. We got him for a decent rate. Who would pay double his wages for Maupay for example? We'd have to pay someone to take him off our wage bill. Same with Holgate. If he leaves, we'll be paying part of his wages.

Danny O’Neill
14 Posted 16/08/2023 at 07:26:06
Very detailed analysis as always Robert. Don't take this as an offence, it's more a compliment, but you almost have a Benitez-like dossier on players. I don't know half of them and I follow football outside of Everton.

I personally wouldn't like to lose Gray, but as you say, if we get decent money for him given the initial outlay, as long as we replace him (there lies the question), it would be good business. Maybe we already have with the lad from Leeds on loan.

To the title of your article, I've been saying this for years. It even hit Ancelotti. We've generally maintained 12 - 14 decent players who, on their day, can compete. But once the injuries kick in and you scratch the surface, there is not a lot left in the pantry.

A lot of young players. But you ideally don't want young players constantly thrown into the cauldron of a struggling team. I know Hansen called it wrong when he said you can't win anything with kids, but I've only ever seen United do that under Ferguson. I'm sure the older generation will cite the Busby Babes.

We've got what we've got. Maybe something will come in. Meanwhile, we have to face a wounded Villa. Closest crocodile to the canoe and all that!

Good piece and I enjoyed reading that.

Ian Bennett
15 Posted 16/08/2023 at 08:07:41
Akor Adams at £4.5m was a good buy for Monpellier. 21, quick Nigerian striker from Lillestrom scored 2 on his debut. He had a good scoring record in Norway for a young player. 6ft-3in.

Gift Orban scored the quickest hat trick in the Champions League qualifier history. He will stay if they make the group, but if they get knocked out I'd expect Spurs to buy him to replace Kane. Another Nigerian. 5ft-10in.

Missed the boat on both, but both would have had real potential to deliver multiple goals and increase on transfer fee.

Mick O'Malley
16 Posted 16/08/2023 at 08:17:41
Onana not that good eh, I'll bet he goes to a big club before all the other useless bastards we've got in midfield.

I don't see interest in Doucouré from Man Utd etc, I'd also like to see Dele get a few more games,

Steve Shave
17 Posted 16/08/2023 at 08:18:13
Hey Robert, thanks for this. There are many others too, I think my preferred choice is Beto at this stage though note he is not on your list. We have been linked for two seasons now.

Failing that (we are good at that after all!) I like Vazquez at Cincinnati, USA international of Mexican heritage. Big, bustling unit with a lot of potential, 24 years old I believe. You previously got me looking at Habibou Diallo from Strasbourg too, I quite like the look of him.

Gift Orban looks a fantastic prospect but I think he has Spurs written all over him, besides he perhaps doesn't have the height of the profile we are likely looking for?

Assuming we have some money after an almost zero net spend and Spurs buy a couple of players, who'd take Richy back on a knocked down fee? I would. The grass isn't always greener pal, ask peanuts! His versatility (along with Danjuma's) might mean we wouldn't have to get a winger in as well? Okay, I'm dreaming but he has the national team to think of.

Alex Gray
18 Posted 16/08/2023 at 08:18:14
Hi Robert excellent piece here. The only one I'd add is Beto to the striker list. Seems physically he'd actually be the best fit for us from what i've seen (granted not all that much).

Apparently Monaco have bid €21M for Sulemana and, now Spurs have the Kane money, they're in for Gnonto so, if we are still in for another winger, I think things will have to move fast or we could lose out on both.

Striker-wise I'd love Beto or Dia. Relatively unknown to the Premier League but out of the others I’d probably go for Daka simply because of his record before Leicester. There's a player there somewhere. Adams has a worse goal record than Maupay and Inneacho just doesn’t do it for me personally.

Ekitike would be the dream but top teams are interested in him and I just think we're too low down the pecking order.

Centre-back is really interesting for me. We do need a quality one in but I think, with the two other attacking options needed in first, I don't see us getting one over the line.

Sean Roe
19 Posted 16/08/2023 at 08:34:32
Hopefully Gnonto will be another bullet we've dodged. Refusing to play for the club that pays his wages under the contract that he signed.

He's hardly in the world's elite, in fact the only thing he has done of note in the footballing world is help get the team he now refuses to play for relegated.

There has to be a more professional option out there somewhere that we can look to get, after getting that much needed striker first.

Jim Lloyd
20 Posted 16/08/2023 at 09:06:23
A really interesting and informative read. Robert, I just hope that our scouting team do as much research as you! In fact, I'd like to think we've got someone in our scouting team who has remotely a handle on the available, talented players, as you.

I think, besides not having had great success in securing talent, especially in the recent past, this window is especially difficult for two reasons. Money! I don't know how much financial backing Thelwell and Dyche have got have. Hopefully, more than I fear! Then there might be a problem attracting players, because of our last two seasons finishing places.

If we could get one more player: a forward who can score goals fairly regularly, I think I'd be optimistic at the end of this window.

Mind you, the players we've brought in seem to be a good calibre (and apart from Young, who looks a good fit for us,young!) If we can keep Branthwaite, then I wouldn't mind if Keane stays as a sub. Only seen on youtube but Danjuma and Harrison, both look handy in front of goal.

If we want players in who are going to cost us and we have to sell, then. Is Iwobi staying or going? If we have to sell to bring quality in, I would support the club selling Iwobi and Onana. Doesn't Gueye's contract finish in the Summer? If so, all we need is find someone like a Peter Reid who would do just nicely!

Demarai Gray looks like he's for sale (think he's done really well for us and I wish him good fortune wherever he goes.) then that's more funds for the club. If Gbamin and Gomes go, that's a fair wedge of wages off our books. And if Iwobi wants to go, it would help our funds if we sell him now. Same with Doucouré. Both done reasonably well for us, but one appears to want to go and the other is sellable (hopefully).

Depending on who we can sell it might allow us to buy for the midfield, and also right full-back, along with them because it doesn't look to me that Patterson is quite ready for the first team yet.

Whatever happens, the players we've brought in so far look decent and I'm fairly optimistic about the season ahead.

I would just hope that the gods smile on Dele (and us) and help him get back his zest for football... with us.

Craig Walker
21 Posted 16/08/2023 at 09:07:55
I'd be looking to Iheanacho for a decent option up front. He has good Premier League experience and is too good for the Championship, in my opinion. He'll find the net given the chances we create.

If Gray does go then I'd rather us get the Southampton lad over Gnonto and possibly try to offload Holgate as part of any deal.

From what I've seen of Gnonto, he has little end product and could well be yet another ineffective winger for us (how many do we get like that: McGeady, Lookman, Alexandersson, Vlasic…) ?

I think we also need another centre-half to replace Coady unless Dyche starts giving Branthwaite some game time. Relying on either or both of Keane and Holgate fills me with dread. I thought we'd seen the back of both of those about 3 seasons back.

Robert Tressell
22 Posted 16/08/2023 at 09:15:53
On the comments re Beto, I just forgot to include him. However, I doubt we could afford the c £30m it would take to buy him. A loan seems unlikely. He'd definitely add something but he's not a brilliant goal scorer – probably an 8- to 12-goal-a-season player.

If we do fail with Gnonto and Sulemana, there are still lots of other options. It might even be that Danjuma is pencilled in as the Gray replacement – they do play very similar positions after all.

Alternatively, the club might think that Cannon (who plenty on here rate very highly), Maupay (if we can't sell him) and Chermiti offer the back-up to Calvert-Lewin with Danjuma as an option.

In which case, the more pressing signing becomes centre-back. I think Maguire on loan with heavily subsidised wages would be an excellent signing.

Jerome Shields
23 Posted 16/08/2023 at 09:20:52
Thanks, Robert, for the update. Things were getting a bit tedious with the wild media speculation. Hopefully a few solid professionals are brought in that Dyche is confident can do a job.

Everton and Maupay deserve the grief they are getting. To produce finishing like that against Fulham, having only scored once after so many starts and knowing he had to improve, is not good enough. I am sure a lot of work was put into trying to improve his finishing by Dyche.

Speculative recovery updates on Calvert-Lewin confirm for me that he should be only considered back-up. He is never going to be a saviour centre-forward because he never was one. That's the source of his problems.

Some say delivery to the forwards is the problem but I think it is more runs providing availability for a pass in the final third. Everton have too many players who are not anticipating chances. They are not prepared when they get them, or aware enough to square the ball.

Everton need a centre-back with a head on him, who is available to play, to organise the defence to cut out the headless chicken defending that resulted in the Fulham goal.

There does seem to be an obsession with wingers, probably because that is where the value is in the squad.

Alex Gray
24 Posted 16/08/2023 at 09:35:28
I think with any of the better strikers on the list it depends on the payment structure. £30M sounds a lot but if it's in £5-8M instalments then it can be done but it all depends on the selling club.

In terms of wingers, if Gnonto and Sulemana don't happen, I think we can just about cope. When fit, we'd have Danjuma, Harrison, McNeil and Iwobi but either of the two mentioned would mean we're well stocked and in a good position and allow a Danjuma or Gnonto for example to be used as an emergency forward.

Centre-back is an interesting one. Maguire has been rubbished by a lot of better sources and considering he's rejected West Ham, I don't see a world where Utd just loan him out whilst paying most of his wages. Chalobah looks a good player but, by all accounts, is a back-three centre-back. There's plenty of good options out there though.

If by the end of the window we manage to bring in Young, Danjuma, Chermiti, Harrison, Gnonto and Beto, Dia or Daka, I'd say it's been an excellent window and overall cost-effective if we can also ship out Gray, Gomes, Gbamin, Holgate and Maupay. Our overall squad would look something like this:

GK: Pickford, Virginia.
FB: Coleman, Patterson, Young, Mykolenko
CB: Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Keane, Godfrey
CM: Gana, Onana, Garner, Doucouré, Alli, (Iwobi)
Wing: McNeil, Danjuma, Harrison, Gnonto, (Iwobi)

Forwards: Calvert- Lewin, Chermiti, Beto or Daka or Dia

Overall that's 23 players in total and other spaces going to youngsters like Dobbin, Onyango, Cannon depending on who's loaned out for experience. That leaves the only real concern being a centre-back but we were never going to solve every position in one window and it gives us rotation in the squad which would hopefully help our injury issues.

Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 16/08/2023 at 09:51:20
Thanks, Robert, for a great article that introduces me to dozens of players I have never heard of and possibly we might sign.

You must spend a lot of time preparing these welcome threads and I really appreciate them.

Alex Gray
26 Posted 16/08/2023 at 09:56:57
Sorry to spam the post but I just re-read the article and noticed a lad called Tresor you mentioned playing a bit like Pienaar.

He's the player we've never truly replaced for me after all these years. A winger who never really scored many but linked up with everyone around him superbly.

Our best football of the 2000s was played with him in the team for me personally. His ability to make Baines attack effectively and knowing when to release the ball was superb.

A big flaw of our attacking play bar the obvious lack of goals is the composure past the halfway line. A lot of running and power but Pienaar was never quick but his football brain was second to none for me.

Jim Lloyd
27 Posted 16/08/2023 at 10:32:53
He had a great partnership with Bainsey as well, Alex. That made for some great crossing coming in from the left.
Rob Halligan
28 Posted 16/08/2023 at 10:45:57
Talking about what's left on the shelf, Tom Davies looked like he was going to be left on the shelf, but it now looks like he's about to sign for Sheffield Utd.
Stu Darlington
29 Posted 16/08/2023 at 10:48:20
After Saturday, I'm sure Dyche and Thelwell recognise the need for a striker and will be working on it till the end of the window. Without further reinforcements, we will definitely struggle again this season.

Regards further signings, we could do worse than Brandon Williams from Man Utd as cover at full-back.I think he is primarily right-footed but have seen him play left-back for United. He's only young and United have said he is free to leave, so he may be a relatively cheap option.

Laurie Hartley
30 Posted 16/08/2023 at 10:51:17
If I had a choice of all the players you have listed, Robert, Broja would be my pick.
Brian Williams
31 Posted 16/08/2023 at 11:29:59
Beto up front for me, and Brandon Williams would be an excellent signing too.
Alex Gray
32 Posted 16/08/2023 at 11:54:30
Broja is an interesting one. Started well at Southampton but faded towards the end. The injury meant he's missed a lot of football.

Certainly worth a look but I'd be concerned with a fee above £15-20 million I think. Saying that, I'd certainly take him if Beto can't be obtained.

Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 16/08/2023 at 12:15:13
Add my voice to signing Brandon Williams.

In fact McTominay and Williams in a straight swap for Onana, two good players for one that might become one.

Brian Williams
34 Posted 16/08/2023 at 12:49:02
I'd go with that, Dave. If we could get those two in a swap and get Beto in as well I would be well pleased and I think we'd do "okay" this season and by that I mean comfortably mid-table.

I never thought "comfortably mid-table" would be my aim for Everton going into any season but after recent scares, I'd bite yer hand off for guaranteed 12th.
And then Top 4 next season. 🤣

Mike Dolan
35 Posted 16/08/2023 at 13:21:53
We desperately still need another target man striker but we have added some high quality attackers.

Does anyone see any of the new additions being played in a more traditional midfielder role as opposed to the winger position that they all seem to be billed?

Dale Self
36 Posted 16/08/2023 at 13:23:41
Good work, Robert, new info calms people. I would work a lian for Broja in the background while pursuing Gnonto and/or Sulemana.

I haven't seen others' interest and he is good for a rebound in form as soon as he gets some games. Option to buy if not expensive.

Robert Tressell
37 Posted 16/08/2023 at 15:17:05
I thought Brandon Williams might have been brought in already to cover both full back positions. However, I suspect we now have the full back positions covered already (with Godfrey, Garner and even Branthwaite offering some options there). So we'll spend our pennies elsewhere.

Nice to be proved wrong but I cannot see us buying another wing / forward (eg Gnonto) and another striker (eg Beto or whoever). It will surely just be one or the other.

We might, however, be able to bring in both if one is free (eg Diego Costa) or on loan (eg Broja). Indeed, Diego Costa is not such a terrible possibility for free. He had some good moments for Wolves last season and is probably a better than spending money on someone as average as Che Adams, say. And it gives Chermiti a bit of experience / support to learn from as he beds in. If I was him, though, I'd be trying to line up a big last payday in Saudi rather than a hard slog through another season at the wrong end of the Premier League.

Robert Tressell
38 Posted 16/08/2023 at 15:25:35
ps. getting only McTominay and Williams in exchange for Onana would, in my view, be an absolutely terrible bit of business.

Onana should be worth £50m or more in the current market. We need that money to pay for up to 4 new players or more - especially since Harrison and Danjuma are only loans, and Gray, Gomes, Iwobi, Doucoure and Gueye all leave for free next summer.

The Man Utd player I would want if we were to do an exchange would be Mejbri (and with only a year left on his contract he would probably command about £8m). There are lots of players of the mediocre standard of McTominay and Williams available at very low cost.

Stu Darlington
39 Posted 16/08/2023 at 15:50:20
I think you are being a bit hard on McTominay Robert! He’s by no means only mediocre.Put him in the right position in midfield he would certainly strengthen it and chip in with a few goals as well.He’s a tough cookie,doesn’t go missing and I believe his experience in midfield would give us a ready made leader on the pitch.
Agree we need to be thinking about the loan players and players whose contracts are up next year.Could be 6 or more we need to replace them and that takes forward planning with our parlous finances,not something we are really famous for in my experience!
Jay Harris
40 Posted 16/08/2023 at 15:52:54
Excellent and enjoyable well informed post.

Personally speaking I don't know why we are faffing about with players like Beto that would not come here when we could just go and get Piroe who I am sure would be very motivated to come here.

He may not be CL quality but we just need someone who can stick the ball in the net.

I certainly do not want Che Adams or Ihenacho and we seem to be wasting time and resource chasing Gnonto instead of addressing the most important position i.e. A stand in for DCL.

Jon Hirshman
42 Posted 16/08/2023 at 16:40:12
Robert, of you're lost targets list I would say that Toure and Gyökeres are the only ones we have missed out on. A name that was mentioned in the Echo today was Johan Bakayoko and I found this entry on Wiki for him. "Saint-Cyr Johan Bakayoko (born 20 April 2003) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a winger or a forward for English club Everton and the Belgium national team.He grew up supporting Everton. His favourite song is Spirit of the Blues. He also has a very strong dislike to Kopites."
Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 16/08/2023 at 16:52:18
Robert (38), I think getting the two Man. Unt. players would benefit Everton more than keeping Onana in his present form, they are two good players who would improve the team and squad now, Onana’s value is his future potential, that is not helping Everton now, McTominay and Williams are ready to play now, the future is all ifs, buts and maybe’s.
Andrew Keatley
44 Posted 16/08/2023 at 17:05:21
Dave (43) - You don't rate Onana - that much is clear. But Onana is ready to play now and influence games, hence why other clubs are considering spending that sort of money on him. Give him time and I think he'll prove himself to be one of the leading all-round midfielders in the game.

Robert - Another well-taken chance for you to scratch your recruitment itch, but haven't the last three or four years shown that Ethan Ampadu is on a big downward curve? He may have been highly-touted on in articles of 4+ years ago, but trusting my own eyes I'd say he's way off what we need and has definitely gone backwards.

Mike Gaynes
45 Posted 16/08/2023 at 17:09:19
Dave, your view of Onana has been made painfully clear over a long period of time, but I'm with Robert. The idea of swapping Onana for those two players is seriously off target -- it would be a perfect example of the rushed, panic-driven, short-term thinking that has derailed this club's transfer business for so many years.
James Newcombe
46 Posted 16/08/2023 at 17:10:44
I think Piroe would be a great fit - he seems to be a real poacher if you watch his Swansea goals. I'm convinced he would have buried at least one of the chances from the weekend, in any case!
Steve Cotton
47 Posted 16/08/2023 at 17:14:53
James 46# spot on about Piroe.. sadly Swansea won't be happy with 10 grand now and rest over7 years..
Dave Abrahams
48 Posted 16/08/2023 at 17:17:03
Andrew (44) I am still waiting for this potential to show itself for more than a few minutes in each game while he watches the ball pass him by for minutes on end.

Andrew has you say “ you think” he will prove himself to be one of the leading all round midfield players in the game.

Well Andrew I read your posts so I realise you know your football so I have to say I hope you are correct and would love Onana to become that player with us.

You are correct in that I don’t rate the lad on what I have seen of him in an Everton shirt, see his potential but also see mostly what he doesn’t do.

Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 16/08/2023 at 17:32:31
Mike (45) My view of Onana has been made painfully clear over a long period of time? Mike he has only been here twelve months.

If you think McTominay is a rushed panic driven short term thinking transfer then I think you are the one who is seriously off target with your thinking, a lad who has proved himself over two or three years in United first team, a player who can come in and improve Everton’s midfield defensively and going forward scoring a few goals as well providing strength in both penalty area defending and attacking not to mention Williams who proved his worth with United and on loan.

Mike not having a go but you watch Everton and Onana on television, the camera follows the ball it doesn’t show you who goes missing most of the time, and definitely Onana does quite a lot of that.

Robert Tressell
50 Posted 16/08/2023 at 17:38:33
If McTominay were available on a free, I think he'd be a brilliant signing. But he's still got 2 or 3 years on his contract and is probably valued around, say, £20m or more.

There's loads of midfielders of that standard available at much lower cost.

Williams is a very, very limited player indeed - and he's out of contract June 2024 so would only be worth about £2.5m and be destined for a career on our bench, covering Patterson and Mykolenko.

As for Ampadu, Andrew, it's hard to say whether he's gone backwards. Still only 22, he's managed plenty of games in Serie A albeit for two lesser clubs, and he's also played lots of games for Wales. He's obviously not going to be a big Champions League star which might be what you're getting at. But for £7m I think he'd have been a very good signing for us, covering the CB and and defensive midfield positions and perhaps nailing down a long term first team spot. Better value than the £7m we paid for Gueye last summer anyway, who I think has been poor and will leave for free next summer.

Dave Abrahams
51 Posted 16/08/2023 at 17:47:03
Robert (50) United are reportedly asking £40M for McTominay, but you say he would be a brilliant signing if he was free, what difference does the money make if would be a brilliant signing, he’d be no use at all if he was no good.

Williams would be worth £2.5M you say, well I’d rather him than the left back we bought for a lot more than two years ago.

Ben King
52 Posted 16/08/2023 at 18:07:26
Robert #50

We didn’t pay £7M for Gueye last season. Where do you get your facts from??

Stu Darlington
53 Posted 16/08/2023 at 18:08:34
Dave @48,49 and 51
I’m with you on this one.Onana may be or may be not one for the future, but I certainly haven’t seen it yet.
Our immediate need is the here and now and if you class that as “ short term thinking Mike,so be it.
We need to establish a secure position in the league,move into the new stadium which will hopefully make us a more attractive proposition for young talent and build a platform for the future from a solid base with hopefully new owners and new investment.
For Gods sake we need a new effective striker,that’s the short term reality Mike.
Steve Shave
54 Posted 16/08/2023 at 18:11:49
James @46 and Steve @47, I concur, I think Piroe could still prove an astute purchase. We need to get a bloody wriggle on.
Dale Self
55 Posted 16/08/2023 at 18:20:19
There is enough Onana for everyone. Ok, sorry. My take is that relative to what we can sign this window we should ride Onana’s asset value. Maybe he isn’t the one to build around, too early imo, but he is the fastest accruing value we have in the squad.

Given we are in rebuild and will be moving others next summer Onana is a reliable player who will gain field presence this year. Any other additions up front make it that much more likely that his value increases substantially. It’s just too early to cash in if we don’t have the forwards set.

Barry Rathbone
56 Posted 16/08/2023 at 18:25:33
The thing with Onana is he excels at one thing, stretching those long limbs to effect a tackle.

Because he's one of our biggest outlays, rightly or wrongly, a bit more is expected. Creativity, goals incisive bursts from midfield would be nice but are completely absent from his game so at times it looks like the game passes him by.

BUT, surrounded by players who DO have those traits he could be a valuable team asset.

Unfortunately reality dictates it is unlikely to happen here.

Ian Bennett
57 Posted 16/08/2023 at 18:33:16
Onana is worth £50-60m in this market. Williams is probably £5m, whilst Mctominlay - West Ham valued at £30m. So a straight swap is not good business in the slightest.

Onana is a player we should be making on, not giving him away for basically what we paid for him when he 12-24 months Premier league experienced and AGED JUST 22.

Giving away players like Richarlison needs to stop.

Brian Harrison
58 Posted 16/08/2023 at 18:50:28
I find all this vitriol about Onana unbelievable, he has been here 12 months and I have yet to see him win a MOM for any game. Even our ex player Ronnie Goodlass said he goes missing in games and for someone as big has him should be a bigger presence in midfield than he is. As for him being worth £50 million well so far nobody has put in any sort of bid for him never mind £50 million. There are different types of midfield players, creative, defensive, goal scorers or box to box. I struggle to see which of any of these positions best describes him. I would be amazed if anyone offered anything like £50 million for him I know prices have gone silly, but I think you would have to be mad to pay £50 million for him.

Obviously this is just my opinion and I am sure many disagree with me and thats what you would expect on a forum like this. But I would just ask for his supporters who he has many tell me 1 game where he has been MOM.

Dave Abrahams
59 Posted 16/08/2023 at 19:14:23
Barry (56), he doesn’t even excel with his tackling he misses as many as he wins and is left on the floor with the opposition play galloping away with the ball, gives fouls away with those tackles and gets booked for them, although he hasn’t been booked this season for them, give him time though he has only played one league game up to now!
Rob Dolby
60 Posted 16/08/2023 at 19:18:19
Brian 58. He was my motm on Saturday. Under Dyche he will be more disciplined with his positioning. Under Lampard the whole team looked lost not just him.

Most foreign players take 12 months to settle in. I would be offloading a lot more of our players before looking in his direction.

I am not his greatest fan but believe he has the potential to be very good for us.

Barry Hesketh
61 Posted 16/08/2023 at 19:20:25
I think Onana is going to be a big star, and that's why Everton bought him in the first place, not to build a team around him, but knowing that the club could recoup more than they paid for him. Given our financial state, it wouldn't surprise me, if we sold him if a major club comes in for him during this window. Aren't the neighbours looking at him, or is that just a vicious rumour? I don't like the idea of swapping him for one or two United rejects, cash up front or we keep him.
Jack Convery
62 Posted 16/08/2023 at 19:22:20
I see Luis Chavez is still available on a free. He's bought out his contract in Mexico and wants to move to Europe. An excellent defensive midfield player. Current Mexico international. He's 27 so we could get 5 good years from him. It's a no brainer for me. Someone is going to get a bargain - why not us ? especially if we're really considering selling Onana. In my opinion he's better than Onana - the finished article in fact.
Robert Tressell
63 Posted 16/08/2023 at 20:47:33
Dave # 51. I've had bags of chips that I would describe as brilliant for about £1.50. I wouldn't be quite so happy if that was all I got for £40.
Dave Abrahams
64 Posted 16/08/2023 at 21:04:12
Robert (63),

I'm not sure about the value of chips really but can talk about footballers ability a little bit, too much some would say.

By the way, Robert, I noticed at (37) you say you thought Everton would have brought Brandon Williams in by now to cover both full-back positions but at (50) describe him as a very, very limited player indeed… Strange that you thought such a limited player would be bought for any reason.

Barry Rathbone
65 Posted 16/08/2023 at 22:00:33
Dave 59, I see your point. To date he's either been lucky in the tackle or has good judgement; I'm really not sure…
Andrew Keatley
66 Posted 16/08/2023 at 23:07:53
Dave (44) - I largely agree with you about Onana - last season he was prone to letting games pass him by, and I wanted to see him express himself more. But I saw signs in pre-season against Sporting Lisbon and to a lesser degree against Fulham on Saturday that he is taking more responsibility on the ball, and I believe that this season could see him make the sort of massive improvement that might see clubs prepared to pay a similar fee that Caicedo just went for.

He's something of a one-off; very tall and physically imposing, but with a very good touch, who can pass well off both feet, will drive forward impressively with and without the ball, and seems to have pretty good vision. I actually think his potential is huge, and with the right guidance, and in right system, he could be world-class.

Robert (50) - Chelsea had high hopes for Ampadu when they signed him as a 16-year-old, but he's not really excelled in club football after a series of loan transfers. He was in the Sheffield United team that got relegated from the Premier League in 2020/21, the Venezia team that got relegated from Serie A in 2021/22, and then the Spezia team that got relegated from Serie A in 2022/23! I think he'll break that run with Leeds this season, but if he'd ended up here then I'd be hugely suspicious that the Everton board are actively trying to do whatever they can to get us relegated. But in all seriousness Ampadu was hyped up in a bunch of articles about hot young prospects and he's fallen a long way short - in a similar vein to those other young Chelsea prospects like Lewis Baker, Izzy Brown, Charlie Musonda and Kasey Palmer, all of whom have failed to kick on.

Tony Everan
67 Posted 16/08/2023 at 23:35:38
I'm also of the opinion that Onana is something special. He came to us just turned 21 and had to adjust to the Premier League.

On top of that was the total instability at the club during his first 5 months, all whilst trying to acclimatise and improve his game. Early on he came in for some serious rough stuff, took some bad tackles, and I never heard the lad moan or whinge off with a knock, he was robust and resilient, back for the fight. It showed an impressive mentality.

I am seeing the same as Andrew – he's stepping it up a notch. Far from the finished article, but showing signs of composure, drive and creativity to compliment his natural physical attributes.

I am looking forward to watching him develop this season. The criticism is very fair that he needs to be more influential; I think, as this season progresses, he will really start to show it.

Jamie Sweet
68 Posted 16/08/2023 at 00:08:30
I see we're now being "strongly linked" with Johan Bakayoko. 20-year-old Belgian international. I assume this would be instead of Gnonto. Similar profile in many ways, but tends to play on the right – which would make more sense with McNeil, Harrison and Gnonto all seemingly more comfortable on the left.

* Awaits Robert Tressell and Sam Hoare player analysis *

Dave Abrahams
69 Posted 17/08/2023 at 01:13:44
Andrew (66) and Tony (67),

Fair enough, let's see how he progresses but being honest for such a big strong young lad he really needs to do a lot more of the attributes you both describe, I notice them as well when he briefly shows them.

Sam Hoare
70 Posted 17/08/2023 at 07:58:19
Good piece, Robert, as always.

It could be an interesting couple of weeks. Gnonto seems like a genuine target but I'm curious to see who the striker we bring in will be.

No doubt there will be some more leftfield links like Bakayoko who looks a very exciting young player who's replaced Madueke with ease. Definite talent and has Zaha like qualities but some question marks over his movement and defensive work.

Broja loan would seem a good option but we've been burnt there before. I feel if Dia was a serious option we'd have bid while his release clause was valid. I'm not sold on Piroe and neither Daka or Iheanacho would seem the right fit physically.

I wonder if there might be a surprise option we've not considered. We don't want another Maupay situation of bringing in a striker just for the sake of it who doesn't fit the manager's system.

Ian Bennett
71 Posted 17/08/2023 at 08:17:51
Chelsea have supposedly knocked back Roma's efforts to sign Broja on loan, to cover the injured Tammy Abrahams. As Chelsea have lost Nkuku until December with a knee problem, I think that rules him out.

Lukaku, Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi have been training with the kids, without squad numbers, and told to find new clubs. Ziyech to Saudi, Hudson-Odoi to Fulham.

Lukaku has burnt his bridges with Inter. Juve kicked out of Europe are unlikely to take him on. Juve want cash plus Lukaku for Vlahovic. So it looks like Lukaku is running out of options.

He doesn't want Saudi, so it's leaving him Spurs, Roma as possible destinations. Hugely unlikely Lukaku would come back to Goodison.

Steve Shave
72 Posted 17/08/2023 at 08:43:22
Anyone who thinks Lukaku is going to return is living in La La land.

There is a lot more chance of Richarlison returning and Spurs spunking a wad of cash on 3 attacking players to replace him and Kane. It has not worked out for our lad there and they don't appreciate his qualities.

Come home, Richy.

Stu Darlington
73 Posted 17/08/2023 at 09:54:10
We've spent a lot of time discussing possible attackers and the pros and cons of Onana on this thread. All very valid and thought-provoking, but I still think we need cover at fullback. Robert believes this is not essential as cover can be provided by Garner, Branthwaite or Godfrey if required.

Well maybe in a short-term emergency, but a complete waste of Garner's and Branthwaite's true talents in the long run.

As for Godfrey, I personally have no idea what his best position is. Central defender? No chance. Full-back? Positional play a disaster. Where else can you play him? Maybe couldn't do worse than Maupay but that's not saying much!

For me, he is one I'd be looking for offers for. I get that Brandon Williams is not flavour of the month on this thread, but am I being too picky highlighting the need for full-back cover with the number of versatile defenders we seem to have?

Next to lowest number of goals scored in the Premier League last season. I wonder what we need to do to remedy that? Can't think…

Tony Everan
74 Posted 17/08/2023 at 12:44:07
Rumours today about Patson Daka, but the terms are a sticking point. Guessing we want a loan to buy with extended terms and Leicester want a sale.

He would be an interesting signing for us, I always felt like there was more to come from him, but he never really fully got going at Leicester.

Steve Shave
75 Posted 17/08/2023 at 12:57:41
Yes, I saw that too, Tony. I like Daka but, having watched various highlight reels, it looked to me like he is used to most of his goals coming from defence-splitting passes and profiting from running in behind the last defender.

We just don't play that kind of football under Sean Dyche (or any manager for a while for that matter).

IMO, Ekitike would be similar but maybe offers more in mobility and dribbling but still not that big fella who we can aim for. Beto is that player as well as being fast and powerful, I pray we go all out for him.

Andy Meighan
76 Posted 17/08/2023 at 12:57:41
Those who are proclaiming to reckon Onana is going to be world class are way off the mark.

I could only honestly say he's bossed one game since he's been here and that was Dyche's first match against Arsenal.

There's been the odd cameo in others, but 'quality', 'class' 'brilliant' etc are not words I'd associate with Onana.

Andrew Keatley
77 Posted 17/08/2023 at 16:02:56
Andy (76) - Time will tell, as Dave (69) says. We'll see how way off the mark such claims will turn out to be. I'm firmly in the "potentially world-class" camp, but that's no guarantee of anything. I was incredibly jealous when Spurs signed Tanguy Ndombele as I also thought he could have a decade at the very top of the game, but it didn't turn out that way. It was precisely the same with the central defender Davinson Sanchez - I thought he was on course to be the best centre-half in world football for years. Finding long-term consistency alongside a desire to work hard and improve is essential for potential to be truly realised, and hopefully Onana has what it takes.

Actually, I wonder whether Spurs would be open to loaning Davinson Sanchez to us. I think his pace and strength might be a good option for us, and he could definitely do with a change of scene to rediscover his mojo.

Paul Burns
78 Posted 17/08/2023 at 16:08:29
You can analyse the present squad and possible signings all you like but until everyone realises that Everton Football Club is set up to fail from top to bottom then it's a pointless exercise akin to fantasy football.

The total lack of any director's structure has led to criminal managerial appointments, a scouting system missing in action that plays second fiddle to almost every other league team and is yet to notice the continent of South America, scandalous "negotiating" skills that has led to overpaying for and to players, players constantly unfit or injured or both, a club with the communication and publicity appeal of a deaf mute that appeals only to ever diminishing diehards and a fanbase that, more and more, seems not to notice and falls for the Premier League illusion of fairness and glamour.

My mind boggles as to why a single Everton supporter would tolerate the situation for a single minute never mind let the club degenerate into the mess it is in and has been in for two decades yet carry on as if everything is normal.

Robert Tressell
79 Posted 17/08/2023 at 16:12:23
Just to respond to your point about the full back positions, Stu # 73 (and Dave # 64).

I personally don't believe we have great cover at full backs and agree that using the likes of Godfrey, Branthwaite and Garner there isn't ideal. My point is that the club seems to have concluded we've got enough, at least given our meagre budget, and therefore won't spend any more money on that position (after bringing in Young on a free) when other areas are much more pressing.

That's probably right too, because if we've only got, say, £15m to spend on a striker - there's no point spending £2.5m on Williams and being left unable to buy, say, Piroe (of whoever else we might be after) because we're £2.5m short.

As to Williams, I think he's a wholehearted lad who may yet develop - but he is very limited at the moment. I thought we might buy him (pre Young) because he was cheap and versatile (covers RB and LB) and NW based, not because he was good. I'm not even convinced he's as good as JJK who many on here (probably unfairly) thought was absolutely appalling.

Dale Self
80 Posted 17/08/2023 at 16:15:30
Yes, it looks like time to forget Gnonto and perhaps call in the Loan arRanger. I agree with Tony about Daka’s quality but the Steve makes a key point on style of play. If we can get Bakayoko and patch up the striker situation with a decent loan, Broja or Daka would do, we could push on with a core group and address remaining weaknesses next window.
Jack Convery
81 Posted 17/08/2023 at 17:37:11
I see we are being linked with Josh Brownhill at Burnely. Dyche bought him when he was there and really rates him. He mainly plays CM. He was Captain for several games last season last season. Apparently his contract his up next summer and he's refusing to sign an extension. Kompany wants him to stay but it seems he will be sold rather than go for nothing next summer. He could be, a a bit of a bargain and if we do go for him, then it would appear likely one of Onana or Iwobi, could be on their way.
Steve Cotton
82 Posted 17/08/2023 at 17:46:02
Piroe won't be happy if we wait till 10.55 on the last day..4 games in
Jim Lloyd
83 Posted 17/08/2023 at 17:59:11
I trhink the right full back position is a problem, but if we've got little money,. then maybe the club are doing a "make do and mend! for this season and hoping Seamus can give us an injury season. At least until the mid season transfer window. Up to now, I think we're doing well with our transfers. Isn't Iwobi's contract up at the end of the season, and rumours that he wants away. Well, we can only do so much and if we get a goalscorer of quality in during this window, then i'll think we've done well.
Barry Hesketh
84 Posted 17/08/2023 at 18:05:27
Jim @83
I thought that Iwobi was offered a new contract early in the summer, or even prior to that, but as yet, he hasn't signed it. I assume the offer of a contract remains on the table.
Jim Lloyd
85 Posted 17/08/2023 at 18:13:26
Yep, you;re right Barry, he might well sign it; but there's rumours he wants away to a club with chances of Europe. It leaves Everton hanging on a bit. Everton might not be willing to take that chance, as he might go next Summer for free.
Danny Broderick
86 Posted 18/08/2023 at 04:55:25
I'm surprised there is no mention of Alfredo Morelos in your article. He's free, 27-year-old Colombian international, and he knows where the net is.

To be honest, he wouldn't have topped my list earlier in the summer. But as we now approach the 2nd game of the season with no new striker brought in, we're getting a bit desperate.

He'd be an option off the bench as a minimum.

Mike Gaynes
87 Posted 18/08/2023 at 05:42:50
Stu #53, of course we do. But McTominay and Williams aren't strikers.

Danny #86, we have several Scottish (or Scotland-based) TWers who are unanimously opposed to us considering Morelos. Apparently he has gotten fat and lazy, and correspondingly unproductive. Which is why Rangers dumped him the cold.

Danny Broderick
88 Posted 18/08/2023 at 07:36:38
Fair enough Mike. I still think he’s worthy of mention. If we leave it much longer we will be desperate to just get anyone in who can play up front….
Danny O’Neill
89 Posted 18/08/2023 at 07:41:25
Leadership does indeed come from the top Paul Burns and that is where we have been lacking. There are not many who will doubt or question that.

Not just for two decades, probably for most of my 50 plus years of Evertonianism.

I question your point on diminishing support. I don't see that around me. I know very loyal supporters who won't go whilst a certain individual remains and I respect that. Then I see young supporters with the same passion I had as a youngster, only I don't know how they do it. It was easy for me. But they do it. To be amongst them is a privilege and joy.

I talk to people of my age group with similar expectation. I meet with wise older Evertonians who can tell me a thing or two about being relegated and calm my enthusiasm. We're not getting relegated by the way.

My brother and son grew up in the Moyes era. They are as passionate as me, maybe in a more sensible way, but it's not diminishing at all. My brother went to the Bournemouth match last season and was an absolute wreck on the day it meant that much to him. He's trying to attend Sheffield United away and the Doncaster League fixture if we can sort out this new ticketing platform.

They are both reflective of a very scarred yet still very passionate support base. Meanwhile, I think we're going to qualify for Europe and win the League Cup every season. They often just look at me in confusion.

I guess the challenge for Everton is how we expand that support base whilst retaining our roots. Those roots are deeply ingrained and won't go away.

It's in the blood.

Tony Graham
90 Posted 18/08/2023 at 13:12:00
Here we go again, Che Adams is the zenith of our aspirations.. no wonder were fighting against relegation...
Julian Wait
91 Posted 18/08/2023 at 21:08:40
Do we have an Elf? Speaking of which, where is Bernard now?

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