Let’s be very honest with ourselves. The financial situation means there will be no transfer kitty available for strengthening the squad in January. I suspect Plan A is to muddle through with a small squad and do what we can to cope with injuries and suspensions.

If we bring in anyone, it will need to be either (a) free, or (b) on loan.  And that might only be enabled if we can shift the likes of Gomes and / or Godfrey whether on loan or permanent deals.

Who might be out there?

Free transfers

Contracts tend to end in June rather than January. The main exception is the MLS where a few decent players will become available for free soon. US-based fans may have a more informed opinion on the following:

  • Miles Robinson: a decent USA international centre-back playing for Atlanta, managing 27 games so far this season after injuries. From what I’ve seen, he’s fast and quite classy on the ball without being particularly dominant in the air.  At 26 he's earned a move to Europe and a bigger league.  Might be a good low-cost replacement for Godfrey.

  • Kai Wagner: The German left-back made no impression in his homeland but has built a good career with Philadelphia, managing 7 assists already this season.  At 26, he's practically an infant compared to our other full-back cover.

Otherwise, the free transfers are really quite obscure players from across South America – and very unlikely to be a high priority right now.

There are also a few unattached players who would also be free.  These include Jesse Lingard, Phil Jones, Matty Longstaff, Shdrokan Mustaphi (once of our youth team) and Marvin Plattenhardt (a German left-back who nearly signed a few years ago).  I suspect we’ll give these a swerve too.  There’s a reason why they’ve all been unattached since summer…


Although there are exceptions, this tends to comprise players at the Champions League clubs who cannot get a game.  Many of these are very good players, they have just found themselves down the pecking order behind a few seasoned internationals.

I think that we can have:

  • Up to 7 loans in total
  • Maximum 2 loans from other English clubs
  • Presumably up to 5 loans from non-English clubs

It’s been quite hard to find the information on this so please do correct me if you know the right position.  There is a suggestion on-line that 2 is the absolute maximum; if that’s the case, then the rest of the article is meaningless!

At present, we have Harrison (from Leeds) and Danjuma (from Villarreal).  Contrary to what some Toffewebbers seem to believe, Dele Alli is not on loan. We bought him, albeit on a weird set of terms.

So it looks like we could recruit a decent number of additional loans – albeit only one more from an English club.  So what might be available?  From other Premier League clubs, here goes:

  • Disasi (Chelsea): A decent French centre-back who was never worth the £45m fee paid in summer. A big unit and a good leader in the right environment. He would be quality cover, and also enable us to use a very imposing and mobile back 3 too. Rumoured to be available already.

  • Chalobah (Chelsea): Another decent, imposing centre-back who is also rumoured to be available, although they’d be looking to sell ideally (rather than loan). I don't think he's that good really but Inter and even Bayern were rumoured to be interested over summer (as were we).

  • Sarr (Chelsea): A smaller left-footed centre-back who is a good player going nowhere at Chelsea, having joined a few years ago but barely played since (other than on loan).
  • Gusto (Chelsea): An excellent young French right-back bought for £30M in January last year.  Might be available although possibly needed as cover given Reece James is fairly injury-prone.

  • Maatsen (Chelsea): A really good attacking young Dutch left-back who was at Burnley last season and is out of contract in June.  Behind Cucurella and Chilwell (and maybe Colwill) for the first team – with some lad called Samuels-Smith doing well in the academy.
  • Chukwuemeka (Chelsea): An excellent, dynamic young English midfielder bought from Aston Villa for £18M.  Been injured, but really talented and may be available.

  • Ugochukwu (Chelsea): An excellent, dynamic young French midfielder bought from Rennes for £27M.  He's been injured, but really talented and may be available (why did Chelsea buy all these players?).
  • Madueke (Chelsea): An excellent, dynamic young English wing / forward bought from PSV for £35M. Possibly now behind Sterling, Nkunku, Mudryk and Palmer and so may be available.  He'd add real quality, exciting dribbling and end-product to the right wing position.

  • Van de Beek (Man Utd): We know all about him. He probably needs to return to the Netherlands to rebuild his career but might not be the worst signing as a stop-gap.

  • Shoretire (Man Utd): A really talented English youngster with the first-team squad at Man Utd but behind Pellestri and Garnacho (no shame in that).  Probably not what we need right now but one to monitor longer term.

  • Sancho (Man Utd): A really talented player who probably needs to cheer himself up in Germany again. Mind you, I’d be over the moon if we signed him because he can be a special player on his day. If he could find his form with us it would take the attack up a level altogether.
  • Phillips (Man City): A very good midfield general in the right set-up (ie, not City).  Would fit in very well at Everton, I am sure.  Paul Kossof will tell me to give my head a wobble for mentioning him, but I can handle it.  Bring it on, Paul.

  • Soares (Arsenal): A decent, experienced right-back – and at 32, a spring chicken compared with Young and Coleman.  

  • Nelson (Arsenal): A talented right-midfield player who, at 23, really needs to find a club to give him more than just a few cameo appearances now and again. Signed a new contract at Arsenal in summer instead of leaving for free.  Could conceivably be available.  Would fit in nicely on our right flank – but I suspect he’ll hang on and hope to get enough games to merit a league title winners medal if Arsenal clinch first spot.

Across Europe, there are a few potential loan deals to be done too – from teams like PSG and Leipzig with swollen squads but nothing really stands out as it does sometimes.  It’s possible also that we might even try the MLS for loan deals (given Thelwell’s connections there) but again, nothing really obvious stands out.

In conclusion, there might just be a few options out there for January that are within our non-existent budget.  If we could get (randomly) Kalvin Phillips and Miles Robinson that would position the squad very well to cope with the second half of another challenging season.

It's obviously not going to be a big spending January but we never have needed mega bucks to materially improve the squad. Here’s hoping that Thelwell will have enough wriggle room to do his magic.

Reader Comments (69)

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Dennis Stevens
1 Posted 12/12/2023 at 16:23:25
I suppose it begs the question:

Would our monthly losses even allow us to add to the wage bill for free signings and loans to be added to the squad?

James Hughes
2 Posted 12/12/2023 at 16:41:44
Robert, a good article and I am no talent spotter so cannot comment too much.

Stay away from the Chelsea players as I think they will be trying to get back some of the obscene monies they have spent recently. The players will be on big contracts as well.

As for the Man Utd players. Van de Beek will be another Klaassen and the Premier League is too much and too fast for him.

Sancho, whilst being a great talent, is widely reported as having very little discipline and regularly turns up late for everything. Dyche will not tolerate that at all.

I think we will not be worrying about transfer deadline day and if Requilme is spotted at the airport. TW may be a quiet day on transfer deadline day.

Pat Kelly
3 Posted 12/12/2023 at 16:49:19
The only loans we'll be getting will be from 777 Partners – and even they must be getting jittery.

Unless we sell Branthwaite or Onana, there'll be nothing to keep us going.

Simon Harrison
4 Posted 12/12/2023 at 17:59:01
Hi Rob,

What a good thread to start!

Firstly, here are the rules regards loans;

EPL Loan rules

The rules show we can loan (temporary transfer) two players from the English Football Pyramid (EFP), and a further two maximum, from outside the EFP. With a maximum of two at anyone time, with a maximum of four over the season.

So far as you state, we have Haz from the EFP, and Arnie from Spain. Thus, we can loan one more from the EFP, and one from abroad, or two more from abroad. Though, unless we release Haz or Arnie, that's your lot...

I think frees are the way we'll go, if we can shift Gomes (and as we briefly discussed elsewhere, Dele), and maybe we could off-load Godfrey (and/or Keane?)

From what I've heard, we have some leeway regards wages, and we may... just may have salted away approx £20M or so for another incoming, even if spent on the drip à la Beto. (I hear O'Brien at Lyon is a potential target.)

Obviously, everything, and I mean everything, depends on if a takeover is taking place in the New Year. Be that with 777 Partners or someone else.

Let's hope we get a little bit of business done to help strengthen the squad for the run-in.

Colin Glassar
5 Posted 12/12/2023 at 18:15:39
I'd like a midfield player who doesn't panic in possession.
Mark Murphy
6 Posted 12/12/2023 at 18:19:22
Pardon my ignorance but who are Hags and Arnie??
Simon Harrison
7 Posted 12/12/2023 at 18:26:00
Hi Mark,

Haz is Dyche-speak for Jack Harrison, and Arnie is Dyche-speak for Arnaut Danjuma.

Sorry to be a little obtuse.

Here is a list of all the names that Dyche uses for the players in his pressers and interviews.

From what I have gleaned so far;


Seamus, Youngy, Patto

Tarky, Jarrad, Keano, and Ben Gibson, sorry, Godfrey (He actually said that)


Haz, Jimmy (-Garner) Gana, Doucs, Dwight, Arnie

Dom (Didn't he say Beto after the NUFC game? Someone please confirm.)

I hope that helps, Mark :/)

Robert Tressell
8 Posted 12/12/2023 at 19:04:37
Thanks, Simon, you did a better job than I did of figuring out the rules on loans!

Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 12/12/2023 at 19:49:33
I personally think I'm beginning to see a few Everton players bringing a little bit of composure into their game, Colin. It's great to see players starting to move that little bit further into space because this definitely helps the man on the ball more than anything else on a football pitch, imo.

I'd like another midfielder, cover at left-back, and another wide player, but when you look at some of the players that Chelsea have sold for a lot less money than they have spent on players who will never get near their first team (if they want to stay at the top table), then I'm glad the absolutely pathetic Moshiri years are coming to an end.

Mark Murphy
10 Posted 12/12/2023 at 20:04:24
Cheers Simon – so it's a scouse thing? Like John, Paul, Haz and Ringo…???


Tony Everan
11 Posted 12/12/2023 at 20:05:10
Feels like an Oliver Twist window, as we're absolutely steaming skint. In fact, much worse than skint! Hopeful Gomes gets a club, and one of Keane or Godfrey may go, along with Holgate and his wages if he goes to Rangers or wherever. It will likely give us some wriggle room.

At the moment though nobody walks into the side. I think for strength in depth we have to be looking at a centre-midfielder in on loan as the priority, especially with Gana going to Afcon.

No harm in asking about Kalvin Philips. I think if two of our current CBs get moved on Dyche will have us eye on reinforcements for that area specifically left-sided to stand in for Branthwaite.

Really like Madueke, don't know why Chelsea aren't using him more, unplayable at times but I suppose still raw and inconsistent. Can't see them giving up on him just yet, but would love us to poach him.

Earlier in the season Robert the need for a tenacious creative No 10 was talked about, our own Odegaard. But Doucoure is on fire and one of the first names on the team sheet so the need for that has receded. Still a niggliing thought though about what happens to the system if Doucoure is out and whether we need an option there.

Simon Harrison
12 Posted 12/12/2023 at 20:29:10
Rob [8],

You're very welcome mon ami, and happy to hopefully help.

What the rules basically mean, is that with Harrison and Danjuma, we do not have space for another loan (2 max at any one time).

So, unless we release Harrison and/or Danjuma, we can't take another loan on. Which I can't see really.

Though maybe, Danjuma might not be the kind of player Dyche wants (I still think he was a Lampard signing), and maybe he'll go back to Villarreal to free up a player more suited to Dyche's and the team's needs?

We'll have to wait and see.

Mark [10],

You're very welcome, though it's not a scouse thing, it's a footy thing really, I suppose?

Tony A [9],

I think you're right, the players are getting slightly better; but there is still a tendency for the players to hoof the ball, rather than put a foot on it when they do really have a second or two to look.

Though I have to say our counter-attacking play is looking much more joined up nowadays. Which of course means it is becoming much more potent, as we've seen.

Simon Harrison
13 Posted 12/12/2023 at 20:39:36
In the same vein as Tony A above,

If we do have the chance to do some business in January. I'd be happy if we did bring Jake O'Brien in, he's 197cm or 6'-4½", and an Irish U21 (only 22), centre-back (Unfortuanetly right-footed and right-sided) but someone Thelwell has been watching since his move to Lyon.

Then, just for the end of season, we could do with finding a genuine right-midfielder (preferably two-footed as well!) to take the load of Harrison (who has much better stats when playing on the left – which some posters need to remember he is not a natural right winger!)

Other than that, I know the squad is thin, but other than a backup left-back (which Young has been brought in to cover) I can't think of any immediate needs other than above, ie, a decent centre-back, a right-midfielder and maybe another left-back?

Rob (or anybody), which wing is Dobbin best on? I ask as I don't actually know!

James Marshall
14 Posted 12/12/2023 at 20:40:04
I suspect that any thought of incoming players in January, loans or otherwise has to be heavily caveated with what happens regards 777 Partners.

I keep reading they want it wrapped up in December, which smacks of the need to do so in order to make moves in January – otherwise I'd suggest the only movement we'll see is outgoings, and possibly Holgate coming back in.

If the 777 deal goes south, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see us forced to accept offers for players like Onana and Branthwaite in January in order to help balance the books.

Robert Tressell
15 Posted 12/12/2023 at 20:56:35
Dobbin is generally a left-sided wing forward in a front 3, Simon. He's right-footed. Got 5 goals and 6 assists for Derby County last season in 54 games in the 3rd tier.

Very fast and good attitude by the looks of things. Could be a useful player but probably not polished enough to be a regular starter.

Mike Gaynes
16 Posted 12/12/2023 at 21:03:32

I was quite outspoken in recommending we buy Miles Robinson before he blew out his Achilles and missed the World Cup. He has shown he is fully recovered, and since his return to the national team the US has kept a clean sheet in six of seven games he started.

In MLS he played in a totally attacking side and was often left exposed, but did pretty well. Absolutely impossible to beat off the dribble.

Derek Thomas
17 Posted 12/12/2023 at 21:14:02
Van de Beek – no way. He was here before, didn't fancy it, basically stole money, hid behind 'injuries' wouldn't pull you out of bed.

All the rest – who knows?

Chris Leyland
18 Posted 12/12/2023 at 21:17:34
Simon (12),

Isn't the rule of a maximum of 2 loanees at a time only for players from other English or Welsh clubs and doesn't apply to overseas loans?

Kiern Moran
19 Posted 12/12/2023 at 22:31:32
Make Harrison a permanent signing and snap up Kalvin Philips, I would be more than happy with that.
Paul Kossoff
20 Posted 12/12/2023 at 22:49:00
"Phillips (Man City): A very good midfield general in the right set-up (ie, not City). Would fit in very well at Everton, I am sure. Paul Kossof, [two fs in Kossoff, Robert] will tell me to give my head a wobble for mentioning him, but I can handle it. Bring it on, Paul."

Yes, Robert, give your head a wobble, and a few more wobbles with the other bums you mentioned:

Chalobah – cart horse,
Van de Beek – seriously,
Sancho – blimey, we are scraping the barrel now.
Pineapple Philips is bad enough (midfield general… lol).

football is full of bums who are totally one-footed reasonably fit men with zero skill factor. We are the off-loader for cast-offs, it's about time we went and found young players who want to prove themselves. not over-priced over-paid no-goods. Yes, Robert, give your head a wobble. 😀

Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 12/12/2023 at 22:59:42
Very good analysis of potential signings and players, Robert.

But right now, I can't look beyond what is in front of us. And usually I'm a strategic thinker who likes to plan ahead. Right now with Everton, I'm currently living week by week!!

I can't go into individual players in the detail you do, but I'd like to see us bring in a central midfielder.

And a centre-back. Keane scares me, that is well documented by my historical comments. Godfrey has lost his way and Branthwaite is that good that I fear what is coming.

Great post as always, Robert. It does highlight how much Chelsea have spent. I know they've had the benefit of Champions League revenue, but if the Premier League persists, surely they are next in the firing line?

Stu Darlington
22 Posted 12/12/2023 at 23:18:20
I don't expect any signings at all this January. If we do get any incomings, they will need to be loans on the lower end of the wage spectrum.

Forget Phillips and Sancho, there's no chance – we can't afford their wages. If we get any of the Chelsea players identified in Robert's piece, I'll be very surprised. They won't want to do anything to help us.

Maybe someone from MLS but I'm not that familiar with the players to comment on who would be the best fit for our needs.

Anyway, our Number 1 need in the New Year is not players, but securing enough cash flow to pay wages and other outgoings to avoid us going into administration.

If we are forced to sell any of our players, which I think is a distinct possibility, the money received will just go to keep the club afloat – not to contribute to any transfers.

Serious times indeed!

John Chambers
23 Posted 12/12/2023 at 23:31:17
I can't see us spending any money in January. Don't forget we've got £45M going out in the summer for Beto and Chermitri as we, somehow, managed to structure a deal where we don't pay for them until next summer!

I think this highlights how strapped we are for cash, never mind the FFP/P&S balance sheet.

I can see Danjuma going back, clearly he is behind Dobbin in Dyche's eyes, which could give us the scope to bring in 1 loan.

Mike Gaynes
24 Posted 12/12/2023 at 23:42:01
Jadon Sancho makes £250,000/week.

Kalvin Phillips makes £150,000/week.

Malang Sarr makes £120,000/week.

Van de Beek (who I actually really liked) makes £120,000/week.

Reiss Nelson makes £100,000/week.

Chukwuemeka makes £100,000/week.

I think we can safely cross all those off the loan list unless the parent club would be willing to chip in, which doesn't seem likely.

Dupont Koo
25 Posted 13/12/2023 at 01:16:22
Robert, great article as always. Thanks again for introducing the lesser-known young propsects to those of us who can no longer indulge in the world of up-and-coming U21s!

Before adding anyone, I am still more concerned with the overpaid salaries that are still on the book: Holgate, Keane, Godfrey, Gomes, Dele (some would even include Gana Gueye as soon as they know we are also paying him 6 figures every week), given our horrendous financials.

I would love to see some of those names you mentioned to be added, only after:

1) Either Keane's or Godfrey's entire salary (both are on reportedly £70-80k/week) is off our books in January (someone please ring Daniel Levy at Spurs?)

2) We can find someone to take up Gomes's expiring contract (£2.6M of outstanding salary from Christmas to the end of June).

3) Thelwell can find a team who can contribute more towards Holgate's £70k/week salary and afford him with more playing time (a mountain to climb, indeed… but Thelwell has pulled a lot of rabbits out of the hat already, so I remain a member of the #ThelwellBrigade).

(Dele's 6 figures per week expiring contract is a lost cause and sunk cost not even Santa Clause can do anything about it, so I'm leaving it out of the above.)

Jay Harris
26 Posted 13/12/2023 at 01:21:57
Watched PSV today. They have a right-winger in Bakayoko who really looked the business.

I don't know what he would cost but he came through all the Belgian international sides from Under-15s and has a few full international games under his belt and definitely looks to have great potential.

Trevor Powell
27 Posted 13/12/2023 at 09:09:49
Why do Chelsea buy/sign so many players? Straightforward answers:

1. Because they can;
2. They are fiddling the rules of FFP with 8-year contracts;
3. They stop rival clubs signing them;
4. They are arrogant beyond belief;
5. Too many moronic young men who see pound signs in front of their eyes instead of using football intelligence.

[Please feel free to add to this list…]

Russelll Smith
28 Posted 13/12/2023 at 09:35:30
I hope we don't sign any of these players. All are on high salaries and can't get into their own first teams, with Chelsea players hardly tearing up trees.

It will be a good January if we hang on to Branthwaite and the other current “first choices” and don't have to sell any of them to balance the books or just to survive month to month.

I hope Thelwell continues to buy young up-coming players who want to play for the shirt and are not already earning mouth-watering salaries that are unsustainable.

The Chelsea list above shows they are going to have 8 years of future problems. It's okay spreading the transfer fees over 8 years but, if you buy turkeys, you have their £5M-a-year wages to pay for the full period and, as we know, no other teams will take them on these inflated salaries.

We have tried that approach and it has brought us to our knees. Thelwell is doing a great job in difficult circumstances so let's trust that, with Dyche's help, we can find more players who fit the team, irrespective of their perceived star quality.

I can see him signing players like Brownhill from Burnley or Wharton from Blackburn because they will fit Dyche's set-up much better than the “stars” detailed above.

Jerome Shields
29 Posted 13/12/2023 at 09:41:17
Good article, Robert. It just shows you the resources Chelsea have, highlighted by Mike.

I don't think there will be anyone coming in on the January window. Hopefully Gomes will be fit enough to be loaned out.

I'm very grateful for showing me what is out there. We do need back-up players in the positions you have identified but, as Tony says, Dyche has managed to improve the performance of quite a few players. I do think in the Premier League you do have to mix and match, since opposition clubs will quickly adjust to Everton's play and will work out the weaknesses and expose them.

Simon #12,

I think you are right that Dunjama was a carry over from Lampard. Patterson was a carryover from Brands and it has taken a long time to work him in. I did not know that Harrison was not been played in his favoured position; explains why he now looks different than when he was a Leeds player.

I can't see Chelsea or Man City being in Everton's situation. Moshiri really was the goose with the golden eggs, all of which he lost. Actually, most of the Premier League benefited from the golden eggs in transfers and we had a stream of mercenary players and managers who had to work with overpaid buffoons in Everton tracksuits and blue balloon wielding Chief Executive Officer. The incompetence was breathtaking.

Andrew Ellams
30 Posted 13/12/2023 at 09:44:01
I'd take Phillips and Nelson if we can do a deal on wages. I think we are still lightweight in those areas of the squad, especially with Gana off to Afcon in a few weeks.
Ray Roche
31 Posted 13/12/2023 at 09:52:22
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that the contract situation was that a player can be signed on a 10-year contract but now the transfer fee must be paid over a 5-year period.
Simon Harrison
33 Posted 13/12/2023 at 09:56:06
Chris [18], Doh!! You are so right! I should really read and comprehend what I do!

The giveaway is this sentence;

With the exception of Welsh clubs competing in the competitions listed under Rule V.6.2, loans from a club in membership of another National Association do not count towards the above quotas.

After your discerning post, it means we're free to sign 'unlimited' foreign loans (wishful thinking on my behalf – unlimited!!); but, only one more English Football Pyramid loanee.

Thanks for spotting my intentional error; come to the front of class to collect your prize, Chris. ;/)

Rob [15], Thanks for clarifying where Dobbin's best position is. Left-wing-forward, just where we are weakest.

I mean we only have McNeil, Harrison, Danjuma, Chermiti, and I suppose Young to a degree to cover there, whilst we have who as genuine right-wingers!

It's a bit like the full-back positions, we have three right-backs and one (+Young) left-backs...

However, the squad shape was totally unbalanced, whereas at least now, we're getting a much more balanced squad.

I think if we lose Keane, and bring in O'Brien, try and convert Godfrey into his sometimes Norwich position of defensive midfielder, and make use of his athleticism there; and finally bring in a proper right-sided midfielder or winger, we'd be looking good. Oh, and a decent backup to Mykolenko too. (He is too valuable to lose now!)

Wasn't the last genuine right-winger we had Walcott, with another left-wing conversion in Townsend, which funnily enough is where he is doing really well at Luton? Maybe we could have… should have kept Andros?

Simon Harrison
34 Posted 13/12/2023 at 09:58:29
Lyndon has put a thread up regards closing the amortisation 'loophole'.

Here's the link;

Premier League clubs vote to close amortisation loophole

Lee Courtliff
35 Posted 13/12/2023 at 10:01:48
Wharton at Blackburn has just signed a new 5-year deal so they'd want a good few million for him. That's the kind of player we need to be signing, if possible.

As for Sancho, if he can't motivate himself to play for Man Utd, who are/were in the Champions League, then what chance is there that he fancies running himself into the ground in a Dyche team??

None whatsoever.

Jerome Shields
36 Posted 13/12/2023 at 10:12:37

Do you really think Nelson of Arsenal is available?

It would be a brave move for an Elephant and Castle lad to move North from the Arsenal. Definitely if he was prepared to do so.

Tony Abrahams
37 Posted 13/12/2023 at 10:36:52
Interesting Jay @26,

Knowing PSV, he wouldn't come cheap. I had already watched enough of Branthwaite to believe he was talented enough to play at the highest level but it was when PSV were allegedly prepared to make the kid their highest-ever purchase that I realised he must be a really top player already.

Clive Rogers
38 Posted 13/12/2023 at 10:44:38
The fact is that most of the players listed for loans probably aren't interested in a loan deal.

The vast majority will be looking for a move with a contract as long as possible. The better the player, the more likely this is.

Simon Harrison
39 Posted 13/12/2023 at 10:45:41
Jay [@26] and Tony [@37],

We looked at Bakayoko in the summer. Unfortunately, he didn't want the move at that time, plus we couldn't match what PSV wanted (not to mention they wanted Jarrad as a make-weight) All transfer gossip of course, but it was widely reported at the time.

I wonder if he'd being willing to come now we're doing better? Maybe even on a 6-month loan to get a taste of the club?

I think he'd be a good fit for us.

Nicholas Ryan
40 Posted 13/12/2023 at 11:55:35
There's a guy with plenty of Premier League experience bossing the midfield for Luton at the moment and getting positive mentions on MotD.

What's his name now... erm.... erm . ?

Tony Abrahams
41 Posted 13/12/2023 at 13:45:23
Ross Barkley has always been good enough to boss the midfield on any given day. He's still relatively fresh for somebody of his age so hopefully the penny has finally dropped and this is something he can start doing on a more regular basis.

For a lot of gifted footballers, finding consistency to go with their undoubted ability is definitely the hardest thing to do. Hopefully for Barkley, he's learned before it's too late; he definitely belongs in the unfulfilled talent bracket, imo.

Martin Reppion
42 Posted 13/12/2023 at 15:25:20
I'm glad I wasn't the first to mention Barkley on here.

When he was available in August ,the noises on here weren't pleasant. But I have always thought he is an Everton player that went astray. I'd love him back while he is still young enough to perform.

He plays in the position we have least depth. Recently he has shown good awareness and no little skill. What's more, he usually provides a goal threat too.

I can't see him moving until their relegation is done and dusted though.

Brian Williams
43 Posted 13/12/2023 at 15:40:04
Bossing the midfield once in a blue moon!

Always strange how people remember our ex-players being better than they actually were for us.

I won't bother making a list! 😳

Tony Abrahams
44 Posted 13/12/2023 at 15:43:27
I'd love to see that list, Brian, especially after you have drank a crate of those Desperados, mate!
Brian Williams
45 Posted 13/12/2023 at 16:02:01
Haha, Tony, if you're buying mate, I'll try me best!

It's just there's a fair number of players we've moved on and the TW whinge brigade has called the club for everything and then those same players have nose-dived at the club they moved to before moving to worse and worse teams.

So Barkley having a couple of decent games for Luton doesn't convince me, mate. 😁

Andrew Keatley
46 Posted 13/12/2023 at 16:09:34
Recent press reports suggest that the stadium-build and loan repayments currently lumber us with a £20 million per month operating shortfall.

If no significant progress is made in terms of new owners, then January might just end up being about finding the £100 million through player sales just so we can survive the season.

It's damage limitation time.

Tony Abrahams
47 Posted 13/12/2023 at 16:10:55
Definitely not, Brian. I honestly never saw Barkley play two good (never mind better than good) games on the spin, mate,

That's why I personally think he has continued to sink lower, since he got his move to one of the best teams in the country when he left Everton all those years ago, when he seemingly had the world at his feet.

Dale Self
48 Posted 13/12/2023 at 16:34:18
Thanks again for the research, Robert.

I still think Phillips is worth the pursuit if we can get an acceptable fee negotiated. I also believe Ugochukwu is worth a look.

Rob Dolby
49 Posted 13/12/2023 at 16:51:13
We need a centre-midfielder and right-midfielder.

I can't see us affording Harrison next season so a younger Albrighton type would do me.

Danjuma will be sent back to Spain so again we need to build the squad or maybe give Stan Mills a squad role.

Go to the lower divisions and look for hungry players, don't touch any of the big boys' rejects.

Thelwell will no doubt be planning for January.

Kieran Kinsella
50 Posted 13/12/2023 at 16:53:06
Barkley is not someone we should be looking at. He started off well at Chelsea, then Villa, even Nice.

But, after between a few weeks and few months in each case, he soon became useless again, running into dead ends, misplacing passes and giving away stupid fouls.

Bill Hawker
51 Posted 13/12/2023 at 19:29:44
Miles Robinson, before his injury with Atlanta United, would have been one of USA's starting center-backs at Qatar. Solid player if not unspectacular.

The speed of MLS is naturally slower than the Premier League but I believe he'd be a solid back-up to Tarkowski and Branthwaite. I wouldn't think wages would be a huge issue.

Robert Tressell
52 Posted 13/12/2023 at 20:38:35
Paul # 20, sorry to mis-spell your name. My head is still wobbling. 👍

January is always a strange window, and not a good one for longer-term squad building. A player like Miles Robinson in a free might be a rare opportunity – but otherwise, the loan options are probably just temporary reinforcements. I don't think we could afford any of them on a permanent deal.

That said, one of our best signings in recent years was a January acquisition. The £1M (?) spent on Jarrad Branthwaite is proving an absolute bargain (and also proving the sort of quality we can get hold of if we're just prepared to be patient and develop players).

Paul Kossoff
54 Posted 14/12/2023 at 12:06:22
Paul Kossoff
55 Posted 14/12/2023 at 12:10:43
Robert @52.

Enjoyed your post. Please forgive my indifference. I am here to basically disagree if I can with anything anyone says… except myself. 😀

Paul Kossoff
56 Posted 14/12/2023 at 12:23:56
Dale 48, why do you think Pineapple Phillips would do well for us? He can't get in the Man City side, no matter what, and he would only get dropped from the England team if he was in jail.

Robert called him a midfield general – the only time he would be that if he's in charge of mopping the floors in the Midfield General Hospital.

No apparent skill set, bang average and a waste of money we don't have. I've told you all this before, why don't you listen? 😀

ps: Why is listen spelt with a t?

Dale Self
57 Posted 14/12/2023 at 13:05:53
Paul, it is a faith that Dyche would build a system that works for him. Replacing Rodri in that system does not work for him.

Simply put, I think you are attributing a mismatch of player and system solely to Phillps's skillset I would be willing to try him if we have to let Onana go.

Rob Jones
58 Posted 14/12/2023 at 14:05:18
I'd be happy if we didn't go into the market. Dyche and Thelwell were prescient in realising that there was no point in adding to the squad last January unless they could improve upon what was at their disposal. There's no value in January, and with a handful of exceptions (such as Suarez joining the bastards), it's a fruitless part of the year.

Try and offload Gomes, Alli, Holgate. Lower the wage bill.

I have every confidence in Dyche's ability to steer this team clear of relegation. Let's re-evaluate in the summer, when odds are, we're going to be forced to sell either Branthwaite or Onana (personally, I'd prefer we sold Onana, even though I do rate him).

Right now, the squad is small, unified, and I don't see any point in adding to it.

That being said, if Spurs are willing to drop a few quid for Godfrey, let's stick that money down on O'Brien, who could be a useful long-term replacement for Tarkowski. Imagine two agile monsters at centre-back, alongside Mykolenko, and a hopefully developing Patterson.

Derek Knox
59 Posted 14/12/2023 at 14:17:02
Mark @ 10,

"Cheers Simon – so it's a scouse thing? Like John, Paul, Haz and Ringo…???

They have renamed themselves The Bootles! :-)

Paul Kossoff
60 Posted 14/12/2023 at 19:15:02
Dale 57. Do you remember the advert, weebles wobble but they don't fall down? Wobble being the operative word, well give your head one of them please.
Tony Everan
61 Posted 14/12/2023 at 20:26:34
Some rumours of Sulemana again, young, pacey right winger at Southampton probably on loan with an option. Would be a good idea to have a look at him for 6 months see what he can do.

Thelwell's been tracking him for a while so this one could have some mileage. He'd offer something different to our attack, could be a useful addition.

Simon Harrison
62 Posted 14/12/2023 at 21:12:33
Tony Ev [61] That could be interesting indeed! Maybe if we do recall Holgate from there, the Saints might give us a discounted rate!? Hehe

My only concern is that Sulemana, is again primarily a Left-sided player with a right-foot who likes to cut in. Looking at his stats, he's not performing as well as Haz, despite playing 3 league games more.

I was in discussion with Dave Abrahams on another thread and posted this; after thinking about it, it is probably better here. Sorry to repeat myself

*** SPAM Alert ***

I guess it's like the old adage 'Rome wasn't built in a day'. Every manager really needs time to put their stamp on a team, unless of course you have access to 'unlimited' funds and resources.

I think I'm with you on Danjuma. I've trawled a couple of Spurs sites, and nobody seemed keen on Spurs signing him after his 6 (5?) months there last season. Apparently, he had some rare good moments, but usually flattered to deceive.

As you say, maybe Kevin and Sean will try and get shut, and bring someone more 'robust with more footballing nous' as you say. Not to mention more hard working. Which really seems to be his Achilles heel.

Like I've said elsewhere by inference, he seems a luxury that Everton don't need just now.

I'd like a few changes this window, even if they are sticking plasters.

Out: Loan or Sale: Gomes (L/S), Holgate (L/S) (he's coming back from Saints allegedly), Keane (L/S), Danjuma (End of Loan)

In: CB (Primary need). RW/F (Nice to have!), LB (as an extra)

Then do a John Stones, or TAA with Ben Godfrey and convert him to a proper DM (he played there at Norwich on occasion), and fully utilise his tackling, pace and athleticism. He could still be called on as an emergency CB and or FB cover.

ps: I've no idea what to do with Dele Alli in truth, stick, twist or fold? I just don't know? I guess that is in Kevin's and then Sean's hands.

Dale Self
63 Posted 14/12/2023 at 21:28:31
Hey Paul, do you remember Mystery Date? You’re the bum!

Tony, we should definitely look for Sulemana interest in a transfer. Dude can ball.

Paul Kossoff
64 Posted 14/12/2023 at 23:13:34
Dale 63, yes I remember the film, you were one of the dead bodies in the trunk, better a bum than a stiff.😀
Dale Self
65 Posted 15/12/2023 at 01:51:23
Paul, I have to call your bluff. Mystery Date was a 60s board game. We are digging a hole in this disagreement about Phillip’s ability.
Robert Tressell
66 Posted 15/12/2023 at 07:49:08
I'm not sure Sulemana offers us a great deal more than Danjuma or Dobbin.

That young lad Micah Hamilton at Man City would be worth a look though - did well in the dead rubber v Red Star Belgrade but probably won't feature much at all otherwise.

Shame Emilio Lawrence left because at 18 he might now be getting some first team minutes for us.

Stephen Davies
67 Posted 17/12/2023 at 18:44:04
Rumours that Dele has sustained a thigh injury that may keep him out for rest of the Season.
Steve Shave
68 Posted 17/12/2023 at 18:59:39
Stephen, if true that is very bad news. I was hoping for us to ship him out in January. Where did you hear this?
Stephen Davies
69 Posted 17/12/2023 at 19:38:32
The same source who revealed to me that Mykoenko wouldn't be playing yesterday.
Simon Harrison
70 Posted 17/12/2023 at 20:15:04
Stephen and Steve,

There is an article on Goodison News (Which I won't post as Michael and Lyndon would probably delete the Koppite Propaganda) that Dele's rehab is not going to plan. Which has become obvious since he came back to training 'on the grass' (No, not poppers!)

The doctor writing the article, suggests that Dele will now need further surgery to speed up his recovery.

Hence, the thigh injury story...

By the way Stephen, apologies for doubting you yesterday. My bad!

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