22/06/2024 55comments  |  Jump to last

Tim Iroegbunam has become the first incoming signing of Everton's close season following confirmation that a 3-year deal has been agreed after his £9m transfer from Aston Villa.

With the Blues still operating under strict austerity due to the Premier League's Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR) and the Club's ongoing financial struggles as Farhad Moshiri continues his long-running quest to sell his majority stake, Director of Football, Kevin Thelwell, has focused on signing younger talent for relatively small fees. 

With Villa having PSR concerns of their own, it made sense to cash in on one of their up-and-coming players and Iroegbunam (pronounced Iro-bew-nam with a silent "g") was effectively one half of a player exchange that will see Lewis Dobbin go the other way for a similar fee.

Both clubs were able to book pure profits from players with almost no book value, thereby alleviating their deficits vis-a-vis the spending limits. 

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Iroegbunam began his career at West Bromwich Albion and was named on the substitutes' bench in May 2021 for a Premier League fixture against Leeds but didn't make it onto the pitch. 

He was snapped up by Villa and signed for their Under-23 side that summer and would go on to make 19 senior appearances for the Birmingham club. 

The bulk of his experience prior to joining Everton came in the Championship with Queens Park Rangers in 2023-24 where he played 32 games and scored twice. 

A versatile member of a possession-based team, Iroegbunam demonstrated an ability to play as either a deep-lying No.6 or as a more attack-minded No 8, qualities that will, no doubt, have attracted him to Sean Dyche:

"We're pleased to add Tim to our midfield options," Dyche said.

"He is a young player who is still learning and developing but clearly has a lot of the qualities we want in that area of the pitch."

Meanwhile, Thelwell said: "We are delighted to have been able to move quickly to bring Tim to Everton. He is a player we have been following closely and we believe he has the skills and characteristics to be a strong addition to our midfield.

"At 20 years old, he is a young and hungry player who has already gained some impressive experience and we look forward to helping him to continue to develop and fulfil his obvious potential."

Suggestions continue that Lewis Dobbin is on the verge of making a move in the other direction, having reportedly completed his medical with the Birmingham club.

"It was a move that I didn’t want to pass by," Iroegbunam said after putting pen to paper on his contract. "I wanted to take the opportunity.

"When I spoke to Kevin, he told me more about the Club – its history, the future and where they see me playing. It made me feel very excited because there are big things coming, especially with the new stadium.

"When I’ve been to Goodison as an opposition player, I’ve seen how the Everton fans are. You can tell straight away what the atmosphere is like – they are always backing the team. I’m going to work hard for them.

"I just can’t wait to get started. I’m going to give everything and I can’t wait to show what I can bring to this club."


Reader Comments (55)

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Mike Hayes
1 Posted 22/06/2024 at 12:15:48
Already signed 3-year deal undisclosed fee.

A good start, I hope he's ready for first team.

Martin Reppion
2 Posted 22/06/2024 at 12:23:08
Looks like a good signing. Long term replacement for Gueye?

Definitely an area we have to strengthen. Main worry is fitting that name into a song.

Paul Birmingham
3 Posted 22/06/2024 at 12:26:28
It's a done deal, I've seen some interviews at Goodison and Finch Farm. Alas, Dobbin is going to Villa, but shrewd business and good to see the dawn of a new era at Everton FC.

Also theres rumours saying the Skunks are closing on Calvert-Lewin.

Looks like a busy week ahead to aboid any potential PSR scrutiny.

James Alder
4 Posted 22/06/2024 at 12:38:50
The £10 Million we get goes into to this year for PSR.

Virtually all of the £10 million we spend goes on next year's PSR, when hopefully the rules are different.

Michael Lynch
5 Posted 22/06/2024 at 12:44:53
Signed, and interview on the Everton OS.

3-year deal, so does that mean it is amortized over three years? In other words, approx £3M per year?

Brian Wilkinson
6 Posted 22/06/2024 at 13:00:46
Terry, the £10 million we get goes as £10 million pure profit for this year, likewise for Villa.

Everton then pay Villa over say 5 years, which will only account for £2 million outlay per season.

Terry Downes
7 Posted 22/06/2024 at 13:01:18
Cheers, James. 👍
Kev Wood
8 Posted 22/06/2024 at 13:04:55
Come a’ed Bunny la!
Sean Kelly
9 Posted 22/06/2024 at 13:07:39
Welcome aboard, lad, and have a successful career at Everton!
Christopher Timmins
10 Posted 22/06/2024 at 13:09:33
It's a plus £8M scenario in this year's accounts and a minus £2M scenario in years 2 to 5.

If it helps in any way, shape or form to keep our young central defender this summer, it will be a masterstroke.

'Masterstroke' is not a word often used in connection with our club.

Mike Doyle
11 Posted 22/06/2024 at 13:38:05
Michael (#5).
Unless different terms have been agreed with Villa, the cost will be amortised in line with his contract length - so if the reported figure of £9m is correct the cost will be recorded as £3m per year for each of the next 3 years.
Bob Parrington
12 Posted 22/06/2024 at 13:40:56
Guys and Gals
I know nothing about iroegbenum. Sorry for spelling. What qualities will he bring to the team?
John Chambers
13 Posted 22/06/2024 at 13:42:45
James my understanding is PSR will still apply for season 24/25. The new “anchoring” rules are not in force for next season
Robert Tressell
14 Posted 22/06/2024 at 13:51:17
Martin # 2 - surely Iroegbunam style (gangnam style)
Steve Shave
15 Posted 22/06/2024 at 14:01:25
I am pleased with this signing, very astute business from my perspective.

Concerned by the DCL rumours but if he wants to go and there is only 1yr left on his contract so be it. If so I hope the Illman Ndiaye rumours are true, Beto can be used to disrupt and Illman is a much finer ball player than both Beto and DCL, pace and vision too but not a target man.

Ndiaye can also be best utilised as a no 10, gives us options if the Duke is not firing again at any point.

Ian Bennett
16 Posted 22/06/2024 at 14:12:24
Maatsen going to Villa for £40m, and guess what Chelsea are looking to sign Duran or another prospect for £20-40m in return.

Villa well and truly navigating psr successfully.

Dale Self
17 Posted 22/06/2024 at 14:23:26
Thelwell in ascension, could do well with a small funding outlay. Hopefully, he gains Friedkin’s confidence early and gets a chance to sign some higher value targets. If he proves himself at that level we are on our way.

If Dom wishes to leave, now is the time. Sheikh ‘em down for some serious cash and we are out of hell in a flash. Olise is gone to Bayern so Palace should slip although it is too early for watching the trapdoor at the bottom.

Jon Bentley
18 Posted 22/06/2024 at 14:44:14
It looks like Villa and/or Everton have both twigged a sneaky way through PSR... effectively 'swap' up and coming youngsters so the pure profit sale goes straight into the books but the purchase goes through as amortisation over the contract period. So let's say we sell Dobbin to them for also £9m, we have both generated a profit in this years books in exchange for a paper loss over the next 3 to 5 years, and each club is taking the same level of 'gamble' ie its never certain who will make it and who won't so we're both gambling on the young players whilst balancing the books. Quite clever really!!
Paul Smith
19 Posted 22/06/2024 at 14:49:58
Castore kit looking much better than the Hummel effort. No idea how good this lad is.
Kieran Kinsella
20 Posted 22/06/2024 at 15:00:51
Brian, It is because he is out of contract in 12 months. Come Christmas we'd be lucky to get half that. Remember Ross Barkley? What did we end up getting for him? About 5 million?
Jerome Shields
21 Posted 22/06/2024 at 15:14:18
Iroegbunam looks like a Gueye type midfielder. Good signing.

Good Luck to DCL on his possible move.

John Raftery
22 Posted 22/06/2024 at 15:47:10
That clubs have been reduced in effect to swapping promising but unproven talent demonstrates what an artificial construct PSR is. I am however pleased to see the club making sensible, pragmatic decisions to minimise the risk of further breaches.
David West
23 Posted 22/06/2024 at 16:25:47
Shrewd bit of business ( yes Everton and Shrewd in same sentence ) I hope he's further along in his development than chermiti who I like but needs time.
This has the signs of us having a plan for this transfer window.
Get in early for our targets before we do the deals to sell, when clubs will assume we have Onana and or Branthwaite cash and bump up prices.

A couple more like this will do nicely, winger,left back, creative cm and a centre half are a must before we even think about replacing Onana, DCL & Branthwaite.

It shows deals can be done and the takeover isn't affecting the work needed to be done by the dof and manger hopefully .
Positive signs !

Danny O’Neill
24 Posted 22/06/2024 at 18:12:36
Firstly welcome.

Let's see what he can do for us then judge him.

You never know how a player will turn out.

Tim Cahill, who many where sceptical about.

And the Liverpool reserve player, whose name I won't mention as you know who who I'm talking about.

Give the lad a chance. He's now an Everton player.

Kevin Molloy
25 Posted 22/06/2024 at 18:58:49
villa talk are all to a man slightly disbelieving that they've managed to get ten million for him. But they bid him a hearty bon voyage..
Paul Ferry
26 Posted 22/06/2024 at 19:16:28
Danny 24: I completely agree:

"Let's see what he can do for us then judge him.
Give the lad a chance. He's now an Everton player".

But no one on here has judged him and no one has not given him a chance so far.

Mark Ryan
27 Posted 22/06/2024 at 19:28:56
I'm loving this, EFC are still alive & kicking, doing business, trying to improve and doing it properly
Neil Copeland
28 Posted 22/06/2024 at 19:49:33
He’s shite, championship at best….

Sorry Paul couldn’t resist the invitation.

Billy Shears
29 Posted 22/06/2024 at 19:55:26
Welcome aboard lad...a good piece of business by the club,along with the new kit deal things are looking up for once.
Jeff Armstrong
30 Posted 22/06/2024 at 19:58:52
So two young lads who were happy to try their luck next season at clubs they grew up with are now having to be moved on and relocate to new cities and areas, make new friends and neighbours, purely to satisfy corrupt rules by the EPL.
Meanwhile Man City, Man U, Liverpool and Chelsea spend what they want to, when they want to, without sanction or punishment, threaten the organisers with a Euro super league, without sanction or punishment, and continue to circumnavigate the rules by selling land and hotels to themselves, and build stands,whilst the rest of the Premier league have to pat themselves on the back cos they think they’ve got one over on the league by swapping two young kids who probably didn’t want to move anywhere anyway.
Si Cooper
31 Posted 22/06/2024 at 20:27:15
Jeff (30), don’t know your political slant but you are complaining about basic capitalism. Nobody is being made to do anything. If the lads were fundamental to their managers plans then they wouldn’t be available.

These two lads have the opportunity to be amongst something like the top one percent earners in the country if they are able to keep at Premier League level for their careers. From their mid thirties they will have massive choices on how to live out the rest of their lives in comfort.

Plenty of people have really had to become economic migrants just to get a basic standard of living. Plenty of youngsters move to new places and make new friends just as a part of growing up / becoming independent.

Jeff Armstrong
32 Posted 22/06/2024 at 20:58:24
Si, I don’t want to pigeon hole this deal into any “ism “ argument,.

I’d like to know where these two lads preferred choices were for starting next season? considering there clubs buying and selling strategy are due to EPL “rules “.

Anthony Dove
33 Posted 22/06/2024 at 21:37:20
Seriously underwhelmed but let's hope for the best.

If he's any good, why on earth would Villa sell him?

Andrew Brookfield
34 Posted 22/06/2024 at 23:20:10
PSR is a stain on foootball, but it does mean that clubs are having to sell players historically they’d have kept and developed.

The Dibbin to Villa links make this sounds like just a PSR scheme, but if it is, which I’m not convinced I think we’re getting the better deal.

Dobbin is not going to be a winger for a top ten premiership club, it just won’t happen. This kid has decent England recognition and was pushing for a place in MF of a Champions League qualifying club.

He’s not a change the world signing, but is someone who could be very good in a couple of years. Exactly the kind of singing we should be making - Brighton-esque.

This is the right route, he may or may not be a success, but if he’s the first of many of this type of gamble I think we’ll be ok and on a much stronger footing. In Threadwell I trust.

Robert Tressell
35 Posted 22/06/2024 at 23:53:48
PSR is obviously (yet another) way to protect the self-appointed Super Ligue clubs - but I'm not sure it's really the bad guy. The real bad guys are (a) a Premier League intent on dishing out completely disproportionate punishment and (b) unbelievably idiotic club management leading to a very predictable demise. The latter is the most significant.
Si Cooper
36 Posted 23/06/2024 at 00:24:36
Jeff (32), for years I’ve been querying whether it is sensible to ‘pigeonhole’ sports as just another business with the majority responding that is exactly how football clubs should be run.

Now Everton and Villa are both doing clever / creative business to balance their books you are crying foul about it. That’s fine if you’ve always been in the ‘sports clubs need specific regulation that allows them to exist outside of the usual financial considerations’ camp.

Having to make life choices due to businesses needing to make business decisions is something plenty of us have had to deal with, including top level sports people in most sports.

Just not sure why you are so vexed about the young players. They are not being sold due to any ‘rules’, just simple economics.

Andrew Keatley
37 Posted 23/06/2024 at 01:02:47
I think this is decent business, regardless of the PSR situation - and even if it essentially just equates to trading Dobbin for Iroegbunam.

We need a midfielder who can carry the ball, and who is athletic and quick. Iroegbunam can probably fulfil the same role that Onana was expected to play, but hopefully with greater dynamism and higher intensity. If Onana is leaving, which he surely is, then Iroegbunam is a good replacement at a fraction of the cost. A 3-year deal feels at least a year on the short side, but I guess that's a future bridge to be crossed.

I don't think Dobbin was ever likely to progress under Dyche. While he has certain weapons - mainly pace and directness - but he is 21 and still very raw and his ball retention/protection levels are (in my estimation) not good enough.

As a side-note, the PSR rules need to be reviewed - and soon. Right now clubs are looking to offload their home-grown academy graduates - and if this continues then the reality of any club retaining their homegrown talent is going to become more and more of a rarity.

Alan J Thompson
38 Posted 23/06/2024 at 05:41:14
Danny(#24); It's Johnny Morrisey, isn't it.
Paul Ferry
39 Posted 23/06/2024 at 05:53:28
You're allowed that Neil mate - 28 - as an executive member of the 3000. You must begetting withdrawal symptoms, but at least the fixtures came out this week!
Paul Ferry
40 Posted 23/06/2024 at 07:30:18
No Alan, but it easily could be mate and some would say should be. It's my number one EFC player in my time with Dave Thomas and a few others from 1984-87 not far behind, Lord Sheeds.
Danny O’Neill
41 Posted 23/06/2024 at 07:31:20
Paul, I keeping looking at the calendar wanting it to be 17th August.

Neil, hopefully see you outside the Harlech before the match.

I can't wait to have Everton back.

Ernie Baywood
42 Posted 23/06/2024 at 07:34:10
Jeff #30 - the "corrupt EPL rules" might have been brought in for some dubious reasons, but I struggle to argue against clubs needing to be financially sustainable.

What are we complaining about? It seems that some are arguing for an owner to have the right to run us into the ground.

Derek Thomas
43 Posted 23/06/2024 at 07:46:55
Ernie @ 42; I think there's a bit of leeway, (which is nowhere on Moshiris radar) between 'run into the ground' and 'shackled financially'.

There is also a school of thought that FFP etc, was brought in not to 'save' the bottom 14 (from themselves) but to 'protect' the top 6 (from others)

Jerome Shields
44 Posted 23/06/2024 at 08:16:20
PSR probably actually saved Everton, by putting financial parameters in place which the Management of the Club were prepared to ignore. Everton would have been in a far worse financial situation if they had not existed.

As for the Top Six, PSR is skewed to protect those that are better run and to try to curtail those that would try to get more powerful than the Premier League, thus guarding its survival.

Of course the Rules change. Compensation has been quietly dropped.

Ernie Baywood
46 Posted 23/06/2024 at 09:11:42
Derek #43 I don't doubt that's been a factor in its implementation. But something did need to be done regardless of whether it's been twisted into something that helped the current big clubs.

As for us just being financially shackled rather than run into the ground... I don't think we got too far from the latter. But in any case I'd like some safeguards in place to ensure it doesn't happen. It's already happened to football clubs.

Brian Williams
47 Posted 23/06/2024 at 09:23:17
If he's any good, why on earth would Villa sell him?

Anthony have you not read other posts regarding PSR, and using your logic clubs never sell good players and that's just not true is it?

Rokas Grajauskas
48 Posted 23/06/2024 at 09:25:30
I saw some people mentioning Tim as a potential long term replacement for Gueye. From what I saw in the limited highlights of him, he definitely fits the archetype of Onana - big, strong, long strides, loves a mean tackle and looks more than decent in bringing the ball up the field. Hopefully we will be able to sell Onana for big money after the Euros, with a very young but very talented replacement already lined up, and keep Branthwaite. Would hate to see DCL leave as well, but the contract situation may force our hand.
Joe McMahon
49 Posted 23/06/2024 at 09:38:42
Anthony@33, as stated above PSR. But some players are never given chances at clubs, as we know several Everton players haven't been, even Kevin De Bruyne at Chelsea.
Sean Kearns
50 Posted 24/06/2024 at 04:40:56
Dobbin was 21 and couldn’t get a kick near our first team, Simms was like 23 I think…. So why would this signing of a 20 y/o even remotely get me excited knowing that he will only see around 20 minutes of football all next season. Why are the club sending me emails about this lad signing, like they are trying to impress me. He’s younger than Dobbin Who didn’t play at all!!!! It’s all smoke in mirrors, I fear we are fucked!
Iain Johnston
51 Posted 24/06/2024 at 18:51:30
Surprised it's only a 3 year deal not 5. I'd rather see a £2m debit than £3m from our threadbare coffers.

Have Villa signed Dobbin over the same contract length so at least we can offset one with the other?

Brian Hennessy
52 Posted 24/06/2024 at 22:25:22
Media reporting here in Ireland tonight that Everton, Villa and Chelsea are being investigated by the Premier League about recent swap deals and will be 'punished' if they are found to have been 'colluding' to avoid PSR breaches.

Shane Corcoran
53 Posted 24/06/2024 at 22:28:46
Where did you see that Brian?
Brian Hennessy
54 Posted 24/06/2024 at 22:31:25
It was on Newstalk at 10pm Shane, a worrying development.
Colin Glassar
55 Posted 24/06/2024 at 22:35:55
Heard about this earlier today. Apparently, it’s nothing illegal but it goes against the “spirit” of fair play. As though such a thing exists. Nothing in the rules against these types of deals.
Dave Williams
56 Posted 25/06/2024 at 20:34:55
Chatting to a QPR fan today- they are gutted at losing him and he says he’s strong, quick, creative, loves a tackle and can beat players- reckons he is a terrific buy.

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