A lot of news has been flowing recently about Everton and the January transfer window. This is usually the case every season, but this season in particular there seems a sense of urgency. This could be because we currently sit only two points above the relegation zone. It could also be because we are about to lose our best scorer and arguably our best player for about about a month for the Asian Cup. It might even be because the thought has passed our mind that we are close to the relegation zone even though we are playing well (just not scoring goals), what happens if we start playing badly too?
OK, now I am freaking out after reading my own words. I think the point is, this transfer window is quite important. The most important piece in this transfer window is Steven Pienaar.
Before we talk about selling Pienaar and what type of midfielders we could get, both to replace Pienaar and to give some depth in the right winger position, I am going to talk about my view on Pienaar.
I have always liked Pienaar. He has been an important player for the club. Before this season started I wanted him to stay even though I thought he was replaceable. The main reason behind this was because - 1) we couldn't get what we though was fair value for him 2) we actually thought we had a good shot of capturing a Champions League or Europa League spot. We now know that both of these were ridiculous things and we should have got what we could have back then. Hindsight is 20/20.
Pienaar is an unorthodox type of winger. if we want a player to replace him, it will be really tough. If we want someone to replace the position, I think we can be quite successful.
My point is, I don't think Pienaar is going to sign an extension with us when there are more "attractive" clubs willing to offer higher wages for him. We are also not competing for European positions, so I don't think it's necessary to keep him for that. If we get an offer that is semi reasonable for him, I think we should take it. Waiting until the end of the season just seems like a waste of money. If we can get something out of him now, it seems smarter than just playing him for the rest of the season and then letting him go for free.There are a couple of teams that seem to be in the forefront of acquiring Pienaar. This include teams like Tottenham and Bayern Munich.
I have heard two major rumors about players that could replace Pienaar. The first involves Tottenham:
- Niko Kranjcar is very good player that has fallen out of favor from Tottenham. He has a more orthodox style of play in the left winger position. He has very good vision, is creative, and is excellent at free kicks. One thing that he would improve over Pienaar is distributing to the forwards and more accurate crosses.
The second potential replacement comes from Aston Villa:
- Stephen Ireland is a great midfield talent. The problem is he has been quite terrible for Aston Villa since moving from Manchester City. He is also more of a pure midfielder than a winger. I also think he is a closet headcase. He has done some stupid things but he could get back to being one of the talents that was supposed to be the future of the Premier League. I don't think £8-£9 million is worth it for a transfer but we will probably try to get him on loan.
Club Focus - Everton - Moyes rejects selling Pienaar to finance striker move as transfer window approaches
The prospect of Everton selling Steven Pienaar in the forthcoming transfer window to raise funds was recently broached by Toffees’ manager David Moyes, with the Scot admitting it is a possibility. Moyes concluded, however, that his soon-to-be out-of-contract midfielder would not generate enough money to justify the upheaval, but in past years Everton have financed a series of transfers by cashing in on an in-demand star, something they decided against this summer.
Moyes has said that he won't sell Pienaar to finance a striker, but that doesn't mean he won't sell Pienaar. Either way, we need some depth in the winger position. There is also a certain someone from the US that could make it back to our team but I won't elaborate because it's been beaten to death (and I vowed not to talk about him until news that is more substantial comes out). I don't know which direction the club is going to head in, but this upcoming transfer window seems to be getting more and more important.