After a hiatus, the Royal Blue Mailbag has returned. Below are some of questions sent in by you, our faithful readers. A big thanks to everyone that contributed, and a reminder that you can tweet us @rbmersey with #rbmailbag in the tweet to get your questions answered each week. Also check back for our post asking for questions every Monday. Leave your thoughts on the questions, and why you disagree with my answers, below.
How much would Chelsea ask for Rom? 40 million? @dillonJyoung
At this point I don’t know if he would be feel or sale at any price, but if anything would tempt Chelsea it would probably have to be close to £40 million. While Chelsea has done well this year, they haven’t pulled away from most of the table like their fans had hoped. With Lukaku’s great start I’d say he’s becoming indispensible to Chelsea’s future. The only caveat I have is if Lukaku somehow pissed off Mourihno. If that happened then I’d say £25 – £30 million would do it.
What are your thoughts on Antolin Alcaraz? Will we see him this season and does he have anything to contribute? Calvin
Unlike the Kone deal, I was ok with Alcaraz arriving at Everton because it was a free transfer. The only real problem was his age and injury; he played just 8 games for Wigan last year. Sadly it seems like age has caught up to the Parguayan. Alcaraz wasn’t even selected in the League Cup, and it seems like he is 5th in the pecking order in the center behind Jags, Distin, Stones, and Heitinga. It may be worth Martinez trying to offload him for a small sum in January.
How long will it be before we see John Stones in the back? Vikedawg
There is a lot of promise around Stones, and he seems to be where Duffy was the last two years. He’s knocking on the first-team while getting minutes in the League Cup. I would be surprised if we see him make a regular appearance before the end of the season though. While Jags and Distin are not comfortable playing the ball at their feet, their partnership has developed an understanding that outweighs any issues with Martinez’s system. Distin also does a fantastic job covering the left side when Baines gets forward. I think Stones is being groomed to replace Distin, but it is going to be done after this year.
Why isn’t Gerard Deulofeu getting more playing time? John
While everyone loves Deulofeu’s ideas going forward, he is suffering from something all young offensive players have, an inability to track back consistently. Occasionally Gerard will be seen in defense, but it is not enough for a midfielder. Mirallas, for how pedestrian he has looked this season, is still tracking back and providing Coleman with defensive cover. Deulofeu is going to be kept out of the starting lineup until he plays defense more, but when he learns that it is going to be a special season.
What does Everton need to do in the January window to be successful? Andrew
Everton’s biggest needs are the same they had at the beginning of the season; defensive midfielder and forward, but both need to be purchases rather than loans. With Darron Gibson’s injury and Gareth Barry only hear on loan, another defensive-minded distributor would be fantastic. As always, we can use depth at striker, especially with Lukaku leaving in the summer and Jelavic still unable to find the back of the net with any consistency. Forward would also be a good place for Martinez to take a chance or two on a younger name. With the price of forwards always going up, Everton is never going to get a proven name, but taking a chance on a young hungry kid is perfect.