The transfer window has closed, and unlike previous years Everton has actually done a fair bit of business. Including deals made in July, the club has brought in 7 new players while losing two names of note. It went down to the wire, but Everton has managed to strengthen the squad for current season, but questions about the long-term outlook of the club are still hazy.
Joel Robles: (In £3.5 million, Atletico Madrid)
This could be one of the biggest moves of the transfer window. Robles did an excellent job at Wigan during the spring, and even if he doesn't take over for Tim Howard until the American's contract expires his appearance is already paying dividends. Robles has shown to be a bit raw at times, but Howard has had some great performances during his 3 matches in charge. If Robles comes good as well this sum will seem like an absolute pittance.
Arouna Kone: (In £6 million, Wigan)
This seemed to be a poor move when it happened, and Kone's confidence breaking performance in the League Cup has done nothing to changed anyone's opinion. While it is still early in the season, it is hard to see this moving working out for anyone, especially with the moves Everton made on deadline day.
Antolin Alcaraz: (In Free transfer, Wigan)
This was a free transfer so it is hard to get too upset about it. I don't know how much Alcaraz will actually play, but cover in the back is always nice to have. At this point it seems like Alcaraz is the 4th choice CB, but it would seem like Shane Duffy should be ahead of him in the pecking order. The only real question is how much his wages are costing the club, but it can't be much if Kenwright agreed to the move.
James McCarthy: (In £13.5 million, Wigan)
Honestly this is a move that we probably won't be able to pass judgement on for several seasons. McCarthy has the talent to play in the Premier League, and he did very well during his time at Wigan. The 22-year old has age on his side and he already has 4 years of experience in the EPL. The real question on this one is the price. Much like how the Marouane Fellaini deal was first viewed by Evertonians, many are complaining about the price. £13.5 million is a princely sum to a club where the record few is only a few million quid more. If McCarthy can match Fellaini's contributions the price will be forgotten, but it will be a bit before we can say that.
Romelu Lukaku: (In Loan, Chelsea)
This is the star move from Everton during the window. Jelavic does not seem to have his goal touch back, Kone whiffed worse than Yakubu in South Africa, and as much as we would all love to try out Vellios some, Everton needs goals now. 17 goals in 35 games for West Brom last season means Evertonians are already salivating. With Baines, Barkley, and Mirallas providing service, Lukaku should equal or improve on his goal total. The one note for concern is that he really wanted to stay at Chelsea this season after being told he was in the club's plans. Thankfully by all accounts he is a consumate professional and should arrive ready to work and score some cracking goals.
Gareth Barry: (In Loan, Manchester City)
The move at a basic level doesn't bother me. Even after replacing Fellaini with McCarthy Everton needs some midfield depth. Our depth includes McCarthy, Osman, Gibson, and then Heitinga. Adding Barry in helps, especially with how often Gibson is injured.The problem with this move is we are paying Barry's entire £125,000 a week wages., For a 32-year old midfielder it seems silly. I find it hard to believe Martinez couldn't find a younger player with a third of those wages that would fit in his system.
Gerard Deulofeu: (In Loan, Barcelona)
A lot of folks are excited about this move, but the concern has to be just how much time he will be getting. Deulofeu appears to have to beat out Kevin MIrallas for playing time in the league, and it is hard to say how loyal Martinez will be to Mirallas. Worst case Gerard is an often used sub and helps lead the squad deep into a cup run or two. Keep expectations low here despite how much talent the teenager has.
Victor Anichebe: ( Out £6.5 million, West Brom)
There had been a rumor or two of Big Vic's departure earlier in the week, but they seemed to be more of the typical silly season nonsense rather than anything substantial. Then when everything broke loose.Anichebe was headed to West Brom for a silly sum. This was a fantastic piece of business, and despite Jelavic's poor goal scoring record it shows what a bargain buy the Croatian was.
Marouane Fellaini: (Out £27.5 million, Manchester United)
We've known this was coming for several months, but it still took till 11pm to finish it off. Fellaini going for such a price is fantastic news for the club. This transfer alone was able to fund every other move for the window, and Martinez should have a nice little sum for a January purchase or two. We should all pause and laugh because United paid just about what they initially bid for both Fellaini and Baines, especially when they could have had Fellaini for £4-5 million less if they had actually activated his release clause. Silly rich teams.
Now the squad has been strengthened in the right places. The central midfield has a bit of depth to it, and more importantly there is quality to that depth. Apparently we have a real striker who does strikerish things like score goals, and we kept Leighton Baines. Slowly Everton is approaching the point where any transfers are about replacing aging talent or players that have been sold rather than making massive upgrades to the squad.
Looking ahead to January, there is still some depth that would be nice to fill out. It would be nice to bring in another striker, preferably one that will stay past the summer, and another central midfielder would be nice to add a bit more depth. A center back also wouldn't hurt, especially with the age of the ones we have with Premier League experience. It may not be as exciting as this transfer window, but it could be the difference between Europe and another disappointing season.