As three players leave for good, one is lent to another club, and two come in, people are pointing the finger more than ever. They're pointing it in various directions though. The board (more than ever), Mikel Arteta, Elstone, Ross, even the manager. Opinion is certainly divided. I'm going to outline why I think this wasn't such a bad window for Everton Football Club.
As the day progressed anger towards Bill Kenwright and his mates grew as Sky Sports constantly outlined that Everton were the only club in all four divisions of English football not to have added to their roster. The obvious lack of funds for the manager to spend was ever more apparent and the only possibility of anything being done was solely down to the first step being someone leaving.
The obvious "outs" were Yobo and Yakubu, but even the money recouped for them wouldn't be anywhere near enough to satisfy the accountants at Barclays never mind re-invest in the playing squad. Yobo can still go to Fenerbahce, although it is completely dependent upon a fee being agreed between clubs within the next hour. Yakubu eventually went to Blackburn for a fee believed to be around £1.5million. I'm delighted he's moved on to be honest. I remember when we signed him, Steve Gibson said we would get one, maybe two good seasons out of him and then he would lose interest. Spot on. He will probably keep Blackburn up this season.
One out of left field was Leicester coming in for Jermaine Beckford. I like Beckford's enthusiasm - it's just a shame he isn't very good. And despite bagging 10 goals in his first season jumping up two divisions as a freebie, a fee rising to £4million is pure profit and is too good to turn down; although what conditions it rises on is confusing.
The big one was Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard today exclusively told Sky Sports that he knew about the interest from Arsenal a few days ago. The writing was on the wall when Leighton Baines handed him the ball at Ewood Park in injury time on Saturday and then held his head and had a word with him. Arteta was originally content to stay as no bid for his services had been received. However, and I have this as fact, once Arsenal bid £10million and it was turned down, Arteta asked for a meeting with the manager, during which he explained he wanted to leave the club. Moyes was gutted, but obviously felt the trust between player and manager had gone, and quite rightly why stand in the way of someone who doesn't want to play for you, especially on such a handsome salary.
By the way, I don't know what your thoughts are (feel free to leave them below), but if the rumour that he took a pay cut of £10k, £20k, £whateverk is true, then it seems to me that money was a massive issue in the Arteta/Everton marriage. I don't deny the lures of Champions League, Emirates, London, "big four" and all that jazz wouldn't turn heads - after all at 29 years of age Arteta isn't likely to get a better opportunity to play at the highest level. But it could have been handled a little better, and I think Arteta has done himself a massive favour with his interview today.
However, no one can deny that for the past two to three years Arteta has been way below the standard we have come to expect from him. And no, we aren't expecting too much. If we want to press on then people like Arteta have to perform at their best on a consistent basis. Arteta hasn't. He doesn't shoot often enough, his passes are sideways, his crosses don't beat the first defender and his free kicks hit the wall. I don't hate Arteta, far from it. I will applaud him upon his return to Goodison. He has given us 7 years of superb service and all of us some of our best Everton memories - the strike against Fiorentina and the free kick away at Villarreal stand out for me. But, £10million for a 29 year old who doesn't want to be at the club anymore is very good business.
Shane Duffy joined Scunthorpe United on loan. There are very high hopes for the lad and the experience should benefit everyone concerned. I am surprised that Jose Baxter didn't ask for a loan move. Or, if he did, I'm surprised he wasn't allowed one.
As far as additions go, once the Arteta deal was confirmed, two incoming transfers were completed.
Denis Stracqualursi joined on a season long loan from Argentinian club Tigre, a club who were battling relegation last season and Denis' goals kept them up. He scored 22 goals and took the mantle of Argentina's top goalscorer. At 6ft 3ins his physical presence will be an obvious advantage, but he is quoted as being a penalty box player, something we lack, and not a target man, something we dont! A few clubs were after him, but one of those clubs were apparently Leicester City, and we know who they went for instead. The language barrier exists, but football is universal. If he performs, great. If he doesn't, he's a loan and we send him back. At this point, I'll refer to similar deals for Yobo and Pienaar, who were both initial loanees.
Now the one I am really excited about. Royston Drenthe is a very fast, very talented player. He's a bit of a hot head too. About four years ago I watched the European Under 21 championships in Holland, won by the hosts. Two players caught my eye - Ryan Babel; who went to Liverpool, and Royston Drenthe; who went to Real Madrid. So, what caught my eye? A wide left player with a forward thinking attitude who loved being in possession of the ball, was extremely skillful and unbelievably quick. He will link up with Baines no doubt, and possibly as effectively as Steven Pienaar used to.
The only issue could be keeping him focused. We have the manager to do that, and you don't play for Real Madrid for no reason. With Drenthe being out of contract at the end of the season, the loan signing is an excellent piece of business by Moyes. I look forward to seeing him in a blue shirt.
So on the whole, we've got rid of Yakubu, who hasn't featured this season, Beckford and Arteta for a total of £13.5million which could eventually rise to £15million. In, we've brought a striker who obviously has an eye for goal and is an emerging talent, and a Dutch international winger who is lightening quick and very exciting. The outlay for them is minimal as they are loan deals, and their wages will no doubt be covered by the three departures.
Leon Osman is going to be integral to the midfield. His footwork on the ball is very similar to Arteta. He works very hard and now has the opportunity to become key to our play. Add in to the mix Ross Barkley's rawness and fearlessness and all of a sudden Arteta isn't such a miss. Don't forget, we've been without him more than with him in the past few years.
The midfield doesn't look so bad when you write it down now - Drenthe, Cahill, Fellaini, Osman, Barkley - does it?
As always, comments welcome below.
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