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'I was wrong' - journalist performs u-turn over Everton defender

Tim Vickery admits he made an error in writing off Everton's Ramiro Funes Mori so quickly

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

It is one thing to make a mistake, it is another to admit it, so football journalist Tim Vickery deserves credit for holding his hands up and admitting he made an error in branding Ramiro Funes Mori a flop before he had even pulled on an Everton jersey.

Vickery knows a fair bit about South American football having been based in Brazil for 21 years and has seen a number of players make the big move to Europe.

Back in August, when Everton had shelled out a reported £9.5m for River Plate defender Mori, Vickery expressed his reservations about the transfer.

Vickery feared that Mori would struggle to adapt to the pace of the English game, citing another South American import, Mauro Boselli, who flopped at Wigan after being bought by a certain Roberto Martinez.

Vickery said he had warned another Premier League manager against signing Boselli, who cost Wigan in the region of £6.5m in 2010 but would fail to score a league goal for the club, eventually leaving in 2013 after going out on loan three times.

A number of South American defenders have also struggled to adapt to the Premier League, including Santiago Vergini, Bruno Uvini, Federico Fazio and Gabriel Paletta.

When you look at it like that Vickery was perhaps right to voice some concern about the move.

It was certainly a risk by Martinez to spend such a large sum of money on Mori given the track record of his South America predecessors. But his early performances suggests it has paid off.

The 24-year-old has not looked out of place in the Toffees backline, showing signs that he is already getting to grips with the English game.

The fact he can speak fluent English is certainly helped him settle in - Mori's family moved to Texas in 2001 after the Argentine economy collapsed.

Vickery said in the summer that predicting the success of transfer is not an exact science and, when some Everton supporters criticised him for being so negative, he expressed his desire for Mori to prove him wrong and be a success at Goodison Park.

It is still early days of course, but Vickery has been big enough to admit he may have been too hasty in writing Mori off so quickly.

Writing in a column for Australian website SBS, Vickery said

I have seen many examples in recent years of both Brazilian and Argentine domestic football taking on airs of self-delusion. Understandably, it is hard for them to acknowledge how far the standard of their club game has fallen in the globalised era.

A frequent self-defence mechanism is to proclaim any player who puts together a sequence of solid games as some kind of phenomenon. It was not going to fool me!  Perhaps, subconsciously, I was a little jaded by being exposed to an excess of mediocre South American club football, and I took this feeling out on one of the players.

So when I watched Funes Mori I was blind to his improvement. I only saw the bad side because that is all I was looking for.

I nodded sagely at his mistakes. They confirmed my pre-conceived view that had been formed in different circumstances, when he was still finding his feet and playing for a coach who was clearly not his biggest fan.

Every time he was beaten for pace, played a poor pass out of defence or went to ground to tackle, I chalked it up as a moment that was representative of the player, while ignoring all the good things he was doing. Because it lacked the flexibility to take account of his development, my evaluation of him was unfair, and, as it has proved, unwise.

Well said, Tim. Lets hope Ramiro continues to prove him wrong over the coming years.