Everton manager Ronald Koeman has built a reputation for his frank outspokenness during his press conferences. In his conversation with the media today before the Stoke City game on Wednesday, he spoke freely about some of the names that the Toffees have been linked with during this January transfer window.
On Burnley defender Michael Keane -
"He is one of that list, defenders in that position. He’s a young English defender, But I heard he's on more lists of different teams.
“We’re looking for everybody in that position, what we need for next season and the future of the club.”
It’s unlikely that the Blues will be able to work out a deal for the player this January, but there is definitely a chance he can be picked up in the summer, though it could cost over £20m. For an English-born, homegrown quota player, that actually be worth it. There will be a lot more competition for him then though, and Everton getting to Europe
On Manchester United winger Ashley Young -
Koeman says no interest in Ashley Young— Phil Kirkbride (@philkecho) January 30, 2017
It has been reported that Young is unhappy with the lack of playing time he’s had at United under Jose Mourinho. Everton meanwhile have loaned out Gerard Deulofeu to AC Milan and Yannick Bolasie is out for the season, leaving Aaron Lennon as the only recognized winger in the squad, with the exception of Kevin Mirallas who has had more success playing more centrally this season.
On letting Bryan Oviedo go to Sunderland -
"In the situation of Oviedo it was difficult because he was the back-up for Leighton Baines in the left fullback position. But finally I changed my mind. I spoke to the player, he has always been a perfect professional, I understand his feelings, it was difficult for him.
“He has a new challenge to play in Sunderland. I had said no way, no chance, we need back ups and competition. But as a football man I changed my mind. I don’t know if its the best solution, I like the boy he was working hard.
“If we have any problems at the position, we have some good young ones in the squad. We have agreed a deal with West Brom that Brendan Galloway is on loan until the end of the season, that will not change."
It was originally expected that Oviedo would stay at the club as Leighton Baines’ back up, but Koeman commented that he was willing to let the player go for his own future. The manager also added that he was comfortable using the youngsters from David Unsworth’s Under-23 setup to fill in as needed.
On a backup for Romelu Lukaku -
“We have Enner Valencia as the backup in that position, that is enough.”
This will be disappointing news for most fans, who have been hoping that Steve Walsh has unearthed another hidden gem that could bloom into a forward threat. However, it’s looking like Ademola Lookman is that person, and he’s off to a great start so far.
On finding the right players in January -
“We know what we want, if we don’t get the players that we want, we won’t sign players to make up the numbers in the squad.
“If we sign a player it’ll be a depth player who brings qualities that we don’t have in the team.
“If it’s not possible today or tomorrow, we will wait until the summer when it’s easier than it is in January.”
It’s looking like Everton will only be involved in transfer talks on deadline day if the right player that Walsh and Koeman have their eye on comes available, otherwise the deals that were done earlier in January are it.