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Toffee’s Wednesday Mailbag

Answering all of your relevant, and irreverent, Everton questions.

All I have to say is.....

It seems as though Tuesday morning brought with it a flurry of positive news on the Everton transfer front.

I won’t elaborate here, as I’m going to get into all of the moves, those both seemingly locked up and those still in limbo, in the mailbag below, but first to business.

This week’s question:

By turning down a £100,00-a-week contract, has Ross vastly overestimated his worth?

With tons of (seemingly credible) rumors flying about concerning possible Everton targets in the advanced midfield, Ross turned down a pretty sweet contract. As my friend Chris said earlier this week:

but also....

I think Ross Barkley is a talented player, but I also get the impression he has an inflated view of himself.

He apparently puts himself into the upper echelon of players, but frankly the stats and inconsistent performances over the pats few seasons don’t lead anyone to that conclusion.

While I do think Barkley is on his way out, it certainly feels as though the club is securing replacements before shopping Barkley for real, we are going to have to keep an eye on it.

As always, the 8 ball will be here to provide all the answers you never knew you wanted.

Oh well, as you already know the Everton transfer train is starting to pick up steam and there will be plenty of talented players coming in, no matter the cost.

To your questions!


Before Tuesday, the answer to this question would have been a resounding YES!!

While Hart is from from perfect, he is a quality goalkeeper, he’s proven himself in the Premier League, and would have a chip on his shoulder as he works to reestablish himself as a #1 in his home country.

However, Tuesday DID happen, and with it, this:

After the news started to leak out, it turned into an all out flood as seemingly every major outlet was confidently reporting the Toffees imminent acquisition of Pickford.

Needless to say, Everton fans got pretty excited, with supporters and pundits alike excited about the short AND long term future of the yougn English keeper.

Though some fans were focused on the young shot stopper’s OBSCENE distribution....

For those unfamiliar....

**Note: those are a regular occurrence**

For those who still find themselves trying to frame his abilities, I truly think he resembles a young Tim Howard both in physical and mental demeanor.

Howard is not the biggest of keepers, but always finds a way to be a presence in the box. While this does lead to a slightly higher percentage of punches, this type of mindset also compels the young English keeper to make quick, assertive decisions.

It’s not a perfect comparison but if Pickford can carve out a career as illustrious as the American, the investment will prove well worth it.

There are 11 positions on the pitch, but we may now be down to 10 we have to worry about.

Check out this great graphic @seanlunt put together.

Get excited folks.

Finally:


So with the keeper out of the way...let’s keep moving!

Jim White, a supposed Moshiri confidant broke his @Everton silence yesterday with a Pickford confirmation tweet, then followed it up with:

Now, White wasn’t exactly Nostradamus last summer or winter, but I personally think he was channeling Moshiri’s desires, not his actual obtainable deals, leading to the White’s predictions ultimately not panning out.

I’m not defending the guy, but it would make sense he would have talked to the new owner as news of Pickford’s signing was breaking.

I expect him to pull a higher percentage on the Everton prognostications this window.

So, with that in mind..

This of course is a great question, but let’s assume that White is just referring to five players (not counting Pickford), not five MORE players in addition to assumed deals, although the depth does seem to be lacking!

Anyways....

Let’s run through the assumed other 5:

  1. Sandro Ramirez
  2. Michael Keane
  3. Davy Klaassen
  4. Gylfi Sigurdsson
  5. Cuco Martina

Now, that being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see another attacker or versatile defender added as well.

Of course, if somehow the Rom-O-Meter is wrong and Lukaku does stick around, then we have no need for another attacker, only a trophy.


The wheels are turning

Will the Toffees close the deals

Or be left behind


As I mentioned above, both Sandro and Klassen are high priority targets for the Toffees, and both deals seem to be making some serious progress.

First, it appears Ajax captain Davy Klassen is VERY close to joining the Blues, possibly as early as next week.

Klassen is a spectacularly hard-working player, who has a tendency to pop up and score a few goals.

Whether or not he is more of a #10 (attacking midfielder) or a #8 (box-to-box) there seems to be no question that he has the requisite attitude or technical abilities to be a major contributor to a top-level Premier League side.

Toss in his VAST Europa League experience (and success) as a captain and his addition could prove vital in a number of ways.

I expect to see him holding up a Toffees jersey by Monday.

As for Sandro Ramirez, there is no denying Everton are working INCREDIBLY hard to close this deal.

The local Everton fans were on their toes this past weekend and spotted the in-demand Malaga man in town for negotiations.

Now, news of Sandro’s arrival was followed by the news the club was expecting a decision by Monday.

So when Monday came and went, some fans got rightfully nervous.

I, however, believe that we WILL end up with the potent former Barcelona man, an the only reason for any delay is, much like Pickford, he is participating in the U21 European Championships, delaying the completion of any official deal.

That could just be me being optimistic, but I don’t think you fly out of camp to England unless you are pretty confident you will be residing their next season.

Stay tuned!!


If there is one thing I know, it’s Everton.

If there are two things I know, it’s the aforementioned Toffees and FIFA 17.

Combine those two things and you have asked the perfect question!

Now when it comes to the digital version of the Blues, the people at EA Sports have been pretty fair when distributing scores.

These ratings aren’t without their flaws: Gueye and Schneiderlin should both have higher POTENTIALS, while Mirallas’ 82 seems more than generous, but they seem fair on the balance.

Except one Everton player who must have family who work at EA Sports.

And while he seems like a wonderful fellow, Arouna Kone have no right being a 75.

For those of you who may not be well-versed in FIFA 17 ratings, I compiled of other players in the Premier League, and around Europe, who carry the same rating as our beloved Arouna.

LOOK AT THAT LIST!

While you could argue that some deserve to be closer to our Ivorian striker than others, all of the players above are at least regular starters in the toughest leagues in the world, and all have shown the ability and production to prove they belong there.

There are a few names on there, however, that really drive home how overrated Kone is. While positions differ and many players are on the ascendancy (as opposed to Arouna), some of these are ludicrious.

Naby Keita started for a Bundesliga Champions League team and is rumored to be a target of a number of clubs with an asking price well over £30 million!

Franck Kessie, an Ivorian just like Kone and at one time an Everton target, just went on a two-year loan to AC Milan (they have to buy him in 2019) after taking Serie A by storm with Atalanta.

Toss in Premier League stalwarts Matt Phillips and Danny Simpson and you start to see why I am so perplexed by Kone’s 75.

I mean, Lucas Hernandez started 15 matches for Atletico Madrid this year!!

Atletico!!

Come on.

Kone’s a nice guy, but you don’t credit for manners in FIFA-land, leaving his rating inexplicable.

Maybe it was skills like this against the likes of Yeovil Town?

Who knows.....bon voyage Arouna...we’ll always have the Sunderland hat-trick!


I actually like this idea.

As I mentioned above, even if we do pick up five or six targets, it feels as though we will still be light in numbers.

Wimmer hasn’t played a ton of soccer in the past year, but he is a solid enough defender that I wouldn’t be against seeing him in Blue.

The catch?

Cost.

I know that the club isn’t counting pennies anymore, but if we are going to get £30 million for Ross Barkley alone, I would expect Wimmer to come along with AT LEAST £15, or it wouldn’t be worth it for the Toffees.

This is one to definitely keep an eye on.


I don’t think that there is any question that our Toffees are in hot pursuit of the Burnley man.

After Manchester United seemingly passed on the player they released just a few season ago (what is it with Man U bringing back their old player?) and signed Benfica’s Victor Lindelof, Keane appears to be ripe for the picking for the Toffees.

To be honest, if this were any other window I would totally expect us to show our interest, take weeks to negotiate, only to have another club (probably from London) swoop in at the last minute and be willing to pay the difference the Toffees were haggling over.

However, I hope that the apparent quick (and expensive) resolution of the Pickford situation is an indictment of how transfer business it to be taken care of from here on out.

Keane is a high quality player who will immediately improve the Toffees back line.

With Koeman obviously valuing the position, I have no doubt that he is standing on top of tables, screaming from the top of his lungs to get Keane in the door.

If When the young Englishman does finally put his name to an Everton contract and moves us one step closer to solving our center back issues long-term, I have no doubt Koeman and I will have the same reaction.


Have a question for the mailbag??? Send it to us anytime @rbmersey and @foleysthoughts...remember....anything goes!!