In Brands’ first transfer window at the club, the Blues secured the permanent signings of left-back Lucas Digne and central defender Yerry Mina, while midfielder André Gomes joined on a season-long loan.
Digne, an £18 million signing, displaced Leighton Baines within weeks of the new season, and has played every minute of Everton’s last nine league games, regaining his place in the French national squad in the process.
Injury meant that both Gomes (hamstring) and Mina (foot) had to wait until October and November respectively before making their Toffees debuts, but Brands has been impressed with the pair’s early showings:
“We are very happy with the three. Yerry and André Gomes have been able to play less because they were injured, but they are back and have begun to show their quality, just as Digne did before.“
Mina joined on deadline day in a £27 million deal, but his first competitive start came only a fortnight ago in a 0-0 draw at Chelsea, helping Everton become the first team to keep a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge this season.
With loanee Kurt Zouma ineligible to face his parent club, Mina looked assured and composed in his full debut, and did enough to keep Zouma on the bench for Saturday’s 1-0 home win against Cardiff City.
Like many Evertonians, Brands has also been encouraged by the Colombia international’s start to life at Goodison Park:
“He played a great game against a team like Chelsea [who are] used to playing in the Champions League, and was recognized as the man of the match. It’s great news for Yerry and for us.”
Likewise, Gomes has won a great deal of admirers for his performances alongside Idrissa Gueye in the centre of midfield.
Despite the former Valencia man only making five Everton appearances so far, there have already been calls for the Goodison hierarchy to make his loan deal permanent when it expires at the end of the season.
But Brands would not be drawn on making decisions too hastily, saying:
“The season just started. We are happy with André , but it will depend on him if he wants to continue with us or not”
Marcel Brands was speaking to Spanish sports publication, Mundo Deportivo.