More than once Everton manager Sam Allardyce has ranted long and loud about having to play a game on Deadline Day, and the effect that incoming transfer bids have on players he has selected in his matchday squad.
Even yesterday he commented before and after the game that five of his players had been subject to bids and he was relieved that they hadn’t been affected by the transfer talk.
“We were hit with that severe blow of the deadline and having to play tonight. I’ll tell you this, that five of our players in the squad today, their agents had called to see if they could go out on loan.
“So it was obvious the player knew as well as us dealing with it, which was never going to happen that we were going to let any of those go.
“But it is upsetting, it’s not right, it disturbs the players, it hasn’t disturbed us today, it’s not effected the result I’m glad to say but it could easily have done so.”
Earlier today, BBC Sport journalist Greg O’Keeffe clarified who the five players were -
I'm told #EFC received loan bids for Jagielka, Schneiderlin, Williams, and Davies yesterday plus a straight cash offer for Niasse. Lookman's odd situation aside SA had said no to loans & needs Niasse for impact even if he couldn't shoot straight last night.— Greg O'Keeffe (@GregOK) February 1, 2018
Phil Jagielka - the club captain was not a player whose name we had heard mention of at all during this transfer window. There has been previous interest in the central defender from his former club Sheffield United. It’s likely they might have called, as would have any one of a number of lower table Premier League sides and likely other teams in the Championship.
His current contract runs until the end of next season, but he might be on his way at the end of this season. He’s not been the worst defender in this backline this season, and has featured in 20 games already, way more than we would have envisioned.
Morgan Schneiderlin - the midfielder has not been what we had expected of him, especially this season. Part of that is on him, and part of that is on the general malaise across the squad.
He’s been the subject of much transfer chatter throughout January, and there were some dodgy Italian rumours that the a Schneiderlin for Marcelo Brozovic straight swap was declined by the Blues.
David Moyes at West Ham United had also been firmly linked with trying to get the Frenchman, but Allardyce appears to trust him to break out of his slump and that’s probably why he’s still here and Steven N’Zonzi or Leander Dendoncker haven’t been signed.
Ashley Williams - another subject of a lot of frustration from the fanbase. He has not replicated his excellent Swansea City form since he moved to Everton, and seems to have hit the wall here. He hadn’t been mentioned in any January rumours like Jagielka, so we can only assume it was some Premier League or Championship teams coming in for him.
His contract expires at the end of next season, but on current form it’s very unlikely he’s still on the squad when the Blues kick off the 2018-19 season.
Tom Davies - West Ham had apparently expressed some interest in the youngster earlier in the transfer window, and some sort of swap deal for Michail Antonio had also been mentioned. However, once Theo Walcott came on board that trade became unnecessary.
Wouldn’t be surprised though if Moyes did make a late attempt at getting Davies, on loan at least.
Oumar Niasse - remember how Niasse had virtually moved to Crystal Palace on Deadline Day at the end of the summer transfer window, only for it to fall apart at the last second? Not surprising that there were some straight sale offers for the striker.
Yesterday was an anomaly for the player as Allardyce mentioned, he is usually sharp when he comes on as a substitute and provides valuable depth on an otherwise unproven striking combo with Dominic Calvert-Lewin still establishing himself while Cenk Tosun is learning the Premier League ropes as well.
At the end of the day, on the outgoing front Everton basically did the right things. Ross Barkley did not want to play for the Toffees again. Kevin Mirallas is done at Everton and will almost certainly not return from his loan. Aaron Lennon has served the club well, is not part of the future and deserves to go play elsewhere.
Sandro Ramirez and Ademola Lookman are good players who don’t necessarily fit in here right now, but we shouldn’t sell them either. Muhamed Besic doesn’t look like he’ll really be a Premier League starter, but deserves a chance to play and prove himself.
Anyway, here’s looking forward to the rest of the season, COYB!