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Toffees Mailbag: Thoughts on Richarlison, Mina and Digne

A seriously light-hearted look at all things Everton.

Let’s start off with some good news!

We did it!!!

We did it!!!

We signed a player!!!

After letting the suspense build up for a week or so, the Toffees finally got off the schneid and procured a player’s signature.

While not many people would have thought it would take until July 24th to see the first Everton reveal video..

.. even fewer people would have that the player would be Richarlison.

So let’s take a quick glance at just how GREAT of a signing Richarlison is.

First, he’s young.

Very young.

Second, he has shown the ability get, and stay, on the field.

When he IS on the field, he is consistently dangerous.

In fact, despite his downturn in form late last season, the 20 year-old Brazilian finished with more Expected Goals than such big names as Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Alexis Sanchez, just to name a few.

So what?

We get a lazy cherry-picker on a mid-table team.

Not only is Richarlison young and consistently productive in the attacking end, the Brazilian works his socks off.

While those defensive stats are impressive, and could very easily explain why Silva is so desperate to get him, don’t overlook the last part of that post.

He won more fouls than anyone else this season.

That’s right.

For all of the flopping around and complaining by some of the leagues ‘stars’, it was Richarlison who suffered more punishment than a Tony Bellew opponent.

With him and Theo running the flanks, Gylfi Sigurdsson is sure to have plenty of opportunities to deliver dangerous balls for Cenk Tosun, Michael Keane and (Yerry Mina????) the like to get on the end of.

Not to mention, the young man seems to have a grasp on what Everton fans want from their players.

So to sum it all up......


Wait...maybe.......

I’ll be honest, part of me wants to defend Everton here:

There’s new management/ decision makers

It’s a World Cup year

The power is out!!

However, this issue is not a new one.

Unlike almost any other club, the Toffees consistently find themselves in one protracted transfer saga after another.

Yannick, Gylfi. The list goes on.

So what’s the issue for the Blues?

If I had to come up with a REASON...NOT an excuse, it would be something like this:

With aspirations of breaking through the proverbial glass ceiling and consistently finishing/competing for a spot in the Top Four, Everton are in an awkward spot.

They are always punching up, leading to clubs and players to drag their feet in hopes a better offer will materialize once the terms of the negotiation are revealed publicly.

I mean, look at Yerry Mina.

I am a big fan. The Toffees are in DESPERATE need of a CB and can promise him what he apparently desires:

To be a consistent, important player for a quality team.

While the Toffees can certainly promise the former, it’s the latter that’s the problem.

So then a team like Lyon finds out the price that Barcelona are asking and start to wonder

“Why not us?”

Even if they don’t offer the same wages, they (or any other team playing in Champions or Europa League) have something Everton don’t.

Which means someone like Yerry Mina has to decide between better wages on a team TRYING to get it’s feet underneath it like Everton, or slightly lower wages with the promise of international exposure playing on weeknights in Europe.

What this all means is that a player like Mina, knowing the Toffees aren’t going ANYWHERE, has no reason to sign before he knows what ALL the possible options he might have are.

If we were Barcelona, for example, we would BE the best option and could just text a player like Malcolm to get him to redirect his flight and join up with the team in Spain.

So the solution?

Well, there are two.

The first would be to create such a compelling narrative on the direction of the club that even players like Mina want to sign up immediately knowing the Toffees will easily convince other players to join thus improving everyones chances of making to Europe AND getting Premier League wages.

The second is to recruit more players who aren’t, and won’t be, coveted by bigger clubs and that would see Everton as a major step up.

This of course goes largely to recruiting and reflects what Moshiri and Co. were hoping Steve Walsh would bring, Mahrez level steals that can elevate a team without costing them an arm or a leg.

The hope is that with positive results at the end of this window and a quality start to the campaign the Toffees will be able to wrap up deals with top level players quicker moving into the January window and beyond.

TBH though....


Tim Cahill >>> Phil Neville


The IF at the beginning of that question is so big I’m surprised it didn’t put you over the character limit.


Speaking of Malcolm...

He was kind of a bust at Everton. Wasn’t he?

As for Mina, I answered the why question in the general sense, but as it applies to Mina dn Malcolm I would say the following:

  1. Malcolm was never joining (a better offer was ALWAYS coming)
  2. Mina MAY still join because, and perhaps ONLY because, the new management team have been so ardent in their pursuit there is no QUESTION the Toffees want the Colombian center back.

If I had to point the chance of Mina joining at this point I would say 50/50.

Sadly, as an Everton fan when it comes to a player of his quality that is the best you can guess before you see him with a pen in his hand and a Toffees badge on his chest.

(Side note: WE REALLY REALLY REALLY NEED MINA)


It’s quite obvious that Roberto Martinez is built to be a national team manager.

With the players able to get away from the articulate yet audibly active Spaniard, his ability to sour their desire to desire and make them into a purely possession side is completely undermined.

While Everton fans saw glimpses of what he could do with Romelu Lukaku in creative ways (think right-winger Lukaku vs Arsenal) overall the current Belgium manager made Everton an incredibly PREDICTABLE side and once he was found out that eventually led to a flood of 1-0 and 2-0 losses piling up with Martinez showing no real desire to adapt or change.

He now coaches a national team side that fielded one of the most talented sides in the world the last two years, which to Martinez’s credit he coached to a respectable third place in Russia, but the consistent talent gap has masked much of his tactical inflexibility.

With Thomas Meunier out for the semi final versus France due to yellow card accumulation. Martinez’s ability was put to the ultimate test. With no other true right back, the Belgians needed Martinez to provide an answer on the right side of the field so as not be left unbalanced or risk France exposing the Belgians on the counter and easily funneling Martinez’s side into predictable situations.

Of course as we all know, Martinez started Nacer Chadli and the right side of the field showed no life until Dries Mertens came on and provided service for Belgium’s attackers to get on the end of.

I am incredibly happy not to have to listen to anymore of Martinez’s droll and confusingly optimistic press conferences and repeatedly pound my head against the table knowing nothing would change the next week.

It will be interesting to see how Martinez and Belgium grow and adapt after the World Cup with the Golden Generation in the final or late stages of their international careers.

Can Martinez show better talent identification skills than his time at Everton?

**COUGH** Shani Tarashaj **COUGH**

If he can’t then the Spaniard will quickly find himself off the sidelines and back on TV.


While we have talked Mina in depth, there actually seems to be a better chance that we will see another Barcelona player signing at Goodison first:

Lucas Digne.

The LB just signed with Barca last year but failed to get the playing time he desired.

So now, the Toffees are looking to bring in the French international who JUST missed out on being part of the World Cup winning squad in Russia as a long-term replacement for Leighton Baines.

WE FINALLY DID IT!!!

WE SIGNED A LEFT BACK!!!!

Trick is, the Toffees already have a young left back in Antonee Robinson who is looking to use a very successful loan at Bolton as a spring board to the first team at Everton.

Doing the math, the addition of Digne would leave the 34 year old LEGEND Leighton Baines as the odd man out.

There have been rumors that Baines would possibly depart for MLS, more specifically Portland, once his replacement was signed but all reports in America have seemed to refute those rumors.

While I woud be lying if I said I wouldn’t pay to see Baines in person if he DID come to America, I would like to see Baines see out one more year at Goodison before either retiring or perhaps joining a newly relegated side to offer guidance and make a few more of the bombing runs he still has in him.

No matter what, Baines will be remembered with nothing but fondness by a fan base who has had the honor to enjoy seeing him perform for over a decade.

Baines at Everton?


I have to believe the only reason that rumors have persisted this long is because Lookman has expressed in one way or another to RB Leipzig that he would like to leave Everton.

The question now is whether or not Marco Silva feels confident that he can bring Lookman back around to life on Merseyside.

There is no doubting that the English winger has oodles of talent, but the stark reality is that is he is GENUINELY unhappy then the Toffees have to be unemotional and make the most profitable move possible.

If the German-side come back before the end of the deadline with an offer in the 25 million pound range, then Everton are going to have to decide if they truly believe they can get the best out of Lookman or risk losing a lot of money, and as we all know:

Say they keep Ademola and he sputters through a disappointing first half of the season and by the time the January window roll around the narrative is that he is SURE to leave.

At that point, the power would shift to the buyer and Everton would get nowhere NEAR what RB are offering now.

This entire situation is another consequence of the Sam Allardyce era, when the club knew that Lookman’s skills weren’t valued by the meatloaf-gulping-cheater and sent him away to a club where skilled but raw youth are shown love and appreciation and brought along at an appropriate pace before establishing themselves as stars.

I will say that with Richarlison now on board I am MUCH more comfortable with Lookman leaving, though I do think another young option should be brought in as cover.

(FWIW: Yannick Bolasie has something to do with all of this but I am going to continue to assume that he is leaving before the window shuts.)

I think every Everton will be much happier if Lookman is on the roster come the August 11th opener at Wolves, but if he isn’t I will assume it was because the relationship between him and the club is so fractured the new management deem it irreparable.

It sucks.


TOFFEE TUNES

THE CHAINSMOKERS

Sick Boy....Side Effects

Cool band name.

Great EP.