I’m generally always okay with free transfers. I understand that clubs have an overall wage budget that they set for themselves, but if you can get a top flight quality player without having to pay a transfer fee you have generally done good business in my book.
Trouble is, when it came to Cuco Martina, we did no such thing. According to Peter O’Rourke at Football Insider, the free transfer fullback that we all paid for with strife and indignation may be on his way to Stoke City on a loan move. Now let me just tell you, someone at Everton must have some dirt on someone at Stoke, because any club willing to take both Ashley Williams and Cuco Martina off our hands is either daft or up against it. (You’re right, it’s Stoke, they’re probably just daft.)
None of this is to say that Cuco did not improve once Sam Allardyce showed up and we just quit attacking entirely last season, but the player just isn’t very good, which is something we probably should have noticed from the fact that the ultimate selling club, Southampton, was willing to let him go on a free.
In 21 league appearances, Cuco averaged 0.6 key passes/90 and completed only 32% of his crosses. He only even attempted 0.2 dribbles/90 which is shockingly low for a fullback, The only thing he did at a respectable level is he completed over 75% of his tackles.
Surely this mild bit of contribution can be found elsewhere from a youth player like Jonjoe Kenny getting opportunities on the right and new signing Lucas Digne on the left. I really hope this deal goes through, because I’m tired of having to watch Cuco Martina.