Everton’s Transfer Deadline Day yesterday was not half as thrilling as the first one that Director of Football Marcel Brands took charge of last summer, but his methodology continued to take root as the Blues refused to budge on what they valued their targets at, while continuing to make Marco Silva’s side younger, faster and more talented.
The Blues added seven players to the squad, six signed permanently with one on loan. There were certainly not enough players sold for anyone’s liking, but it’s already very clear that sins of past regimes with hefty contracts offered to bit-part players are giving Brands an unenviable task. Six players were sold with nine loaned out, and another eleven seniors and youngsters released.
Let’s take a look at the Everton squad now by position to see how things stand -
In goal comes in Jonas Lössl to back up Jordan Pickford while Maarten Stekelenburg will play the elder statesman role as third in line. Promising youngster Joao Virginia needs playing time and will do well getting that at Reading FC in the Championship where he’s already facing a torrid start.
Last summer this time we were concerned about the future of this position, especially in the middle, and that still remains a concern. Not being able to sign Kurt Zouma was a big blow, and to couple that with not being able to bring in even one veteran for a backup is concerning. Maybe Silva knows something about Lewis Gibson that we don’t, but depth could very quickly become a problem here if we have an unfortunate run of injuries.
The fullback position is where we look strong. Veteran Leighton Baines came back on a one-year extension while World Cup-winner Djibril Sidibe was brought in on loan for cover. Can say with confidence we feel good about this area.
There’s no two ways about it, the loss of Idrissa Gueye is going to hurt Everton. His elite ball-winning ability in the middle of the park is virtually irreplaceable especially against teams who will win the possession battle over the Blues. However, adding wily veteran Fabian Delph and the youngster Jean-Philippe Gbamin gives Silva some different options to try out as he sets up his midfield against teams that will resort to the low block.
The loan deal for Andre Gomes was made permanent too, with the hopes that he will kick on and continue to make himself even more invaluable in the middle of the park after a decent showing last season.
With no European football on offer, it was always going to be well-nigh impossible for Everton to attract a true world-class striker. Instead Marcel Brands chose to get two young, fast and dynamic forwards who can play anywhere along the forward line, thereby allowing Silva to play a mobile 4-3-3 formation.
Moise Kean comes in as one of the most exciting young strikers in Europe and has the hunger to succeed, while Alex Iwobi has been very under-rated in his time at Arsenal and offers yet another versatile and creative force that can unlock teams that will park the bus against the Blues.
There was a great deal of noise and a smoke-and-mirrors act on deadline day for Wilfried Zaha, but it appears Everton were never going to secede to Crystal Palace’s demands. It would have been interesting to see a forward line of Zaha-Kean-Richarlison, but then one wonders who would be doing the creating with all three blessed with a shoot-first mindset.
Everton chose to bid farewell to some youngsters that have been part of the system for some time now, but likely are not going to make the Premier League grade any time soon - Antonee Robinson and Joe Williams among them. Ademola Lookman and Nikola Vlasic were deemed as not having the right attitude for the team while James McCarthy has been offered an opportunity to spark his career back up after an unfortunate injury.
It might be too soon to deem Brands’ third transfer window a success or a failure, but at this point it is very clear what he is doing. The Dutchman’s cool and calculating demeanour masks an almost ruthless yet very human person inside, and he’s slowly nurturing an Everton side that is built for long-term success and deserving of a masterpiece stadium that the club is promising to deliver on the banks of the Royal Blue Mersey.
Confirmed Everton transfers
Loaned - Djibril Sidibé (AS Monaco)
Transferred - Nikola Vlašić (CSKA Moscow), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic), Ademola Lookman (RB Leipzig), Idrissa Gueye (Paris Saint-Germain), Joe Williams (Wigan Athletic), James McCarthy (Crystal Palace)
Loaned - Jonjoe Kenny (Schalke 04), Sandro Ramírez (Real Valladolid), Korede Adedoyin (Hamilton Academical), Kieran Dowell (Derby County), João Virgínia (Reading FC), Luke Garbutt (Ipswich Town), Josh Bowler (Hull City), Nathan Broadhead (Burton Albion), Matthew Pennington (Hull City)
Released - Phil Jagielka (Sheffield United), Ashley Williams (Released), Harry Charsley (Released), Boris Mathis (Released), Mateusz Hewelt (Released), Shayne Lavery (Released), Jack Kiersey (Released), Danny Bramall (Released), Joe Hilton (Released), Chris Renshaw (Released), Brendan Galloway (Luton Town)