You all heard the story at the end of last season when Everton survived the drop by the skin of their teeth. The Toffees would need to sell to be able to buy Frank Lampard players so that we were not in exactly the same situation a year on. Years of flagrant spending and handing out massive wages meant the club had effectively hamstrung itself in the transfer window, much like last summer when the only significant additions were Andros Townsend on a free transfer and Demarai Gray for a measly couple of million pounds.
However, Everton have now gone on to make five additions in the 2022 summer transfer window, with a sixth in the form of Idrissa Gana Gueye on the way as well, and everyone including Blues is wondering how exactly the club have been able to spend any money at all when all we’ve been hearing is that the club cannot spend without breaking Premier League profit and sustainability regulations?
It’s all simple arithmetic really.
The first part of the equation started off with the hurried sale of Richarlison to Tottenham Hotspur to fit into 2021-22 financial year, with the deal being confirmed on 30th June. Player sales and sponsorships are the primary ways for a club to generate funds. The loss of USM Holdings as a sponsor meant the Blues needed to find a way to replace that cash. Switching to betting company Stake.com as the main shirt sponsor and online trader BOXT as the sleeve sponsor helped make up some of that shortfall.
Then came the next master-stroke, with the Toffees insisting that the £50 million transfer fee for the Brazilian forward be paid in full and upfront. This not only minimized the losses from the 21-22 season but also indicated to the Premier League governing body that the Blues were attempting to right the situation and allowed them to have some spending cash this summer.
James Tarkowski came in on a free transfer, and then Ruben Vinagre was signed on loan, so no transfer fee involved unless the Blues choose to make it a permanent transfer, but that will be next summer. Dwight McNeil’s transfer fee is to be split up over a number of seasons and Conor Coady is also on loan similar to Vinagre’s deal.
This set the Blues up for making a big splash to bolster the midfield position, and there was no wiggle room there with West Ham United chasing Amadou Onana all the way as well. LOSC Lille wanted no less than £33m for the midfielder, and accepted bids from both clubs. However, Everton were able to offer the player a better wage structure and that among other reasons swayed the 20-year-old to come to Merseyside instead. The Toffees were only able to make a go for him because Lille accepted a small down payment, with the remainder of the fee to be paid over the next five years.
There are still at least two more transfers the Toffees would like to make - sealing the return of Idrissa Gana Gueye this week from PSG, likely on favourable terms for Everton with the player into the last year of his contract. Flooded with cash as they are, the Parisian side would be amenable to the Blues doing a structured payment for the Senegalese midfielder as well.
Which leaves the most important position for Everton right now - striker. The Blues have maintained their interest in Chelsea forward Armando Broja but the Stamford Bridge side do not want to sell him and have a repeat of what has happened ad nauseam over the last couple of decades where they have let a player go only for him to succeed wildly elsewhere. However they do want an established world-class striker to replace Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, which means they might be willing to let Broja come to Everton on loan, likely closer to the end of the window.
Everton have continued to scout other strikers at home and on the continent as well with a view to bringing someone cheaper in if needed - Sheffield United’s Daniel Jebbison, Strasbourg’s Ludovic Ajorque, Rennes’s Serhou Guirassy and VfB Stuttgart’s Sasa Kalajdzic all falling in that category.
So far all the indications are that Director of Football Kevin Thelwell and manager Frank Lampard are centrally involved in all transfer activity, and that the vaunted ‘structural review’ is indeed going on behind the scenes and that the Board is not actively working to undermine their efforts.