Everton’s position going into the January transfer window was pretty clear - the Blues needed a creative spark in attack, ideally a pacy winger and an experienced striker that can provide a different dimension in the box. If there was time and funds left over, some more help in the midfield and defence wouldn’t have hurt either.
Frank Lampard’s dead man walking situation after the World Cup break meant the Blues would likely hold off on making any transfers until he had turned the corner, or left the position.
In the end, the Everton Board held off on sacking Lampard until way late in the window which meant his replacement Sean Dyche would only be able to join the club just before the 31st January transfer deadline.
As the day progressed yesterday, one by one every single player that we had been rumoured to be in for was either signed by another club (including relegation rivals around the Blues) or decided to stay put wherever they already were - Kamaldeen Sulemana, Nicolo Zaniolo, Viktor Gyokeres, Sheraldo Becker, Paul Onuachu, Beto Betuncal, Conor Gallagher, Lucas Joao, Michy Batshuayi, Ismaila Sarr, and Olivier Giroud among a few.
The rest, you know by now. Despite being linked with about half a dozen players and supposedly making offers for another half dozen, the Toffees came out of the January transfer window with no new signings to back the new manager, and relegation seems almost certain for a team that is already languishing in 19th place in the Premier League table.
There are no excuses. Funds most certainly are not an issue with the club flush with cash from the lump sum payment of £40 million they got from Newcastle United for Anthony Gordon. Unless of course the Blues are in worse trouble with flouting Premier League Profit & Sustainability regulations than they have let on in recent months.
Alternatively, there is a theory that Farhad Moshiri is looking to sell the club in which case all this can be explained by the gradual asset-stripping of the club as they possibly prepare for a life of austerity in the Championship until a new owner is found.
Whatever it may be, this is our new reality. Dyche is going to have to fight this relegation battle with the squad that he has, and as fans we are going to have to find out how to balance supporting the team through a difficult battle while keeping the pressure on the Board that is dragging this once-great club’s name through the mud.
Still, the feeling is that turning Goodison Park into a bearpit for home games isn’t going to be enough this time, and a little bit of extra magic will be required this season. What now remains to be seen is if Dyche can capture lightning in a bottle to spark this team.
CONFIRMED EVERTON JANUARY TRANSFERS
Loaned - Reece Welch (MK Dons), Niels Nkounkou (Saint-Etienne), Tom Cannon (Preston North End), Tyler Onyango (Forest Green)
Released - Salomon Rondon (River Plate), Eldin Jakupovic (LAFC)
Transferred - None
Loaned - None