Note: This is the latest breakdown of transfer moves leading up to the 2018-19 Premier League season. This post will be updated throughout the transfer window as appropriate.
I think that ultimately I’m going to pick Everton for a midtable finish this year. My concerns from the Primer are far from alleviated. I wrote about the need for a consistent striker with Rooney departing for the MLS. Despite the substantial sum spent on Richarlison, I’m still not sure that has been rectified. We all know that Richarlison can be good, but my question is can he be good enough, every week? And based on what I’ve seen, I just don’t have that much faith yet (maybe he will give me a pleasant surprise). I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see Everton try to secure an additional striker on a paid-loan at least as interim support.
As things stand, I really just think it’s a roll of the dice. I don’t have faith that Everton will score enough goals to keep them as high as they want to be in the standings. Obviously, Pickford is a sensational keeper and there are some nice complementary pieces — I just feel like Everton has shown very little to be excited about from the goal scoring side of things.
- Richarlison ($52M from Watford FC) – Richarlison was signed to Watford under Marco Silva, who now manages Everton. Despite Richarlison’s up and down season last year, Silva apparently has immense faith in Richarlison’s ability (and his ability to be consistent). Personally, based off what he showed last season I think that this is a rather pricey acquisition, especially because Richarlison basically disappeared the latter half of last season. In Richarlison’s defense, he is still only 21 years old — and if he can put together consistency across the season I think he’ll be an adequate acquisition. The costs of players are dramatically increasing and they are especially high for such young prospects. I think it will work out in the end, but I need Richarlison to prove to me (and everyone else) that he can put a string of performances together and find the back of the net.
- Lucas Digne ($22M from FC Barcelona) – I think Digne is a long-term signing for their consistent need for a new left back. Leighton Baines has been the consistent starter, but he is getting older and they’ll eventually need someone else. I think Baines and Digne will press each other in training and potentially vie for playing time, I imagine that Digne will get some play as a rotation option, but probably not too much else at this point. Digne only played 12 appearances in La Liga, but I think that’s more indicative of the strength of Barecelona rather than any fault of Digne’s. I think he looks to be a good signing and provides additional squad depth for Everton at the left back position, if necessary he can also provide support at left midfielder and center back.
- Yerry Mina ($33M from FC Barcelona) – I think that this Mina deal is somewhat of a coup for Everton, even despite all the commentary talking about their “raid on Barcelona’s bench players”. It’s not often that Everton signs a player that’s being reported on going to one (or more) of the big 6. Yes, I know that Manchester United has stated they “didn’t try” but there are lots of reports suggesting that it’s more a “we failed to sign him — so we didn’t actually try“. Mina has been around a number of clubs but hasn’t made more than a handful of appearnces at most stops, I do think that Mina made a huge impression on a number of clubs with his World Cup performances. I do find it surprising that for this kind of money, that Mina didn’t even make a cameo in the season opener, especially with Jagielka’s sending off.
- André Gomes ($2.5M loan from FC Barcelona) – Gomes was limited in his first full season with Barcelona with a number of injury/illness problems, though he did ultimately make 16 appearances (with only 6 starts though) for a total of 628′ or ~40’/appearances. I think this move is really a win-win for both sides, because it gives Gomes a chance to work his way back into fitness while providing cover (maybe even a greater role) for Everton at a relatively low cost.
- Bernard (Free Transfer from Shakhtar Donetsk) – Bernard made a number of appearances over the last 5 years with Shaktar, and he’s been fairly productive in them. He totalled only 95 appearances in the Ukrainian Premier League during which he accrued 14 goals and 24 assists in 5,438′ (~57’/appearance). Everton were lucky enough to poach him for no fee at all, though I’ve been unable to ascertain why his contract was allowed to run down — whether the player refused to sign a new deal or if they just let him walk. For a free pick up, this is going to look marvelous if he can bring anything to the table at all (which I expect him to). I think that Richarlison and Bernard could make a brilliant combination going forward as they develop a partnership. Ultimately, I think this is a great pick up for Everton for the best possible price (free) and somewhat of a coup. I could see this paying dividends for Everton in coming years whether they want to keep him or cash in.
- Kurt Zouma ($8.5M from Chelsea) – Zouma hasn’t been playing in Chelsea’s first team squad for a number of years but Everton has been a little short of quality on defenders for a while. With the crazy-inflated prices for most players that were occurring towards the end of the window, I think this is a reasonable pickup for Everton though the loan fee seems rather expensive (without some sort of end of loan agreement). I think that Zouma will provide some good cover and possibly a squad option if their depth is called into question.
- Ramiro Funes Mori ($10M to Villarreal CF) – Funes Mori never really made his way into the first team for the Toffees. Since arriving at Mercyside in 2015, the $14.2M signing only made 55 appearances, with 4 goals and 2 assists. This way, the club manages to recoup some of the fee, as well as cut the weekly wage bill. Based on the level of contribution Funes Mori provided to the club makes me have no concern for Everton’s ability to get on without him, so this is really a good deal. I would even venture to suggest that Villareal overpaid for a bench player at Everton, possibly even substantially.
- Henry Onyekuru ($900k loan to Galatasaray) – This is nothing against the youngster, he’s going on out loan to continue development. I think this is a fantastic opportunity for all 3 entities involved, Everton gets a fee for the loan, the player gets first team soccer, and Galatasaray gets a player out of the deal, this is a win-win-win in my mind.
- Conor Grant (Free Transfer to Plymouth) – This transfer makes a lot of sense. Grant came up through the youth ranks at Everton but never really materialized as first team material. He’s been on loan a substantial amount and never above Tier 3 soccer, and as a result, he’s chosen to join a Tier 3 club.
- Joel Robles (Free Transfer to Real Betis) – Robles came to Everton in 2013-2014 season but really hasn’t featured in their plans much. He’s clocked only 65 total appearances for the side since that date, allowing 78 goals and 25 clean sheets (which is probably not a fair reflection because this includes Cup games against which Everton often faces vastly inferior opponents). As a result, I think it’s probably the right move for everyone as he’s clearly not getting more influential in the side, and it seems as though he just might not be cut out for this level of soccer.
- Wayne Rooney (Free Transfer to D.C. United) – This move is a little bit of a shock to me, as Everton used Lukaku’s move to Manchester United as a way to “bring Rooney home” (yes — it was also a Free Transfer; but it was definitely a “good will gesture”). Shortly thereafter they release him on a free transfer? I’m sure that Rooney was commanding a sizable wage, so maybe this was done to free up the wage budget. This just seems strange to me, especially because as far as I’m concerned Everton still has a striker void — even with the likely impending arrival of Richarlison, who’s just a tad to raw for my liking. I would have some heartburn about putting the future of a club I’m hoping to get to the top 6 on his shoulders.
- David Henen (Released) – Henen was acquired for a very small fee, likely in hopes that he would show glimpses of ability, but ultimately was unable to do much other than secure a couple loans and finish out his initial contract.
- Kevin Mirallas ($550k loan to ACF Fiorentina) – In the 2017-2018 season, Mirallas appeared only 5 times in the Premier League — so this move likely relieves Everton of his wages while giving them some positive cashflow. After the winter transfer window he went on loan to Olympiakos and made 12 appearances. The current season-long deal is rumored to have a (Fiorentina) option to buy the player for an undisclosed fee and might be the precusor to Mirallas moving on from Everton.
Last updated: August 13, 2018