Why the slow transfer policy of Everton makes plenty of sense
Of all the teams that were expected to be busy in this summer transfer window, Everton looked likely to be one of them.
After a disappointing season that witnessed the team go through three managers and fail to live up to expectations, predictions of a summer overhaul were plentiful.
It started in that fashion off the pitch as a new manager, new Director of Football and several other appointments made to ring in a new era at the club.
Yet in the playing squad, there has been minimal change. Wayne Rooney and Ramiro Funes Mori have gone while several others have departed but incomings have been non-existent.
There have been plenty of rumours to potential signings but nothing concrete. So far only a deal for Watford's Richarlison looks close to completion. While the rest of the Premier League is moving swiftly, Everton appears to be standing still.
Frustration and worry is growing among a fanbase who watched a team that looked miles off the pace for the majority of last season.
While a level of concern is only natural, particularly given the shortened transfer window this year, it makes perfect sense for Everton to have taken this transfer window slowly.
First, they cannot afford to repeat the mistakes they made last summer. Every club around Europe knew they were desperate to make a mark last year and preyed on it.
That was evident in their pursuit of Gylfi Sigurdsson and further demonstrated as they failed to find a replacement for Romelu Lukaku.
Only Jordan Pickford proved to be a good signing and Farhad Moshiri’s pockets are not deep enough that they can afford to spend vast sums once again on players that do not represent value for money.
The fact that they have hired Marcel Brands as Director of Football, a man has spent his career signing cheap young talent and selling them for high prices provides further evidence that Everton’s majority shareholder wants more for his money.
The speed of Everton’s business was always going to be dependent on how well they could sell players too. They are not selling to buy but there was a need to move on players this summer.
Wayne Rooney was one such individual while Yannick Bolasie, Ashley Williams and Davy Klaassen are others on big wages that other clubs are unlikely to be willing to pay.
The latter three alone are earning £215,000 per week in wages and the fact that these are proving to be difficult to move on is not surprising.
The current squad is bloated in its current state and removing these players first before adding new signings was the priority. Brands has spoken about the need to reduce numbers. Not only that, it makes sound business sense for Everton.
Ridding the squad of players that Marco Silva does not want was always going to take precedence and as a result hinder Everton’s attempts at bringing players in.
There is also an argument that this current group of players does not need the major overhaul that some believe it does.
While the squad may be lacking in some areas it is still capable of securing the top seven finish that Everton should be looking to achieve.
After all, it finished eighth last season despite performing below par for the first half of the season and having Sam Allardyce as manager for the second half.
In truth, only a couple of areas need drastic improvement. A centre back partner for Michael Keane should be top of the wish list while finding a long-term replacement for Leighton Baines is also needed.
A central midfielder should also be an area they are looking to add in given the Blues lack a true quality player in that area.
But after those positions, the need for new faces is not so great. There is plenty of talent in the current group for Marco Silva to utilise and several who should exceed in the system he prefers to play.
Wingers Theo Walcott and Ademola Lookman should definitely flourish while Cenk Tosun will relish working under an attacking manager.
Fullbacks Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman will also be rubbing their hands with excitement about their new manager’s forward-thinking style.
Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Idrissa Gana Gueye, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Morgan Schneiderlin are all talented and Premier League quality. There is a strong spine to a team; the squad does not need an overhaul but more of a fine-tuning.
It is a squad that has everything there to flourish under a manager who will allow them to do so.
In every sense, this transfer window was always likely to be a tricky one for Everton to negotiate their way through.
With a new management team in place, a bloated squad of players on high wages to try and sell plus a need to avoid the mistakes of last season’s disastrous transfer window there was always going to be a sense of cautiousness about this summer.
Add in the fact their squad is already one filled with talent that only needs minor tweaks and it makes plenty of sense that they have had a slow transfer window thus far.