When David Moyes left Everton there were plenty of stories that he would take key players like Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines with him. With the latter, he did make a bid but Roberto Martinez has done well to keep the majority of the squad in place ahead of the new season.
Everton are shaping up to potentially be the surprise package of the new season with an exciting variety of attacking players mixed in with the core experience they have retained in defence.
Roberto Martinez has made four signings so far this summer, two from his former side Wigan Athletic.
Antolin Alcaraz was drafted in on a free transfer to add depth to the back four, while Joel Robles, who impressed as the number one on loan at Wigan last season, has been bought for £3.5 million from Atletico Madrid as competition for Everton’s current main goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Martinez did superbly to ensure that Arouna Kone became an Everton player for a fee of just over £6 million adding to the attack of the side. Kone was being pursued by several top sides and Martinez seems to have worked his man management skills to get him to Goodison Park.
Perhaps the most impressive signing of all is the loan Everton have secured for Gerard Deulofeu over the coming season. The Barcelona youngster was coveted by plenty of sides with much higher profiles than Everton, but again, Martinez must have been very influential in making that deal happen.
Everton have a very big squad, with plenty of youngsters who will be ready and willing to fill in if needed. An extra body in the back four could be useful but the overall shape and balance of the current squad seems to be very good.
An extra winger would also be useful as that would release Kevin Mirallas from having to play wider in the attack of the side, providing extra cover up front if one of the regular strikers picks up a bad knock.
Everton have been offered the chance to sign Joey Barton, with his agent quite publicly stating that the midfielder wants to return to the Premier League with Everton and that would certainly inject a little more experience into the team.
Players Missed Out On
James McCarthy is a player Everton have focused on and their chances of getting him seem to be diminishing. Wigan are thought to be holding out for a fee of around the £20 million mark, which so far Everton have not got anywhere near.
Everton were also one of the sides in for Algerian winger Nabil Ghilas who ended up going to FC Porto. That would have taken care of the need for an extra wide man but Everton don’t look as though they are going to panic buy under the Martinez regime.
Keisuke Honda is another player Everton were linked with but it now looks certain that he’ll join AC Milan at some point over the summer. Everton haven’t done anything wrong, it just seems to be a case of what the Italian side can offer in terms of cash and Champions League football.
There is still the lingering possibility that Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines could both leave the club, with Manchester United very much interested.
Fellaini has been linked with an exit throughout the summer so it’s nothing new to the club’s fans that several sources are saying he may leave, but the expiry date on his release clause is believed to have passed. Baines was subject of an enquiry, with Everton flatly rejecting that bid from United earlier this summer.
Hamburg appear to be interested in signing striker Nikica Jelavic, which would be a blow to Everton considering his potential to be a very prolific player for the club, but admit they are struggling to afford him. He struggled last season to have the same impact he had when he first joined the club, but that doesn’t make him a bad player.
Everton have never really had too much of a budget to work with but this summer they have only spent money, not getting anything back in sales of other players.
For Everton to increase their budget and for Martinez to have a bit more cash to spend this summer, it seems like a classic case of having to sell before being able to buy.
Everton have added well to their squad and so far they have done superbly to stop key players from leaving. Martinez has several options if he wants to set the team up in different ways, using different formations and sets of tactics.
Ideally the club would be able to add a little bit more experience into the team having lost Phil Neville but that may not be possible unless cash is generated through a sale.
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