The Goodison Park club saw one big name leave but replaced him with three excellent players and made a considerable profit in the process.
David Moyes’ legacy at Everton must be overachieving with limited resources and maximising the amount of money received while regretfully selling star players. With the Scot moving on to pastures new at Manchester United, incumbent Roberto Martinez has shown that he has all the nous and resourceful thinking of his predecessor over the last 24 hours.
Earlier in the transfer window United and Moyes bid £28 million for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, but the former Everton manager and his new club ended up paying £27.5 million for just the Belgian. Although the Scot is a fan of Fellaini and the new man can play a major part in United’s title defence, Everton have maximised the Premier League champions’ interest to get the best possible price for the former Standard Liege man at the 11th hour.
With that money the Merseysiders have brought in a very able replacement for £13 million in the form of James McCarthy. Paying a relegated club such a high fee for one of their players may well seem reckless, especially for a club as frugal as Everton, but in the Republic of Ireland international they have signed an immensely talented midfielder.
No-one knows this better than Martinez. McCarthy was a key man at the DW Stadium club for the Spanish manager, and the former Hamilton Accies man fits into Martinez’s footballing ethos perfectly. Where Fellaini was direct, an aerial threat and a physical presence, McCarthy is a ball player, energetic box-to-box midfielder and a sprayer of passes. Just what Martinez’s new Everton ordered.
With a £15 million profit on the midfield swap, the Toffees have brought in two top players on loan. Firstly Gareth Barry will add experience and a relentless work-rate to the Everton midfield. The England international’s move to Goodison suits both the player and the club perfectly and he has the chance to reinvent himself and reinvigorate his career on Merseyside.
Everton have also signed Chelsea prodigy Romelu Lukaku on loan for a season, in what is an inspired piece of business. Martinez let the injury prone and inconsistent Victor Anichebe move to West Brom for a fee that could reportedly rise as high as £6 million. He has replaced the fringe forward with one of Europe’s most promising young attackers.
The move is again ideal for Lukaku, as he has the chance to play week-in, week-out and prove his worth. Having scored 17 Premier League goals last season for West Brom, the Belgian will look to fill his boots and become a cult hero at Everton this term. Premier League defences will loathe playing a new Everton team with Lukaku as the main protagonist.
24 hours ago Everton looked like a team that would struggle to relive recent successful seasons with a new manager at the helm. Today, after selling one of their best players, they look like a more-rounded team dedicated to playing possession football that will give anyone in the division a game.
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