The signing that could have fired Everton into the Champions League

Everton Goodison 3

David Moyes has admitted he tracked Bayer Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling throughout his time at Everton.

Moyes will get first hand experience of Kiessling’s skill and quality as a centre forward when United square up against Leverkusen this evening.

It seems the only thing stopping him from going in for the striker was a lack of cash and had that money been available then things could have been very different.

“In all the years I was at Everton, I followed him all the time. But the money was sadly lacking. I have great respect for him. He is a great player who is strong with his head and his feet,” Moyes told Sport Bild.

Everton eventually found themselves ten points off a Champions League place last season and with the Toffees scoring the fewest goals out of the top seven sides, Kiessling’s presence at Goodison Park may have powered them into the play-off round.

Kiessling has been a Bayer Leverkusen player since the 2006/2007 campaign and he was one of the Bundesliga’s most prolific goalscorers last season, bagging 25 goals in 34 starts along with seven assists to win the German version of the golden boot.

That’s more league goals than Robert Lewandowski managed at Borussia Dortmund and significantly more than Mario Mandzukic managed at Bayern Munich.

Considering Nikica Jelavic was clearly battling against some form demons last season as one of Everton's main strikers, had Kiessling replicated that form in an Everton shirt, the blue half of Merseyside could currently be in a much better position.

Jelavic managed just two goals over the second half of last season so mentally Moyes would have been screaming for some attacking alternatives and a player that he so clearly admires.

Needless to say Champions League football would have had a brilliant effect on Everton.

Marouane Fellaini made it clear last season that he would have been prepared to stay at Goodison Park had the side managed to finish in the top four, as his ultimate ambition was to play in the Champions League.

It’s doubtful that Moyes would have rejected the chance to manage Manchester United but the person coming into replace him may well have found more funds available, facing an easier job attracting higher profile players because of that Champions League status.

Unfortunately we’ll never know but it’s a shame Everton were never able to get into a position where they could have backed Moyes to go after Kiessling’s transfer.

How do you think Champions League football would have, or will, changed Everton?

image: © fabiopao

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