With John Stones joining Manchester City for £50 million, Ronald Koeman suddenly has plenty of cash to splash in the transfer window.
The noisy neighbours kept things rather quiet on this occasion. While Manchester United pranced through the streets of social media with Paul Pogba in tow, their blue-shirted city rivals were discretely going about their own record-breaking business.
At £50 million, John Stones is now the most expensive Englishman of all time. Whether he can solve City’s defensive conundrum remains to be seen but, on the other side of the coin, Ronald Koeman’s Everton suddenly have a rather large war chest in their armoury.
So how should they reinvest with just three weeks of the window remaining?
Everton fans have been used to quiet summers on the transfer front but with steel magnate billionaire Farhad Moshiri loosening the pursestrings, the Goodison faithful would have expected more than Idrissa Gueye from relegated Aston Villa and Maarten Stekelenburg from Fulham.
The former Dutch international goalkeeper, a starter in the 2010 World Cup Final, impressed under Koeman at Southampton last season with Fraser Forster injured but Everton’s new boss is expected to return to the market for an undisputed number one with eternal understudy Joel Robles yet to fully convince.
Asmir Begovic, distinctly second choice at Chelsea, could be convinced by the promise of first-team football after five excellent years between the sticks at Stoke. According to The Sun, Antonio Conte may offer the Bosnian (below) as a sweetener in a potential Romelu Lukaku return to Stamford Bridge.
It almost goes without saying but, if you sell your first-choice central defender for £50 million, a new one is usually top of the wish list. Thankfully, a deal for Swansea captain and Wales hero Ashley Williams appears all but signed. An extremely solid centre-back with excellent leadership abilities, Williams has the potential to be Koeman’s on-field general.
However, with Ramiro Funes-Mori considerably erratic, Phil Jagielka ageing noticeably, it will take more than the former Swans skipper to shore up a backline that shipped 55 league goals last season. Sunderland’s Lamina Kone (below), influential as the Black Cats used up yet another of their lives last season, has reportedly travelled to Merseyside to complete an £18 million move, according to the Daily Mail.
With Gerard Deulofeu, Aaron Lennon, Ross Barkley, Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines providing the ammunition, Everton would be shooting themselves in the foot if they failed to reinvest a penny in their most underfunded department.
Yes, Romelu Lukaku finally supplemented his potential with consistency last season (only Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero and Jamie Vardy scored a higher percentage of their teams goals) but the Belgian has hardly been subtle about his Champions League dreams. According to the Evening Standard, Lukaku has his heart set on a return to former club Chelsea.
That would leave Koeman with Arouna Kone and Oumar Niasse, without a shirt number for the upcoming campaign, as his only striking options: hardly the platform for a European push.
According to the Daily Mail, the Blues may offer Loic Remy in part-exchange. If the Frenchman (below) can rediscover his Newcastle United form from three years ago (14 goals in 26 games), then suddenly Lukaku’s departure wouldn’t seem so damaging.