Everton endured a frustrating summer in the transfer market when, despite landing Idrissa Gueye, Yannick Bolasie, Ashley Williams and Maarten Stekelenburg, they were unable to secure deals for players such as Moussa Sissoko, Lucas Pérez, Kalidou Koulibaly and Manolo Gabbiadini.
Walsh’s late arrival from Leicester City as Everton’s first director of football, on 21 July, impacted on transfer business, along with Koeman’s desire to assess players at his disposal following his move from Southampton. With that task complete, and Walsh overhauling Everton’s scouting network, the manager insists the objectives for January are clearly defined.
“You need always time to see the qualities in the squad,” said Koeman, whose team play at Leicester City on Boxing Day. “You need to learn about the characters in the team. You need to see the balance in the team and of course my opinion about the team is a little bit different than it was after watching clips of Everton from last season because I have had time to work with the individual players.
“It’s all about characters, strengths, weaknesses, what the team needs, more personalities, more key players. And finally you make your mind up. Of course we had more time now for January than we had in the summer. Steve is in for a few months, new people in, new scouting. We are better prepared now than it was in the summer.”
Napoli’s Gabbiadini remains a potential target for January along with the Manchester United pair Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay. Koeman admits he expects Everton will be more active than is usual in January.
He added: “If I compare to Southampton, I like to do more business now in January than we did in Southampton. But that’s all about what we need. We will lose Gueye to the Africa Cup of Nations. We have a long term injury in Bolasie. We have the physical problems with injuries of James McCarthy and we know Gareth Barry cannot play games every two or three days. We have Phil Jagielka in a tough period. We have a lot to think about what’s the best 11 and what’s the most fresh 11 players.”
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