With majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri demanding answers after a summer of frustration at Goodison, who is to blame for Everton's missed opportunity.
After seasons surviving, and often thriving, on a shoestring budget, David Moyes could have been forgiven for feeling a little bitter as majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri rode into Goodison Park this summer armed with a saddlebag of cash and ambitious pretensions.
Yet the Scotsman’s loss was very much new manager Ronald Koeman’s gain. Or it was supposed to be. Despite splurging a club-record £30 million on Crystal Palace maverick Yannick Bolasie and Ashley Williams, Idrissa Gueye and Maarten Stekelenburg arriving to shore up a defence breached 55 times last season, it is difficult to shake the feeling that Everton missed an opportunity to show that they belong on a higher plane.
Reports from the Daily Mirror that Moshiri has been asking rather testing questions of Everton’s much-heralded director of football Steve Walsh, then, will come as little surprise. On the whole, Everton’s more ambitious targets chose the European football on offer at Premier League rivals or proved impossible to lure from their reluctant sellers.
Failing to fulfil your engine room duties is one thing, but jumping ship and abandoning crew is simply deplorable. It’s easy to portray Moussa Sissoko as everything wrong with the modern game. Koeman, an old-fashioned, straight-talker, would surely have some insightful views about a player Everton tried so desperately to sign on deadline day.
After reportedly ignoring the Dutchman’s phone calls with a medical set-up on Merseyside, according to the Telegraph, Sissoko joined Tottenham instead for £30 million. It’s an indication of Everton’s new-found prosperity that £30 million is no longer the seasonal budget but a single-player fee, but Sissoko’s last-minute U-turn provided a harsh realisation that Everton and Spurs are further apart than ever.
How Belgian dynamo Witsel remains at Zenit St Petersburg is one of football’s great mysteries. Linked with a move away on a bi-annual basis, the former Benfica winger finally seemed set for a Premier League switch this summer after Everton agreed a £25 million deal, according to the Mail.
However, as soon as Juventus entered the race, Everton were left gasping for air. Subsequently, the Toffees were soon disregarded, according to the Express, with Witsel waiting on a Serie A switch that never materialised due to the Russian giants’ hard-balling.
“We had a serious proposal from Everton but the player refused,” Zenit coach Mircea Lucescu told Dolce Sport.
Steve Walsh was reportedly so enamoured by ‘the Spanish Jamie Vardy’ while chief scout at Leicester that he made Perez his primary transfer target after he moved north to Everton this summer, as reported by the Telegraph.
Despite the Merseysiders triggering Perez’s £17 million release clause, Everton’s lack of European football proved decisive while the Mirror went as far as saying the club ‘blamed’ Walsh for pushing the striker towards Arsenal, per the Liverpool Echo.
While Sunderland should be praised for digging in their heels after Kone ‘did an Odemwingie’ by arriving at the gates of Goodison to push through an £18 move, according to the Sunderland Echo, the underlining factor is that Everton, once again, failed to dot the I’s on a deal that looked as good as done.
With Kone appearing earmarked as John Stones’ successor in the Everton backline, their failure to land their top defensive target leaves Koeman’s squad somewhat undercooked and understocked. It is the story of their summer.
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