Everton supporters have been pretty upbeat in recent times after seeing their side earn a credible draw in their most recent Premier League outing.
Marco Silva’s men went into their encounter with unbeaten Chelsea last weekend off the back of beating Brighton 3-1 in their preceding league clash, and thus full of confidence ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge. And the Toffees came away from their visit to the capital with a deserved point after a 0-0 draw with Maurizio Sarri’s Blues, a result which kept the Merseysiders ninth in the Premier League table over the international break.
Thus, there have been many thrilled Evertonians up and down the country in recent times, several of whom will be hoping for even more from their team as the season wears on after their very encouraging summer transfer window.
The club were praised for their recruitment during the close season, although some weren’t convinced by their decision to sell midfielder Ross Barkley to Chelsea back in January, eventually for a relatively modest figure of £15.21 million (as per Transfermarkt).
And while that represented a £15.21 million profit for the Toffees, what with the Englishman coming up through the youth ranks at Goodison Park, his recent resurgence suggests that Chelsea got the better end of the deal.
But January represented the last chance Everton had to get anything for the midfielder, which is why the decision the sell him was certainly the right one, especially given they haven’t suffered too greatly on the field such has been the encouraging start to the Silva revolution.
Ultimately, it looked for all the world that the England international would join the Blues last summer given a reported £35 million deal was agreed, only for the midfielder himself to back out of the move, eventually joining the Premier League giants in January of this year for a much lower figure.
Yet the departure of Ronald Koeman back in October of last year, who had occasionally criticised the Englishman during his Goodison Park tenure, left many wondering whether Barkley, out of contract at the end of the 2017/18 campaign, would reconsider his future – yet that simply didn’t happen.
Thus, the Toffees knew that the winter window offered them the last chance to get something for the 24-year-old’s services, and while his recent efforts suggest that he’s a player worth more than the £15.21 million Chelsea paid for him, at that point in time, it represented a fine deal for the Evertonians – one they so far haven’t regretted on the field either.
Ultimately, while it took a bit for time for Silva to stamp his authority on things at Goodison Park, his team certainly look to be heading in the right direction, whether that’s the fine partnership struck up between Kurt Zouma and Michael Keane in defence, the introduction of Andre Gomes into the centre of midfield, or indeed the masterstroke call to play Richarlison as a number nine – this Everton side appears to be going places.
And with Gylfi Sigurdsson beginning to show why the Merseysiders paid big money for his services back in 2017, alongside Gomes’ growing influence alongside Idrissa Gueye in the middle of the park, Barkley would currently seriously struggle to get into this Everton team.
Yes, they could well have kept hold of the 24-year-old post-January and ran his contract down, but doing so would leave them with no choice but to let him go for nothing come the summer, and while retaining a player of that quality would have likely helped the squad, it probably wouldn’t have taken Everton any further than they eventually got, finishing eighth in the table.
So while some were critical of the Toffees for letting Barkley go for such a lowly fee, a fee that has since been ridiculed by his mightily fine start to the 2018/19 season, it was the best Everton could have hoped for – significantly, they haven’t just reaped the rewards off the pitch, but they have on it as well.
Everton fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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