It never seems to be straight forward for Everton in the transfer market does it?
Typically it seems, in every Everton transfer dealing it is only a matter of time before other clubs begin to throw their hats in the ring. This time it is the sought after Blackpool forward come winger, Matt Phillips.
The Sun have now reported that Premier League new boys Reading are lining up a £2.5 million bid for the young man.
I watched with interest the Championship play-off final between West Ham and Blackpool at the weekend, as they battled for the last available position in the top flight next season.
Winners West Ham United attained promotion in the most lucrative game in modern day football at the expense of the unfortunate Sea-siders. Anyone who saw the game, apart obviously from West Ham supporters, would concede that Blackpool were unlucky and probably should have come away from the game as victors given the abundance of chances they created on the day.
On the other hand West Ham did finish the season 11 points clear of Ian Holloway’s men, and if not for the vagaries of the play-off system, on league position alone would be deserving of promotion to the Premier League.
The league after all is about consistency over the whole season – should that be cast aside and promotion depend only on the result of a couple of games? I suffered a conflict of loyalties watching the game not due to any particular allegiance for either team but rather the impact the outcome would have on the availability of one Matt Phillips this summer.
I have written before how keen I am for Everton to capitalise on recent tabloid rumours concerning a move for the winger/forward. So, despite an admiration for the brilliantly eccentric Ian Holloway and the style of football he has instilled in his Blackpool team this season, part of me still wished to see West Ham defeat the Northern side.
Why, you may ask? Well simply, had Blackpool won the game Matt Phillips would have surely been a lot more difficult to purchase for two reasons; firstly, his valuation would definitely have increased given that he would now effectively be a Premier League player. Secondly it may have been more difficult for Everton to prise a player away from Blackpool without the added incentive of Premier League football to offer against another season in the Championship.
Both Everton and Reading can offer Phillips Premier League football, both can almost certainly promise a starting position and probably an increase in wages. But why should Phillips pick Everton over Reading?
At the risk of tempting fate, Everton’s finish to this season gives reason to hope they are on course to challenge with the best in the league for those coveted European places, something newly promoted sides do not tend to accomplish, looking more toward consolidation of their position in the top flight, at least for the first few seasons.
Nevertheless, yet again I refer to the question of finance. Reading may have the edge, like most clubs in competition with Everton, in that the Toffees may not be able to find an extra £2.5 million to spend on new blood, given that their first priority will surely be to secure the services of Steven Pienaar on a permanent basis. There must be a billionaire out there who can help us out?