In this instalment of our transfer round-up, Football Transfer Tavern have gathered three of the biggest stories to have involved Everton recently and have provided our thoughts on the reports published.
Is Marco Silva the right man for Everton?
Everton spent big in the summer to bolster Marco Silva’s midfield with Andre Gomes acquired permanently for £22million (BBC), Fabian Delph brought in from Manchester City for £10m (BBC) and Jean-Philippe Gbamin hired to replace Idrissa Gana Gueye at £25m (BBC).
Another midfielder could have joined the trio this summer, though, as Juventus’ Sami Khedira allegedly rejected the Toffees’ advances, as he held out for a Premier League move that never come.
The Blues’ spending may not yet be done, either, as they are reportedly keen on an emerging wonderkid, but face competition for his signature from a top six side.
Everton’s interest in Sami Khedira
According to Calciomercato, Juve’s £6.3m-rated (TransferMarkt) man Khedira was offered the chance to join Everton or Fenerbahce in the summer but turned them down, as he had his hopes set on joining Arsenal after Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot joined the Turin outfit alongside new head coach Maurizio Sarri.
In the end, the 2014 World Cup winner remained at the Allianz Stadium after the Gunners did not approach him, and Khedira’s decision to reject Everton and Fenerbahce after evaluating their offers earned him Sarri’s respect for staying put.
The former Chelsea boss has since named Khedira in each of his matchday squads and started the German in six of those – including Juve’s 4-3 win over SSC Napoli and Champions League group stage trip to Atletico Madrid.
With Everton signing Gbamin and Delph alongside turning Gomes’ temporary stint into a full-time arrangement, the Toffees likely did not need to hire another midfielder in the summer, so there is every chance their enquiry to Khedira came earlier in the window than one of the moves they eventually completed.
The German may also have been seen as a replacement for Morgan Schneiderlin, as the Frenchman was heavily linked with moves away from Merseyside in the summer (Aksam) and was often out of favour last term (TransferMarkt).
Schneiderlin has since been a regular in the Everton line-up in the absence of Gbamin and Gomes, and is arguably a stronger option than 32-year-old Khedira, who has been averaging 1.8 successful tackles from 3.9 attempts per 90 minutes this season – Schneiderlin is averaging 2.3 from 3.7, as per WhoScored data.
Chelsea to rival Everton for Wigan’s Joe Gelhardt
According to the Daily Express, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is keen to sign Wigan Athletic’s emerging wonderkid Joe Gelhardt ahead of Everton, as the youngster is seen to be the hottest prospect outside of the Premier League.
The 17-year-old made his senior Latics debut at the tail end of last season as a half-time substitute against Birmingham City, and has since featured in three further Championship fixtures and scored his maiden goal against Hull City in September (TransferMarkt).
Wigan are prepared to fight any attempts to sign the England under-18 international as they have the Liverpool-born centre-forward under contract until 2021, but Lampard’s faith in young players has seen his West London outfit move into pole position should the Latics’ resolve weaken.
Lampard has certainly shown he is willing to give young players a chance in the top flight since he returned to Stamford Bridge to occupy the hot seat, with Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham all earning regular minutes at a club where they had struggled to break through under previous managers.
Everton boss Marco Silva, on the other hand, would appear to have struggled at finding the same balance at Goodison Park, or just does not have the same faith in the Toffees’ academy products that Lampard does in Chelsea’s.
Tom Davies, for example, was already a first team regular before Silva arrived on Merseyside, but the England under-21 international saw his minutes decline massively after Sam Allardyce was replaced by the Portuguese and has barely featured in his teamsheets this term.
Danny Murphy claims Everton should have hired Brendan Rodgers
Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has told talkSPORT (via HITC) that Everton should have hired current Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers instead of Silva when the Toffees searched for Allardyce’s replacement in 2018.
Rodgers was in charge of Scottish Premiership side Celtic at the time, but has since returned to the Premier League with the Foxes and taken an average 1.95 points per game with them (TransferMarkt), including 14 of a possible 21 so far this season.
“When the Everton manager’s job was up for debate, and they were trying to get Silva, I said even then that Rodgers was a better bet than Silva,” Murphy told talkSPORT. “I did [then], and I think I’m still correct with that [now].
“But Everton made their decision to go for Silva. I just thought Rodgers has more experience in the English game. He’s tactically more versatile, and, overall, the job he did at Liverpool was very well received by the supporters.”
The more Everton struggle under Silva, more questions will naturally rise over whether or not the Portuguese was the right man for the job, as the Toffees have had difficulties throughout his tenure in defence, particularly from set-pieces.
Some Toffees supporters are even questioning whether his brand of football is any more attractive than Allardyce’s was, whereas Rodgers is being lauded as a manager capable of turning around Manchester United’s plight as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer flounders.
The Blues may have now missed the boat on appointing Rodgers with the Foxes challenging the established top six for the European places, and will likely have to stick it out with Silva unless a true game-changing manager comes on the market.
Everton fans, who would you have preferred between Silva and Rodgers? Let us know in the comments below…
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