Following recent transfer talk regarding Craig Bellamy and Jermaine Beckford, I’ve been mulling over what Everton need and who they could feasibly sign. So, for what its worth – next to nothing, a measly grain of sand in the vast Gobi desert – here is my tuppenceworth. (For Everton signings gone sour, Click Here)
Firstly, I don’t feel a great deal is wrong at Everton and, when fully-fit, the starting line-up is particularly strong. Indeed, a midfield boasting the likes of Arteta, Pienaar, Cahill, Fellaini and Rodwell is enviable, if Bilyaletdinov continues to progress he could well join that list, whilst the impressive youth system is – as always – producing talent (Coleman, Gosling, Rodwell et al beig the latest list). Special mention must also go to the irrepressible Johnny Heitinga, a favourite of mine since signing last summer, who has proved robust and reliable providing options in both defence and midfield.
Added to this, we were pleasingly pleasing on the eye as the season progressed; performances against Manchester City standing out most vividly. Hence I’m quietly optimistic for next season, which makes a refreshing change from my usual anxious pessimism; the glass neither half full or empty, but rather knocked off the table, shattered into a thousand little pieces on the hard hollow floor (there’s a metaphor in there somewhere, I just cant be bothered to find it).
Nevertheless, greater depth is needed, most crucially in attack.
Unfortunately, Yakubu is not the same player who scored over 20 goals in 07/08 and when The Yak’s fed now, you’re more likely to be confronted with the increasingly common sight of him giving that look; hands on hips, confused, exasperated expression adorned and an awkward, shuffling look at a non-existent bobbles of dirt.
Regarding the above, Bellamy is an unlikely prospect. Often labelled under the categories ‘problematic and divisive’, personally I think he is a useful player due to possessing that ever important attribute ‘pace’. In terms of his ‘questionable character’, he is at least committed and being an annoying little nit to the opposition is probably beneficial; the type of player defenders would hate to play against.
Nonetheless, he seems to come with baggage and a black cloud overhead so a move could prove unpopular. More importantly though, he is now 31, has his best years behind him, could be a dressing room risk, and – with others in the market and wage demands – would be too costly given these factors.
Beckford is clearly a more likely prospect, and has long been expected to sign.
Scoring a total of 30 goals this season, Jermaine has still been accused of inconsistency and is unproven coping with the Premiership pace on a weekly basis. Given his contract expires at the end of June, Beckford could be snapped up on a free and so is worth giving a chance. Certainly, you need to be given an opportunity to remove and disprove the ‘unproven’ tag at some stage, but you sense something more would be needed.
I’d definitely welcome back Landon Donovan from across the big blue pond with open arms. His speed and direct approach was a real outlet and, whether again as a mid-season or something more permanent, he is unlikely to break the bank.
Lastly, if we do have a little in the kitty, or recoup some transfer money, then may I suggest Romelu Lukaku. Belgian born, and of Congolese descent, he possess strength, speed and a powerful finish. Having scored 15 goals in 24 games in the regular season for current club Anderlecht and (unhelpfully) labelled the ‘new Drogba’, Romelu has only just turned 17 years old. He would cost a pretty penny – thought to be in the region of ten to fifteen million – but may well be worth it, for that one big signing.
He has of course been linked with other clubs, but lets keep this optimism going (I’m quite enjoying it). We’re a great club on the cusp of… well, the cusp of something… and so why shouldn’t he come; get Mr Marouane Fellaini to put in a good word, he could be the final piece in an attractive looking jigsaw.
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