Yet another midfielder linked to Everton this week, this time it is Wigan’s Mohamed Diame and should he make the move to Goodison Park, it would make him the club’s first summer signing.
The Daily Mail reports that the Senegalese international has attracted the attention of Everton boss David Moyes, probably due to the fact he is available on a free at the end of the season. Because of this, Diame would therefore fit into Moyes’ enforced transfer policy; spending as little money as physically possible. But, would Mohamed Diame be another inspired signing for Everton or is Moyes simply swooping for leftovers?
On the face of it, you would think that if a player is not first choice for a relegation-fighting side like Wigan, then surely he shouldn’t be good enough for an Everton side hopeful for European qualification? To my mind, this would be an acquisition designed simply to make up the numbers; if he was that good he wouldn’t be permitted to leave struggling club like Wigan for free.
I feel too often Everton settle for either free or loan signings, in order to appease the disgruntled Everton fans alarmed at the lack of fresh faces coming into the club.
James McFadden for instance, left Everton several seasons ago due to a lack of first team opportunities and was brought back to the club in Jaunary basically because there was no fee involved. But his role has simply been to warm the bench and make up the numbers; it certainly wasn’t a signing intended to move the club forward.
Obviously, we don’t have a lot of money, but it bringing in players who aren’t even as good as those already at the club a step in the right direction? Due to an obvious lack of funds, Everton have in the past been limited in their attempts to bring in the sort of quality that could push the club to the next level.
The Everton board are presumably very conscious of the recent protests by the supporters group the Blue Union – frustrated by the current ownership’s lack of meaningful investment. But it seems in recent seasons, with few exceptions, the Board have looked to bring in players that give the perception at least that they are doing their part in backing Moyes in his quest to further progress the club. In reality however, they could be inhibiting Everton’s development.
Mohamed Diame is essentially a holding midfielder and likes to command the area in front of the central defenders. This however does not limit the 24 year old to simply a ‘sitting in’ role that the majority of holding midfielders discipline themselves to; he also lookes to link with the attack whenever possible. Adept in the air and strong in the tackle, Diame initially added these qualities to the Wigan midfield when he arrived in 2009, and had a particularly effective season in the 2010/2011 campaign for the Lactics.
Diame was a player that came to the Premier League with a lot of promise, so why is the former Rayo Vallecano player now struggling to hold down a regular starting place in the Wigan side? During his time in Spain, Diame was touted as one of the brightest young talents in the Segundo Division; Barcelona, Real Madrid and Arsenal were all said to be chasing the Senegalese midfielder’s services at one point.
After an extremely poor start to this season however, Diame lost his place to in-form Scottish duo James McCarthy and James McArthur, who were instrumental as the Wigan side went on a formidable run accruing crucial points to aid their Premier League survival.
Even so, Diame has made 18 starts and scored 3 goals for the club and Moyes may see the French born player as a good addition to the squad given his age and his obvious athleticsim – a quality David Moyes admires in a footballer.
Diame is available on a free so I suppose it wouldn’t harm; let’s hope however this isn’t the policy employed all summer, otherwise we won’t be seeing any improvement come August 2012.
As I have previously mentioned Everton have an abundance of defensive midfielders, Fellaini and Gibson currently occupy the central positions, Rodwell could occupy that role when he returns from injury and Phil Neville has shown he can also fill in when required. With the acquisiton of Jelavic seemingly solving Everton’s long standing search for a striker capable of hitting the net regularly, there are certainly other areas that Moyes should look to strengthen before recruiting into an already over-crowded midfield.
A wide player with pace (a la Landon Donovan) for instance; but surely the manager’s overriding aim should be to persuade the board to fund the return of Pienaar from Spurs.
I believe it is no coincidence that Everton’s post New Year resurgence is due to the influence of the little South African. Mr. Kenwright, please take note.
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