Everton have contradicted their usual tag of being slow starters to a Premier League season by picking up six points from three tough fixtures, underlining the magnificent job David Moyes continues to do.
Despite the wave of optimism that is rightly spreading around Goodison Park at present, Moyes will be having increasingly growing concerns over a shortage of numbers in midfield.
These fears have been compounded in the past fortnight by the double blow of firstly losing out on a loan deal for Belgian international Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe on transfer deadline day, and then the loss of Darren Gibson for an estimated six weeks due to injury. With youngster Ross Barkley also loaned out to Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday, the need for reinforcements in the midfield area becomes obvious. One player who has been muted as a possible target is 30 year old German midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger.
The former Aston Villa player is currently a free agent following his release from Wolfsburg and Moyes may well be tempted to offer Hitzleberger a chance to come in and do a job in the short term. Whilst Everton will undoubtedly look for a longer term option in January, Hitzlsperger has more than enough in terms of ability to step in for the meantime.
He is a midfielder who has an eye for goal, especially from long distances and is likely to chip in with a goal or two for whichever club he plays for. Another appealing string to Hitzlsperger’s bow is the Premier League experience he brings, so there will be no risk of him needing to take a few weeks to adjust to the English style of football, he should be instantly ready to get involved.
Hitzlsperger spent four largely successful years at Aston Villa before returning to England for a solitary season with West Ham in 2010. Although he only appeared fleetingly for the Hammers, three goals and six assists from a limited number of appearances was an impressive return, especially considering he was playing for a side who were duly relegated.
One concern for Moyes will be the fitness of Hitzlsperger. He has been restricted to just 19 appearances in the last two seasons as injury has taken its toll, and at the age of 30, these injury worries aren’t likely to go away. But Moyes may just believe that the positives Hitzlsperger provides outweigh the negatives, and this is likely to be a key factor if Everton do choose to offer the German a contract.
With the opportunity of playing football for a top 10 Premier League side seemingly a possibility, Hitzlsperger isn’t going to be needed much persuasion to sign up at Goodison Park, so the outcome of any potential transfer will rest solely at David Moyes’ feet. With Moyes’ tendency to spot a bargain, this is a deal that could well be on the cards.