Though relatively little cash has been splashed, Goodison has been one of the more fertile grounds for transfer activity this summer. Four prudent signings confirmed thus far, and now a ‘first-refusal’ deal cemented, let’s have a quick look at the latest goings on at Goodison.
Forwards Jermaine Beckford, Joao Silva and Magaye Gueye constitute three of David Moyes’ youth focused forays into the summer transfer market, in addition to Slovakian goalkeeper Jan Mucha. Now Araz Abdullayev is potentially on the books, but who the hell is he?
Well, at only 18-years-old, Araz is another one for the future. A highly-rated midfielder at Neftchi Baku, even at his young age he has been quietly catching the eye of European scouts for a while now. Making his international debut at only 16-years, Abdullayev became Azerbaijan’s youngest ever player in 2008, particularly impressive since he had only just broken into the first-team on a domestic level.
Everton have successfully secured a deal granting them first refusal on the Azerbaijan man; effectively meaning they can take up the option at any point in the next two years, subject to a work permit. This seems like a prudent deal for both club and player; offering Everton the opportunity to monitor his progress before fully committing, whilst allowing the youngster to remain with his hometown club and current system.
So that’s who the hell he is. But, as a quick recap, here are Everton’s other signings:
Joao Silva: 20-years-old Portuguese striker signed from Portuguese second division side Desportivo Das Aves for an undisclosed fee (thought to be around £600,000). Silva was the league’s second top goal scorer last year – his first season since graduating to the professional ranks – with 14 goals in 32 appearances. He’s highly rated in Portugal and at 6ft 2in is a fairly imposing presence.
Magaye Gueye: French under-21 international, signed form RC Strasbourg, he scored nine goals from 17 league starts last season in Ligue 2, demonstrating aplomb in front of goal, athleticism versatility (given his ability to also play further out wide) and possessing remarkable pace. Though Strasbourg suffered relegation, thus conveniently reducing Magaye’s fee (again undisclosed, but in the region of £1million), he impressed on a personal level.
Jan Mucha: Slovakia’s number one, and competition for Howard. Signed from Legia Warszawa, Poland, where he reiseded for five years.
Jermaine Beckford: on a free from Leeds, we all know who he is, thus I’ll just conclude with a dot dot dot…
So, four in, very little spent, and supping feverishly from a young virgins tit (you know, because they’re all fairly young signings, yeah?…No? ah, it works, it bloody works). Steadily and softly Moyes collates his bargain-basement targets (not meant derivatively; it’s born out of necessity and he is notoriously apt at it). In terms of departures, no-one of real note as yet. Pienaar’s future remains uncertain, Arsenal apparently want Jagielka, Man City want Arteta, but they can all just keep their dirty, filthy, perverted little paws off…
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