Everton’s window shopping ends in frustration
After an increasingly frantic month full of rumour, drama and intrigue, Everton’s dealings in the January transfer window were consistent with much of the division – muted and cautious (apart from the madness at QPR of course).
February 1st, 2013
Boss David Moyes was open in his desire to bolster the squad and give some of his weary first-teamers some support heading into the second half of the season. He said a little cash had been put aside to do some deals but insisted he would not just sign anyone to make up the numbers.
A number of names were frequently mentioned; though Leroy Fer was a new name to most Blues fans when it was announced last Monday that a deal had been agreed with his club FC Twente.
Fer looked to be the midfield enforcer Moyes was searching for, a player to add a bit of steel in the centre of the park. However, the player’s medical flagged up concerns over a previous knee injury that could potentially hamper his future career.
Everton rightly sought to renegotiate the terms of the deal, lowering the initial down-payment and centering more of the fee around appearances.
Twente, though, were not budging and refused to alter the terms of the deal, causing it to collapse; disappointing but ultimately the correct thing to do. Everton only have limited funds and cannot afford to gamble that money on a player who could break down – Owen Hargreaves is a high profile example of how injury can ruin a career.
With the deal breaking down just 24 hours before the transfer window closed, Moyes had precious little time to do a deal. Alvaro Negredo was believed to be a target and briefly got Evertonians excited. But, in truth, we all thought that was a bit ambitious and the dream quickly died when the Sevilla chairman demanded €20million.
It was then believed Moyes was working a couple of loan deals, keeping fans glued to TV, laptops and mobile phones right up until the deadline.
In the end a deal was completed, Barnsley full-back John Stones penning a five-and-a-half year contract for fee in the region of £3million. Given the names bandied about on Deadline Day, the move was slightly underwhelming – but as mentioned earlier, Moyes doesn’t just sign anyone and 18-year-old Stones arrives with a burgeoning reputation. He could well be a player to watch out for in the future.
Now the dust is beginning to settle, Moyes will have to work with what he has got from now until the end of the season – he will desperately hope none of his senior stars pick up serious injuries from now until May.
But, a quick glance across the Premier League (ignoring the antics at QPR) and it is apparent Everton aren’t alone in reining in their spending. With Financial Fair Play looming large on the horizon, it appears the pressure to balance the books is finally making an impact.