Going into deadline day Evertonian’s had a great sense of hope and anticipation, a positivity and a general excitement as opposed to the normal dread and nerves of will we hang on to our key players.
Tuesday afternoon Everton agreed a deal for FC Twente midfielder Leroy Fer, believed to be around 8.5 million. The player flew to England to have a medical and undergo talks. The talks all seemed to go well, and Fer trained with Everton Wednesday morning and all looked well. The deal was set to be announced and Fer unveiled to the Goodison faithful before the West Brom game. However, there was a snag, for some reason Everton decided they wanted to restructure the deal. Believed to be because of problems with the medical but that is unconfirmed, so the two clubs restarted talks. Everton weren’t willing to pay the original agreed price, Twente weren’t willing to renegotiate. At about 4 o’clock Wednesday afternoon it was announced the deal was now off and Everton would be looking at other targets.
Various names were thrown about including Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, The Toffees narrowly missed out on the 23 year old Belgian international in September, a deal had been agreed but wasn’t granted FIFA clearance. By the time the time the West Brom game had finished, and The Blues had secured an important 2-1 victory. Alvaro negredo had emerged as the number one target, with The Toffees looking to bring the Sevilla forward to Merseyside for around 10 million pounds.
So deadline day arrived, Toffees fans gripped to Sky Sports news and twitter. Alan Myers was outside Finch Farm, and the usual Twitter accounts were on hand ready to provide any info on possible deals. Panic set in early on as whispers of Chelsea launching a 32 million pound bid for Maroaune Fellaini. They didn’t last long and people eventually calmed down and realised the big haired Belgian was going nowhere. The Negredo deal never really was a possibility, the clubs valuations were too far apart. Sevilla were looking for a fee close to €15 million, whilst Everton realistically were never going to pay more than €10 million, so the possibility of a deal died down about 3 o’clock.
The usual twitter rumours started, sightings of players, as well as the customary “Just seen Riquelme in the Oak having a pint” gag. About 5 o’clock, twitter exploded with shouts that the Leroy Fer deal was back on and the clubs were negotiating a deal. These were soon quashed by Sky Sports, and again, another wave of disappointment it The Blues fans.
Whilst all the speculation about big money transfers took place, a transfer that took a back seat was the one of John Stones from Barnsley. The 19 year old right back had had an offer from Wigan, but unsurprisingly decided to choose The Toffees, heading to Goodison park for approximately 3 million pounds. That deal was announced about 20 past 10, and whilst Evertonians hoped there would be that one marquee signing, it never arrived. The last bit of business for The Blues before the window closed was Magaye Gueye leaving on loan to French side Stade Brest.
All in all, it was a day of disappointment for Everton fans, a sense of a missed opportunity but things could have been worse, a lot worse and it could have been better, a lot better. The Blues brought a promising right back in, he’s an England u19 international with a very bright future. Ive thought Everton have needed a long term replacement for Phil Neville and Tony Hibbert for quite a while, Seamus Coleman has played there quite a lot this season. Although the Irishman has done well, he’s prone to defensive errors and he’s not quite the answer if Everton are going to push on into the top four in my opinion.
Many Evertonians are incredibly frustrated at the lack of a major signing, that one signing that would push Everton into the Champions League. Blaming the board and chairman, some of the criticism justified, some of it being idiotic at best. A few people decided to blame the manager, which quite frankly I find that absolutely astonishing. Personally, not paying 8.5 million for a player with a bad knee, not paying 14 million for a player worth 10, and signing a promising right back on a 5 and half year deal is good business. Yet, I can understand that people did want that one extra signing to bolster the squad.
It wasn’t just Everton who were quiet during the window, Champions League contenders, Arsenal and Spurs were also very quiet. So it’s not all doom and gloom, if Everton can keep players like Kevin Mirallas and Darron Gibson fit during the second half of the season and they can get a run of games then they can definitely secure fourth place.