Friday, July 22, 2022

Where to Everton? Barren Transfer Window and Embarrassing US Tour Highlight Problems at Relegation Threatened Club

One of the least active clubs in the current transfer window may be the club most in need of reinforcement. The deficiency of Everton’s current roster has been on full display in two preseason matches in the United States where the Toffees were outscored 6-0 in aggregate. More embarrassingly, four of the goals were conceded to MLS squad Minnesota United, a club currently managed by former Everton player Adrian Heath. One of Minnesota’s goals was deposited in the Everton net by Toffee defender James Tarkowski, Everton’s solitary addition this offseason.

Outgoing activity from Merseyside has included the transfer of Richarlison to Tottenham Hotspur. The Brazilian forward had been Everton’s best player, particularly during the club’s desperate survival stretch run last season. The once proud club has thus responded to last season’s relegation scare, where they survived by a meager four points, by selling their best on-field asset.

A perilous financial situation underpins Everton’s inability to improve a poor roster. Owner Farhad Moshiri felt compelled recently to say the club is not actively for sale though a minority ownership investment could be on the cards. The effect of Everton’s severed financial ties with longtime Moshiri associate and Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov last March, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, may have been understated as the ouster of Chelsea’s Russian ownership dominated the headlines. Everton’s finances are also impacted by costs associated to their future new stadium as well as lavish and misdirected player spending in past windows during Moshiri’s unsuccessful six years of ownership.

The transfer budget this offseason appears threadbare. Veteran defender Tarkowski was able to walk away from relegated Burnley on a free transfer. Additions requiring an immediate outlay of funds by the Toffees have been more problematic to conclude. Deals for Burnley striker Maxwel Cornet and Wolverhampton midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White, have reportedly been hung up by Everton demands to defer the payment of transfer fees. An outlandish rumor this week had Everton considering a move for former Manchester United player Adnan Januzaj. Other than having previously kicked a ball in the Premier League, Januzaj’s principal attraction is that he is a free agent after his release by Real Sociedad. Supporters have been unhappy to not see reinvestment of Richarlison proceeds and were horrified at rumors the club may need to part ways with young fan favorite, Anthony Gordon. Gordon was reported to be a target of Spurs and Manager Antonio Conte but now seems fairly assured of another season of Merseyside misery. Manager Frank Lampard, meanwhile, has decried the lack of investment in his squad, referring to the “void” in his current lineup. Lampard also sounded much like he did when the club was fighting relegation last season as he called for more “fight” from his players after the Minnesota loss. Another relegation battle already seems underway for the Toffees. Lampard, who was under a transfer embargo during his time as Chelsea manger, finds himself in another difficult situation in his young managerial career. Coincidentally, Wayne Rooney’s Major League Soccer season at DC United concludes in the fall. The former Everton and Manchester United legend would be a public relations coup for the club and its unpopular ownership should early season results endanger Lampard’s tenure on the Goodison Park touchline.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment: