New Everton boss, Robert Martinez, will find himself extremely busy throughout the next few weeks as the transfer window is now officially open.
The Toffees fill now find themselves under-fire as the Premier League’s top clubs attempt to cherry pick the squad’s key players. The future of Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini have come into question within the past month or so, as both players have become transfer targets for Manchester United and Arsenal, respectively.
Everton have recently rejected a bid of £12 from United for England left back, Baines. The defender still has two years remaining on his current contract at the club and Roberto Martinez is expected to sit down and hold talks regarding a new deal within the next few days.
Meanwhile, Martinez is preparing for the on-coming season by raiding his former club, Wigan, of their most influential players.
Striker Arouna Kone and defender Antolin Alcaraz are set to join the Toffees with negotiations between the clubs for Kone moving forward despite various reports that talks had stalled over compensation.
As for Alcaraz, the Paraguayan defender is out of contract with the Latics and will join Everton on a free transfer. The 30-year-old central defender was a regular in the Wigan side making 68 appearances over three seasons. His signing should becoming official in the coming days and he’ll provide Everton with some much needed depth alongside Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin.
For me, the Kone deal is the most controversial of the two. Clearly he is an accomplished goal scorer, his first season in the Premier League saw him score 11 goals in 32 starts for the Latics. However, the reported transfer fee strikes me as a set-back.
Considering Kone is 29-years-old and Everton are renowned for having a limited transfer budget season-after-season, £5million for the striker seems a very hefty price. In my opinion, Martinez would be better off looking elsewhere to begin with and I know, from Twitter, that this view is shared by a number of the club’s own fans.
On top of this, Alcaraz certainly won’t be winning Everton the Premier League any time soon. The Paraguayan is a very average footballer and I’m struggling to see what he has to offer at Goodison.
In my opinion, Martinez is already moving Everton in the wrong direction. Rather than focus on signing players from a team that failed to survive the drop last season, he should be looking to bring in fresh faces. Faces capable of mounting a top six challenge again next campaign.
If the Spaniard plays his cards right, he could do a great deal of good at Goodison Park. However, if he continues to operate in his current manner, we could see the Toffees start to slip down the league.
The key priority this summer should be retaining the services of Leighton Baines and the clubs various other big names. When this has been achieved, he should press on with the budget made available by Bill Kenwright and spend sensibly to increase the depth of the current side.
One or two transfers could make a huge difference next season in determining the clubs success. Whether this difference will be positive or negative, we will have to wait and see.