The fallout from the transfer window continues on Merseyside, with the Daily Mail reporting that Crystal Palace are set to revive their interest in Everton’s James McCarthy in January.
The report claims that the Eagles had a deal in place to sign the Republic of Ireland international, but the Toffees’ failure to secure the signing of Moussa Sissoko meant they were reluctant to allow McCarthy to move on. The alleged agreement involved a £3 million loan fee, and the 25-year-old was ready to head to South London in order to complete the deal, before Everton pulled the plug on the negotiations.
After a bright start to his time at Goodison Park, McCarthy has fallen behind both Gareth Barry and Idrissa Gueye in Ronald Koeman’s Everton midfield and a move elsewhere was thought to be on the cards if the Blues could sign a replacement in time.
The former Wigan Athletic midfielder is currently sidelined with a groin problem and is set to undergo hernia surgery this week. Should Palace pick up their interest again in January then they are likely to face competition from a whole host of clubs. McCarthy was a man in demand this summer, with the likes of Celtic, Newcastle United and Sunderland also thought to be interested in securing his signature.
Meanwhile, Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has questioned his own club’s transfer dealings after failing to secure a number of major targets this summer.
The Toffees were consistently linked with an array of players from around Europe, including Axel Witsel, Lucas Perez, and Yacine Brahimi, but only managed to secure four signings prior to transfer deadline day. On Wednesday, they managed to add another two to that list, in Sheffield United youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin and West Ham United striker Enner Valencia, who signed on a season-long loan.
The major story however, was the club’s failure to win the race to sign Newcastle United’s Moussa Sissoko. The 27-year-old opted to join Tottenham Hotspur over the Toffees and the Daily Mirror claim that Moshiri has insisted to those close to him that similar mistakes will not be made in future transfer windows.
Despite the club’s best start to a season for ten years, there has understandably been criticism of the club’s transfer policy this week, with Koeman and new director of football Steve Walsh bearing the brunt of much of the frustration. Both joined the club over the summer months and were promised a budget of £100 million to strengthen the squad as they attempt to build on last season’s disappointing 11th-place finish under Roberto Martinez.
It is not surprising that supporters are so frustrated, after being promised so much by the new regime. The early signs on the field are good but it is also evident that there is room for strengthening in a number of positions.
The team looks short of adequate cover for Romelu Lukaku (Valencia’s record of no goals in 19 games for West Ham hardly inspires confidence), as well as at right-back, where an injury to Seamus Coleman has seen James McCarthy forced to deputise. A new goalkeeper was also thought to be a priority, although the early performances of Stekelenburg suggest that he may well be able to fill the role until January at least.
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