Everton made sweeping changes behind the scenes yesterday. Sam Allardyce has been sacked as the first-team boss whilst there was also a boardroom reshuffle. Meanwhile, Steve Walsh has left his role as the director of football at Goodison Park and been replaced by PSV Eindhoven supremo Marcel Brands.
The Dutchman arrives with a huge reputation from his time in Dutch football. Undoubtedly, Everton will now find themselves linked with a long list of former players under Brands’ command.
Many of those players should be ignored but if Everton are to go for one former Brands player, it should be Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman.
The Dutchman was snapped up by Brands from Utrecht along with Belgian forward Dries Mertens and went on to become a regular at the Philips Stadion. After two brilliant seasons in Eindhoven, he headed to Roma. At one point it did look like he was on his way to England, but a move to Manchester United never materialised after a career-threatening knee injury.
Since then Strootman has recovered and established himself as a top European midfield operator during the past three seasons at the Stadio Olimpico.
Last summer he signed a new deal in the Italian capital, but Everton might just have enough to convince Strootman to finally make the move to the Premier League.
Financially, it would appear that Everton are going to be well backed again this summer by owner Farhad Moshiri. So putting together a deal that pleases both Roma and Stootman on that level should not be an issue. Everton also have players they are ready to move on, who could be included in any deal.
The problem would be convincing Strootman that he is better off at Everton then with the Champions League semi-finalists.
Which is where Brands would come in. He would need to be the man leading the negotiations to reunite with the Dutchman. Offering Strootman the chance to be the midfield lynchpin that Everton build around for the new campaign might just be enough to convince him that, at 28-years-old, this is his best chance to come and play in England.
It would be a tough deal to put together. But if Brands wants to win over the Everton fans, getting a deal for Strootman together as his first piece of business would be a pretty good start.