Everton Club Focus – Weir, Kalou and Buddle amongst disparate names linked with busy Toffees

With the rumour mill going at full speed, Everton have been mentioned in connection with a host of names, despite their well-documented financial straits. Players as diverse as Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou and Rangers’ former Toffees defender David Weir have been linked with moves to Goodison Park, while David Moyes is running the rule over United States forward Edson Buddle, on trial with the Blues this week.

Weir, who announced on Tuesday he would be leaving Rangers at the end of the week in order to return to England to seek first team football, was immediately and speculatively linked with a return to the club he left in January 2007. The 41-year-old, who still lives in the North West of England, nearly joined Everton as coach in summer 2011 but chose to continue his playing career instead. With Weir’s statement indicating he was leaving Glasgow in order to find more first team football, a return to Everton would be an odd move considering Moyes is already well-stocked in central defence. A back-up playing role however, combined with a coaching position would be a well-received and logical move for a player deeply respected on Merseyside.

Buddle, currently of German second division side FC Ingolstadt, has been training with Everton this week ahead of a possible move before the close of the transfer window. The 30-year-old, named LA Galaxy humanitarian of the year in 2010 for his charity work as well as that year’s MVP and club Golden Boot, joined Ingolstadt in January 2011 having netted 42 goals in 87 games for Galaxy. Even taking into account the disparity in quality between Major League Soccer and the Premier League, Buddle’s record in his home country was impressive, and could provide a cut-price, short-term solution to Everton’s goal-scoring woes.

Buddle is rated as a lethal finisher if not a stand-out all-round talent. Everton have on many occasions this season failed to register a shot on target and Buddle should at least improve that dismal statistic. A number of other English sides have scouted Buddle over the past 12 months, including Stoke City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Moyes himself watched the striker on international duty in November 2011. One US football expert, Matthew Doyle, compared Buddle to Louis Saha, albeit without Saha’s finesse but with a more singular attitude to goal-scoring.

As well as Buddle, Chelsea’s winger-striker Kalou has been discussed as a potential Everton target as Andre Villas-Boas continues to reshape his title challengers, although the Ivory Coast international’s wage packet means a permanent move is unlikely. Man City’s Nedum Onouha, a frequently-rumoured Moyes target, is also being mentioned as a target, though he appears to be on the radar of at least one other Premier League club. The manager reportedly wanted to sign the versatile defender in the summer transfer window but was first without the funds and then without the time to complete the deal before the August deadline. Moyes clearly desires of a number of new faces to revitalise his squad to prevent a relegation battle over the spring, but working on a tight budget may hamstring the manager’s moves.

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