There’s precious little transfer activity going on at Everton, at least on the surface, given the speculation and gossip that was prevalent before Roberto Martinez was appointed to replace David Moyes.
Name after name was linked with the vacancy created when Moyes moved to Manchester United and it’s about a week since Martinez was confirmed as the Scot’s successor. But as yet the only confirmed movement is on the coaching staff, as David Weir took the chance to begin his managerial career at Sheffield United.
Weir, a former Everton captain, was highly-popular as a player and by all accounts worked well with his old centre-back partner Alan Stubbs in charge of the Everton Under-21 team. Martinez spoke at his first press conference of his desire to retain the core of former Everton players on the coaching staff but Weir evidently will not be one of them.
Stubbs and Duncan Ferguson remain and now Phil Neville has confirmed his retirement he could yet join up with his old teammates, although the possibility of Neville taking a post under Moyes at his old club must be considered strong too. Martinez is said to want to bring a number of his backroom team from Wigan to Goodison Park as well.
That aside, all is largely quiet on the transfer front. Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini remain Everton players and as yet, there has been no movement of players from the Latics to follow their former boss to Merseyside. That’s despite Wigan chairman Dave Whelan giving Martinez the green light to make offers for any of his old charges, and Whelan’s Everton counterpart Bill Kewnright confirming the Spaniard had money available.
How much money Martinez has to work with could very well determine the kinds of players he targets – and that in itself is bound up in the futures of Fellaini and Baines. Should one or both of the pair leave Martinez would expect to see a chunk of the transfer fee to re-invest into the side.
But Martinez, Fellaini, Baines – everyone, in effect – is in limbo. The manager can’t plan in full until he knows for sure he will have Fellaini and Baines to call on. He can’t commit to one transfer or another if there’s the chance he’ll have to replace a left-back or a midfielder – the money could be tied up elsewhere and then unavailable to cover these two key positions.
There is a danger, however, of almost placing too much importance on this summer’s transfer window. While Everton of course want to get their strongest possible squad in place for the start of the season, it won’t be Martinez’s only transfer window, and it’s clear from much of Moyes’ time in charge that a poor start to a campaign does not mean the whole of the campaign will be poor.
It will take time for Martinez to shape the Everton squad as he wants it and time for Martinez to achieve his goals at Goodison – much longer than the few months available this summer.
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