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Window watching

By Ben Crawford

Welcome to the second edition of window watching.
To say a sea of change has happened at Everton since our first edition would be a huge understatement! Carlo Ancelotti has left and joined Real Madrid, the unpopular Rafael Benitez has joined as our new manager and who knows what state our transfer policy is in?

Despite the managerial upheaval of late our areas of weakness remain much the same and with a new right-side of the team still a priority as well as suitable cover in the striking and goalkeeping positions, it looks set to be a busy time for Everton.
This edition we focus on right-sided wingers.

Behind right-full-back I would say that the right-hand side of midfield is our next priority in terms of recruitment. Everton have been a team this season that has been severely lacking in pace and I have compiled a list of 5 options for the club to consider to fill the current void. I have considered Everton’s appointment of Rafael Benitez when making these selections as his targets are likely to differ from that of his predecessor.

The name that won’t go away Name: Leon Bailey
Club: Bayer Leverkusen Reported Fee: £25-50 Million+
A popular name on the Everton rumour mill is that of Bayer Leverkusen’s winger Leon Bailey. As player that’s seems to be linked with every team in almost every transfer window, he has just completed a very solid season in Germany’s top tier. 9 goals and 9 assists have made for impressive reading this season and by turning 24 years old this summer it seems his time to move on to a new challenge could be close. Whether Everton are in for him or not is a question in itself. There have been no real credible sources that have suggested serious interest other than Marcel Brands holding an admiration for the player. As a Left-footed, right-sided and pacey attacker, Bailey looks like a name the fans could get excited about and I personally would love to see the Jamaican International representing the Toffees next season. A major sticking point could well be the potential transfer fee involved. Valued anywhere from £25-80 Million by some press outlets it remains to be seen if Everton or in fact any club would be prepare to make a move with that valuation mooted.
Window Watching Verdict…
He looks a top player who is ready to take the Premier League by storm. Whether that is with Everton however, I doubt. His representatives and Leverkusen seem to have an inflated transfer fee in mind for the player and I personally can’t see any eventuality where by Everton will sanction such a fee for a player not yet proven in English football. Prove me wrong Marcel, I dare you…

The Welsh-Winger Name: Daniel James Club: Manchester United Reported Fee: £20 Million
An option closer to home, well in-fact just down the M62 is Manchester United and Wales International Daniel James. At just 23-years of age, the pacey winger’s time at Old Trafford has been very stop-start since his transfer from Swansea in 2019 and in a market where most clubs will be desperate to sell unwanted fringe players the opportunity is likely to come for James to move to another Premier League club.
Again, some Everton fans will quite rightly be uninspired by the thought of us taking a player rejected by one of the clubs we aspire to compete with, but James is a very talented player and adds exactly what Everton currently lack the most, PACE, PACE and more PACE. It remains to be seen if The Red-Devils would sell to another top-half Premier league side, or if Everton can match United’s valuation, but similar to Diogo Dalot in our last piece, A so-called “United reject” could still offer Everton some much needed market value.
Window Watching Verdict…
Like most clubs, United have a clear priority to sell unwanted players in order to generate funds for any incomings. James is not thought be short of admirers with Leicester City said to be leading the chase, but if United decide against selling to a side they consider a direct rival for the top four then that could bring a host of other clubs into the race.

Yet another Brazilian name
Name: Mateus Cardoso Lemos Martins Club: Shakhtar Donetsk
Reported Fee: £30-40 Million
Another Brazilian winger who for me would fit the bill is 21-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mateus Cardoso Lemos Martins. Better known simply as Tetê . A dynamic and pacey forward he has attracted a host of admirers from across Europe this summer. After being Linked with Everton’s rivals Liverpool and Manchester United earlier this year it remains to be seen if Everton have the desire and confidence to try their hand at such a prospect. If the Blues did decide to make a move, then I believe they would be greatly rewarded. A fast, direct player with a good eye for goal, he is also (as most of this list are) left footed. New Everton boss Rafael Benitez is believed to favour more of an inside forward/inverted winger approach to his attack and with that in mind any move under £40 million or so could be considered a steal. A record of 13 goals and assists last season does not make for spectacular reading admittedly, but as young prospect he possesses all the raw attributes required and believe me you just have to watch him in action to realise his undoubted talent.
Window Watching Verdict…
An Ambitious yet risky target he would be a calculated risk for many, but in Everton’s current financial position I would be surprised if they sanctioned a move like this due to the heightened risk of a player playing in a relatively unestablished league.

Are we ready to trust anyone from Ajax again? Name: Antony Matheus Dos Santos
Club: Ajax
Reported Fee: £25-30 million
After impressing in his first season in Holland’s Eredivisie, Antony or Antony Matheus Dos Santos to be precise is another option for Everton to consider. Perhaps too inexperienced for a manager like Rafa Benitez who may favour the tried and tested? Perhaps, but if the signing of Ben Godfrey last season has taught Everton anything it is that sometimes trusting the raw attributes of younger players can have its benefits. This is the type of target I would imagine Marcel Brands would be all over. The contacts he holds as well as the reputation he still harbours in his native country could make any move that bit more achievable in my eyes. Direct, pacey and left -footed? Yes, you know the rest, but if Everton are serious about a sustainable transfer model, then a player like Antony would be a good way to start investing younger players with a bright future in the game.
Window Watching Verdict…
A name we will probably hear linked with Everton at some point over the summer due to us having Marcel Brands alone. Whether he would satisfy Rafa’s demands I would doubt due to the players youth and inexperience. If, however the club decides to hand over the transfer reigns to Marcel Brands more frequently, then a move may be on the cards provided Everton are happy with Ajax’s no doubt lofty valuation.
The Cherries’ forgotten man Name: David Brooks
Club: Bournemouth Reported Fee: £10-20 Million
Almost the forgotten man this summer until Euro 2020 due to Bournemouth’s failed promotion bid, Welsh midfielder David Brooks is a link that could re-surface this summer. Past transfer windows have seen us linked with the Warrington-born winger, but a serious ankle injury in 2019 which meant he missed almost the entirety of the 2019/20 season seemed to have cooled any Everton interest. 24-years old by the time next season starts and having managed to recapture his form and fitness with 32 league appearances last term, The Wales international could set his sights on his own Premier League return this summer. If his injury issues are judged to be behind him and if Bournemouth do not demand an astronomical fee, then he could prove to be a risk worth taking as Everton look to add some quality to the right-hand side.
Window Watching Verdict…
A very-very bad injury aside, he has all the qualities Everton should be targeting. Whether the risk is deemed too great given his Ankle Surgery remains to be seen, but I guess it depends on Everton’s budget. I can’t see Everton making this move given the injury history of the player but if target A or B are deemed unattainable then a move for Brooks could resurface towards the end of the window.

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