Everton have had a busy final day of the transfer window, however it hasn’t been in the way that many fans would have hoped it would be.
Everton have once again staved off the interest of Paris Saint-Germain for Idrissa Gana Gueye’s signature, much to the chagrin of the Senegal international, who is believed to be desperate on making the move.
The Blues haven’t cowed to pressure, either from PSG or from Gana himself, and in a window where Everton have been so disappointing on the incomings front, a level of willingness to stick to ones word is the silver lining in the dark cloud currently occupying Goodison Park.
Everton don’t owe PSG anything, nor do they owe Gana the loyalty to grant him his wish to move to the Parc des Prince, and while it is better not to employ players who don’t wish to wear the shirt anymore, Everton have done well not to roll over to sub-standard offers and the threat of being left short of cover.
The 29-year old is not in a good place when his form is considered at the moment, but that could all be changed with the swing of the momentum pendulum, and Everton are much better off with the option that Gana provides in their squad.
Other than dealing with interest in Gana, and with Everton having refused to move forward with their supposed interest in Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi, the majority of the club’s deadline day business has been in organising loan deals for fringe players, and ensuring young talent are getting minutes under their belts.
Antony Evans has joined Blackpool on loan until the end of the season, while Callum Connolly has been recalled from his loan spell with Wigan and sent to Bolton Wanderers.
Cuco Martina has seen his time with Stoke come to an end and has joined Feyenoord in the Dutch Eredivisie, where the Rotterdam club will have an obligation to buy in the summer.
In other transfer news, where official confirmation hasn’t yet emerged at the time of writing, Beni Baningime looks set to sign for Wigan on loan, while Yannick Bolasie has journeyed to Belgium to sign for Anderlecht.
Everton’s loan business is largely positive, and while not as glamorous as a shiny new signing, the club’s work today will benefit the club long-term.
Martina has now been shifted off the club’s wage bill with his long-term future sorted, while Bolasie won’t somehow find his way back into Everton’s first-team squad, thankfully.
As for the younger players, it is positive to see them pick up more valuable minutes. In particular, Evans and Baningime are held in high esteem at the club, and any possible development that can come from extra competition is positive for the midfield duo.
Where does Everton’s lack of incomings leave the club for the final months of the current campaign, then?
Everton will have to fight tooth and nail until the final day of the current campaign to prove to both prospective summer signings and to themselves that they deserve to be European competitors.
Another year of domestic disappointment can only be offset by qualification into the Europa League, which will also seek to boost Everton’s global and continental appeal.
As frustrating as the Europa League can be, it is the only way Everton hope to continue to grow, and given the money Farhad Moshiri has invested into this squad, failure to achieve that goal must make this season a sure-fire failure.
Thankfully for Everton, seventh place isn’t a million miles away. With the Toffees (8th) taking on Wolves (7th) this weekend, a win is crucial. Come away with a loss, fans will once again go into uproar. A draw, and disappointment will be strongly felt, so a win is an absolute must.
Everton’s transfer window hasn’t been a travesty, as many fans may have you believe. Spending for the sake of spending is never wise, and while I wish the club had made a few more gambles, I’d much rather solidify and grind out a mediocre finish, knowing that the summer to come will be huge in shaping the club’s immediate history.