Landon Donovan - on my wish list (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Following on from my thoughts about who I think we should get shut of, I’ve bought myself a little more time to have a look around at who I think we should buy. I use that three lettered word very carefully, almost tongue in cheek, but then as I cook da books in my previous article then I guess I get to go all Football Manager with this!
Now, obviously I would have liked to have signed Seb Larsson from Birmingham on a free, but he’s gone. I would also have liked to have seen a chance taken on David Vaughan from Blackpool, but he’s gone too. Jamie O’Hara? Gone. So I thought I would have a look at the “available” options.
Charles N’Zogbia (Wigan Athletic)
Reports would suggest we are in for him. The bank would suggest we can’t afford him, or even the £4.5mil down payment Mr JJB himself, the honourable Dave Whelan, requires before he will even consider releasing the paperwork bearing the winger’s registration. N’Zogbia is the sort of player I would love to see at Everton. He’s not the quickest, but what he lacks in pace he makes up for in skill. He has a peach of a left foot on him and possesses the ability to get a goal out of nothing, as demonstrated against us at the end of last season. The only trouble is the loveable free-spenders from across the park are after him. As, probably are a number of clubs.
Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
I had the pleasure of watching every game Landon played while on loan with us the season before last. I say it was a pleasure because it was refreshing to see a player come to Everton with shed loads of pace and a complete lack of fear for the Chelsea’s, Arsenals and Hull City’s of this world. There are only two things I wish would have happened in Landon’s brief spell with us. First, he played up front a bit more instead of on the right wing. Second, we used him more against Liverpool at Anfield, especially when they went down to 10 men. Oh, one more thing, the miss against Tottenham. Donovan has been on record saying he would never play for another team in England and would love to come back in the future as he was made to feel right at home from day one. David Moyes has been on record saying he would love Landon back and even put it to him in January, but Donovan declined the invite after much thought. Evertonians have been on record saying they want him permanent. I hold my hands up, I’m one of them.
Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow)
If rumour be right, then you could take one of the players in my previous article and swap him for Aiden McGeady. I’ve long admired him. He again had pace to burn. He is creative, likes cutting in from the touch line and also chips in with goals. Would be a very good signing for us, especially if the outlay is a bit cheaper with the use of Bilyaletdinov as a makeweight.
Yannick Djalo (Sporting Lisbon)
First caught my eye when we played them at home in the Europa League. Sporting were poor at Goodison. Their star man, Joao Moutinho (now being linked with a move to Chelsea) was invisible that night. The only player of note was Djalo. He plays on the left wing or up front. Again, and there is a theme with the attacking options here, he is very quick. He’s skilful and with 23 goals in 95 appearances and an international cap on his shelf, I’d take a punt on him.
Shane Long (Reading)
Very lively Irish international striker who bagged the goals his team needed to get into the Premier League this season….. Well nearly. He’s very quick with an eye for goal and has time on his side. The only stumbling block could be the price Reading is quoting for his services.
Hugo Rodallega (Wigan Athletic)
The Colombian has notched up a goal every 4 games in a poor team. He brings miles more to the game than goals though. He is deceivingly strong, holds the ball up well and links play up. He would be a cracking foil to take some of the burden on Louis Saha or Jermaine Beckford. In fact, I think he is more suited to the Everton Way than either of the two current strikers. Although according to the player himself, he has the pick of Arsenal and Villarreal amongst others.
Niko Krancjar (Tottenham Hotspur)
The poor man’s Luka Modric would only be available it seems on two conditions. 1, Spurs keep Luka Modric and 2, Spurs lower their £20mil asking price. I like Krancjar. Apparently he was close to signing for us until Harry Redknapp pimped him when being appointed boss at White Hart Lane and offered him more money, a house, a car, a tax dodge etc. He’s a very good player, creates and scores. He also throws in the odd tackle. He would be a good replacement should the Arteta and Malaga situation progress. Better, maybe?
Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City)
I think SWP is the player we have “nearly” signed the most in the club’s history! He was at Finch Farm having talks when leaving Chelsea, until Man City picked up the phone and, presumably, offered him more money. Then, in January, we had him on loan until Adam Johnson picked up a knock and City decided to keep hold of him. Maybe the timing would be out by a year or two, but I for one would love to see what he has left in the tank.
Matt Jarvis (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
The nifty little winger found form in the second half of the season and rightly earned his first England cap. Jarvis is quick and determined, and uses the ball nicely. A traditional wide midfielder who would fit nicely into the Everton team and who, strangely enough, seems to have slipped off Premier League transfer radar recently. Would probably command a fee of around £8million with being one of Wolves’ prized assets.
Madjid Bougherra (Glasgow Rangers)
The Algerian World Cup Star would be available from the Scottish Champions fairly cheaply. We were gazumped by Charlton back in 2007. Bougherra is an accomplished defender who looks very much at ease and in need of a new challenge north of the border. He is strong, good in the air and really comfortable with the ball at his feet, often taking it out of defence looking to link up with the midfielders. He would provide very good competition for the ever present Distin, Phil Jagielka and John Heitinga, should he decide to hang around.
I also mentioned in my “for sale” article Jan Mucha moving on. Should this be the case, the very public knowledge that Preston stopper Andy Lonergan will be understudy to Tim Howard pleases me. He’s a good, reliable goalkeeper who would seem happy to have a club like Everton on his CV. I’m sure he will also get his opportunities during a drawn out Carling Cup campaign (here’s hoping).
Obviously this list is again opinionated and is a wish list. Although I would like to see everyone named in the Chang, I reckon with around £12mil to spend our options will be limited unless players are obviously moved on. That is why I thought the likes of Seb Larsson would have been ideal with a price tag written in invisible ink.
The fact that we have very limited funds at present, and a thread bare squad, I wouldn’t be surprised if none of the above materialised at all. I honestly think we need a defender, a creative midfielder to compliment the graft of Fellaini, two wide players and a goal scoring striker. I’m delighted Jay Bothroyd has probably signed for QPR at the time of publishing. I also wouldn’t be shocked to see Chris Eagles, Tom Cleverley, Craig Bellamy, DJ Campbell and Nigel Reo-Coker playing headers and volleys at Finch Farm soon.
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