Perhaps one of the clubs biggest failings in the last few seasons has been it’s transfer business. Wether it boils down to management, directors of football or the board, Everton have been way off the mark a lot of the time.
On Monday night, Idrissa Gueye outlined his desire to leave Everton football club, handing in a transfer request on the back of the club receiving a £21.4mil bid from PSG.
But, this particular transfer request comes as a very timely opportunity for the board, Director of football and manager to prove that a lesson has been learnt from past, similar situations. It’s a chance to regain some trust with the fans that will prove that the clubs hierarchy can and will control it’s players when necessary and won’t make the wrong decision under pressure.
John Stones, Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley have been Everton’s recent high profile ‘want-aways’ and it was very evident to see in each of those scenarios, the players had varying effects on the team and club. This isn’t about keeping a player against his will or sitting him on the subs bench to prove a point, it’s about making the right decision for our football club at this exact moment. The attraction to balance what might be more worthwhile in a couple of years must be quashed, it’s simply not relevant. What will effect Everton football club the most in the present moment, is, however, very relevant.
It is without doubt, that Idrissa Gueye has been quietly superb for our club. Albeit recent performances have been poor, his overall impact on our team has generally been positive and things could have been a whole lot worse without his defensive abilities. However, he doesn’t get to make the decisions and force our club into doing the wrong thing for his own personal desire to play at another club. No footballer gets that right.
For Everton, I believe the right thing would be to reject Idrissa Gueye’s contract request. Quite simply because, if 2 days left of the transfer window isn’t enough, trying to find his replacement in that time for £21mil is practically impossible in this climate. There are two options, PSG stop trying to play the big school yard bullies and throw us a half hearted offer for a player they clearly want and respect that like any other Premier League club we will request the amount we believe a player is worth or, alternatively, Gueye stays at Everton and gets on with it until the summer, when a replacement must be ready to move straight in.
On that point about replacements being ready, it’s exactly where our club has failed during recent high profile player departures. Romelu Lukaku had hinted at wanting to leave our club a year previous to the date he eventually did, but with an inept Ronald Koeman and an unprofessional Steve Walsh in control of transfers a replacement wasn’t ready nevermind found. A period of temporary management followed Koeman and still no real replacement, and here we are now in another period of management still without Lukaku’s replacement. It’s not good enough. Which is why this case with Gueye serves as a massive chance to turn a corner for the men at the top.
The right decision for our club must be reached and not pondered upon. Marcel Brands must work with Silva to put it to the player exactly how we are going to deal with it. And, if, and it’s a big if, we sell Gueye in this window a replacement must be guaranteed to be available and signed before the deadline at 11pm on the 31st of January 2019. Without that guarantee, the deal is a ‘no goer’ and PSG will have to go and try and bully some other football club they clearly have no respect for.
Football is a game of money now undoubtedly, but Everton must take these opportunities from here on in to prove they are a big player of that game. Marcel Brands has been very astute with his decisions and comments on transfers to this point and that now must be put into action.
By Alex Fitzgerald