As of Saturday, January 23rd, things remain relatively quiet for Everton Football Club on the transfer front. For the most part, this inactivity is in line with the transfer strategy that Marcel Brands outlined last week.
Everton have completed three pieces of business so far this winter, all of them departures.
At the end of December, Matthew Pennington was loaned to League One side Shrewsbury Town. As Pennington’s Everton contract is up at the end of the season, this effectively signals the end of the 26-year-old defender’s time with the club.
Nearly ten days ago, talented young defender Jarrad Branthwaite was loaned to Blackburn of the Championship. Branthwaite has gotten off to a great start with Blackburn. The 18-year-old earned praise for his performance in his very first game.
A successful half season in the Championship would be a great next step in Branthwaite’s ongoing development.
This past Wednesday, 20-year-old striker Ellis Simms was loaned to Blackpool of League One. Simms has already had a great deal of success with the Under-23s. This move will be a good test to see if he can continue to produce at a more competitive level.
The Waiting Game
In terms of incoming transfers, we have only rumors to go off of at this point. Fabrizio Romano continues to report that Everton are in talks with Bayern Münich to discuss a loan deal for Joshua Zirkzee.
It is not out of the question that Zirkzee would choose Parma over Everton if he feels that the Italian club can offer him more game time. Another factor in this deal could be the future of Moise Kean. Kean is playing extremely well for PSG right now, having scored 13 goals this season. Everton paid over £24 million for Kean in 2019.
Everton would have to look to make a profit on that figure if Kean is to leave the club. If Kean has a future at Everton, Zirkzee may just be a short term option. However, if Kean’s future lies elsewhere, the ongoing negotiations with Bayern may be centered around the inclusion of a permanent transfer clause.
While Everton have had a quiet window so far, other Premier League teams are beginning to make splashes.
Arsenal have been in talks to add Martin Ødegaard on loan from Real Madrid. Ødegaard is a tremendous playmaker. As a result, he could offer a lot to an Arsenal team that has looked stagnant at times this season.
Aston Villa are close to completing a permanent deal for Morgan Sanson. The French midfielder plays a box-to-box game that could help to support Villa’s attacking options.
Wolves are bringing in Willian José on loan with an option to buy. Wolves will hope that the Brazilian striker can fill the void left by Raúl Jiménez, who continues to miss time with a serious head injury.
From an Everton perspective, these moves must be viewed as a threat. Everton are currently in a good spot to achieve their goal of securing European qualification for next season. However, all these teams that are making moves are going to be gunning for them in the second half of the season.
It is fine to want to avoid permanent transfers in January, but that does not mean that Everton should feel comfortable with standing pat.
It still remains to be seen whether or not Zirkzee will join on loan. Either way, look for Everton to be linked to additional deals of that variety as the window progresses.
Offloading unwanted players will remain the first order of business. Alongside that, Everton should still be jumping on opportunities to strengthen the squad without breaking the bank.
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