This week, Everton Football Club’s annual general meeting for shareholders took place on January 14th. During the meeting, Director of Football Marcel Brands provided some insight on what fans can expect for the duration of the January transfer window.
A few days prior, The Athletic reported that Everton’s focus would be on slimming down the squad, rather than making major additions. Brands then confirmed that suspicion with his comments on Thursday.
“We are still working to offload some players for new challenges in their careers. We don’t expect to sign new players in this window. In the previous years we only signed youngster Jarrad Branthwaite from Carlisle in the January window.” – Marcel Brands pic.twitter.com/Yu6u2DorLj
— The Toffee Blues (@EvertonNewsFeed) January 14, 2021
This is a sensible approach to the transfer window. It is also one that should not come as a huge surprise.
Under the leadership of CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Everton have taken a more fiscally responsible approach than the one that was demonstrated in the early years of the Farhad Moshiri era. Barrett-Baxendale was named CEO in June of 2018, the same month that saw Brands appointed as Director of Football.
A quick look at Everton’s January business under Barrett-Baxendale and Brands shows a more noticeable commitment to sustainable growth than had previously been on display at the club.
Past January Transfer Record
Transfermarkt helpfully provides a database of Everton’s past arrivals and departures.
Transfers In: None.
Transfers Out: Tyias Browning to GZ Evergrande for a fee of €4.6 million. Kieran Dowell, Yannick Bolasie, Beni Baningime, Cuco Martina, Oumar Niasse and Mason Holgate, all on loan.
Transfers In: Jarrad Branthwaite from Carlisle United for a fee of €1.1 million.
Transfers Out: Kieran Dowell, Cenk Tosun and Jonas Lossl, all on loan.
Over two January transfer windows with Brands as the DoF, Everton have made just one permanent incoming transfer. The fact that the player in question (Jarrad Branthwaite) was just 17 at the time is also notable.
The takeaways from the past two seasons are even more significant when you venture further back in time. Everton’s January track record after the beginning of Farhad Moshiri’s involvement with the club but predating the addition of Brands was particularly excessive.
In 2017/18, Everton spent over €22 million a piece on Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott. In doing so, they brought in two players who never really hit their stride on Merseyside. The previous year, in 2016/17, the Toffees spent €23 million on Morgan Schneiderlin, plus a further €8.8 million on Ademola Lookman. Again, neither player really worked out at Everton.
Part of Marcel Brands’ dislike of the January window is that it encourages clubs to pay high prices in hopes of stumbling upon a quick fix. Everton’s spending in the two January windows prior to Brands’ arrival clearly demonstrates that concern.
Avoiding permanent business in January when possible is a wise financial move. Additionally, it provides teams with more time to ensure their signings remain in line with a broader club philosophy.
However, avoiding permanent transfers does not rule out the possibility of additions. Everton certainly could look to utilize loans to bolster the squad for the second half of the season.
The main loan rumor at the moment, first reported by talkSPORT involves Everton acquiring 19 year old striker Josh Zirkzee from Bayern Munich.
Fabrizio Romano, by far the most established name in the world of football transfers, confirmed on Saturday that Everton are interested in Zirkzee.
Everton and Parma are in talks with Bayern Münich to sign Joshua Zirkzee on loan, after Eintracht Frankfurt also trying weeks ago. He wants to play – no decision made yet. 🔴 @SkySport @MatteMoretto #Bayern #EFC
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 15, 2021
Whether or not the deal will be completed still remains to be seen. However, it seems like the type of move that is in line with Brands’ January philosophy. Bringing Zirkzee in on loan would be a low-risk move with a lot of potential upside.
Most importantly, it would help strengthen the squad without much financial commitment. Brands could then focus on his main goal of offloading players who do not have a future in royal blue.
With Brands in charge, Everton have done sensible business to more than double the average value of each player in the squad.
But what value does Brands bring?….. pic.twitter.com/pJ3gSGnoB3
— Matthew Barry (@EFCMatt1) January 14, 2021
Everton have done extremely well to place Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Marcel Brands and Carlo Ancelotti in leadership positions. Since 2018, Everton’s improvement off the pitch has perhaps been even more significant than the turn around on it.
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