Everton: Nais to see you, to see you Naismith
Whisper it very softly but Everton seem to be getting their act together when it comes to signing players and implementing a long-term development strategy.
Having secured the pivotal captures of Nikica Jelavic, Darron Gibson, Steven Pienaar and Landon Donovan in January, the Blues have now added Steven Naismith to their ranks, and we’re still in the first week of July.
In past seasons, the club and particularly the board have been accused of dithering over transfers and frustrating David Moyes’s ambitions for the squad. More often than not, our business has been done on transfer deadline day, a footnote in Jim White’s obscene litany of big money buys and pointless interactive screens, while January has effectively been a non-event.
This approach simply hardened some fans’ perceptions of treachery and conspiracy within the corridors of the club, concerned about its apparent lack of direction and ambition. Those voices are perceptibly quieter at the moment, which can be in no small part due to the subtle change of pace at Everton. We will never truly know if it’s the club heeding criticism or whether this was their plan all along - whatever the motive, it appears to be working.
The acquisition of Naismith, a 25-year-old international who has previously enjoyed a fruitful relationship with our main front man and signed for nothing bar a golden handshake, represents good business for Everton, while the timing of the transfer also bodes well in terms of integration and planning for the new season.
In an ideal world Moyes’s attentions will now turn to securing the signature of another Steven, midfielder Pienaar, leaving the future looking very bright indeed. However, that piece of business depends on a number of factors, not least Spurs’ asking price and the opinions of new manager AVB, the strawberry blond diplomat.
Everton’s squad is in transition and we should hope to see that process to continue throughout the summer. The departures of players like Anichebe and Baxter would make financial space for further new blood – possibly free transfers in the guise of Rodallega and Pranjic - and hopefully spare the need to cash in at the top echelons of the playing staff.
If this is the new way of Everton, then viva the quiet revolution!
Calling all Everton fans: Do you agree with Barry? Is this a sign that Everton are finally moving forward? Will Naismith be a hit in the Premier League? Is he the kind of player you wanted at the club? Who else do you think Moyes should try and sign? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.