Grading Each of Everton's Summer Transfer Window Acquisitions so Far
Compared to recent seasons, David Moyes was far more proactive during this summer's transfer window, largely thanks to the funds raised through the sale of Jack Rodwell.
A pair of Stevens, Naismith and Pienaar, joined Kevin Mirallas and Bryan Oviedo as the marquee buys, tasked with nestling the Toffees back into the Premier League's top six and returning the club to European competition.
Although their current progress has been impeded by a barrage of frustrating draws, at this stage, Moyes' side still remain on track to achieve their ambitions; but how have this quartet of summer recruits contributed to the Toffees fortunes so far?
Steven Pienaar: B+
Pienaar has the toughest grading criteria due to the fact he was already familiar with both the Premier League and Everton before making a permanent return back to Goodison Park.
For much of the season he's been part of his team's most effective force, linking up once again with Leighton Baines on the potent left-hand side, in what has been the Premier League's leading creative tandem.
His 37 chances make him the second-most productive source of creativity at the club (behind Baines), and he currently lies sixth overall in the English top flight. He's also fashioned out the second-most chances (one behind Luis Suarez) from open play in the Premier League this season.
Pienaar's contributions have certainly been strong, although away from the statistics there's been a feeling he's yet to find his very best form.
There have been times where he's overcomplicated moves, and his passing has not always been entirely in-sync with his team-mates.
Having been such a consistent performer for so long, the Goodison Park faithful demand high standards from their South African. With injuries affecting those around him, fans have perhaps harshly expected him to stand up and be even more influential than usual.
That said, he's still been one of the Toffees' best performers in several games this season and was one of the key contributors in Saturday's impressive draw at Manchester City.
Steven Naismith: B
Naismith has shown glimpses of quality in an Everton shirt, without yet producing a full 90-minute performance.
His first half against Reading and moments against Norwich and Liverpool showed his quality and potential as a Premier League player, but Moyes will be looking for him to knit together greater consistency as he continues to settle in.
The Scottish international was brought in to provide an extra threat in and around the penalty area, and his three goals have showcased some useful predatory instincts that have sharpened Everton's attack.
Off the ball he moves well, especially in the penalty area, and he generally works hard for the team, which will certainly keep his manager enthused.
Playing on the right is not his ideal position, which is possibly the reason he's spent chunks of time drifting around the fringes of games.
The fact he's both returning from serious injury and adapting to the huge leap up from SPL football permits him the most time to adjust to his new surroundings.
Kevin Mirallas: A
Since scoring a debut brace in the League Cup, Mirallas has become an instant hit with supporters who relish the sight of the speedy Belgian running at defenders.
His direct attacking style adds another dimension to the Toffees offence and provides his manager a platform that's rarely been available to him, excluding Royston Drenthe's brief stay at the club last season.
Mirallas runs at defenders, pulls opponents around, looks to take on a man and generally finds an end product to his work, making him a tough man for opposition managers to cater for.
The fact that he rose to the occasion and gave his best 45 minutes in the Merseyside derby further endeared his play to fans. He's already regarded as an integral addition to the Toffees repertoire, despite the fact that he's only started eight league games so far.
At £5 million, he looks an absolute steal for Moyes, and the only slight blot on his copybook have been injury troubles that have deprived Everton of his services.
Which new signing has been Everton's best buy?
Bryan Oviedo: C+
Brought in at the end of the transfer window, Oviedo is a player Evertonians are yet to see a significant amount of, hence the low grading thus far.
What has been on display has been encouraging. He possesses a skilful left foot and enjoys taking on his man, evident in his only league start for the club where he beat a defender to set up the Toffees' goal against Norwich.
He is also able to deputise for Leighton Baines at left-back, and from limited viewings, the Costa Rican seems another astute bit of business by Moyes.
He's a player Evertonians will be keen to see more of as the season progresses.
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