Everton is known as a late-blooming team, and a key addition will allow the club to protect that reputation.
Financial problems will make a major influx of talent impossible in the January transfer window. As Andy Hunter of The Guardian notes, the latest numbers from the club “show a net loss of £9.1m for 2011–12 and wages rising to 75 percent of turnover.”
In the same report, manager David Moyes is quoted saying, “There is only a small amount available for maybe a couple of loan signings."
But Moyes has long been the master of finding productive players for modest fees, and he will once again need to make shrewd signings in the coming weeks. Here are the players he should be targeting.
Landon Donovan, Los Angeles Galaxy
With limited funds, Moyes needs to avoid risky signings and stick with players he knows will be productive.
After two productive loan spells in the past three seasons, the American star has found his niche on the wing for Everton. While he is the focal point of the offense in the MLS, he transitions seamlessly into a distributing role for the Toffees.
The latest rumors do not bode well for a third trip to Merseyside for Donovan, as the Liverpool Echo’s Greg O’Keefe notes that the 30-year-old is looking forward to some rest, and Kevin Mirallas’ form lessens the team’s need for another attacker.
Safe and effective signings are not easy to come by, though, and with the latest news on Everton’s financial situation, the team would be wise to ramp up their pursuit of Donovan.
Tim Cahill, New York Red Bulls
Again, Moyes would do well to sign players he knows can have success at Goodison Park.
Cahill was a fan-favorite during his eight-year career with Everton, and he could be the latest MLS player to make a temporary return to England.
David Maddock of The Daily Mirror reported in November that Cahill was interested in a move back to his old club, but the latest rumblings note that offensively challenged Sunderland are turning to him for his attacking help (via The Sun).
But Cahill can help add depth to the Toffees attack, and he can feature as a striker or an attacking midfielder. The team would greatly benefit if it could swoop in and steal Cahill away before Sunderland can sign him.
Vegard Forren, Molde
If Moyes is able to find funds for a permanent signing, Forren is young, talented and will likely be inexpensive.
Who should be Everton's top target this January?
While Everton’s strategy will likely involve scrimping and saving during January, there is no doubt that the Norwegian defender would be an excellent addition. Sylvain Distin is in fine form, but he is 35 years old and the Toffees should be eyeing potential replacements.
Forren has the talent to be a fixture along the Everton back line, and in the event that the club is willing to give Moyes the resources to sign him, the manager should not hesitate to bring him to Goodison Park.