Everton FC: 5 Under-the-Radar Transfers David Moyes Should Target
As with most recent transfer windows, Everton's January plans are largely hindered by the club's precarious finances.
Unless a marquee player is offloaded, the Toffees aren't going to be bringing in elite personnel or competing for many well-known signatures.
At the moment it seems a couple of loans will be all that's available to David Moyes, although, if one or two fringe players were sold, his wallet would be slightly bolstered.
Unable to compete for the attractive buys, here's a look at some lesser names that could still prove handy acquisitions for Everton.
It's no secret Everton are in dire need of some support for Tim Howard.
The American stopper has struggled for consistency this season, and Moyes is without a reliable backup to push him for selection.
Too often, Howard's understudy has been a goalkeeper in the winter of his career, declining in ability, and never a realistic option to dethrone him—something that needs to change.
Everton must bring in a young talent to nurture through. Someone who could play in the Europa League—should Everton qualify—and be viewed as an improving prospect who could quickly challenge for the starting gloves.
Many Evertonians would like that target to be Birmingham's Jack Butland, although competing for his signature is unrealistic at the moment. Should the likes of Marouane Fellaini move on, that may change.
Another player that meets this criteria is Huddersfield's Alex Smithies.
At just 22, he is far from the finished article in goalkeeping years, but has gained significant experience in the Championship and League One, racking up almost 150 appearances.
His pedigree has been recognised by England, who he's won caps for throughout his youth career, and he seems a prospect sure to reach the top of the game.
Unlikely to command an outrageous price-tag, Smithies is an option the Toffees should keep tabs on as they look to augment their goalkeeping reserves.
In central midfield this season, Everton have relied on Darron Gibson, Leon Osman, Phil Neville, and to a lesser degree, Thomas Hitzlsperger.
This is another area of the field that could do with an influx of youth.
Ross Barkley appears a considerable talent, although he may still be a year or two off a first-team berth. Another option could be Will Hughes, a midfielder with different qualities, not quite on everyone's radar—although he soon will be.
The Derby County man is quickly gaining recognition for some imperious displays, so this window may be the last time his signature doesn't require an outrageously inflated cheque.
Already in the England Under-21s, he boasts a precise touch and excellent footwork, giving him the ability to create space in the most clustered midfield.
He also possesses exceptional vision and is naturally his side's influential force, orchestrating the passing and dictating the tempo.
An eventual successor for Leon Osman perhaps?
It's well documented that the Toffees are planning a reshuffle at centre-back.
Norway's Vegard Forren (via the Daily Mail) and Joleon Lescott (via the Telegraph) have supposedly been considered as interest has circled around Sylvain Distin (via the Daily Mail) and John Heitinga (via the Mirror).
However, an alternate way to go could be targeting another Scandinavian in Denmark's Jores Okore, already a full international at just 20.
Okore is a defender clearly destined for the top, with the calibre to compete for the top teams in the Champions League.
Of course, this would depend on being able to raise some funds, but by acting now the Toffees could intercept that journey, hurry along his progression, and eventually move him on for a nifty profit.
Armed with considerable strength and surprising pace, the Dane would be a savvy buy for the Toffees, although perhaps not a name strictly 'under-the-radar'.
Someone Everton will perhaps be more familiar with than most is Leeds United's exciting right-sided Sam Byram.
He impressed in his side's League Cup win over the Toffees in September, and has been growing in stature throughout the season.
Seamus Coleman has been in possession of Everton's right-back jersey this year, but with Tony Hibbert dogged by injuries and Phil Neville reaching the end of his career, Moyes could do with another option.
Able to perform anywhere on the right, he would add youth to the Toffees' dressing room, and bring the kind of versatility David Moyes has always craved.
Finally, Everton are in need of another attacking option to boost their striking ranks behind Nikica Jelavic and Victor Anichebe.
A player that could prove an astute purchase and a name not heavily touted around gossip columns is Velez Sarsfield's Facundo Ferreyra, although he'd be another purchase reliant on the Toffees offloading first.
Moyes plucked Denis Stracqualursi from South America last year, and he could do far worse than returning to scoop up this Argentina Under-20 international.
Ferreyra has been in exceptional recent scoring form, notching up 13 goals in 15 matches, and would surely jump at the chance to play on European shores.