Hope for Everton springs eternal during this January’s transfer window, with David Moyes’ shopping list surely expanded with the promise of real money from chairman Bill Kenwright.
No, that’s not a typo.
For the first time in years, the Toffees have a real shot to actually buy a player. Not a loan or free transfer, an actual purchase of a player.
With this recent revelation, faithful Evertonians are no doubt dancing in the streets in jubilation. By day, they rationally evaluate all the rumors and possibilities, but by night, they dream of bigger things.
A large signing is probably out of the question even with Kenwright’s infusion of cash, but the supporters can dream. Consider these seven players semi-realistic crowd-pleasers Everton should at least take a look at come 2012.
Could they sign most of them? No.
Should the board tease its fan base with the possibility that they could? Absolutely.
This is the stuff dreams are made of.
With Everton and Royston Drenthe slowly falling in love with one another, it isn't a stretch to think they could also learn to love Albert Adomah.
The 23-year-old Ghanaian midfielder has seen his stock slowly rise over the past few weeks with intriguing performances for Bristol City in the championship. While a bit more physical in the tackle than Drenthe, Adomah has exhibited the kind of flair and creativity Everton’s loaned Dutchman has during his stay at Goodison.
Everton could always use another pacey midfielder with a nose for goal, but his availability might be abbreviated. As a member of Ghana’s national team, the African Cup of Nations will call Adomah away from domestic play in the beginning of 2012.
However, if the Toffees don’t mind thinking long-term, Adomah might be their man. He won’t come cheap, with less financially challenged clubs like Aston Villa and Fulham sure to raise Adomah’s price tag.
Still, he would be a welcome addition to Everton’s midfield.
Under-utilized at Chelsea with so many other younger strikers vying for playing time, aging Nicolas Anelka would find a supportive home in Everton.
Likely outside the spending range of David Moyes, the 32-year-old striker has been an institution for club and country, but he has recently fallen out of André Villas-Boas’ starting XI. His transfer release recently accepted, Anelka no longer trains with the first team.
With only nine appearances and one goal in league play for the Blues, the insubordinate Frenchman might want to don a different shade. Unfortunately for Everton, Anelka seems poised for a stint in China of all places, with a three-year contract being ironed out for January with Shanghai Shenhua.
Still, cynical Evertonians could hope for a falling out between Franco-Chinese relations, leaving poor Anelka to sign with the real People’s Club.
And as long as we’re dreaming, why not wish for a top-six finish?
Ah yes, the favorite perennial Everton transfer rumor. It’s like reading a long novel, falling in love with a bit character, and then after that character leaves for a while, wondering when he’ll come back.
That is Landon Donovan, the plucky, hard-working American that David Moyes became so entranced by in 2009 that the whole of Everton is now pining for a blessed reunion. His vision on the wing would be a preferred alternative to Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, as would his goal scoring.
With the L.A. Galaxy recently ending their tour of the Philippines, perhaps the 29-year-old would deign to return to Premier League football.
Sure, he’s probably dead tired from a taxing MLS season and international duty, but wouldn’t it be grand if the Toffees could convince him to return?
With World Cup qualifying just around the corner, there are few better ways for Donovan to stay sharp than a refreshing loan spell with Everton.
If he has enough energy, I don't see who could lose in this deal.
A jewel in Blackburn’s attack, David Wayne “Junior” Hoilett could be on the move from his Ewood Park home to the first teams of a handful of top Premiership sides.
Since the 21-year-old’s signing with Rovers’ senior club in 2007, Hoilett has steadily increased his value, turning in impressive stretches of form while on loan with Paderborn 07 and St. Pauli as well as his parent team.
After two years away from Blackburn, Hoilett made a name for himself during the 2010-11 campaign, totaling six goals in 28 appearances across all competitions. This year, he’s already scored three times in 13 league appearances.
Hoilett is a young talent who can bring an edge to any attack on the wing and could feature nicely with Apostolos Vellios, providing a big target up front.
The Canadian international won’t come cheap due to his recognizable potential, but he would be welcomed at Goodison if David Moyes decides to place a lot of cash in Hoilett’s pocket.
He’ll have to beat out a reported Tottenham offer of £9 million, which could be too rich for Bill Kenwright’s blood.
Heading back to the midfield, why not splash the cash on Schalke 04’s Lewis Holtby?
David Moyes has already expressed interest in pursuing the German midfielder in the past, and he could do so again come January. If the deal gets done this time around, Holtby could add a positive attacking mentality to an Everton side often too concerned with its defensive responsibilities.
The 21-year-old midfielder has appeared in 15 Bundasliga fixtures for Die Königsblauen and has scored three goals. While he might not be comfortable leaving his native Germany for English shores this early in his career, he could gain valuable experience and exposure in the Premiership.
Holtby is one of the more realistic signings Evertonians could envision for their club come January, for Holtby isn’t that high-profile. Still, if he can translate his confident form for Schalke 04 into a high work rate for Everton, the supporters will eventually be won over.
That, and they’ll be pleased Moyes didn’t need to break the bank to get a talent like him.
Linked to big-money clubs like Juventus and Arsenal come the January transfer window, Chelsea’s Salomon Kalou might be too big of a fish for little Everton to snare, yet imagine the supporter’s delight if they could.
Kalou has been itching to leave Stamford Bridge for months now, having fallen almost entirely by the wayside in West London. Kalou has only taken the field three times in league play for Chelsea, scoring his only goal of the year as a substitute against Newcastle.
With a return to the starting XI seeming out of the question, Kalou will be on the move come January. Any team, including Everton, would be wise to remember his African Cup of Nations obligation in late January for Ivory Coast and should plan accordingly.
An accomplished winger, Kalou is only 26 years old with a lot of football ahead of him. He would certainly earn a starting nod for Everton, if only the Toffees could afford him.
Struggling to find a place in a star-studded United lineup, I know a team who would clear a starting spot for the 20-year-old in an instant if he would sign for less money.
That team? Everton.
Macheda is one of those young players a team can build with for the future, and Everton need some long-term youth up front. Louis Saha isn’t getting any younger, and Apostolos Vellios is could use fellow young strike partner, so why not try for Macheda?
The Italian would become a staple at Goodison for years to come, only getting better and better. How fitting would it be if Macheda develops into justifiable recompense for Wayne Rooney? Pure poetry.
Like almost every player on this list, Macheda cannot be had for bargain prices, but his interest in staying within England could provide negotiating room.
While they might not be able to afford him either, David Moyes would be well served to try for a long shot to please the fans come January.