Everton FC: Leighton Baines and 4 Players David Moyes Should Sell in January
With the January transfer deadline fast approaching, it’s time for Everton FC to begin considering the selling of players.
The infamously cash-strapped side has little hope of making a major acquisition, but by freeing up some space on the wage sheet, David Moyes will at least be able to consider improving the squad.
Week after week, Everton has been beaten by teams whose payrolls dwarf their own by tens of millions of dollars. As Manchester City is fast proving, money buys wins in the Premiership. Currently a point outside the relegation zone, the boys of Goodison Park could do with some wins.
Despite their loyal service to the People’s Club, here are four Toffees Moyes should part with come January.
The Russain midfielder’s touch has noticeably regressed since his heady days as a goal scorer during Everton’s 2009-2010 campaign. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has become an unaffordable liability to a Toffee side desperately needing creativity behind their few strikers.
After signing on with the club in 2009, Bilyaletdinov quickly became a super sub instead of the steady midfield influence Moyes hoped he would become. These last two years, the Russian international has struggled to get a game, and with the arrival of Dutchman Royston Drenthe, will probably continue to do so.
What troubles Bilyaletdinov is not just his poor decision-making or recent technique failure. It has a lot to do with his mentality. The man frequently looks like he’d rather be somewhere else and is despondent when he makes a mistake.
As Everton lies near the bottom of the table, they need players like Drenthe who will be positive and energetic even in the face of defeat.
Everton bought Bilyaletdinov for a sum between £8-10 million but will be lucky if they can get close to that much in January. At 26, the Russian still has plenty of football left in him, just somewhere else.
Known most recently for being tossed from the 2010 World Cup final after earning a second yellow, “Mad Dog” Johnny Heitinga should be another on David Moyes’ sell list.
While he has the international distinction of being a World Cup finalist, Heitinga has done little this season for his domestic club. A starting center-back for the Dutch, he cannot seem to get a game with Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka taking up the starting spots.
When he has received a starting nod, the results have been catastrophic.
Everton surely has depth with the Dutchman on board, but they need the money more than defensive flexibility at this time. If Moyes could parley money from Heitinga’s sale into more offensive weaponry, the side would be much better served.
A solid player in the international game, the Mad Dog’s time is up at Goodison Park, and he should ply his trade elsewhere come 2012.
The Belgian international has been an institution these past four years in Everton’s midfield, and had things been better financially, he would stay there for years to come. However, with the team in dire straits money-wise, David Moyes will have to sell some players fans would hate to see go.
Unfortunately, Marouane Fellaini happens to be one such player. He has yet to re-sign with the club after an initial five-year contract, indicating that Fellaini does not want to re-sign or the club lacks the money to offer him an adequate extension. In either case, if Moyes is eventually forced to move Fellaini, he should do so in January.
This is not to say the Fellaini’s play has merited eviction from the club. On the contrary, Fellaini has been a productive starter in midfield, already with two goals in 2011. It would be odd to see an Everton side lacking the curly red-ish afro, but that grim future is something Evertonians might soon witness.
It will be a sad day when Fellaini leaves the club, but with little cash to make him a reasonable offer, that day might fall in January.
It would be a huge loss to the side if Leighton Baines were to depart in January, but it is an eventuality Evertonians should prepare for.
Baines has been a stalwart defender for Everton since they purchased him from Wigan back in 2007. Even as he has resolutely prowled the wings, Baines has proven himself a goal-scoring threat, netting 11 in 171 appearances for the Toffees. His touch and distribution have ignited many an Everton counterattack, and his timely defending has saved many a goal.
Baines’ success at Goodison Park has not gone unnoticed by other top Premiership sides, as both Liverpool and Manchester City expressed interest in the 26-year-old last summer. Being an attacking defenseman is a rare and somewhat oxymoronic quality in world football, which means that Baines could continue to get offers. Could the Everton brass refuse a fee for him upwards of £10 million?
It isn’t the brightest football move, but it might be financially if the right offer comes in for Baines. Without question it would be a huge loss to the team, so hopefully it doesn’t come to this.