Since David Moyes left in the summer of 2013, Everton have seen too many managers come and go. The reign of each different manager has seen lots of new players arrive at the club; all with varying degrees of success. Although it wasn’t easy to find 10 transfers good enough, I’ve managed to compile a top 10 list of Everton’s best transfers since the departure of David Moyes. Make sure to check out the Toffee TV YouTube channel for Everton content:https://youtu.be/M2Es7xHgGiY
As I’ve already said, there (sadly) wasn’t that many to choose from to make this list, but here it is anyway…
- Gerard Deulofeu
Deulofeu’s Everton career seems quite unfulfilled, with a disappointing end to what had been so promising. The Barcelona wonderkid joined on loan in 2013, with his pace and trickery contributing to Martinez’s side earning an impressive 5th place league finish. He joined Everton permanently in 2015 for just over £5m after a poor loan season with Sevilla. Despite some promising signs to begin with, Deulofeu’s progress was affected by the lack of managerial stability at the club (like many Everton players over the last few years). His first season back was Martinez’s final one before being sacked. The following season saw the Spaniard struggle to win over Ronald Koeman, before being sent on loan to AC Milan, and then sold back to Barcelona for around £10m.
Despite a too frequent lack of end product, Deulofeu did show flashes of brilliance during his time at Everton, as well as having his own chant, and he remains a fan-favourite to this day.
- Lucas Digne
The winner of last season’s ‘Everton Player Of The Season Award’, Lucas Digne was excellent in his first season after joining from Barcelona for £18m. Showing shades of the Pienaar and Baines connection, his link-up play with Bernard last season was Everton’s greatest weapon. Almost all of Everton’s play seemed to go through Digne. His passing, crossing, and composure in possession were all great contributors to Everton’s wide-play. This season however, absences of Bernard, as well as poor team performances under Marco Silva haven’t helped Digne individually.
Regardless of the disappointing season, I don’t doubt Digne’s quality, and I don’t think there’s many better left-backs than the Frenchman. More terrific campaigns like last season (rather than this season) will see him quickly move up this list.
- Mason Holgate
Until this season, Holgate had been a young squad player since joining in 2015 for just over £1m. Playing in around half of the league games in 2016/17 and 2017/18, Holgate did a job without really impressing enough. However, following a loan spell at West Brom, the Yorkshire-born defender has been excellent this season. He’d already proven his versatility (playing at both centre-back and full-back), but this season has even seen Holgate become Everton’s best midfielder in certain games.
After a slow start at Everton, he’s now one of the first names on team-sheet, and is certain to climb this list if he continues to improve at his current rate.
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Similarly to Holgate, it’s taken a while for Calvert-Lewin to really flourish at Everton. Joining in the summer of 2016 for just over £1m, he had a few years of developing, playing out of position (even right-wing-back) yet ultimately proving that he wasn’t quite good enough to be the club’s main striker. However, Calvert-Lewin has really pushed on since Duncan Ferguson took over as caretaker manager in December 2019, and since this moment, Everton’s current number 9 has proven to be one of the most prolific strikers in the league, scoring 13 goals in 22 league starts this season. Because of this form, he may have saved Everton from heavily investing in another striker.
Both Calvert-Lewin and Holgate would be even higher on this list, but need more longevity at the current level they’re operating at.
- Jordan Pickford
Because of his performances this season, it would be understandable to dispute Pickford’s place on this list. However, he’s one of just four post-Moyes signings to have been awarded the ‘Everton Player Of The Season’ award (for 2017-18). He’s just ahead of players like Holgate and Calvert-Lewin on this list because of that campaign, where he performed at a high level across a whole season. Despite a costly transfer fee of over £25m, Pickford’s debut season was excellent. He stood out as Everton’s best player before securing his place as England’s number one in time for the 2018 World Cup. However, this was followed by a fairly mediocre 2018/19 season for Everton’s goalkeeper, before this season, which has been littered with mistakes for the Englishman.
Clearly a talented goalkeeper, Pickford needs to eradicate the silly mistakes from his performances.
- James McCarthy
McCarthy joined from Martinez’s previous club, Wigan, in 2013 for around £15m. He was a key part of the Everton side that finished 5th in his first season, providing a tough-tackling tenacity in central-midfield, as well as quality on the ball. He went on to feature heavily in the following two seasons before injuries in the 16/17 and 17/18 slowed his progress. This, followed by a broken leg in early 2018 ultimately ended his Everton career.
Although he almost became a forgotten man at the club (even after returning from injury), it mustn’t be forgotten how superb he was in his prime.
Many rival fans laughed when Everton paid ‘£50m’ for Watford’s Brazilian forward. Almost two years on and Richarlison is Everton’s best player and probably worth treble the £35m transfer fee paid for him. He scored 13 league goals last season, and 10 so far this season, but has shown so much more than his goalscoring prowess. His technical brilliance is matched by his physicality, whilst being as good with his head as he is with his feet. Even when not having his best game, his hard-work epitomises what is demanded by Evertonians.
With Richarlison, Everton appear to have a real superstar, and at just 23, it’s likely he’ll continue to improve and impress those watching.
- Gareth Barry
After signing on loan for Everton in the summer of 2013, Barry formed a formidable midfield partnership with James McCarthy, helping Everton to finish 5th that season. Because of his performances, Barry was then signed for free after his Manchester City contract expired. Despite approaching his mid-30s, he was excellent for Everton for a further three seasons, providing experience, intelligence and composure on the ball. Barry was a regular in the side during all 4 seasons at Everton, and even won the ‘Everton Player Of The Season’ and ‘Everton Players’ Player Of The Season’ awards for the 2015-16 season, whilst also breaking the all-time Premier League appearances record whilst at Everton.
Because of how good he was, as well as being a free transfer, Barry certainly deserves a place in the top 3 of this list.
- Idrissa Gueye
Similarly to Barry, Gueye was unexpectedly brilliant for Everton. After spending just one season with a relegated Aston Villa side, the Senegalese midfielder signed for Everton in the summer of 2016 for just £7m. He was a key player in all three of his seasons at the club, with his mobility, tackling, and interceptions all being crucial for Everton defensively. Gueye even made the highest number of successful tackles and interceptions per match across Europe’s top 5 leagues over the 2016 calendar year. Furthermore, despite heavy interest from PSG in January 2019 (Gueye’s current club) he continued to produce excellent performances, and was awarded the ‘Everton Players’ Player Of The Season Award’ for last season along with Lucas Digne.
Given his quality, and the cheap price, Gueye was a superb signing for Everton, and his absence has been badly missed this season.
Quite simply Everton’s best player over the last decade, Lukaku was an expensive acquisition (smashing Everton’s transfer record) at around £30m, but was brilliant throughout his time at the club. Like with Barry, Lukaku arrived on loan for the 2013/14 season, before signing permanently and playing for a further three seasons. The young Belgian’s physicality along with his goalscoring capability was a devastating combination, scoring 68 league goals across four seasons. As well as league goals, the 2014-15 season saw ‘Big Rom’ become the Europa League’s joint highest goal-scorer for that season, (with 8 goals) which included a perfect hat-trick against BSC Young Boys.
After breaking numerous goalscoring records across his Everton career, Lukaku then scored 25 league goals in his final season, earning him a place in the ‘PFA Team Of The Year’ as well as being nominated for the ‘PFA Players’ Player Of The Year’ and ‘PFA Young Player Of The Year’ awards, leading to him making a monstrous £75m move to Manchester United before the following season.
Despite the money made from his sale, Everton have really struggled to replace his goals and attacking threat since his departure. It’s only recently that the emergence of Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin’s partnership has sufficiently filled the void of the brilliant Belgian. Nevertheless, I’d love to see Lukaku back at Everton one day.
What did you make of the rankings? Let us know what you thought. Has anyone been missed out?
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