Window Shopping: Everton came into the January transfer window needing to add a striker and hoping to add additional punch in the midfield. A thin side by financial nature, the Toffees were also open to adding players in other positions to help the club reach its Top 4 aspirations.
Ivorian striker Lacina Traore was brought in on loan from Monaco after his transfer from Anzhi while pacey winger Aiden McGeady was signed from Spartak Moscow. The Toffees also added a fourth goalkeeper to their ranks in highly-rated Czech youth international, Yindrick Stanic.
Players In: Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow, £2.5m), Yindrick Stanic (Sparta Prague, £200,000), Lacina Traoré (Monaco, Loan).
Players Out: Tyias Browning (Wigan, Loan), Shane Duffy (Yeovil, Loan), Hallam Hope (Northampton, Loan), Matthew Kennedy (Tranmere, Loan), Chris Long (MK Dons, Loan), Matthew Pennington (Tranmere, Loan), Nikica Jelavic (Hull, £5.25m + £1m), John Heitinga (Fulham, Loan).
Everton manager Roberto Martinez checked all the boxes for his side’s needs but many fans felt let down at his failure to purchase a striker. Bringing in the 6′ 8″ Traore on a loan seems a good bit of business but with the sale of Nikica Jelavic to Hull City, the Toffees now boast two true strikers, both of whom are on loan.
The issue won’t be a problem this year but in terms of building for the future feels a bit short-sighted. Had Everton purchased a young striker he could have worked with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, giving him an invaluable experience entering the 2014/15 season. Instead, the Toffees will head into this summer with Arouna Kone, who’s coming off a major knee injury, the seldom-used Apostolos Vellios, and Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas, who can play the role despite not being true strikers.
The addition of McGeady was a welcome one and at £2.5m was good deal financially. The speedy Irishman will patrol the right wing, allowing Mirallas to take up more central roles. McGeady is now the fourth Republic of Ireland midfielder on the Toffees roster and early indications are that he loves the club and fits in well, although his on-field performances haven’t overwhelmed.
The loss of Bryan Oviedo to injury is a tough one for Everton after the Costa Rican made an impact at left-back and left midfield in the first half of the season. The failure to replace him and Johnny Heitinga with another defender could look an oversight although the rise of young John Stones should provide sufficient cover.