Gana Gueye, Bolasie and Williams raised expectation levels that weren’t realised and even the January addition of Schneiderlin wasn’t enough to see Everton threaten the top four places.
Much has been said about the need to make ‘signing statements’, ‘splash the cash’ and ‘nett spend’ etc and there’s been much discussion, conjecture and even argument here on Grand Old Team, and no doubt everywhere else.
The last week though has seen something of a return to days of the John Moores Mersey Millionaires.
Back then, we joked that if you played well against Everton, we bought you.
Well in the space of less than a week, Everton have made statement signings and splashed the cash acquiring arguably the best young goalie in England in Jordan Pickford and an established Dutch international and until Thursday captain of Ajax, Davy Klaassen.
Sandro Ramirez, ex of Barcelona and currently a Malaga winger, flew in for talks and flew out again… with the Everton medical not too far behind, we are not to be denied.
M’Baye Niang of AC Milan and a loanee at Watford least season is, allegedly, still on the radar and the rumours of Michael Keane (Burnley)and Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea) get stronger and stronger by the hour.
And we stress, the window hasn’t officially opened yet!
Let’s assume for a moment that Ramirez, Keane and Sigurdsson sign on – will that be the end of the summer shopping, I very much doubt it.
Now to Ross Barkley, our home-grown diamond in the rough.
What exactly is going on, nobody outside of the very inner sanctum of the club knows for sure.
At times last season, Ross looked superb.
At other times, he looked lost and bewildered.
Does Koeman really see Barkley as a key, integral part of the Everton under his charge for (at least) the next two seasons… and does Ross see himself as a squad player for Koeman?
He’s signing midfielders in Klaassen and possibly Sigurdsson and they’ll supplement Gana Gueye, Schneiderlin, Tom Davies, Kevin Mirallas and even Gareth Barry… and we haven’t mentioned any of the players champing at the bit from David Unsworths’ title winning squad.
Does Ross feel threatened by the influx of players in his part of the field and therefore his future will be best served elsewhere ?
Will both Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku look at these early, early signings and think to themselves, “Hey, this looks exciting. I want to be a part of this”.
On top of the signings already made and strongly rumoured, if Ross re-signed and Rom committed to stay, that would make for the genuine statements of intent from Everton that the fans have been pleading for.