Everton look set to complete the loan signing of Monaco striker Lacina Traore, after the Toffees were granted a work permit for the Ivory Coast international.
Traore has already had a medical with the Merseysider’s and is now close to sealing the move.
Should the formalities be completed of the deal, Traore will become Everton’s fourth loan signing of the season, with Gareth Barry, Romelu Lukaku and Gerard Deulofeu all temporary members of the Blues squad.
Everton are doing really well this season in Roberto Martinez’s first season in charge at Goodison Park and those loan players have played a big part in the Toffees still being in the race for the Champions League spots.
Lukaku and Barry in particular have proved to be vital players for the Merseysider’s this season. Young Barcelona loanee Deulofeu has impressed in bursts and had just hit form when he picked up a hamstring injury which has kept him out for a month.
Everton performances this season have led to complaints by opposition fans that Everton are only were they are because of the loan players, which is ridiculous really. Every team in the Premier League could do what Everton have done this season. They have not broken any rules.
Everton do not have a wealthy billionaire backer and need to find other ways to get results than spending big. Everton boss Roberto Martinez has just been very shrewd with the players he has brought into the club. Any club could have brought in Lukaku, Barry or Deulofeu, but it was Martinez that took the plunge.
The Spaniard has been rewarded for his decisions by his team being in the thick of the race for those top four spots. If anything Martinez should be applauded for his clever management.
Everton fans could argue that the Toffees two best players this season, Seamus Coleman and Ross Barkley actually belong to them. This season has been Barkley’s real breakthrough season with Everton.
His potential has been there for a while, but former-boss David Moyes was just unwilling to take the gamble of allowing the youngster time in the first team. Barkley is now regarded as one of the best young players in the Premier League, as he has produced some outstanding displays this season.
Seamus Coleman has been absolutely outstanding this season. Not only has the Republic of Ireland international been part of the second best defence in the Premier League, he has also contributed five goals and one assist this season.
The 24-year-old has come on leaps and bounds under Martinez and his licence to attack has seen him prove a major threat to opposition defences.
Unfortunately for the Toffees both Barkley and Coleman are major doubts for next week’s crunch derby with Liverpool at Anfield. The Reds are just one point above the Blues and the result could have a big bearing on who will claim the fourth Champions League spot, with Tottenham also in the race.
Midfield schemer Gareth Barry looks set to sign a permanent deal at Goodison in the summer, as his contract with Manchester City expires. The 32-year-old has stated on a few occasions that he would like to stay on Merseyside when his loan expires.
Barry has formed a good partnership with another summer arrival James McCarthy in the centre of the Everton midfield and is a crucial player in how Martinez likes his team to play.
Young Barca attacker Gerard Deulofeu could stay for a second season on-loan, if the Catalan giants do not require him for next season. The youngster is a maverick, but he does have a touch of magic in those boots.
It is less likely that Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku will be staying with Everton next season, although the Belgian striker has gone off the boil in recent weeks. The 20-year-old has not just scored goals, but has proved a good focal point for Everton’s attack.
The youngster has also hinted that he would be happy to stay at Everton for another year, if the Toffees manage to claim one of those Champions League spots. However, Chelsea could probably cash-in on the youngster in the summer and Everton do not look like they are a good enough financial position to sign him.
Roberto Martinez has made an encouraging start to his career as Everton boss. Even without the loan stars the Toffees have a nucleus of a very good squad for next season. If they can keep hold of the likes of Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman the future looks bright for the Toffees, with or without the loan players.
What is more important in the next few months is attempting to secure that fourth spot. It will be a tough ask with away trips to rivals Liverpool and Tottenham in the next three games.
However, the Toffees have surprised many people this season. Whose knows Martinez and Everton could just finish in that fourth spot come May.
Should Everton fans be worried about the club having too many loan players?