Everton boss Roberto Martinez has signed three players in as many days, all players that played under the Spaniard at Wigan.
Arouna Kone arrived for a fee in the region of £5million, centre-back Antolin Alcaraz arrived on a free transfer, while goalkeeper Joel Robles arrived from Atletico Madrid for an undisclosed fee.
The signings seem to have made a minority of Everton fans slightly disgruntled. The cause of this disgruntlement is the fact Martinez is bringing in players that played for a Wigan side that were relegated from the Premier League last season.
This may be concerning at first glance, but when you consider that these three players were not responsible for the Latics demise the signings make more sense. Alcaraz was out injured for much of the season, but the Latics kept six clean sheets in his 14 appearances last season.
Kone scored 11 Premier League goals in a struggling top-flight team. Everton’s Nikica Jelavic only scored seven Premier League goals and he was playing in a team that finished in the top six. Kone will definitely add something to the Toffees attack.
Joel is probably the signing that Everton fans feel the most positive about. The 23-year-old spent the second half of last season on-loan at the DW Stadium and kept a clean sheet in the FA Cup final against Manchester City, playing behind Alcaraz.
The youngster is regarded as a very promising keeper. Joel has represented Spain at every age group apart from the senior team. He was also part of Spain’s under-21 team that took part in this summer’s European Championships.
Some Evertonian’s have pointed to the fact that these signings show that the club lack ambition. What do they expect though? Do they expect Everton to be trying to sign Neymar or Thiago Silva? The Blues do not have major financial resources available to them to sign truly top-class players.
I am sure if there were major funds to spend then boss Roberto Martinez would be shopping in Harrods instead of Aldi. However, sometimes you can pick up some good bargains in Aldi, it may not be quite the same quality as Harrods, but it will keep you alive.
That is what Martinez is trying to do breathe new life into the squad and keep alive those hopes of European qualification next season. Everton simply do not have the money to buy the crème de la crème of European football.
People have said many things about Everton boss Roberto Martinez, but the Spaniard is regarded as one of the more intelligent football managers. He is forward thinking in his approach. Wigan were relegated because they did not have the player resources to compete.
Everton have a far better team than Wigan, especially now that Kone has left the Latics. Martinez should be able to implement his style of play more easily with the Everton players, as they are simply better than the Wigan players are.
One of the major gripes with the Spaniard at Wigan was his team conceded a lot of goals. Martinez will not have that problem at Everton. In Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin, and Seamus Coleman Everton have one of the most solid backlines in the Premier League.
Last season Everton had the fourth best defence in the English top-flight and conceded fewer goals than champions Manchester United. Martinez’s arrival is not going to turn those fine defenders into poor ones.
Maybe I am being slightly hopeful with the thought that Martinez can combine his passing style of play and Everton’s fine defence to come up with a winning combination. In David Moyes’ last season in charge of Everton, he attempted to play more football and it paid off at times, a good example being the Toffees out passing Swansea at the Liberty Stadium and beating the Welsh side 3-0.
Therefore, Martinez will not be bringing in an alien concept at Everton. There is a stereotype that the Blues are just a team that work hard, but there are also some very good footballers in the squad as well as grafters.
Judging the new players on their individual abilities, I believe that they will be very decent acquisitions to the Everton squad. Alcaraz and Joel may prove to be back-ups in their particular roles, but I am sure they will do a decent job when called upon.
Kone will add something different to what Everton already have up front. The Ivorian will inject a bit of pace into an attack that Kevin Mirallas aside lacks pace completely. Victor Anichebe offers sheer power and physicality and Nikica Jelavic on his day offers movement off the ball.
I doubt that Roberto Martinez has finished strengthening the Everton squad, especially if players leave this summer. I am sure that more players will join the Blues this summer and Everton will have a stronger SQUAD than last season.
Everton lacked a squad last season and it put pay to the Toffees hopes of Champions League football. Now is the time for all Evertonian’s to get behind the new manager and support the team, not to moan about the new players. Who knows Martinez may prove a success and his signings could be a part of that.
Will the former-Wigan trio have successful careers at Everton?