Five winter window signings to improve Everton after Koeman outburst
Jamie Clark | 11 January 2017
Five winter window signings for Everton
Ronald Koeman is an ambitious coach and seeking winter window signings for Everton.
The Dutch manager is looking to add to the Toffees’ ranks this January, despite the £11m capture of England youth winger Ademola Lookman from Charlton Athletic.
“I know what is needed to change,” a furious Koeman told reporters following Everton’s FA Cup third round loss to Leicester City.
“If everybody opened his eyes maybe we will get further in our improvement, because that is what this team needs.
“I hope everybody realises what the team needs to get results that are the expectation of this football club.”
Koeman’s charges sit seventh in the Premier League after 20 games on 30 points – a dozen off fourth place and Coral go 10/1 they finish in the top six.
He is understood to have targets in mind to improvement the squad at Goodison Park and spoken to the Toffees board about them.
Koeman is thought to be keen on Bournemouth loanee Jack Wilshere, but as the Rumour Reel recently pointed out any deal can only be done with Arsenal at the end of the season.
With that in mind, Coral football experts assess five winter window signings for Everton that could improve their roster…
Virgil van Dijk
Since keeping three successive clean sheets at the end of August and start of September, the Toffees have only sealed as many shut-outs in 18 subsequent outings across all competitions.
Koeman’s Everton predecessor, Roberto Martinez, also struggled to replicate the defensive solidity seen on the blue half of Merseyside during the David Moyes era.
The summer signing of Wales skipper Ashley Williams from Swansea City was supposed to shore things up at the back, but things haven’t panned out that way.
Could the Toffees board make a serious statement of intent by spending big in a raid on Koeman’s former club for in-demand Netherlands international defender Van Dijk? Odds of 20/1 say Everton will be his next club.
That pre-existing relationship between Koeman and the 25-year-old Saints star could prove decisive in any deal, though the south coast club always get Premier League big boys to pay a premium for their talents.
Read all about destinations for Van Dijk in more detail, as the Toffees aren’t the only team interested in his services.
Sticking with the Southampton connection, St Mary’s skipper Fonte submitted a transfer request earlier in January.
A Euro 2016 winner with Portugal this past summer, the 33-year-old is looking to leave the Saints, so could he represent a cheaper alternative to Everton than Van Dijk?
Koeman has obviously worked with Fonte on the south coast too and the player wants a move, so why not bring in this late bloomer?
The only downside would be how much longevity is there in signing Fonte? Fellow 30-somethings Williams, Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines are already among defensive options open to Koeman, so younger legs might be preferable.
An alternative defensive target for the Toffees could be Manchester United centre back Smalling.
The 27-year-old missed much of the autumn with a foot injury, but is one of three Red Devils players linked to Everton in the winter window.
With Eric Bailly on international duty with the Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, however, Jose Mourinho may not be inclined to sell Smalling.
Many Man Utd names have gone on to have decent careers at Goodison during the Premier League era, including Tim Howard, Phil Neville and Louis Saha.
Could the Toffees and Koeman have greater joy in luring one of these next two Red Devils to Merseyside?
Like Van Dijk, France anchorman Schneiderlin played under Koeman at Southampton and Everton are pursuing a deal with Man Utd.
Mourinho insists an acceptable bid is yet to be tabled by the Toffees, but negotiations continue and it may only be a matter of time before 27-year-old Schneiderlin is pictured in a blue shirt.
Idrissa Gana Gueye is away at the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal and James McCarthy has struggled with injuries this season, so another holding player remains a top target.
Koeman is still relying on seasoned veteran Gareth Barry, who signed a new deal before Christmas, yet he will need replacing eventually.
When it comes to winter window signings for Everton, Schneiderlin looks the most likely to make the switch to Goodison.
Netherlands winger Memphis is another Man Utd man linked to the Toffees, either on loan for the rest of the season or in a permanent transfer.
It may have been a case of too much, too soon for the Dutch attacker following his move to the Red Devil from PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2015.
The 22-year-old is a definite talent, having won the Eredivisie Golden Boot, but he’s scored just two Premier League goals in 18 months for Man Utd.
Whether it’s a temporary switch or an Old Trafford exit, Memphis needs regular first-team football to find his stride again and Koeman could offer that to him.
Mourinho has frozen both Memphis and Schneiderlin out at their current club until their futures are resolved.