I suspect the transfer window is not a time of the year that Moyes particularly looks forward to. Traditionally Everton struggle to bring in their main targets and it normally sees a host of their star players being linked with moves away from Goodison. In the past we’ve seen Everton struggle to keep hold of their top stars such as Joleon Lescott, Steven Piennar or Wayne Rooney.
This season appears to be no different as the club recently had to reject a 10 million pound bid for Phil Jagielka. As well as this speculation is rife with regards to Everton’s bright young stars Leighton Baines and Jack Rodwell who are touted with moves away from Goodison Park. News of a potential move for Baines to Arsenal has intensified in recent weeks after the sale of Clichy to Man City. Rodwell too is constantly linked with Manchester United and Chelsea and it seems a matter of time before he’ll move on much to the disdain of the Goodison faithful and to Moyes who is attempting to nurture a young squad that can really threaten the top 4.
Last season typified Everton´s problems as Moyes was only able to bring in Jermaine Beckford from League 1 side Leeds United despite desperately needing to bolster his thread bare squad. This pre-season has shown the extent of the problems as Moyes looks certain to miss out on his main summer targets N´Zogbia to Villa and loan target Canales who is not keen on a switch to the Premierleague.
It seems unlikely that Moyes will manage to bring anyone of note in, something that has become a real issue with his Everton side. In the summer of 09 despite being forced to part with Joleon Lescott for 24 million pounds Moyes only managed to bring in Distin from Pompey, Heitinga and was forced to gamble on the unknown Russian quantity Bilyaletdinov after missing out on his main transfer targets, its the same old story for Everton. Fans questioned the signing of Fellaini for 15 million pounds but in reality it was made out of the need to strengthen the squad in the wake of missing out on key targets to other sides who had bigger budgets.
Even after a fourth place finished he still lacked the budget to attract players like Scott Parker who opted for Newcastle who had a far bigger budget and wage bill than Everton. Everton have little to attract players their rich history is often over looked by mediocre resources, facilities and wage offers.
Such frustration in the transfer market has become synonymous with Everton whilst Moyes has been in charge which begs the questions if its him who is failing? His big money signings of note have been largely ineffective such as injury prone Andrew Johnson, Fellaini and flops like Andy Van Der Meyde. However it is when he has been on a limited budget that Moyes has really shined bringing in Arteta, Jagielka, Neville, Cahil, Baines and Lescott to name but a few for paltry sums. All of whom have gone on to be established Premierleage stars with real quality.
The problem Everton has is as Bill Kenwright once said he is a millionaire not a billionaire and it takes a billionaire to run a football club in the modern age. Everton are a side with an incredibly small budget which means that when a big team comes in for a bid for the likes of Baines or Rodwell the club will seriously have to consider it rather than build a squad around them.
With Moyes at the helm success will never be too far away for Everton, as he has seen stars come and go, Lescott and Rooney to name but a few and brought in suitable replacements such as Distin and Louis Saha for modest sums. It is not Baines, Rodwell or Jagielka Everton need to worry about, its losing David Moyes who is by a long way the clubs prized asset.
Moyes has consistently got the best out of players, in the early years these being the much maligned Duncan Ferguson and also Unsworth and Graverson as well as bringing in fresh new talent such as Joseph Yobo and Chinese star Li Tie. Such shrewd signings and man management not only meant Everton avoided the real threat of relegation to the Football League but also a 7th place finish in only his second season in charge which led him to win the LMA Manager Of The Year Award.
One other area in which Moyes has really shown his class is through his ability to bring young players through the ranks at Everton. Jack Rodwell being the latest star to come through and attract attention from Chelsea and Manchester United. Dan Gosling before his controversial move to Newcastle also looked to be a fine young player as well as the acquisition of Seamus Coleman who was nominated for PFA Young Player Of The Year last season. Despite a limited budget the ability to bring through young stars and blend them with the current crop of players has allowed Moyes to cement Everton as a Premierleague main stay finishing in the top 8 6 times in his 10 year sting at the club. Further to this he successfully guided the side to the FA Cup final in the 08/09 season where they were beaten in a close tie by a resurgent Chelsea under Hiddink
The fact of the matter is, if and when Baines and Rodwell move on it will not be the end of the World for Everton they have seen players come and go in the past such as Rooney and Lescott, what will be the end of the road is if Moyes moves on to a club with more ambition than Everton who frankly cannot match Moyes’ desire to win trophies. It doesn’t appear that Moyes will leave any time soon having ignored reported interest from Villa, however there is a feeling amongst commentators and pundits that Moyes may have taken this side as far as possible with no buy-out on the horizon.
Having built such a stable team over the years at Everton he has by many been linked as a possible successor to Sir Alex Ferguson who reportedly will have a big say in who suceeds him and is a keen admirer of his fellow Scotts approach to management despite his lack of apparent success, it will be interesting to see what Moyes can do if he has significant funds at his disposal. If he leaves Everton fans should fear the worst, Charlton for example appeared to be a Premierleague mainstay before Curbishley moved on which led to the club dropping down the leagues. If Moyes leaves Everton´s top players will probably jump ship as their loyalty is based as much on Moyes as on the club. As for Everton another mid-table finish seems likely as they often start slowly and pick up towards the end of the season, if they do manage a rare good start to the season