There are winners and there are losers on the barmiest day in the football calendar and once the paperwork was finally filed, Everton certainly fell into the former category.
You have to admire Roberto Martinez’ resolute stance over selling his star assets, which paid out handsome dividends for the Spaniard by the time he eventually turned in for his cocoa.
Despite losing Marouane Fellaini at the 11th hour, literally, the fact they managed to milk Manchester United for £27.5m – around £4.5m over the Belgian’s expired release clause – means there was only one winner there.
Add to this the fact Leighton Baines was also retained and the magnificence of Everton’s d-day dealings begins to be realised and Everton’s 4/1 price on a top-six finish grabs the attention too.
However, it doesn’t stop there. On top of ensuring Baines will still be marauding down the Goodison Park touchline for a while longer at least, Martinez’ other acquisitions, plus sale, were also admirable.
In effect he swapped Victor Anichebe for Romelu Lukaku, while also collecting £6m from West Brom for the Nigerian’s signature, which is good business whichever way you look at it.
Although Lukaku remains Chelsea property for now, the way he performed on loan at the Hawthorns last season shows he has immense quality, with goal-scoring stats that clearly trump that of Anichebe’s efforts; 17 from 38 appearances compared to 8/32.
As well as bolstering his forward line with Lukaku, Everton’s new manager also replaced Fellaini with two quality central midfielders.
Again, even though Gareth Barry is a loan deal, his Manchester City contract is now in its final year and he is a proven Premier League winner to bring to the dressing room.
Meanwhile, the highly talented James McCarthy also arrives from Martinez’ former club Wigan and will offer much more going forward for Everton with his eye for a pass.
The Republic of Ireland international also has great technique and at just 22-years-old has much to give in the coming seasons.
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