Everton could be without Idrissa Gueye for six matches due to Africa Cup of Nations
Midfield dynamo leaves for international duty following Southampton game
By Phil Kirkbride
1 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton are bracing themselves to be without Idrissa Gueye for as many as six matches.
The midfield dynamo will join up with the Senegal squad for the Africa Cup of Nations following Monday's game with Southampton. Senegal are one of the favourites to win the competition in Gabon and a run all the way to the final would deprive Everton of their summer signing until early February.
Gueye's country kick-off their Cup of Nations campaign by facing Tunisia in their Group B opener on January 15 (7pm).
Senegal then face Zimbabwe on January 19th (7pm) before their final group game against Algeria on January 23 (7pm).
The group stages rule Gueye out of Everton games with Leicester City in the FA Cup and league matches with Manchester City and Crystal Palace.
But Senegal will fancy their chance of progressing to the quarter-finals on January 28.
The Cup of Nations semi-finals take place on February 1 - the same day the Blues face Stoke City - while the competition's third place play-off is scheduled for February 4, when Everton welcome Bournemouth to Goodison. The Africa Cup of Nations final takes place on February 5 and should Senegal make it that far then Gueye would be a doubt to face Middlesbrough on February 11.
Ronald Koeman's New Year revolutions - what the Blues boss should be cracking on with
Ian Doyle takes a look at what Everton and their manager might consider at the start of 2017
By Ian Doyle
1 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
The older you get, the more you realise making New Year resolutions is pointless.
Come 5pm on January 2, you're already beginning to ponder whether you attain the prerequisite willpower.
(Spoiler: you probably don't.)
So instead we bring you our New Year revolutions for Everton .
These, then, are the things Ronald Koeman should really consider cracking on with.
Get buying in January Koeman has had half a season to discover what most Everton supporters have known for some time. This squad isn't good enough. It's unbalanced, too old and sorely lacking in certain positions. Koeman needed to see this for himself and, in retrospect, things were always going to get worse before they improved. We've now reached that juncture. While January is a notoriously difficult window in which to do business, Everton cannot afford to waste a month-long opportunity to test Koeman's pulling power, the judgement of Steve Walsh and the financial clout of Farhad Moshiri.Come February 1, we'll know a lot more about the potential might of that triumvirate.
Romelu Lukaku isn't the finished article. He can frustrate. He can drift out of games. He can, at times, not appear particularly bothered.
But when it comes to scoring goals, the Belgian has few peers in the Premier League.
Romelu Lukaku has lacked support at times this season
Handing Lukaku a new contract is one thing. However, giving him greater on-field support – whether that's from midfield, out wide or by regularly employing a second striker – should now be a priority.
Make the most of Rom, and Everton can still make the most of this season.
Keep bringing on the youngsters
After defeat at former club Southampton in November, Koeman bristled at suggestions he didn't utilise the Academy enough during his time on the South Coast. And as Everton struggled to find a win throughout autumn, the reluctance of the Blues boss to turn to the club's successful youth set-up proved somewhat perplexing. Mason Holgate started a few games at the beginning of the season and earned rave notices from the manager, but then disappeared from view.
Now, though, matters have shifted.
Holgate, Tom Davies and summer signing Dominic Calvert-Lewin have all seen more regular game time in recent weeks, while Jonjoe Kenny made the bench for the derby.
Never mind being players for the future.
These are also the players for the now, making up in energy and enthusiasm what they lack in experience.
Decide on Ross
Few players have been debated during Koeman's early months in charge as much as Ross Barkley.
To the extent, in fact, that the Blues boss was clearly becoming a bit fed up fielding questions on the matter. The key now is to determine a position for Barkley – and for Barkley to embrace that role.
The midfielder is at the crossroads.
It's time to decide in which direction his career should be heading.
Wake the players up before kick-off
In the big book of football clichés, the importance of scoring the opening goal is almost as prominent as the virtues of giving 110%.
However, a recurring aspect of Everton's season has been their inability to start games on the front foot.
That failing could be seen at Hull City on Friday, when the Blues were caught cold and ultimately spent much of the game scrapping to earn a draw against the relegation strugglers.
Koeman values control. The best way to grasp that is by striking first.
Work on set-pieces
It was thought Roberto Martinez's insistence on Barcelona-lite was behind Everton's reluctance to utilise the dead ball during his tenure. Turns out it might very well be because the Blues just aren't very good at them. With players such as Leighton Baines and Kevin Mirallas standing over the ball, there's simply no excuse for the continued frustration of persistently hitting the first man or accurately finding that pocket of space precisely nobody is occupying.
Steven Gerrard - Everton fans are ruining Ross Barkley's confidence
The former Liverpool captain also thinks Ronald Koeman should stop criticising Barkley in public
By Greg O'Keeffe
1 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Steven Gerrard has accused Everton supporters of destroying Ross Barkley's confidence.
The former Liverpool captain was discussing the Blues 23-year-old midfielder during a segment on BT Sport yesterday. Gerrard also claimed that Ronald Koeman has exacerbated Barkley's recent consistency problems by criticising him in public. He said: "I'm a big fan of Ross, but what I will say is he has been inconsistent and the Everton fans use him as an easy target. "I think he's been harshly criticised by Ronald Koeman in the media and that won't be helping him. "I look at him and he's their bright spark for the future because he's young and people talk about building a team around him."
He added: "He's 23 and still has 10 quality years ahead of him. But he needs them fans behind him and he needs his manager behind him. They need to be putting confidence into him, not taking it away from him. "It's hard playing for your local team when the fans are pointing fingers. "He will look up to Ronald Koeman like he's a hero and he's killing him in the media, bringing him down and down. The fans and Ronald Koeman are not helping Ross Barkley."
Ross Barkley with Steven Gerrard after an England match in 2014
Gerrard, who retired from playing in November after a spell at LA Galaxy, believes Koeman should use the transfer market to bring in some quality signings to support Barkley, rather than replace him.
"I think what Everton need to do is they need to spend money," he said. "They got £47m for John Stones and they need two or three signings, expensive signings, who can give Ross a hand.
"They need to go into the transfer market and get four or five top quality players, players with legs who can run, who have quality. That's what Everton need. "They don't need to be blaming Ross Barkley. That's not going to help." Gerrard thinks Barkley is suffering from unfair expectations after lofty comparisons with footballing greats early in his career.
He said: "Who has been consistent for Everton? So why is Ross Barkley getting criticised?
"It's expectation. He has been built up as the new Paul Gascoigne but because he has been inconsistent of late people are pointing fingers. Fair enough, but the kid needs help as well."
Gerrard also thinks Everton would regret selling him, should they ever consider cutting their losses with the former Academy star. He said: "If he was to go to a Tottenham or a Chelsea he would fly and all the Everton fans would say why did we sell him? "I think from a selfish point of view maybe for him a move would be the best thing for him." Steve McManaman, who was also on BT's panel, agreed with his former Anfield teammate.
"The team has been up and down with a lot of up and down performances. So it's hard to be the star man and play really well when the team is up and down. I agree with Steven," he said.
"He is inconsistent."
"There have been times when he has been excellent, driving forward and creating and there have been times like Sunderland away when he got dragged off at half-time because he gave the ball away a lot.
"He is inconsistent, but you can't just berate people all the time. He is an easy target."
McManaman added that Blues majority investor Farhad Moshiri has to prove he is really determined to finance the club with a January spree. "Their overall net spend, considering the new owner has come in and was supposed to be investing so much money that it was incredible, well we haven't seen it yet," he said. "Maybe it will come and hopefully it will come to help the likes of Ross. "Who have their bright sparks been? Everton's best player arguably has been Idrissa Gueye who is a defensive midfielder, Romelu Lukaku has had his critics when he went through a real awful spell, so it's hard to lead the team on your shoulders, especially when you're 23! "It's very difficult."
This is why Everton target Ademola Lookman was left out of the Charlton squad
Everton are in the final stages of a £10m move for exciting forward Lookman
By Greg O'Keeffe
1 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton target Ademola Lookman was left out of the Charlton Athletic squad yesterday to protect his "dream" according to manager Karl Robinson. The League One club travelled to Southend United yesterday, where they drew 1-1, but Lookman, 19, was left out, with his Goodison switch on the brink of completion. And his Liverpool-born manager explained that the teenager's omisison was due to a combination of trying to protect him, and mild illness. "He could have left in the summer and he chose to stay," he said. "I had the same thing with Dele Alli. He turned down a few moves in one window and it got to Christmas and the kid was so scared of tackles. "He became a marked man, I saw players purposely try to kick him. "I've moaned since day one about him needed protection. I can't watch a kid's dream go. "The fans have stuck by in thick and thin and we have to stick by the kid through this as well. He's an outstanding talent for the country. He did have a bit of a cold today. I felt it was right to not involve him in the squad." Robinson praised the desire shown by Lookman during his time at the Valley.
He said: "The kid's desire for this club since he's walked in has been outstanding.
"What it does do is that Karlan Ahearne-Grant and Josh Umerah get into the squad. These are players who are going to be with us for a number of years. I can't reflect on the ifs and buts."
Memphis Depay hoping for a "more positive 2017" as Everton interest remains strong
The Everton target has released a video of himself taking a New Year swim
By Greg O'Keeffe
1 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton January target Memphis Depay says he is hoping for "a more positive 2017" in a short video released on social media. The 22-year-old poked fun at himself for wearing a hat, a style choice that has led to occasionally puzzled headlines back in his native Holland. And then goes for a dip in what appears to be his own private swimming pool. "Is he wearing that hat again?" he says in Dutch. "Yes he's wearing that hat. It's the first of January and I'll also be taking a New Year's dive. "Because after all - I'm a Dutchman. But I will be doing it my way. "I wish you all a happy new year and I'm hoping for a more positive 2017 , a year where we build eachother up instead of breaking eachother down.
As the ECHO reported last month, Everton boss Ronald Koeman wants to sign Depay - and fellow Manchester United outcast Morgan Schneiderlin in a joint £40m deal.
The Blues are in pole position in terms of Premier League suitors, although Serie A title contenders Roma's interest is also persistent. Yesterday United manager Jose Mourinho reiterated that he is willing to let Depay leave Old Trafford in January. I have to say that in the past couple of months my decisions in relation to Memphis were influenced by the feelings and information that he would like to leave in January and that we were going to have a real offer that we would be willing to accept," said Mourinho.
"That obviously influences me. If I know, if I have the feeling that a player is leaving - if I have to give chances and develop other players - then I go to Lingard, Mkhitaryan, Martial, the players I know 100 per cent who are going to stay with us.
"It is a position where we have more options."
He added: "He was not playing last season. It was not that last season he was playing phenomenally and this season he is not playing at all. That's not the situation. "He's a very good professional, is the only thing I can say. I know the public image is always influenced by some details of their private lives but the reality is that he is a very good professional, a very good boy.
"He has a high level of education, super polite, super professional, and works really hard.
"But it's a position where I have Martial, Mkhitaryan, Mata, Lingard, plus Rooney and Rashford who can also play in this position. "So we have six, seven players. When I have the feeling and information that the player probably has a big chance to leave then I have to care more about the others. "But if you arrive in January and nothing happens - and we have lots of matches - then if he is going to be my player until the end of the season I will help him and he will be useful for us."
Everton will face a tired Southampton as Claude Puel ponders rotating his squad
Everton host Southampton at Goodison Park on Monday
By Greg O'Keeffe
1 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Southampton manager Claude Puel admits he faces a challenge in energising his tired side as they head to Goodison Park tomorrow. Ronald Koeman takes on his old club at 3pm on Monday, with the Saints looking to recover from back-to-back home defeats, against Tottenham and West Brom.
Everton have taken four points from their last two fixtures, beating Leicester and drawing with Hull City last Friday, but should be fresher than Puel's outfit - who will have played three games in six days after tomorrow. "It's not the same for the opponents," said Frenchman Puel. "For example, West Bromwich had five days between their two games, and for us it's just three days. Then we play another game against Everton just two days afterwards. "We are the only team playing three games in six days. I think it's not normal, but it's important to keep the good attitude and now to correct this for the next game.
"I think other players, fresh players can work for the game against Everton, and together we've got to correct this and give a good reaction." Virgil van Dijk is banned
Puel will definitely have to replace Virgil van Dijk in his line-up at Everton, after he received a one-game ban in his sending off during the closing stages of the 2-1 defeat to West Brom. "Virgil is very important for us, of course," he said. "It's a bad scenario. It's the same scenario as the last game, against Tottenham, with the red card for Nathan Redmond, and now it's Virgil, but it's important in this difficult period to keep our calm and the good concentration. "It's very important for the next game and the other games. It's important to keep a clear idea and a good spirit and to give a good reaction."
Everton boss Koeman pondering Tom Cleverley January exit
Everton midfielder Cleverley could join Newcastle United on loan
By Greg O'Keeffe
1 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman is pondering whether to let Tom Cleverley join Newcastle United on loan in January.
The Everton boss could well sanction the move, with teenager Tom Davies' emergence further limiting the former Manchester United midfielder's hopes of regular game time.
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has already contacted his Goodison counterpart over the proposed temporary switch, as he looks to boost his side's hopes of promotion back to the Premier League.
Cleverley, 27, has made just five starts for the Toffees this term, and only 12 appearances overall without scoring.
He was an unused substitute against Hull City on Friday, when Koeman opted to use 18-year-old Davies as a 66th minute replacement instead. The Blues boss is believed to be in no rush to make a decision, with his own squad straightening a priority - as he eyes moves for fresh midfield talent such as Morgan Schneiderlin and Thomas Delaney. But he is not averse to the idea of allowing Cleverley to go and play more regular football in the Championship. The Newcastle Evening Chronicle's chief sports writer Lee Ryder has reported that Benitez values Cleverley's versatility, and will also lose Christian Atsu - another ex Blue - to African Cup of Nations duty this month.
Koeman orders Everton to atone for Southampon stinker
Everton boss Koeman warned Southampton the Blues are a better side
By Greg O'Keeffe
1 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman has ordered his improving Everton side to atone for "one of the worst performances of the season" by beating Southampton. The Blues conceded after just 41 seconds and lost 1-0 to the Saints at St Mary's back in November. But Koeman, who swapped the South Coast for Merseyside in the summer, has warned his former club they will face a more resilient and determined opponent at Goodison tomorrow (3pm KO). "We know it's a good team but away against Southampton was one of the worst performances of the team of this season," Koeman said.
"The team is different now.
"I think we showed, after a real disappointment against Watford, in how we played against Arsenal, how we played against Liverpool and in two away games since, that we can take a lot of positives from recent performances." Koeman admitted he is likely to make changes to the side which drew 2-2 at Hull City, due largely to the rigours of the Christmas and New Year fixture list. "It's really nice but first we need to recover," said the Blues boss on facing his former club. "We know it's a tough game, a special one and let's hope we see a good performance and three points. "It's a really tough period of games for everybody but we know you can't play three games in seven or eight days with 11 players - you need to do some changes in the team. "It's all about the freshness of the players. The boys showed really good spirit against Hull and we will see now what is the best team to start against Southampton."
Everton defender Seamus Coleman is perfect captain material
Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill says Coleman is transformed when he takes to the pitch
By Greg O'Keeffe
1 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Seamus Coleman has been dubbed perfect captain material - by the man who gave him the armband for his country. Everton's right-back is frequently named by fans as a potential candidate to succeed club skipper Phil Jagielka in the future. And Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill said he certainly doesn't regret making Coleman his leader on the international stage. O'Neil says the 28-year-old's polite and quiet demeanour off the pitch is transformed when he crosses the white line. "If Seamus walked into this room here he would be very polite," O'Neill said. "He would be well mannered and you would think he was actually quite quiet. On the field he is totally different. "I saw these things anyway even before he became captain. So it was no big leap of faith from my point of view making him captain. I felt he was pretty natural and he has gone and proven that." With Robbie Keane and John O'Shea on the bench, Coleman wore the armband in the 1-0 upset of Italy and the 2-1 defeat to France in the Round of 16 at EURO 2016. Keane announced his international retirement following the tournament, prompting O'Neill to make Coleman his permanent skipper heading into 2018 World Cup qualifying.
The Everton man has excelled further since, and O'Neill is glad the added responsibility has not had an impact on his form. "Sometimes when you take over the captaincy your own form suffers a little bit because you are concerned about the effect you are having on other people," said O'Neill."I know this myself – I was captain of Northern Ireland for half my time as a player. In the early parts you are worried about your influence. You are hoping you are going to be a really good influence and sometimes your own play can suffer a little bit. "Seamus's play has actually been enhanced as captain, if it's anything to go by at both club and national level." Should Sea
Has former Everton target Axel Witsel decided on next club? If so it's not the Blues
The Belgium international appears set for a move from Zenit
By Greg O'Keeffe
1 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Former Everton transfer target Axel Witsel is reportedly set for a move from Zenit when the season ends. But it won't be Goodison or any of Europe's big leagues for the midfielder, according to Belgian radio station RTBF. The former Standard Liege man was heavily linked with the Blues during the summer, with Farhad Moshiri reportedly keen to make him a marquee signing. But it appears he will shun Juventus and instead join Brazilians Oscar and Hulk in the Chinese Super League, with Shanghai a possible destination. RTBF claim he has already signed a deal with a Chinese Super League side.
In September he bemoaned Zenit's refusal to sell him to Juventus.
"It's really hard [to take]," he told RTBF.
"I still have to thank Juventus because they did everything for me until the end.
"It's a shame that Zenit did not accept €25m when I had a year left on my contract.
"I'm disappointed because I went there and passed medical tests, so I saw myself at Juventus in my head, but it didn't happen.
Tom Davies - I want to drive Everton's midfield forward
Everton's teenage midfielder reveals what Koeman tells him to do on the pitch
By Greg O'Keeffe
1 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Tom Davies wants to be the man to drive Everton's midfield into a brighter 2017.
The teenage midfielder is thrilled at his increasing number of appearances under Ronald Koeman lately.
And energetic Davies, 18, revealed what the Blues boss demands of him when he takes to the pitch.
He said: "Against Hull, the manager told me to do similar to what I did in the Leicester game - come on with a bit of energy and just get the team going again. "That's what I look to do and drive the team forward, which I think I did. "I love playing, love coming on and it's just special every time you get on and hear the fans. Once you get yourself into the game it's just a brilliant feeling. "It will be good to get back to Goodison and all the lads will be desperate to get the New Year started with a win." Davies has made five appearances so far this campaign, the most recent being at the KCOM Stadium against Hull.
He signed a new five-year contract back in August, and will be hoping to get a further taste of the action against Southampton tomorrow. However he is prepared to be patient and bide his time, as he helps Everton build on their tally of seven points from 12 available over the festive period. "It's not a bad return," he said. "Obviously if we had picked up the other two points that would've made it a really good Christmas period. It's something we can improve on but it's definitely not a bad position to be.
"The lads that are starting are doing really well as well so it's about biding my time and hoping an opportunity comes to play my part."
Everton boss Koeman hails his side's over-due aggressive streak
The Everton manager has been demanding greater bite from his team all season
By Greg O'Keeffe
1 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman has welcomed the over-due emergence of Everton's aggressive streak.
The Blues boss was taking the positives from his side's mixed 2-2 draw at Hull City on Friday, as he prepares for Monday's Goodison clash with Southampton. Chief among the plus points, according to the Dutchman, was another reminder that his players have finally bought into the physical, combative approach he demands. The Premier League season is at its mid-point, and reflection on the Blues progress so far he said: "We're at halfway and have had a difficult time. "The start of the season was really positive and then we had a difficult run.
Mesut Ozil of Arsenal challenged by (L) James McCarthy and (R) Idrissa Gana during Everton's 2-1 win
"After the big disappointment when we lost at Watford away I think the attitude of the team is different. We play with more aggression and that started against Arsenal.
"That is how we'd like to continue. We know we'd like to improve in our ball position and that's what I was really pleased about against Hull, our ball position was good. "We created a lot of good opportunities to score and that's the way I like to play. "Of course we need some attacking improvement in the team but against Hull we showed a better offensive style of play." Koeman prefers not to frame Monday's meeting with his former club as a revenge mission, despite Everton's defeat at St Mary's in November being a particular low point.
Koeman had that aggression in his own playing style
"It's not about revenge," he said. "Of course it's always special because for two seasons I was Southampton manager. "We had a poor game at St Mary's. Maybe it was one of the worst of the season, the whole team performance. "If you go 1-0 down after one minute it is always difficult because they play out of a good organisation but this game will be totally different." The Toffees boss is likely to rotate his squad for the game against Claude Puel's men. And asked whether that could mean a chance for winger Gerard Deulofeu, who has been linked with a January move to AC Milan, he said: "That's possible of course. "He's one of the team and you have to make those kind of decisions."
Fan View: This is what Everton supporters and shareholders should be told at the General Meeting
An Evertonian explains what he hopes to hear on Wednesday
By Liverpool Echo
2 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton fan TheEsk outlines the things he hopes to hear at the Philharmonic on Wednesday at the club's General Meeting This is no ordinary General Meeting, it's the first General Meeting of shareholders since Farhad Moshiri acquired 17,465 shares giving him a current stake of 49.9% in Everton.
I'm assuming that football matters will be dealt with by comments from the manager as has happened in recent years. Whilst perhaps not quite with the oratory style of Martinez the hope will be that Koeman talks with greater substance. It is the opportunity for the major shareholders and board to lay out their plans for Everton in the coming years. It is the opportunity for Moshiri to expand on his programme comments in March 2016.
A new Everton era arrived in the shape of Ronald Koeman and Farhad Moshiri lasy year
Of course, since then we've had his lengthy interview with Jim White on national radio which filled in a number of topics, and confirmed his ambitions and intentions on and off the pitch. However given the manner in which it was delivered, and the medium used it still does not satisfy the requirement for more formal communications from the club. The key part of his interview included the following comments: "I think with the stadium the fans must know we have done the hard bit,"
"The club was restricted [in its ability to] expand Goodison by banking covenants so we've repaid the debts, we have the finances. "I went to Liverpool a few weeks ago with Bill [Kenwright]. We visited all the sites with the Mayor. The club has taken soundings from fans and in our mind we know where to go. We are committed. "So my point to the fans is that I can just reassure them that they will have a stadium that rewards their loyalty and their passion support for our club. This is my key aim."
"We don't have the flexibility that Chelsea and Manchester City had in the days before Financial Fair Play. We can only invest what we spent last year, plus £7 million, plus increasing commercial income.
"So the way to compete is to build a big stadium, to increase merchandising and commercial income and we have no restrictions to spend." Thus I think it's reasonable for shareholders (and fans) to expect information on the following topics which I will expand upon below:
It's been well documented that Bramley Moore is the preferred site, and as I've mentioned previously I believe we have agreement of an option to acquire subject to planning permission.
Everton football club major investor Farhad Moshiri, Bill Kenwright and Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson at the Bramley Moore Dock on the waterfront Singularly this is the largest single decision the club will have made perhaps ever. Quite simply shareholders need clarification. I don't believe it's a coincidence that the General Meeting has been delayed almost as far as the Articles permit.
Clarification of the location of the stadium
Outline details of style and size of stadium
Best estimates of anticipated timeframe
Future funding & ownership.
From the accounts it is clear that the accumulated debt (short and long term) has been cleared by Moshiri's injection of £80million at the end of the financial year, however despite record revenues received this year from the Premier League broadcasting deals - it is clear additional funding will be required for squad development, working capital, and specifically the funding of the new stadium.
How will this funding be achieved, and what impact does the future funding have on current shareholder ownership?
Everton major shareholder Farhad Moshiri (L) looks on in the stand with Jon Woods
What are the short term and medium term funding requirements?
How will they be financed? Debt or further issuance of shares?
If there is a further issue of shares what will be the mechanism?
Is it the intention of Mr Moshiri to acquire further shares via his options agreement and then to underwrite a further issue of shares?
Board composition & future governance
As the club enters a new expansionary phase, it makes sense to examine the skills required to maximise the opportunities before us, including adding additional talent to the board and senior management positions within the club.
Keith Harris was recently added to Everton's board
What are the plans to strengthen the board further, recruit additional talents and reduce the concentration of shareholder and senior employee representation? Will the board seek independent directors to improve corporate governance? What are the plans to bring additional senior executives into the business to maximise our commercial successes in the future?
Commercial performance and development plans
In the latest report and accounts commercial revenues fell despite recruitment in this area.
Our competitors and peer group saw increases in commercial revenues from retailing, entertainment and particularly sponsorship opportunities. Aside from the absence of European football, what are the causes of this and what has been done to address this issue in the future?
The outsourcing of commercial activities were probably necessary in the past given the precarious balance sheet and P&L accounts of previous years. However that is now not an issue for the club.
Given the lost revenue opportunities of not managing commercial and retail activities in house when does the board expect to resolve this issue? Our sponsorship revenues and number of commercial relationships are dwarfed by the six biggest revenue earners in the Premier League.
What plans are there to improve sponsorship, shirt manufacturing and retailing arrangements?
With just 10 commercial partnerships we trail our rivals, for example Manchester City have 33, Arsenal 31 and Liverpool 18. How does the board proposed to increase the number of commercial arrangements and maximise the revenue opportunities from each?
Shareholders arrive at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall for Everton's general meeting in November 2015
In my experience the most useful General Meetings are those that look forward as well as holding previous actions to account. Given the changes we are about to encounter in the business of Everton, and the changes in match day experiences for Blues when the new stadium arrives, the General Meeting provides a marvellous opportunity for the board and major shareholders to update and inform shareholders and fans of the times ahead. My hope and expectation is that this opportunity is not passed up, there's no reason for it, in fact grabbing the opportunity can only be beneficial for the club, shareholders and supporters alike.
Everton youngster Conor Grant returns to Doncaster Rovers on loan
The 21-year-old was on loan at Ipswich until November
By Dan Matthews
2 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton youngster Conor Grant has returned to Doncaster Rovers on loan, rejoining the League 2 side until the end of the season. The 21-year-old scored three goals in 22 appearances at the Yorkshire club last season and goes straight into the squad to face Stevenage. The midfielder had been on loan at Championship strugglers Ipswich Town. But his deal was cut short in November ahead of his move back to the Keepmoat Stadium, where Grant feels he has unfinished business. Grant signed a new two-year deal with Everton last summer, keeping him at Goodison Park until the summer of 2018. He said: "I'm delighted to be back, it feels like I have unfinished business with Rovers after injury ended my loan spell last season and relegation. "There were other offers, but the manager made it an easy choice for me. The fans took to me last time, so it was a straightforward decision really. "The manager told me how much he wanted me, and having a manager who has confidence and believes in you makes a real difference in football." In July 2016, Grant signed a new contract at Goodison, keeping at the club until 2018. But for the time being he is hoping to use his spell at Doncaster to secure some silverware.
"I am a creative player, so I want to create and score goals, but I just want to help out the team in any way I can. "So, really, my only target is to ensure we win promotion and are all celebrating by the end of the season."
Everton vs Southampton match report: Toffees start the New Year in style to brush aside struggling Saints
Everton 3 Southampton 0: Goals from Enner Valencia, Leighton Baines and Romelu Lukaku helped fire the Toffees to victory at Goodison Park
By Carl Markham
On-loan striker Enner Valencia may have given Everton manager Ronald Koeman one less thing to think about in the January transfer window after his game-changing substitute appearance in the 3-0 victory over Southampton. The Ecuador international came off the bench to enliven a dreary occasion, scoring the 73rd-minute opener and winning the late penalty which allowed Leighton Baines to double their lead before Romelu Lukaku gave the scoreline a flattering appearance. That late show papered over some of the cracks which were evident in the preceding three-quarters of a game which seemed to be meandering towards a dull draw until Valencia's introduction. Koeman made four changes, Saints boss Claude Puel six, and that disruption was not helped by enforced substitutions in the opening 12 minutes.
Southampton right-back Cedric Soares departed with a head injury after colliding with the advertising boards while 19-year-old Dominic Calvert-Lewin, making his first Everton start, went off with an ankle problem. Despite the Toffees having an extra day's rest they looked lethargic, struggled to string more than a couple of passes together, their control was poor and they lacked any invention going forward.
Considering Koeman's limited options on the bench, having already used Kevin Mirallas and with former Barcelona youth team forward Gerard Deulofeu's days looking numbered after being omitted from the squad for the second successive match, his desire to add both quality and numbers now the transfer window is open is obvious. With defensive midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye, arguably their best player this season, now joining up with Senegal for the African Nations Cup there is even greater need for reinforcements. The performance should, at the very least, strengthen Koeman's case for the need for new blood with majority shareholder and billionaire Farhad Moshiri, who was present to see the shortcomings first-hand. Southampton were not much better in the early stages but improved slightly towards the end of a half which saw Fraser Forster make two saves from Ross Barkley and Lukaku, and Jay Rodriguez, who did actually put the ball in the net - with his arm although it was ruled out for offside - seeing his cross-shot deflect off Ashley Williams, forcing Joel Robles to claw the ball away.
Rodriguez, who easily turned Tom Davies and beat Williams, and substitute Mirallas then both wasted good chances just before half-time with Nathan Redmond also heading wide. The introduction of Valencia, Koeman's only other attacking option off the bench, on the hour injected some life into proceedings and produced the breakthrough, although Lukaku took most of the credit. Forster did well to stop the Belgium international's powerful close-range header but the striker deflected the rebound to his team-mate who scrambled home. Baines made it seven points from nine over the Christmas period from the spot after Valencia was fouled by Maya Yoshida and Lukaku's second in three games added gloss to the display. A third successive defeat made it a miserable festive period for Southampton, however.
Everton 3-0 Southampton player ratings - Valencia and Lukaku shine, but how did Tom Davies fare?
Tom Davies made just his second Premier League start as Everton triumphed against Ronald Koeman's old side
By David Prentice
2 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Made a massively important block to deny Redmond with the scores goalless and was solid and reassuring throughout. It's still only injury keeping him in the team but that could change when Stekelenburg finally shakes off his dead leg.
Seamus Coleman 6
The Irishman's energy gets him into so many excellent crossing opportunities, but too often the quality of delivery doesn't match that energy. Finally plucked a top drawer cross out for Valencia's goal, but it was a long time coming.
Ashley Williams 7
Was the pick of Everton's back-four, showing the dependable, no nonsense qualities he was enlisted to introduce. Solid, reliable and one heroic clearance from almost under his crossbar on the closing minutes.
Ramiro Funes Mori 7
Still leaves you with your heart in your mouth on occasions, but this time retrieved all the situations when he overstretched or was a little too impetuous.
Leighton Baines 6
Just one trademark, whipped in cross bit his defensive work was solid enough. Worried the Street End when he appeared willing to give up the penalty responsibility to Lukaku, before thinking again and dispatching a trademark finish.
Idrissa Gana Gueye 7
Broke up play as effectively and efficiently as usual, but didn't always have the quality of pass to follow up his destructive work. Nevertheless he will be a big miss for the next month or so. Nothing against Senegal, but an early African Nations Cup exit would be appreciated.
Tom Davies 6
Some promising moments, some sloppy – usually as a result of over-enthusiasm. But capped a memorable afternoon with a sliderule delivery for Lukaku's late goal. An undoubted talent.
Aaron Lennon 5
An underwhelming afternoon from the wideman. Worked diligently, as usual, but precious little quality in the final third. Hooked after an hour.
Ross Barkley 8
Saw a shot beaten away by Forster early on and produced a couple of probing passes to release Lukaku and Mirallas. Decent first half, he improved markedly following a switch to the right flank after Valencia's introduction. The crowd, perhaps sensing his fragile confidence, gave him a huge ovation when he made way for Barry six minutes from time.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin 6
What should have been a memorable day for the young striker ended after just 10-minutes, an ankle injury curtailing his full Premier League debut. He'd looked briefly threatening, too. There will be other days for the youngster to enjoy but this occasion was merely a statistic in his short career.
Romelu Lukaku 8
It was easy to feel sympathetic for the centre-forward, who fed hungrily on scraps for much of the afternoon. The second half moment when he released Mirallas, who then promptly underhit the return pass, was symptomatic of another frustrating afternoon. Finally got the goal his effort deserved with a crashing finish. And it was his towering header which led to the crucial opener.
Kevin Mirallas (10 minutes for Calvert-Lewin) 6
A typical Mirallas cameo, some good moments, some bad. But always involved,.
Enner Valencia (60 minutes for Lennon) 8
His first two touches almost produced goals – then he got the goal his energy and enthusiasm deserved, before he was comprehensively poleaxed for the decisive penalty kick. A breath of fresh air when it was needed most. A game changer.
Gareth Barry (84 minutes for Barkley) 6
Sensible old head when it was needed most. Helped the Blues see out the game.
Enner Valencia the catalyst as Everton secure win over Southampton
By Andy Hunter at Goodison Park
Monday 2 January 2017 Guardian
Ronald Koeman had an open goal against his former club but declined the chance to credit Everton's late victory with the introduction of Enner Valencia. "Maybe the reason Everton were much better than Southampton in the last 30 minutes was because they had one less day to recover," said the manager who switched from St Mary's to Goodison Park last summer. Honesty was the best policy; Southampton were physically and mentally shattered by the time Romelu Lukaku brought their cheerless festive campaign to a close. Valencia, the Ecuador international on a season-long loan from West Ham United, was a major factor in a third consecutive league defeat for Claude Puel's side, opening the scoring 11 minutes after replacing Aaron Lennon and winning the penalty that enabled Leighton Baines to kill the contest shortly afterwards. Lukaku's vast second-half improvement also contributed to breaking the visitors and he sealed Everton's victory with an emphatic finish in dying minutes, his 89th goal on his 200th appearance in English football. But there was no disguising the consequences of three games in six days on the visitors. Southampton had the edge in the first half, Jay Rodriguez squandering a fine opportunity, and there was little between the teams until Koeman increased his attacking options with Valencia, and Lukaku thrived with the extra support as the weary, retreating visitors cracked.
"We started the season with many games," Puel said. "We have played every three days, sometimes two, and we are 10th in the table with a programme like Real Madrid and Barcelona. Since Boxing Day we have played three games in five days and it is just not possible [three in six]. We tried to give a good answer, we did for 70 minutes, but we couldn't give a good answer in the end. For a long time it was a balanced game. It is difficult to accept this result." Everton, who are close to signing the Charlton Athletic teenager Ademola Lookman in a deal worth around £11m, gratefully accepted the chance to stretch tired legs. Ross Barkley, the impressive 18-year-old Tom Davies, Séamus Coleman and, most of all, Lukaku probed continually late on, stayed patient, and punished a Southampton side that featured six changes to the team beaten by West Bromwich Albion on New Year's Eve and lost Cédric Soares within seconds of the kick-off when he careered into advertising hoardings and suffered a head injury. Puel must have been resigned to a long afternoon from that moment on. Koeman started with Davies and the 19-year-old Dominic Calvert-Lewin in an attempt to freshen his options – the first time two teenagers have started a Premier League game for anyone this season – but the striker's full debut came to an unfortunate and abrupt halt when he suffered an ankle injury. The disruption and fatigue produced a sterile first half in which Southampton's defensive organisation and intelligence on the counterattack held firm. They should have led when Rodriguez collected Jordy Clasie's ball with his back to goal, spun away from Davies, evaded Ashley Williams and, with only Joel Robles to beat, skied his shot high over the bar. A costly miss. Unsurprisingly, Everton's energy levels told as the game wore on, with Lukaku's influence improving in tandem with his first touch. Coleman's raids down the right offered an important outlet against a deep defence and they combined to telling effect for the breakthrough. Lukaku released the Irishman to the byline and also met the inviting cross that came back with a downward header. Fraser Forster saved with a foot, the rebound bounced off Lukaku's thigh and dropped perfectly for Valencia to convert from close range his first club goal for 12 months. Valencia was then up-ended by Maya Yoshida as he attempted to turn on a pass inside the penalty area. Southampton had no complaints as Baines, Everton's captain for the day, sent their goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot. Everton's final goal was reward for Lukaku's second-half contribution and evidence of Southampton's lethargy. José Fonte was easily dispossessed by Baines as he attempted to bring the ball out of defence and Davies pierced the visitors' defence with a fine ball into the feet of the Belgium international. Forster had no chance as an unstoppable shot flew high into his net. "We needed something different up front," Koeman said on the introduction of Valencia. "That's why we started with Dominic behind Romelu. I wasn't happy with the support from the midfield for Romelu in recent weeks but then we lost Dominic and you need to change it. "You either bring Enner straight in or wait until late in the game. He was one of the players who changed the game and created difficulties for Southampton. It's good to have him, he can play different positions and gives me the possibility to change systems, but it's still too early to make a final decision about his future."
Everton 3-0 Southampton full-time report: Valencia nets first Everton goal as Blues leave it late
Valencia came off the bench to break the deadlock at Goodison
By Phil Kirkbride
2 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Three goals inside the last 16 minutes helped Everton secure a 3-0 win over Southampton at Goodison today. Enner Valencia scored his first goal for the club when fired home from close range before he won a penalty six minutes later which Leighton Baines dispatched. And with a minute of normal time remaining, Tom Davies fed Romelu Lukaku who lashed home his 12th goal of the season. Ronald Koeman's side have now won three of their last five league games. Everton finished with a flourish but had struggled for long spells to break down the Saints. But Valencia's introduction mid-way through the half lit the blue touch paper on a goal rush late on that sees Koeman's side move onto 30 points after 20 games. Dominic Calvert-Lewin's full Premier League debut lasted just 12 minutes when an ankle injury meant he had to go off and it forced Koeman into a reshuffle with Kevin Mirallas coming on in his place.
And despite good chances for the Belgian and Lukaku, Everton struggled to replicate the intensity they had shown in the opening 10 minutes as Southampton slowly came into the game. The Saints had a goal disallowed when Jay Rodriguez's effort was ruled out for handball before the visitors' striker turned away from three Everton defenders on the edge of the area but lashed his shot high and wide.
Everton began slowly after the break but Valencia added a renewed sense of urgency and he broke the deadlock after sweeping home the spoils after Lukaku's header was saved. Valencia was then brought down in the area by Maya Yoshida and Baines sent Forster the wrong way to double Everton's lead.
And in the 89th minute, Lukaku added the gloss as he raced on to Davies' through-ball and fired home.
Southampton lose three games in six days as they are beaten 3-0 by Everton at Goodison Park
January 2 2017 Daily Echo
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Ronald Koeman gained his revenge on Saints as Everton inflicted a third defeat in six days on his former club. Saints have now been beaten in all of their festive fixtures to leave Claude Puel much to ponder ahead of two cup matches. On-loan striker Enner Valencia proved the game changer in Everton's 3-0 win. The Ecuador international came off the bench to enliven a dreary occasion, scoring the 73rd-minute opener and winning the late penalty which allowed Leighton Baines to double their lead before Romelu Lukaku gave the scoreline a flattering appearance. That late show papered over some of the cracks which were evident in the preceding three-quarters of a game which seemed to be meandering towards a dull draw until Valencia's introduction. Koeman made four changes, Saints boss Claude Puel six, and that disruption was not helped by enforced substitutions in the opening 12 minutes. Southampton right-back Cedric Soares departed with a head injury after colliding with the advertising boards while 19-year-old Dominic Calvert-Lewin, making his first Everton start, went off with an ankle problem. Despite the Toffees having an extra day's rest they looked lethargic, struggled to string more than a couple of passes together, their control was poor and they lacked any invention going forward.
Considering Koeman's limited options on the bench, having already used Kevin Mirallas and with former Barcelona youth team forward Gerard Deulofeu's days looking numbered after being omitted from the squad for the second successive match, his desire to add both quality and numbers now the transfer window is open is obvious. With defensive midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye, arguably their best player this season, now joining up with Senegal for the African Nations Cup there is even greater need for reinforcements. The performance should, at the very least, strengthen Koeman's case for the need for new blood with majority shareholder and billionaire Farhad Moshiri, who was present to see the shortcomings first-hand. Southampton were not much better in the early stages but improved slightly towards the end of a half which saw Fraser Forster make two saves from Ross Barkley and Lukaku, and Jay Rodriguez, who did actually put the ball in the net - with his arm although it was ruled out for offside - seeing his cross-shot deflect off Ashley Williams, forcing Joel Robles to claw the ball away. Rodriguez, who easily turned Tom Davies and beat Williams, and substitute Mirallas then both wasted good chances just before half-time with Nathan Redmond also heading wide. The introduction of Valencia, Koeman's only other attacking option off the bench, on the hour injected some life into proceedings and produced the breakthrough, although Lukaku took most of the credit. Forster did well to stop the Belgium international's powerful close-range header but the striker deflected the rebound to his team-mate who scrambled home. Baines made it seven points from nine over the Christmas period from the spot after Valencia was fouled by Maya Yoshida and Lukaku's second in three games added gloss to the display. A third successive defeat made it a miserable festive period for Southampton, however.
Everton 3-0 Southampton analysis - Why Baines on pens is not up for debate & Lukaku's pep-talk pays off
Greg O'Keeffe looks at the big talking points from Everton's victory over Ronald Koeman's former team, Southampton
By Greg O'Keeffe
2 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
It's Baines' job
Evertonians might have hoped that uncertainty over simple matters such as penalty taking were over.
They cringed through the unseemly incident when Kevin Mirallas demanded it and promptly missed against West Brom two years ago. And they felt the frustration when Leighton Baines - the best striker of a spot kick at the club - allowed Romelu Lukaku to take, and fluff, one in last season's FA Cup semi final. It's why the Gwladys Street's pointed reaction as Lukaku appeared poised to assume responsibility today seemed to have an effect. Baines seemed prepared to walk away, he's never been the type to demand anything, but the crowd were incredulous. Maybe Lukaku noticed. He hesitated and eventually the ball found its way back to Baines' arms, then his left foot, then - so sweetly - the back of the net. Koeman won't want to be too churlish after a morale-boosting triumph. All's well that ends well. Baines equalled the club penalty record held by Trevor Steven and David Unsworth. But at the next team meeting he should remind everyone that the left-back takes the penalties. And it's not for debate.
Rom asks, Rom gets. Eventually
Everton's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool. Romelu Lukaku is a smart guy; a polylinguist and committed student of his craft. His habit of scrutinising DVDs of goalscoring greats and watching other games with a tactician's eye is well know. So today he put it to good use. Starved of decent service for most of the first half at Goodison this afternoon, he took things into his own hands. As the players emerged from the tunnel for the second half the big striker took Tom Davies aside and gave him a seemingly instructional pep talk. Pointing, gesturing and encouraging he appeared to be explaining runs he would make, and indicating where he wanted the ball. It worked. The gloss was applied to a much improved last half hour when Davies slipped a quick pass to Lukaku and the Belgian did the rest with aplomb.
At 23 Lukaku is hardly a weathered veteran, although to 18-year-old Davies he may seem it.
Long may their mentorship continue.
Farewell, for now, Idrissa Gueye.
Jordy Clasie of Southampton (L) puts pressure on Idrissa Gueye of Everton (R) during the Premier League match between Everton and Southampton One of the Blues players of the season so far bowed out with a typically industrious display. Understatement klaxon, Gueye will be missed while he's at the Africa Cup of Nations. It would be nice if James McCarthy could avoid injury in his absence and show that his fleeting revival against Arsenal and Liverpool was no red herring. Tom Davies too is starting to break into the team at the right time. Koeman still has to reinforce his midfield this month; Morgan Schneiderlin and Thomas Delaney would be welcome additions. But Gueye's contribution will be impossible to fully replicate. With apologies to the ECHO's Senegalese subscribers, nobody around here will complain if they bow out early.
Issues still linger
Everton's Tom Davies (centre) and Southampton's Sam McQueen
Ronald Koeman is certainly not blind to Everton's creaking spine.
His response to their problem of too many post-prime players was to reshuffle his options this afternoon so that nine of the starters were under the age of 30.
It did the trick at first.
The zest of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Tom Davies led to that rare thing here - a fast start - but it faded by the half hour mark. Calvert-Lewin had already trudged off disconsolately with an ankle problem, and his absence hit Romelu Lukaku's hopes of a bit of genuine support. It's not that the Blues missed Phil Jagielka or Gareth Barry; the pace of Ramiro Funes Mori combined with Davies' dynamism was still a plus. The injection of vitality worked in so far as it went. But with only Ross Barkley offering any real concerted attacking impetus Koeman was reminded, once again, that he has more than one problem to solve.
Exploiting the full potential of the January window remains key.
Let's not beat about the bush, Enner Valencia was a panic buy.
He was a last ditch loan option as the summer transfer window was about to slam shut, who did little at first to dispel the notion that he wasn't getting in West Ham's team for a reason. But the Ecuadorian's presence among Koeman's fitful attacking cadre has become a surprising plus this winter. His attitude appears beyond reproach, and his contributions from the bench have been increasingly useful; underlined by today's second half goal and penalty win. Those reports that the Hammers would want £14m for him may still trigger wry smiles around Goodison, but he deserves credit for toiling his way into the esteem of his manager and supporters alike. If he continues in this vain until May, regardless of the required January arrivals, his loan will have - against the odds - proved worthwhile.
Koeman confirms that Baines is once again Everton's first-choice penalty taker
Baines scored from the spot in Everton's 3-0 victory over Southampton
By Greg O'Keeffe
2 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman has reiterated that Leighton Baines is Everton's first-choice penalty taker after he equalled the club's spot-kick record. The left-back took his overall tally to 23 after converting the second goal of the 3-0 win over Southampton, moving him level in the record books with Trevor Steven and David Unsworth. But after referee Kevin Friend pointed to the spot in the second half, there appeared to be some confusion over who would step forward with Romelu Lukaku initially picking up the ball. Asked to clarify a situation which regularly dogged his predecessor Roberto Martinez, Koeman said afterwards: "Leighton is a good penalty taker. "He's an experienced boy who has scored penalties all his life. Of course he can miss one, that's part of football. "Everybody likes to help Romelu be the top scorer in the Premier League but when it's still 1-0, Leighton is the first on the list. "OK if it's 2-0 and we have one in the last minute then Lukaku can take it. But it was a really important moment to score and kill the game at the right time." Koeman added that the Blues must wait to learn the extent of the ankle injury which forced teenage striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin to exit his full debut after 12 minutes.
"We need to wait for tomorrow," he said. "I don't know exactly what happened. Disappointed but he's young and he will come back."
Ronald Koeman praises Everton forward Enner Valencia - but Blues boss non-committal on permanent deal
Valencia came on to score Everton's opener against Southampton
By Greg O'Keeffe
2 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman hailed the winning contribution of Enner Valencia but insisted it's too early to decide whether to pursue a permanent deal for the forward. The Everton manager waited until the hour-mark to introduce the on loan Ecuadorian, and was rewarded when he scored his first goal for the Blues and won the penalty which Leighton Baines dispatched to double the host's lead at Goodison. It helped the Toffees consolidate their hold on seventh place in the table thanks to the eventual 3-0 win over a tired Southampton side. "At that stage we needed something different up front," explained Koeman when asked about the decision to introduce Valencia. "That's why we started with Dominic (Calvert-Lewin) behind Romelu. I wasn't happy with the support from the midfield for Romelu in recent weeks.
"But then we lose him and you need to change it. You either bring Enner straight in or wait until later. He was one of the players who changed the game, scored the first goal and created difficulties for Southampton." West Ham, Valencia's parent club, have said they would want £14m to make his season-long transfer permanent in the summer. But Koeman is not thinking that far ahead. "We had the possibility to get him on loan and it's good," he said. "He can play different attacking positions and give me a lot of possibilities to change systems. "The final decision we have to make about his future? It's still too early to think about that." The Everton boss was equally pleased with the contribution of top scorer Lukaku, who notched his 11th goal of the season to make it 3-0. "He's always that target man," said Koeman. "That strong boy up front - he's what you need to play football. "Even when you're pressed you have the option with Romelu and we found him much better second half than we did in the first. "Overall we didn't have the intensity from the start but in the last 30 minutes we were much better than Southampton because they had one less day to recover from their last game."
'A Scouse dream team in the middle': Everton fans react to 3-0 win over Southampton
The Blues left it late to pick up a victory in their first game of 2017
By Dan Matthews
2 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton fans on the match against Southampton
Three goals in the final 20 minutes ensured Everton began 2017 with a 3-0 win over Southampton.
Enner Valencia, Leighton Baines and Romelu Lukaku scored for Ronald Koeman's side, as the Dutchman beat his former club at Goodison. After a forgettable first half, the Blues came to life following the introduction of Valencia. The forward scored his first goal for the club and Everton fans were left saluting his influence, as well as the performances of Ross Barkley, Tom Davies and the tactics of Ronald Koeman. Some cracking signs... Barkley miles better on the right linking with Coleman & Davies, Lukaku bullying defenders AOTS. Ace! #wsagmatch #EFC
— Andrew Mitchell (@felix_mitchao) January 2, 2017
Credit to Koeman today made the correct game changing subs. Better team selection, formation still an issue. #EFC #EVESOU
— John Pierce (@Abelsouthall) January 2, 2017
Lukaku smashed it today. Lead the line, dominated, won his headers, moved off the ball, held it up and deserved his goal #PickItOut #EFC
— Chris Cunningham (@Cunnginham) January 2, 2017
Barkley was brilliant today. Maybe Tom Davies takes the shackles off him. Scouse dream team in the middle #efc
— Lindsey (@LindseyC1878) January 2, 2017
Apart from a dire 7 minutes against Hull, we have had an excellent festive period. #EFC #EVESOU
— Alex (@duv_efc) January 2, 2017
Tom Davies played like he was as experienced as Barry mostly. Few rash tackles but other than that, spot on. #efc
— Dan (@BlueDanEFC) January 2, 2017
Davies was very good and we need his energy so badly. Love to see a run of games with him, Ross and Gueye in midfield. #EFC
— David Downie (@daviddownie17) January 2, 2017
Valencia changed game for me, last 25 mins had more urgency. Sad to see Rom not celebrate the 2nd & 3rd goals, and sulk off the pitch #EFC
— Kel (@Bluekel2) January 2, 2017
Everton 3-0 Southampton the verdict: Koeman's New Year message played out at Goodison
Phil Kirkbride sees the Blues out-last Southampton as Koeman urges team to step on the gas in 2017
By Phil Kirkbride
2 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton ultimately wore Southampton down.
Desperately uninspiring for long spells, they won this game by lasting the pace, scoring three times in the final 16 minutes, and finishing stronger than their tired opposition. But perhaps there, in the confines of one 90 minutes at Goodison, was a message Ronald Koeman has been trying to get home all season: they will not sprint to the promised land of success, but get there by treating it like a marathon.
As it did this afternoon, Everton's pursuit of better times, the project as the manager likes to call it, will take nerve, understanding, time and patience.
Plenty of patience if today's game is anything to go by.
On paper, this was an impressive win over a side breathing down their necks and secured a third league win in five, but ask anyone who was at the game and they will confirm that three points were the reward for toughing it out. It was a slog, but a successful one, and though there was a subdued atmosphere for long spells there was little of the edginess that swirled around the ground last season.
Everton were playing poorly, they lacked inspiration, but it was as if there was a belief from the stands that they would, by hook or crook, be able to grind something out.
Their faith was not misplaced.
"It would be good to begin the year as we mean to go on," Koeman wrote in his programme notes.
Not in style, but in substance, certainly, Maybe it was the sight of Farhad Moshiri in the directors' box, in the week of the club's anticipated general meeting, or the opening of the transfer window, the injection of teenage blood into the starting line-up or the re-emergence of Ross Barkley, but Koeman's words felt like they had wider meaning than just to the visit of Southampton for their first game of the New Year. Maybe it was also the growing sense that he is ready to use January as a way of cutting ties with the past. "It takes time to build the strength of the team but this is our intention as we go into 2017," the manager also wrote. In other words, he appreciates the fans' continued patience during this transitional time but is signalling that things will get moving this year.
They have to.
With the opportunity of another transfer window and having had over six months in the job, the Dutchman knows Everton have to start getting a shift on now. But picking up 10 points from a possible 15, since Arsenal came to Goodison, is an encouraging sign that they are starting to discover a rhythm, and a sense of identity, after a torrid run of form, however underwhelming they were at Hull.
Yet again, it wasn't always pretty, but it proved effective.
At 0-0, and the Blues in full toil mode, it appeared the first game of the year would be a grim stalemate.
Moshiri looked somewhat unimpressed.
But the introduction of Enner Valencia, a player who maybe epitomises Koeman's call for patience, reinvigorated the side as the manager made yet another telling change from the bench.
The on-loan forward swept home from close range 16 minutes from time to break the deadlock before he won the penalty from which Leighton Baines secured the points soon after. Romelu Lukaku's goal in the final minute added a gloss that wasn't merited but you take it and move onto the next one, methodically covering the ground, eating up the marathon miles. Better sides, you would rightly say, would have punished Everton for their lethargy after a bright opening, fuelled by the energy of Dominic Calvert-Lewin who made his full Premier League debut. But the better sides in the division, those in the top six positions ahead of the Blues, are chasing different things this season and so the success or failure of Everton's season will be determined by those below them.
Games like this. Calvert-Lewin's ankle injury, and withdrawal after 12 minutes, forced Koeman into a re-think his players couldn't get their heads around. Not until Valencia came on, to offer the support Lukaku needed, did Everton's tired looking attack receive the kick-start it required. He was in the right place at the right time to jump on the spoils after Lukaku's header, from Seamus Coleman's cross, was saved by Fraser Forster before being brought down by Maya Yoshida in the area six minutes later.
Baines, after taking the ball back off Lukaku, sent the Southampton keeper the wrong way to make it 2-0. Koeman clenched both fists in celebration, relieved no doubt that his side had opened up enough of a gap on his old club.
The gap between the sides in the table is now six points.
Everton's third beefed out the scoreline to make for more impressive reading than in reality it was but there was little doubting the quality of the goal. Baines won the ball back from Jose Fonte, Tom Davies stepped onto it and threaded a perfectly weighted pass through to Lukaku, who lashed home his 11th of the season. It was only his second league goal in 13 appearance for the Blues in the month of January, the stats gurus told us before kick-off, but if Koeman is keen on Everton making a fresh start, then so too their top scorer.
Manchester United reject Everton bid for Morgan Schneiderlin
• Offer worth around £19m is not enough to seal deal
• Midfielder is also wanted by West Bromwich Albion
By Andy Hunter
Monday 2 January 2017 Guardian
Manchester United have rejected a bid from Everton to sign Morgan Schneiderlin for around £19m.
Everton, whose interest in the France international has been known for several weeks, made their first official move for the midfielder at the start of the transfer window but their offer fell short of United's valuation. United are believed to be looking to recoup most of the £24m they paid Southampton for Schneiderlin in July 2015 despite his place on the periphery of José Mourinho's plans at Old Trafford.
Schneiderlin has made eight appearances under Mourinho this season – only three in the Premier League – and has been subject of an £18m bid from West Bromwich Albion. Everton, who are close to signing the Charlton Athletic teenager Ademola Lookman in an £11m deal, are keen to land the 27-year-old early in the January window with Idrissa Gana Gueye having played his final game before the Africa Cup of Nations in the 3-0 defeat of Southampton on Monday. Ronald Koeman, who worked with Schneiderlin at St Mary's before his move to Old Trafford, also has fitness concerns over James McCarthy in central midfield and is seeking several additions to the Everton squad this month.
EFC Talking Point: Why isn't Lukaku loved more?
Everton striker draws level with 'legendary' Duncan Ferguson
By David Prentice
3 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
DUNCAN FERGUSON scored 72 goals in his 11 seasons as a swashbuckling Everton centre-forward.
He was idolised, eulogised and lionised.
The all too cheaply tossed around label of 'legend' was swiftly bestowed ... according to his manager of the time before he'd even become a player!
But then some players simply capture the imagination.
On Monday night, however, Romelu Lukaku matched Ferguson's figure by crashing in his 72nd Everton goal. Lukaku is still only halfway through his fourth season as a Toffees striker.
If you know your history, he has already outscored genuine Everton legends like Tommy Lawton, Bert Freeman and Bobby Parker and is now closing in on a deity - the God-like genius that was Alan Ball.
Yet he's still considered a player who could do more.
In some supporters' eyes, anyway.
Sure. He could create more goals. He could run around a little more eye-catchingly. He could even make more defensive headed clearances. But the bottom line is he is a goalscorer. And only one Premier League striker is currently doing that more effectively than him this season. Of course he could do a little bit more. Couldn't we all? Lionel Messi could probably do a little bit more, too. But while the Argentinian ace is an all-time football great, Lukaku continues to divide opinion at his current club.
Maybe that's the issue. Fans are waiting for the next come and get me plea, the next Mino Raiola missive. But regardless of where Lukaku's career-path takes him, he has already done enough in his short Everton career to be considered absolutely crucial to the club's enduring long-term health.
He has carried the club's attacking threat almost single-handedly since he arrived on-loan from Chelsea. And done so prolifically.
He looks even more impressive when he's given a helping hand.
For an hour of a Bank Holiday bore against Southampton which was desperately low on quality, Lukaku was left to frustratingly scrounge around for goalmouth scraps. One probing first half Ross Barkley pass was the sum total of the service he received. He still got off his shot but Fraser Forster saved with his foot. But tellingly Lukaku kept going. He has made disappearing acts before during his Goodison career when his spirits have sunk - notably for the entire second half of last season. But just a little shy of 72 hours since his previous outing at Hull he continued to run the channels, carried on chasing lost causes and kept on harrying Southampton's tiring defenders. Sure, his hold up play wasn't perfect. But his commitment and his attitude were and he was rewarded when Enner Valencia arrived to offer a little penalty area assistance. Valencia introduced energy, pace and no little quality - and Lukaku looked re-energised. He'd already fired one shot from a similar position across goal and wide earlier in the half. But minutes from time he crashed a fearsome drive into the roof of Forster's net.
Three-nil. Game over. Job done. Just a few minutes after his towering header had elicited the Forster save for Valencia to pounce upon and fire in his first Everton goal. Not everyone was happy. Social media reaction was, at best, mixed about Lukaku's contribution. But his manager was satisifed. And Lukaku will continue to lead the Everton line impressively and prolifically. His coach turned predecessor only had to toss a faux Liverpool hard-case to the floor to inspire adulation. And while Lukaku could always show a little more aggression, he's still doing very well thank you very much.
So why doesn't everyone appreciate him?
Everton transfer rumours: Blues fail with Schneiderlin bid
Manchester United demand more for out-of-favour midfielder
By Chris Beesley
3 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton have failed with a £19million bid for Morgan Schneiderlin say the Daily Telegraph.
Chris Bascombe writes that the Blues have made the French midfielder their primary target in the January transfer window but Manchester United are determined to get back the full £24million outlay they paid to Southampton on the player. Although it is becoming increasingly apparent that the 27-year-old is not part of Jose Mourinho's plans – he's played only 11 minutes of Premier League football this season in three cameo substitute appearances – the Red Devils are taking a tough negotiating stance. West Bromwich Albion are also keen on Schneiderlin and after having a £13million offer of their own rejected last month, the Baggies are now preparing a second bid. Blues boss Ronald Koeman is also keen to add another United player Memphis Depay to his squad but after the club missed out on some of their high-profile targets in the summer window, Everton must be wary about being quoted inflated asking prices from rivals aware of Farhad Moshiri's spending power. However, given the strength of interest in Schneiderlin, a player that Koeman worked with during his first season in charge at St Mary's, it's likely that Goodison chiefs will now return with an increased offer.
Sutton on Lukaku - Don't question his workrate, he just needs support up front
The former Blackburn and Celtic striker defends Lukaku - and praises Valencia
By Kristian Walsh
3 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Chris Sutton has hailed the impact of Enner Valencia in Everton's 3-0 win over Southampton, believing Romelu Lukaku performs better with a strike partner alongside him. The on-loan Ecuadorian made a crucial contribution from the bench, scoring the opening goal and winning the penalty converted by Leighton Baines. His introduction injected energy and purpose into a lethargic display from Ronald Koeman's side, who were held at 0-0 until the 73rd minute. Valencia and Baines put the game beyond doubt, before Lukaku himself notched in the final minute to seal a convincing win. Sutton, part of famous partnerships with Alan Shearer and John Hartson at Blackburn and Celtic respectively, noted how the presence of Valencia brought the best out of his Belgian team-mate. Writing in his Mail column, Sutton said: "Romelu Lukaku's work rate has been questioned in recent weeks but he has not been helped by Everton failing to get enough bodies around him. "When Enner Valencia came on Everton looked far more dangerous as Lukaku benefits from having someone alongside him.
"He was instrumental in the build-up to Valencia's goal and scored one himself."
Lukaku's effort against the Saints was his 11th of the season, with only three players scoring more than him in the Premier League this season.
Everton's Leighton Baines reveals the secrets of his penalty success
Record-equalling left-back lifts lid on converting from 12 yards
By Ian Doyle
3 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Leighton Baines didn't just calm Goodison nerves when slotting home from spot on Monday against Southampton. The left-back earned himself a little piece of Everton history. By despatching beyond Saints goalkeeper Fraser Forster for the second goal in a 3-0 win, Baines moved level with David Unsworth and Trevor Steven in scoring the most number of penalties for the Blues. That's now 23 successful attempts out of 26 from the spot, an identical record to Unsworth (Steven missed a further three). No wonder Blues boss Ronald Koeman later confirmed the England man was now once again his team's first-choice penalty taker. And, writing in the Everton matchday programme, Baines revealed the secrets behind converting from 12 yards. "I just clear my mind, decide where I'm going to aim, stay calm, focus and hope it goes in," says the Blues left-back. "I don't ever try and put the keeper off, I think it's usually the other way around with keepers trying to put the player off." In terms of striking the ball, Baines explains: "It depends what part of the goal you're aiming for. Sometimes it's your instep, I think most people use that, or maybe with the laces for more power. "With the goal, you can split it into thirds, so there's the bottom third, middle third and top – the middle one is the most comfortable for the keeper but you can choose whatever is most comfortable for you. "I'd say if you're going to practice it then I would go with picking a specific area like the top or bottom corner."
But does practice make perfect?
"How often do I work on them? Not that often," admits Baines. "Sometimes I'll just practice at the end of training in an empty goal because the keepers are working elsewhere.
"Other times the keepers are hanging around so I'll ask them if I can take five or six with them, I don't take loads because then there's more pressure to make sure I take half a dozen good ones."
And when it comes to celebrating, Baines reveals there's one type of spot kick he prefers more than most. "The best penalties I've scored are probably the odd last-minute ones where the goal has maybe nicked a draw or even a win, they're the best ones I've celebrated at least," he says.
Was Ross Barkley really Everton's WORST player against Southampton?
Pundits can't work our who impressed on Monday - but fans know who to praise
By Ian Doyle
3 JAN 2017 Liverpool Ec ho
It wasn't massively pretty, but they got there in the end.
A New Year hangover was avoided by Everton as a late treble saw them ease past an extremely tired Southampton side at Goodison. Enner Valencia, Leighton Baines and Romelu Lukaku notched the goals, but it was Ross Barkley who earned the plaudits.
what the papers say - Forgotten man Valencia takes centre stage and eases transfer window dilemma
Video thumbnail, Top EFC stories of the day: Schneiderlin bid, Calvert-Lewin and Gibson (03/01/17)
David Prentice was on ratings duty for the ECHO at Goodison and he gave the 23-year-old a mark of 8, the highest alongside goalscorers Lukaku and Valencia. The latter came on for the final half-hour, replacing Aaron Lennon, who scored only a 5 in our ratings.
And you seemed to be in agreement with our Head of Sport.
Barkley as handed an average rating of 7.7, just ahead of Valencia on 7.6 and Lukaku on 7.4.
There was a difference of opinion over Tom Davies – we handed him a 6 but you scored him a 7 – although supporters concurred over Lennon, ranking him a lowly 4.8.
What you said
Ross Barkley – 7.7
Enner Valencia – 7.6
Romelu Lukaku – 7.4
Tom Davies – 7.0
Enner Valencia scored well among Everton fans...
Ashley Williams – 6.9
Joel Robles – 6.8
Idrissa Gueye – 6.8
Leighton Baines – 6.7
Ramiro Funes Mori – 6.6
Romelu Lukaku (left) scores his side's third goal against Southampton - and the 72nd of his Everton career.
... so too Romelu Lukaku
Seamus Coleman – 6.5
Kevin Mirallas – 6.2
Gareth Barry – 6.0
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 5.8
Aaron Lennon – 4.8
What everyone else said
Of course, other ratings are available. And the national media weren't all in agreement about Barkley's contribution.
The Mirror didn't believe anybody at Everton was worthy of more than a 7. Coleman, Williams, Baines and Gueye all received the mark, but it was Barkley who earned the man of the match award.
The Mail do things by halves, and they gave top score to Coleman with a 7.5.
Seamus Coleman scored highly among the national media
However, they weren't impressed with Barkley at all, rating him the worst player on the pitch alongside Lennon with a lowly 5.5.
The Express , meanwhile, were firmly on the Barkley bandwagon, scoring him an 8 alongside Williams. They had Lennon and Funes Mori mustering a miserly 5.
And the Times handed Barkley a 6 – and ranked seven players above him in the Everton side.
Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin facing anxious wait over ankle injury
Teenage forward undergoing scans to determine extent of damage
By Ian Doyle
3 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton will discover today the extent of the injury that ruined Dominic Calvert-Lewin's Premier League debut. The 19-year-old striker was handed his first ever start for the Blues in Monday's visit of Southampton. However, it was cut short after only 12 minutes when he forced off after damaging his ankle. And the player is undergoing scans today that will determine the length of the teenager's anticipated time on the sidelines. "I don't know exactly what happened," said Blues boss Ronald Koeman. "We're disappointed but he's young and he will come back." Calvert-Lewin, signed from Sheffield United in August in a deal that could eventually be worth £1.5million, has forced his way into Koeman's first-team plans in recent weeks.
He made his debut from the bench in the win against Arsenal last month and also made substitute appearances against Liverpool and Hull City. The forward was in line to have featured against Leicester City in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, but is now unlikely to be available.
How goal-machine Romelu Lukaku put Anderlecht in their place over '100th goal' tweet
The Belgium international's former side praised him after they thought he had reached a career milestone
By Paul Gorst
3 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Don't ever try to take goals away from Romelu Lukaku .
That's the message Anderlecht will take away from a Twitter exchange with their former player after the Everton star was quick to correct them on a career milestone on Wednesday. Anderlecht tweeted their admiration of Lukaku after his strike against Southampton in Monday's 3-0 win appeared to be his 100th league goal in spells with the Belgian side, Chelsea, West Brom and Everton.
Congratulations @RomeluLukaku9! We were privileged to have you score 33 of them in the #RSCA jersey! Proud of our #Sportingboy! pic.twitter.com/A0bHSF2wtw
— RSC Anderlecht (@rscanderlecht) January 3, 2017
— R.Lukaku Bolingoli10 (@RomeluLukaku9) January 3, 2017
.@RomeluLukaku9 In that case we are even more proud ^^
— RSC Anderlecht (@rscanderlecht) January 3, 2017
However, ever the consummate goal-scorer, Lukaku fired back a correction to his former employers, letting them know their stats were inaccurate.
"Congratulations @RomeluLukaku9! We were privileged to have you score 33 of them in the #RSCA jersey! Proud of our #Sportingboy!" Anderlecht's official Twitter account posted.
"104" Lukaku shot back.
"In that case we're even more proud".
Lukaku's 72nd goal in all competitions for the Toffees equals Duncan Ferguson's record in just over half the amount of games of the legendary Scot. The powerful frontman is third in the Blues' list of all-time Premier League scorers, and is just two behind Tim Cahill, despite the Australian playing 104 games more than Lukaku.
Ferguson still leads the way, but Lukaku is now just six behind the Goodison great, despite playing 117 games less.
Since joining the Blues from Chelsea on loan in the summer of 2013, only Harry Kane (59) and Sergio Aguero (78) have more than Lukaku's 53 goals.
Farhad Moshiri expected at Everton's General Meeting on Wednesday
Shareholders will meet at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall
By Ian Doyle
3 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Farhad Moshiri is expected to be in attendance when Everton hold a General Meeting tomorrow evening. The Blues' major shareholder is due to be present the first time at the engagement, which takes place at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, starting at 6pm. All shareholders have been given notification of the specific points of business. Everton have approximately 1,500 stockholders, of which up to 350 are members of the Shareholders' Association. Everton last month released their annual accounts for 2015-16, which revealed that while the Blues posted a turnover in excess of £120million they registered a post-tax loss of £24.3m. It also emerged Moshiri had consolidated Everton's overall debt of £80m with an interest-free loan. While the accounts will be among the topics on the agenda, the most interest is almost certain to come from updates regarding Everton's proposed new stadium. It is believed the club's hierarchy favour a move to Bramley-Moore Dock on the Liverpool waterfront ahead of another option at Stonebridge Cross in Croxteth. Everton's most recent previous General Meeting took place in November 2015, three months before Moshiri arrived at Goodison.
Michael Ball - Why Ronald Koeman MUST take the FA Cup seriously on Saturday
Our Everton columnist looks ahead to Leicester City clash as he hails Blues' response to derby defeat
By Michael Ball
3 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman must take the FA Cup seriously this weekend.
The Dutchman has come to Everton to win trophies, and the expectations of supporters has increased during the last 12 months. We twice came close last year, reaching the semi-finals of both the League Cup and FA Cup, and that's give fans a real taste. They want a trip to Wembley. And with us out of the EFL Cup and not challenging for the title, the FA Cup is our final chance to give supporters a big day out.
That's why I hope Koeman starts with a pretty strong team against Leicester City on Saturday at Goodison. I'm not too sure how Leicester are going to approach it. They'll be distracted by their lowly position in the Premier League, but they may see this is a chance to gain some momentum.
When Koeman utilised his squad in the EFL Cup against Norwich City earlier this season it backfired badly. The Blues boss was let down by his players. And in the wake of that defeat, our confidence really dropped and we struggled to win a game for weeks afterwards.
We don't want that to happen again.
We won three good points against Southampton at the weekend and we've already beaten Leicester in the last fortnight. Don't forget, they are still the champions, and it's always a notable scalp to take.
A good run in the FA Cup will also be important in helping bring in new signings, if not in January then certainly in the summer. Christmas and New Year is always a pivotal period of any campaign, and we have to be happy with the manner in which we have responded following defeat in the derby.
Seven points from nine is always a good return, especially given that included tricky away games at Leicester City and Hull City in quick succession.
The EFL Cup tie against Norwich City in September was a low point of the campaign for Everton
And if you look at the last five games, you'd have taken the tally of 10 points from 15 – although personally I'd have taken a defeat to Arsenal if it meant beating Liverpool! Even when we were disappointing at Hull, we fought back, stuck at it and got something from the game. Similarly against Southampton, we weren't at our best but we got the job done. There wasn't really much going on for most of the game, and in that respect it was a typical festive performance. Players are tired and even the crowd appeared a little subdued. At this stage of the year, though, you want the points ahead of the performances. We're building confidence, and after that poor run throughout autumn, we're now top of our mini-league. It's disappointing that we aren't nearer the top six. For me, that is gone now. The teams above us are all getting into their stride, and nine points is a big gap to make up. We have to think long term. If we finish seventh, then that can only help attract players capable of pushing us up into that top six. It's therefore massively important that we don't allow the gap to grow too big. We have to at least attempt to keep track with them. I'd like us to start setting little targets and goals, such as improving our goal difference and increasing our number of clean sheets. It's just left for me to wish all Evertonians a happy New Year. Let's hope we have a good 2017 and a successful one – fingers crossed!
Cruel luck for Calvert-Lewin
It wasn't that long ago Ronald Koeman was being berated for not giving youth a chance.
On Monday, though, he became the first manager this season to name two teenagers in a Premier League starting line-up. Maybe he has been listening to what people have been telling him, most notably David Unsworth. Unsy and others will have been saying Tom Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin were ready for their first-team chance, not least as senior professionals had been given an opportunity and failed to impress.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin was looking lively before his injury against Southampton on Monday
I felt sorry for Calvert-Lewin. He already looked lively and had shown some good touches and was someone to play alongside Romelu Lukaku before he went off injured. Despite the injury, the young striker will surely take confidence from the fact he was trusted to start the game. Against Hull, he came on towards the end and caused them problems, not least with his header that was close to being the winner.
Hopefully the lad won't be out for too long. He has shown promise.
Barkley's starting to mature
Ross Barkley was in an unusual situation on Monday.
With Tom Davies being handed a start, Ross was no longer the youngster in midfield.
And I think that helped him.
I've been talking all season about handing Ross more responsibility. He got that by being handed the captaincy for the EFL Cup win over Yeovil back in August.
Ross Barkley made life easier for Tom Davies on Monday
But then came the setback with England and then having to deal with Ronald Koeman going public with certain comments. It's been a difficult season for him, but I was pretty pleased with his reaction against Southampton. He took it upon himself to help Davies through the game and took the pressure off the teenager, particularly in the second half when Ross's performance level noticeably improved.
For me, that was proof he is maturing as a player.
Get it done early!
So it's January – and the start of what could be the most important month of Everton's season.
With the transfer window now open, it's crucial we get our business – and we surely must be doing a fair bit of that – done early. Idrissa Gueye has now gone for the month and will be a big miss. For that reason, we need players who are going to come in straight away.
Morgan Schneiderlin of Manchester United is an Everton target
Morgan Schneiderlin is one target, but I'd be concerned he may not be able to hit the ground running. He hasn't played a lot of football with Manchester United of late.
That would be my only worry, as he's a good player and would certainly bolster the squad.
Hopefully he can become the first of many in the coming weeks.
Tom Davies: I will thrive having the chance to fill hole left by Idrissa Gueye for Everton
The 18-year-old impressed in his first start of the season against Southampton
By Ian Doyle
3 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Tom Davies wants the chance to help fill the breach in Everton's midfield following the departure of Idrissa Gueye. Davies made his first start of the season – and only the second of his senior career – in Monday's 3-0 Premier League win over Southampton at Goodison. While the 18-year-old featured alongside Gueye, the Senegal international has now departed for the African Cup of Nations and could be missing from Ronald Koeman's side for up to a month. And of being given a chance to shine in Gueye's absence, Davies said: "Hopefully, yeah. "Idrissa will be missed with him going away but that leaves a space for me. "If I can get a few more opportunities and show everyone how good I can be, that is something I will thrive on doing." Davies broke into the Everton first team towards the end of last season but was restricted to three substitute outings this campaign until impressive showings from the bench over Christmas at Leicester City and Hull City earned him a starting role on Monday. And the youngster believes that time on the sidelines has aided his development. "I wouldn't say it has been difficult," he said. "It has been good for me to learn because I don't feel that I was up to it at the start of the season but training with them and learning from all the lads has helped me. "I feel that in the few games I've come on in that I've learned a lot as well. That has been a part of my development. I feel like I'm ready now to help the team out. "The manager has always spoken to me, as well as his assistant. They are working me really well, David Unsworth with the under-23s too. "They have always said 'just be patient and your chance will come'. That is what I've been trying to do." Davies registered his first assist towards the end of Monday's game when finding Romelu Lukaku for Everton's third.
And he said: "Leighton has won the ball back on the left and it has broken for me nicely.
"I saw Rom pull off his defender, I've just passed him the ball really and he has done the rest.
"I have a lot to thank him for. It was a great moment for me to get my first assist."
Gueye has been a regular in the Everton midfield this season alongside veteran Gareth Barry, who Davies has cited as an influence. "He is really helpful," said the youngster. "He is always giving me bits of advice and he helps me out a lot in training. "He gives me advice on things I can learn from and things I should be doing. It is good to have him." Liverpool-born Davies was helped through the game on Monday by another Academy graduate, Ross Barkley, who is aware of the unique demands on a local-born talent. But Davies said: "I don't feel as though it is a pressure, I feel it is like them wanting me to do well. "Any time you do something in the game you can always hear them behind you. I think for me and Ross it is an absolute pleasure to play in front of your home club. "Is it tougher for young lads? Yeah, I think so but we all want to be doing it so it is something you just have to deal with. It is part of the game. "When the fans react in the way they have with me it is brilliant. I couldn't ask for anything more." While injuries to James McCarthy and Mo Besic have opened the door in midfield, Everton's continued pursuit of Manchester United's Morgan Schneiderlin suggests Davies will face a battle for continued first-team involvement. However, he is unruffled by the prospect of any arrivals this month.
"I think any competition is really good for the whole squad," said Davies. "Whoever they bring in I will just keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully I can stand out in training and in games so I keep my place."
Tom Davies: Advice from Ronald Koeman is helping me improve as a player
The 18-year-old made his first start under Koeman in the win over Southampton
By Ian Doyle
4 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Tom Davies has revealed how Everton boss Ronald Koeman is helping make him a better player.
Davies has been a breakthrough star for the Blues in recent weeks and impressed on his first start of the season in Monday's home Premier League win over Southampton. And the 18-year-old midfielder has told of taking tips from Koeman, who spent part of his career starring for the likes of Barcelona in the position. "There are a few things I've picked up," said Davies. "Keeping the ball is something I've been really working on. That is key for a midfielder and in games like this if you give it away you might not see it for the next five or 10 minutes. "I've been learning to keep the ball, being aware of what is around me and understanding where the opposition midfielders are so I can pick them up and not let them get the other side of me. "It is a part of my game I'm still working on. I don't think I'm complete in either of them. That is just something I hope I can keep improving on." Asked what it's like to learn from Koeman, Davies added: "It's big. I admire him as a player and as a manager because he has done so much in the game. "It is something I'd like to learn from him – how he has got to that position in the game. It is something I'm trying to pick up on. "Hopefully he can give me more advice and I can keep improving."
Everton transfer rumours: Deulofeu emerges as AC Milan's top target
Fallen giants want Blues winger as Goodison chiefs prepare to up bid for Schneiderlin
By Chris Beesley
4 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton's Gerard Deulofeu has emerged as AC Milan's top priority transfer target according to Gianluca Di Marzio of Sky Sport Italia. Rossoneri coach Vincenzo Montella has identified the out-of-favour wide man as the player to add an extra dimension to his side's attack and his club want to take him on loan.
The fallen giants who have won the European Cup seven times are currently lying fifth in Serie A and are looking to revamp their squad with Brazilian frontman Luiz Adriano expected to return to the Russian League. Deulofeu, 22, returned to Everton in a permanent deal in the summer of 2015 after previously enjoying a loan spell at Goodison Park in 2013/14. However, after some impressive displays in the first half of last season, he has struggled for form in recent months and has not featured on the pitch since the 3-2 loss at Watford on December 10. Everton are preparing an improved offer for Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin report the Mail. The Blues had an initial £19million proposal rejected for the France international after West Brom also failed with an offer of £13million which was turned down last month. United want to recoup close to the £24million they paid for Schneiderlin despite the fact he has failed to impress at Old Trafford. Meanwhile, the Mirror reports that Everton are battling it out with the north west's other Premier League big boys Manchester United, Manchester City and neighbours Liverpool for Bury prospects Jacob Bedeau and Callum Styles. Bedeau is a 17-year-old centre-back and has appeared in the Lancashire club's last six matches while Styles, who says he bases his playing style on Ronaldinho no less, has started the last three games in midfield for the League One side.
Could Everton be forced to give Enner Valencia back to West Ham?
Valencia came to Goodison as a last minute transfer deadline-day acquisition, after the Blues bid for Moussa Sissoko collapsed
By David Prentice
4 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic may be forced to go cap in hand to Everton and plead for Enner Valencia's season-long loan deal to be cut short. The Hammers have a striker crisis at present. Andre Ayew has jetted off to the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana, Diafra Sakho is out injured until March, while on-loan Jonathan Calleri, Gokhan Tore and Simone Zaza are all struggling and set to have their season-long loans cancelled. That leaves Bilic with only injury-hit Andy Carroll and raw youngster Ashley Fletcher as his sole striking options.
Everton January transfer window - Who do bookmakers think Blues could sign?
We've picked out 15 players with odds available to join Everton this month
By Kristian Walsh
4 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
It's a phrase you hear often, especially in this city: you never meet a skint bookie.
So when you consider betting companies are now offering odds on what is becoming January's biggest sporting event, interest is even higher. Every April, the eyes of the world turn to Aintree to watch the Grand National, with every betting shop on Merseyside packed out. But this month, focus is on sport of a different kind: football and its transfer window. The start of the year heralds a chance for clubs to do business, to shape and strengthen their squads for the remainder of the campaign – and beyond.
It is treated as if it is a standalone sport itself, proven by the odds available on a whole host of potential deals. No surprise Everton, a club looking to be busy over the next month, are central to a number of them. As always, a disclaimer or two: the odds do not always reflect the likelihood of the deals being done, and often the odds are short simply because of a couple of bets, rather than inside information.
Also, if you do gamble, do so responsibly. Here is a rundown of the players who the bookmakers think could be at Goodison Park by the close of the transfer window.
Morgan Schneiderlin – 1/3
Everton have a firm interest in the Manchester United midfielder, and the market suggests the Blues will see off competition from West Brom (a 7/2 shot) to bring him to the club. He is 5/1 to remain at Old Trafford.
Memphis Depay – Evens
Another United man, another short odds shot. You would double your money if the Dutch winger joined Everton by the end of the transfer window, with Roma the next likely team at 4/1.
Michael Keane – Evens
The Burnley defender has been linked with a move to Ronald Koeman's side this month, with central defence a clear position to strengthen for the Blues. Having impressed for Sean Dyche's men, Keane has been handed an England call-up, with Manchester United (a 6/1 shot) linked with their former prospect.
Gylfi Sigurdsson – 3/1
Odds are starting to drift a little now, although the Blues remain 'favourites' for the Icelandic midfielder's signature – if he were to leave Swansea this month. With the Welsh club struggling, and given Everton's interest last summer, Sigurdsson would offer some creativity to the midfield.
Saido Berahino – 7/2
Linked with seemingly every club in the Premier League, the West Bromwich Albion striker has fallen out of favour with Tony Pulis and could be available once more. Stoke remain favourites to sign him.
Jose Fonte – 4/1
Though Everton fans may want Koeman to reunite with another Southampton centre back, it is the Portuguese defender whose odds are shorter. There are doubts over Fonte's long-term future at St Mary's, with United 2/1 favourite.
Wayne Rooney – 11/2
Although he is 4/9 to remain at United this winter, Everton remain favourites if the former Blue decides to leave Old Trafford. Long odds still, undoubtedly – though the MLS (20/1) and Chinese Super League (28/1) remain even longer.
And some of the longer odds...
Yaya Toure – 10/1
Could anyone imagine the pressing game Koeman wants at Goodison Park being implemented by the Manchester City man? He's still quality, mind you, though the wages would be staggering. A whole host of clubs – including Arsenal – are 5/1 to sign him.
Virgil van Dijk – 12/1
Possibly the player Evertonians most want to sign this month, but they remain third favourites as a possible destination for the Dutch defender, with Chelsea 4/1 favourites. He's 2/5 to remain on the South Coast.
Ashley Young – 14/1
Having not featured much under Jose Mourinho, there is a suggestion Young could be heading out of Old Trafford. His former club Watford are favourites to sign him at 8/1, although he's much more likely to stay at United, with a price of 1/5.
Isco – 25/1
The Real Madrid man could be on his way out of the Bernabeu, with the Blues priced as a possible destination. AC Milan and Manchester United are joint-favourites at 4/1.
Italy's Leonardo Bonucci celebrates after scoring
Leonardo Bonucci – 25/1
The 29-year-old has been linked with Chelsea and they are 6/1 favourites, if the Juventus defender is to depart. But Everton are also in the market at long, long odds.
Daniel Sturridge – 25/1
There's more chance of Nick Barmby coming back, isn't there?
Joe Hart – 28/1
Everton's interest for Hart in the summer is well-known before the Manchester City man moved to Italy. Although he cannot play for another club this season, he can sign for one – but the 2/9 on him remaining at Torino seems a safe bet.
Dimitri Payet – 40/1
The longest odds available for Everton at the moment, and the outsiders of the market for the West Ham man. He's 2/5 to remain in East London, and 4/1 to head back to Marseille.
Everton close to announcing Ademola Lookman £10million deal
Lookman has been identified by director of football Steve Walsh as a star of the future but the teenager will join up with Ronald Koeman and the Everton first-team
By Phil Kirkbride
4 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton are hoping to announce the signing of Ademola Lookman today.
The 19-year-old is understood to have agreed terms on a long-term contract with the Blues close to finalising a £10m deal with Charlton Athletic. Lookman has been identified by director of football Steve Walsh as a star of the future but the teenager will join up with Ronald Koeman and the Everton first-team. The England under-21 international will not eligible to make his Blues debut until the visit of Manchester City a week on Sunday as he cup tied for Saturday's FA Cup third round clash with Leicester City. Lookman could feature for the Blues' u-23s next week against Rochdale. Everton are hoping to wrap up the transfer today but sources say, if not, then it will sorted by Thursday at the latest.
Seamus Coleman: Davies and McCarthy can ensure we cope without Idrissa Gueye
The Senegalese international is on international duty at the African Cup of Nations
By Daniel Matthews
4 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton possess enough quality - in the likes of Tom Davies and James McCarthy - to cope with the "huge loss" of Idrissa Gana Gueye, Seamus Coleman has said. Gueye has been a sensation since joining from relegated Aston Villa last summer. But the Senegalese international will be missing for the next few weeks while on international duty at the African Cup of Nations. The Blues are looking to sign Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin to bolster their midfield options and have already seen a £19million offer rejected. Davies, 18, has made only two senior starts for Everton, while McCarthy has struggled with injuries during his time on Merseyside. But Coleman believes both players have shown enough to suggest they are more than capable of filling the void left by the 27-year-old.
"[Gana's] going to be a huge loss," the defender told Evertonfc.com. "On the pitch he's been immense for us...in some games when we've struggled at times he's been the shining light in trying to get us over the line. "So we will miss him but it's the managers job now to put people in to replace him and I thought Tom did well in the last couple of games and obviously before James's injury he was flying as well against Arsenal and Liverpool. So he'll be itching to get back in as well and that's the way football is. You have to get people in to do the job as well." Davies made his first start to the season in Monday's 3-0 win against Southampton , setting up Romelu Lukaku for the Blues' third goal. The rare first team chance came after a string of impressive cameos off the bench. Coleman has praised the 18-year-old for the way he has coped with the added responsibility and says his performances are a reflection of David Unsworth's fine work as the boss of the club's Under-23s. "He's very laid back Tom to be fair [and] another one who has come through Unsy's school," he said. "Unsy has been brilliant with all the Under-23s - he puts an arm round them when they need it so Tom has come through a good school there and he's been brilliant for us. "He's trained well and the games he's played haven't phased him."
After taking seven points from their last three matches the Blues face Leicester in the third round of the FA Cup at Goodison on Saturday.
Ronald Koeman's side were beaten 2-0 at home by Norwich at the same stage of the EFL Cup in September. And Coleman says it's crucial Everton don't pass up another chance of silverware.
"For everyone starting out in the third round the aim is to get to Wembley in May and lift the trophy," he said. "So it's exciting and it's important we approach it correctly and try to win the game," he said.
Why Everton's Idrissa Gueye is the best ball-winning midfielder in Europe
The Senegal international has been a huge hit at Goodison Park since his £7m move from Aston Villa in the summer - and these stats prove why
By Paul Gorst
4 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton 's Idrissa Gueye can lay claim to being the best ball-winning midfielder in Europe.
The Senegal international has been a huge hit at Goodison Park since his £7m move from Aston Villa in the summer, and the energetic midfielder has the stats to be back up the assertion. Statistics taken from Squawka.com have shown Gueye to be the most successful at tackles and interceptions per game throughout 2016. Throughout the calendar year, Gueye made 176 tackles and 124 interceptions, at a rate of 8.25 tackles and interceptions per game. Those impressive stats mark him out as the most effective player in his position in Europe's top five leagues. Despite Aston Villa's miserable relegation to the Championship, Gueye caught the eye with some of his performances, and convinced Blues boss Ronald Koeman to sign the 27-year-old on a four-year deal in August. However, the Blues will have to make do without Gueye in the engine room after he departed for African Cup of Nations with Senegal on Tuesday, and the midfielder could miss over a month of Premier League action. Everton face Leicester in the FA Cup on January 7, Manchester City in the league eight days later before a game at Crystal Palace on January 21. The African Cup of Nations runs until February 5, so Gueye could also miss the games with Stoke City and Bournemouth.
Everton new stadium: 'Significant' hurdles remain, admits Chief Executive
Robert Elstone did say the club are "optimistic about the new stadium prospects"
By Phil Kirkbride
4 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton admit there remain "significant issues" to be overcome in their search for a new stadium.
Hopes of an announcement over a proposed site at Bramley Moore Dock were dashed at tonight's general meeting at the city's Philharmonic Hall as the club spoke of a "critical" few months ahead.
But chief executive Robert Elstone insists the Blues remain "optimistic" and says they are working closely with Liverpool City Council to find a solution. The club revealed that design work, viability studies and a long-term business plan are in place for a new ground but also stated that "alternatives" are ready to be discussed if necessary. It had been understood that Stonebridge Cross in Croxteth was the only other site under consideration. Elstone said: "We are optimistic about the new stadium prospects. "It's an optimism tempered by some significant remaining issues that need to be resolved before we can move forward. "But it's an optimism founded on solid progress on many fronts, most encouragingly, progress in our partnership with the City Council and its willingness to explore options to support our efforts to find the money to make the stadium viable, the biggest challenge we've always faced. "Right now, that's where almost all our efforts are directed, along with the time and resource being invested in design options, testing viability from commercial, planning and transport perspectives and considering different sites. "But before we can move forward, we need to find the answers to the uncertainties, work through the unknowns and, ultimately, present the answers that will allow the Board to make the right decisions for the club. "The next few months will be critical, mostly in respect of our partnership with the City Council but we are optimistic and I would like to thank the Mayor for his support and the support of his team over the past 12 months. It's an exciting project that could cement the Club's future and make a significant contribution to the City."
Everton announce season ticket price freeze and reduction at General Meeting
A season ticket cap was also announced, along with a new price category for young people
By David Prentice
4 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton Chief Executive Robert Elstone has announced that every Everton season ticket for 2017/18 will be either frozen in price or reduced. Mr Elstone revealed the measure at the club's General Meeting at the Philharmonic Hall. Mr Elstone also announced:
* A new 12-month payment option for Blues fans.
* A new reduced price category for fans aged between 22 and 24.
* Early Bird pricing becoming the standard price for all season tickets.
* A maximum season ticket price of £565, ensuring no adult season ticket costs more than £30 per game. Mr Elstone said: "Every single season ticket holder will pay the same, or less, for his or her season ticket. "Very much aware of the challenges of finding well-paid work, paying the rent and raising a young family, there will also be a new £20-per-game price offer of £380 for young Evertonians under 25.
"The reason we're announcing this now is that we will be offering a 12-month direct debit scheme, costing an adult just over £40 per month. Furthermore, no Everton season ticket will cost more than the aggregated away ticket which, at £30 per game, adds up to a £570 cap. "We feel confident that our current pricing structure represents great value for money and holds up well when compared to our rivals. Most importantly, it makes football at Goodison affordable for young fans.
"All of us at Everton see ourselves as custodians and, in that capacity, it is incumbent on us to endeavour to hand on a healthy and sustainable club to the next custodians. "A big part of that is a young, growing fanbase and efforts over recent years have seen us make great progress. "Work in these areas – junior supporters' clubs, fans' forum and themed matchdays, alongside great prices – is bearing fruit.
"More than 20,000 young fans bought a ticket last season with 60 per cent of them residing on Merseyside." Mr Elstone added: "Over the past five seasons, more than 40,000 new, young supporters have attended a game, buying more than 300,000 tickets in total. "We estimate one in four of our fans who attended the Southampton game were under 22 years, compared to a Premier League average of one in six. And nine out of 10 of those under the age of 22, who were season ticket holders, renewed.
"We were also delighted to take the lead on fairer pricing for away fans, quite simply because it was the right thing to do. "The outcome of this affordable pricing strategy is a significant drop in what we generate from each seat for each game and it's a key element of a clear strategy of 'being a Club' – being good at listening, sharing and responding to what we hear; working with supporters' clubs and the fans' forum, working hard with social media and, of course, being great in the community." Everton played a leading role on the Premier League's fairer pricing policy for away fans, which capped away tickets at £30 per game, and the success of the club's pricing at Goodison has been reflected in more than 20,000 young fans under the age of 22 having bought a ticket last season, including 6,724 season tickets and half season tickets.
Everton reveal at AGM that plan for new ground by docks is on track
• Announcement will be made in two to three months
• Major shareholder identifies Premier League success as key
By Andy Hunter
Wednesday 4 January 2017 Guardian
Farhad Moshiri, Everton's major shareholder, has said he will not allow the club to become a museum as it was confirmed plans to relocate to a new dockside stadium have progressed with Liverpool city council. Moshiri outlined his ambitions for Everton at the club's annual general meeting on Wednesday, his first since acquiring a 49.9% stake last February. The British-Iranian billionaire has made an interest-free loan of £80m to the club, used to pay off other loans totalling £54.8m plus a severance payment to the former manager Roberto Martínez, and has visited potential sites for a new stadium in recent months at Bramley Moore dock and Stonebridge Cross on the outskirts of the city. Everton's preference is to relocate to north Liverpool docks and while there was no confirmation of a stadium move at the AGM, the chief executive, Robert Elstone, and the mayor, Joe Anderson, said the club and council were working closely on the complex move. Anderson, asked to address shareholders by the Everton chairman, Bill Kenwright, said: "Everybody in this room wants the waterfront site. We have got 'Plan Bs' but everyone is working exhaustingly hard to deliver the site you all want. It is a unique opportunity to seize so we will be supporting the club. This is the most exciting opportunity this club has had in decades and we will make sure it is developed and it happens along with the leadership there and with me working alongside Everton FC." Elstone, who told the AGM that Everton are close to announcing a new shirt sponsorship deal and naming rights partner for the training ground worth £75m in total, added: "We have looked at planning and transport issues. One site is more favourable. The opportunities are much greater at that site but so are the costs. We have to find answers to some of the uncertainties and risks because it is the biggest decision the club will ever make." The chief executive believes it will be two to three months before an announcement is made. Moshiri said his ambition was to restore Everton to the elite of English football and that wallowing in a rich history or winning popularity contests would not suffice. The former Arsenal shareholder said: "It's not enough to say you are a special club and a great club – we don't want to be a museum. We need to be competitive and to win. The gold standard is the Premier League position, not the FA Cup, and I love the FA Cup. You need to do well in the league. That is where Everton's competitive edge will be measured and needs to be totally focused.
"There is a mini-league emerging this year of six clubs. Three of the six clubs are historically big clubs – Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool – who started succeeding after us with the global expansion of the Premier League. Manchester City and Chelsea bankrolled their success before financial fair play came in. "Tottenham is a mix of good luck, Harry Kane coming through and being in London with London ticket prices, so they have a long waiting list so can go for a big new stadium, but they are not there yet. West Ham with their new stadium could have been a threat but it is not working that way.
"We have a position but we do not have all the time in the world. We need to establish ourselves and we have a window to do it. Bill and previous managers kept the club close to the elite for many years but now we need to look at a sustainable base to be among the elite. It takes time but we are committed, that's why we are here." Everton also announced at the AGM that season ticket prices for the 2017-18 campaign would be the same or below this season's prices. It was projected the club would receive £133.6m in broadcasting revenue this season with Moshiri's loan saving the club more than £5m a year in interest payments on other loans.
Everton stadium latest: Bill Kenwright hints at Bramley Moore preference
Mayor Joe Anderson speaks of waterfront site being "most exciting opportunity in decades"
By Phil Kirkbride
4 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Bill Kenwright has dropped the biggest hint yet that Everton want their new stadium at a site at the Bramley Moore Dock. And Mayor Joe Anderson backed up the Blues chairman's comments at Wednesday night's General Meeting by declaring it: "The most exciting opportunity this club has had in decades." The Mayor, in an impromptu speech, went onto reveal that further investment is to be ploughed into the area with the building of a new railway station. Everton chief executive Robert Elstone earlier in the night made it clear that there remains "significant issues" to overcome in Everton's search for a new stadium but said a final decision is likely to be made within the next three months.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson The site at Bramley Moore Dock was not mentioned by name by any of the Blues' board of directors or majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri at the Philharmonic Hall but it was made tacitly clear it was the waterfront plot they were talking about. Chairman Kenwright said: "We have had big support from the Mayor and the Council this year but, on a personal level, I've had it for a long time, as has Robert. "It was Joe who came and sat with me in the office when we first discussed Walton Hall Park, which was fantastic for me to hear and we really did try. "Look guys, there's no real question as to where we want to be, there is no real question. "We have alternatives but we are working studiously towards that, we have made visits."
The Everton chairman then handed the mic to Mayor Anderson.
"The elephant in the room is the waterfront site, it's what everybody in this room wants, me included, and we're aware of that," Anderson said. "But as someone said, it is a complex issue. The challenge with Walton Hall Park was we wanted a site that could be regenerated, that brought benefits for that particular area. "There were all kinds of issues but, believe you me, we tried our best to look at that.
"But it was only going to be acceptable to me if we created a whole district, with jobs and housing."
"What lessons have we learnt from that?" he added. "I remember when we talked about Destination Kirkby and I came along, by proxy, to an AGM and said that we needed a plan B. "We've got plan Bs now but everybody is working, extremely hard,to deliver on the site you want, we all want, everyone of us. "I can hear people making comments about 'why is the city involved in this?' and 'why is the city involved with Everton Football Club?'. "Well, we did it with Liverpool Football Club. The City Council invested around about £23m in that particular regeneration of that area and supported that huge stand through the planning process and we backed that club to the hilt. "For me, what happens in North Liverpool is crucially important for the whole city and that's why, when Robert and Bill says they have the Council's support, they have the Council's support through every challenge that we face.
Farhad Moshiri, Bill Kenwright and Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson have all visited Bramley Moore Dock "On Friday, we announced £20m being spent on a road connecting into the dock site. Three months later, round about the end of April, we'll be announcing about £6m that goes directly into the site around....the site we're looking at. "The reality is, there is a railway station being built there and the catalyst for this city, in terms of its prosperity and jobs for young people that we're all connected to, is to grow our city and those docks in North Liverpool, the Tobacco Warehouse, the investment that's taking place there....that's why Farhad knows exactly what I mean, potentially for Liverpool, it is one of the unique opportunities for us there to seize.
"So we will be supporting the club.
"This is the most exciting opportunity this club has had in decades and we'll make sure it's developed and it happens along with the leadership and along with me working alongside Everton Football Club."
Elstone went onto add: "We've spent a lot of time over the last 12 months working closely with the Council and I really feel we're within two to three months of bottoming out that particular partnership. That's pivotal to how we go forward. "I'm really hopeful that in that timeframe we will be announcing a positive partnership with the Council. That then triggers the next steps; and there are a number of next steps. As one of the shareholders acknowledged with his question, something of this scale is incredibly complex. "We would be far from home and hosed in thee months time, but the partnership with the Council is critical, and if we can nail that in the next few weeks then it would be great news."
Earlier in the night, during his presentation, the chief executive had admitted that there remain "significant issues" to be overcome in their search for a new stadium. Elstone spoke of a "critical" few months ahead but insisted the Blues remain "optimistic". The club revealed that design work, viability studies and a long-term business plan are in place for a new ground but also stated that "alternatives" are ready to be discussed if necessary. "We are optimistic about the new stadium prospects," he said.
"It's an optimism tempered by some significant remaining issues that need to be resolved before we can move forward. "But it's an optimism founded on solid progress on many fronts, most encouragingly, progress in our partnership with the City Council and its willingness to explore options to support our efforts to find the money to make the stadium viable, the biggest challenge we've always faced.
"Right now, that's where almost all our efforts are directed, along with the time and resource being invested in design options, testing viability from commercial, planning and transport perspectives and considering different sites. "But before we can move forward, we need to find the answers to the uncertainties, work through the unknowns and, ultimately, present the answers that will allow the Board to make the right decisions for the club. "The next few months will be critical, mostly in respect of our partnership with the City Council but we are optimistic and I would like to thank the Mayor for his support and the support of his team over the past 12 months. It's an exciting project that could cement the Club's future and make a significant contribution to the City."
Joe Anderson reveals plans to build train station close to new Everton stadium site
Mayor Anderson said the Northern Line station will form part of the council's support for the North Docks project
By Greg O'Keeffe
4 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has revealed plans for a train station close to the waterfront site where Everton want to build their new stadium. Speaking at the Blues general meeting, Mayor Anderson said the Northern Line station will form part of the council's support for the North Docks project along with wider work on a new road improving access to the £5.5bn Liverpool Waters development. In an impromptu speech during the event at the Philharmonic Hall , Everton chairman Bill Kenwright asked the Mayor to address the club's shareholders during a discussion about their hopes for a new ground.
Mr Anderson said: "On Friday, we announced £20m being spent on a road connecting into the dock site.
"Three months later, around about the end of April, we'll be announcing about £6m that goes directly into the site around the site we're looking at. "The reality is, there is a railway station being built there and the catalyst for this city, in terms of its prosperity and jobs for young people that we're all connected to, is to grow our city and those docks in North Liverpool. "The Tobacco Warehouse, the investment that's taking place there - that's why Farhad (Moshiri, Everton's majority investor) knows exactly what I mean, potentially for Liverpool, it is one of the unique opportunities for us there to seize.
"So we will be supporting the club."
Everton chief executive Robert Elstone said the club hopes to reveal more details of their progress in moving to the Bramley Moore site within the next "two to three months."
He said: "We've done some really good detailed work on planning issues and transport to get some clarity on the sites we're looking at. "Clearly, as was mentioned, there is one site that is more favourable. "The opportunities are much greater and at the same time the costs are much greater, so we've got to make sure we do our homework. "We do have to find some answers to some of the uncertainties and some of the risks. It's the biggest decision the club will ever make and it's really important we get it right. "I think there is a real sense of partnership between us and the city council and the Mayor's words echoed that."
Everton secure bumper £75m shirt and training ground sponsorship deal
Chief executive Robert Elstone also revealed the club will have their shirt sleeves sponsored next season
By Greg O'Keeffe
4 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton will receive a £75m commercial boost after securing bumper new sponsorship deals for the club's shirt and training ground. Chief executive Robert Elstone said the identity of the companies involved will be announced imminently, as the Blues also pursue a separate multi-million pound shirt-sleeve sponsor for their kits next season. Speaking at the club's General Meeting at the Philharmonic Hall , Mr Elstone said the two already finalised deals will run over a five-year period. He said: "It is two really positive, clearly high value deals we will be announcing shortly. "Part of the £75m amounts to a major new naming partner for our training ground. We can't announce that right now but it will be announced shortly and it's great news. "The other thing is a three-fold increase in the value of our shirt sponsorship and we will release that new partner in due cause. "We're also hopeful we will secure a good deal for the shirt sleeve property. "It's real, tangible progress."
Elstone was unable to say whether the new shirt sponsorship deal was with long-term partner, the Thai Beer company Chang. Everton in shirt sponsor talks with African betting firm Elstone said: "The two deals we've concluded are already banked and secured under legal contract and will generate £75m for the club over a five year period. "It's a substantial increase in value. "We're also hopeful we will secure a good deal for the shirt sleeve property."
He stressed that growing the Goodison outfit's commercial revenue is vital to ensure they can move forward while also complying with UEFA's Financial Fair Play Rules; which are designed to stop wealthy owners bankrolling success in an unsustainable fashion. He was speaking shortly after Iranian billionaire Farhad Moshiri, the club's majority investor, had given unprecedented insight into his ambitions to take Everton into football's elite. "It's vital as we look to find the resource to support Ronald Koeman that we're playing within the rules of Financial Fair Play," he said.
Everton transfer rumours: Schneiderlin growing 'impatient' over Goodison move
A round-up of transfer rumours and speculation from around the web
By Joe Rimmer
5 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton could be closing in on a deal to sign Morgan Schneiderlin from Manchester United, according to reports in France. Schneiderlin is a transfer target for Ronald Koeman after the two worked together at Southampton, but as yet there has been no progress on a deal. That could all change in the coming days, with L'Equipe reporting that Schneiderlin is growing 'impatient' over a move and has made his mind up that he wants to get a transfer to Goodison Park sorted as soon as possible. West Brom have also expressed an interest but the French midfielder reportedly has no intention of moving to the Hawthorns. Elsewhere this morning and Southampton have reportedly made a move for Napoli striker Manolo Gabbiadini after the Italian side confirmed the arrival of Leonardo Pavoletti from Genoa.
Gabbiadini was a transfer target for Everton in the summer, but the Blues have yet to rekindle their interest in the 25-year-old. Wolfsburg and Stoke are also said to be keen.
'Here was Farhad Moshiri in the flesh and he didn't disappoint'
COMMENT: Everton correspondent Phil Kirkbride reflects on a promising appearance by Blues majority investor
By Phil Kirkbride
5 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
With one line Farhad Moshiri nodded to Everton's gloried past but then beckoned them towards a brighter future. The Blues' majority shareholder had last night's audience at the club's General Meeting hanging on his every word but there was a particular phrase that stuck with everybody. "We are a great club and we don't want to be a museum," he said. It struck a chord, sparking a round of applause from shareholders, the first of two Moshiri would receive last night, which is some going at an event such as this, but illustrative of the impressive way in which he spoke. Evertonians have heard from him before, albeit over the radio waves or in short statements, but here he was, in the flesh, in touching distance, in front of supporters, the man who holds the key to making Everton great again. And there was an undeniable sense that everyone inside the Philharmonic Hall, even those who know him, were hanging off his every word. We're told Moshiri is not one for public speaking but he talked with ambition, with blunt reality but relaxed passion and humour.
There was even some Koeman-like straight-to-the-point stuff as well.
It was note perfect.
"It has far exceeded my expectations," he said, when asked about his Everton experience so far.
"Everything about it, the train journeys and meeting the fans, they're really special fans. "They kept on buying beer for me and I said: 'I don't drink beer'. Six or seven pints of beer..." Moshiri could now add a laugh to the applause he'd already received. "The day I went to Bill's office was a very special day," he said. "I had looked at a number of clubs and I'd been at Arsenal for a very long time as a minority shareholder and I just wanted to be involved in a club. "Meeting Bill, and especially in his office, was what had the greatest impression on me. That was a real man, totally obsessed in whatever he's doing. I saw all the photographs of the musicals, the movie productions and the great moments of Everton.
Bill Kenwright in his office, surrounded by Everton memorabilia "His enthusiasm for Everton was infectious, we started talking about the club, and I'm an accountant, and I said: 'Bill, look at the debts!'.
"'No these are assets' he said. 'These are not debts'. "You couldn't find anything negative, his heart was Everton and I just found him a guy very much in my own mould in driven and committed to what he liked. "He talked about the history, values and heritage of Everton. We kept on meeting each other and we became friends, he met my family, we got to know each other and, after a while, there was no real other option - it was Everton." One shareholder took him to task on it in a question and answer session.
"We need to be competitive and, for me, the gold standard for me is Premier League position, not FA Cup," he said. "I love the FA Cup but I think we need to do well in the league, that's where Everton's competitive edge will be measured." "We have a mini-league emerging this year with six clubs," Moshiri added. "Three of the six are historically the big clubs - Arsenal, United and Liverpool.
"These are the clubs that started succeeding when the global audiences got involved.
"And then Manchester City and Chelsea bankrolled their success before Financial Fair Play came in.
"Tottenham are a mixture of good luck, people like Kane coming through, being in London with London ticket prices and a long waiting list which enables them to go to a big stadium.
"But they are not there yet. "West Ham with the new stadium could've been a threat but it is not working that way, so we have a position but we don't have all the time in the world. "We have a window to establish ourselves and we'll do everything we can. "Bill, in the past 19 or 20 years through sheer dedication and ability to get things together - and the previous managers - kept the club close to the elite. "But now we need to look at sustainability, we need a sustainable base to be among the elite. It takes time but we are committed, that's why we are here." Chairman Bill Kenwright, sat next to Moshiri, is equally as enamoured with the club's majority shareholder, speaking of a man he now calls his friend and one he tried to share his love of Everton with. "It was a long, long search in which many, many people came forward, some of them excellent," Kenwright said. "But I think, 18 months ago, Farhad came to meet me, who knows anything in life but instantly, I promise you, this was a man who I knew could get us out of the problem times we were having where we were having to fight for every penny, we had to plead with the bank every week. "The one thing that struck me most was he was a nice man. The second thing was his love of football, not Everton like us, his love of football was astonishing. It seemed as though he knew more about football than anyone I've ever met. He actually lived for football. "It was my job, from that moment, to make him live a little bit for Everton - thank God I did, because already from the extraordinary things he's done, he's also a Blue." "This last year for me hasn't been easy but if I hadn't had Farhad, it would have been much more difficult," he went onto say.
"All I can tell you about him is that he wants to sign more players than you want to sign!
"He sits there and says 'we'll get him, we'll get him' he's really there for it, for the stadium, for Everton."
Everton confirm signing of Ademola Lookman from Charlton Athletic
• England Under-20 winger forward to have cost an initial £7.5m
• I feel I'm ready to make the step up to the Premier League, he says
Thursday 5 January 2017 Guardian
Everton have announced the signing of Ademola Lookman from Charlton Athletic on a four-and-a-half year deal for an initial £7.5m in a deal with add-ons rising to £11m. The England Under-20 forward broke into Charlton's first-team midway through last season and quickly caught the eye with his direct running. He is contracted until June 2021 and will wear shirt No31.
"It feels great to be an Everton player," the 19-year-old. "As soon as I heard about Everton's interest I knew this would be the right place for me. "Everton has a big history and I was also attracted by the manager. When you look at what he did at Southampton, and what he does with young players in terms of developing them, that was a big attraction.
👕 | @Alookman_ will wear the number 31 shirt at #EFC. #WelcomeAdemola pic.twitter.com/YHwZgMGTcy
January 5, 2017
"It was great playing in the Championship last season and for the last six months in League One but I feel like I'm ready to make the step up to the Premier League." Ronald Koeman, the Everton manager, said: "Ademola is a big talent and, at 19 years old, he has a big future in the game. I'm really happy that we've been able to bring him here to the club. "This is part of the vision we have for the club and it's important to give to young players the opportunity so that the team continues to evolve and improve. We believe in the player and in the development of the player which, of course, will take time but he will have a big part to play in the future of the club."
Confirmed: Ademola Lookman joins Everton in deal worth up to £11m
Everton have signed the exciting young forward on a four-and-a-half-year deal
By Greg O'Keeffe
5 JAN 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton have confirmed the signing of exciting Charlton Athletic youngster Ademola Lookman.
The 19-year-old penned a four-and-a-half-year contract and said he's "ready to make the step up" to the Premier League. The pacy England Under-20 international, who has impressed since breaking into Charlton Athletic's first team midway through last season, is believed to have cost an initial £7.5m which could rise to £11m. The teenager described his transfer to the Blues as a 'dream move'. He said: "It feels great to be an Everton player. "As soon as I heard about Everton's interest I knew this would be the right place for me. "Everton has a big history and I was also attracted by the manager.
"When you look at what he did at Southampton, and what he does with young players in terms of developing them, that was a big attraction. "It was great playing in The Championship last season and for the last six months in League One but I feel like I'm ready to make the step up to the Premier League.
"I want to settle in as soon as possible, it's just a matter of time before I do. "The manager can help me to develop all aspects of my game, but especially the tactical side of things. I've spoken to him and he's told me it's down to me. It's about what I do, what I produce on the pitch - that is what matters."
Ronald Koeman said: "Ademola is a big talent and, at 19 years old, he has a big future in the game. I'm really happy that we've been able to bring him here to the club. "This is part of the vision we have for the club and it's important to give to young players the opportunity so that the team continues to evolve and improve. "We believe in the player and in the development of the player which, of course, will take time but he will have a big part to play in the future of the club." Lookman is cup tied and will not be available for Saturday's FA Cup third round game against Leicester City at Goodison.
Born in Wandsworth, south west London, he learned his trade at local junior club Waterloo FC before being snapped up by Charlton's Academy in the summer of 2014. He swiftly moved through the Addicks' Under-18 and development sides (notching 17 goals in 28 games for the Under-18s in 2014/15) before earning a senior debut in November 2015, a couple of weeks after his 18th birthday.
Everton transfer news: Club confirm Ademola Lookman on a four-and-a-half year deal
Lookman becomes the most expensive League One player ever
January 5 2017
Everton have confirmed the signing of Charlton Athletic winger Ademola Lookman for an undisclosed fee, understood to be in the region of £10m. The England under-20 international has signed a four-and-a-half year deal which will keep him at Goodison Park until June 2021 and makes him the most expensive League One player ever. Lookman broke into the Charlton first team midway through last season and has scored seven goals in 25 appearances in all competitions so far this season.
The 19-year-old will go straight to work with the first team and could find himself in the team earlier than expected after manager Ronald Koeman confirmed Yannick Bolaise could be out until 2018 after knee surgery. Lookman said: "It feels great to be an Everton player. "As soon as I heard about Everton's interest I knew this would be the right place for me. "Everton has a big history and I was also attracted by the manager. "When you look at what he did at Southampton, and what he does with young players in terms of developing them, that was a big attraction. "It was great playing in The Championship last season and for the last six months in League One but I feel like I'm ready to make the step up to the Premier League." On the signing, Koeman said it was the sort of signing that was in-keeping with the new vision of the club. "Ademola is a big talent and, at 19 years old, he has a big future in the game. I'm really happy that we've been able to bring him here to the club," said Koeman. "This is part of the vision we have for the club and it's important to give to young players the opportunity so that the team continues to evolve and improve. "We believe in the player and in the development of the player which, of course, will take time but he will have a big part to play in the future of the club."
New dockside station needed whatever happens to Everton's stadium, mayor says
18:01, 5 JAN 2017UPDATED18:02, 5 JAN 2017
A new dockland station would go ahead whether or not an Everton stadium is built, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson says. The mayor last night told the Blues general meeting that he wanted to see a station in the city's northern docklands, near the Bramley Moore Dock site where Everton is considering building a stadium. That area is already earmarked for regeneration under Peel's Liverpool Waters scheme and the council's "Ten Streets" plan to create a new creative quarter. Some developments, including the Titanic Hotel, have already happened. Earlier this week the council announced plans for a new road link to the waterfront while another scheme – further north and nearer to Bramley Moore dock – is also in the works. A new stadium would be sure to attract still more business to the area. But even without it, Mayor Anderson says the growing north docks area would need a station. And he says such a station would only go ahead if it was in the "best interests of Liverpool". He said: "We've already had tentative discussions with Merseytravel and our colleagues at the combined authority. "If the footfall as we expect it to increase and that leads to business and new residential and leisure taking off then there will be a requirement for a station that serves that area. "That's why I'm confident that we will get a station at a time that coincides with, or is not far off from, when the stadium is built. That's the aim. "If the stadium didn't happen we'll still be looking at the regeneration of that area that would support transport plans." But developments since then have accelerated regeneration plans for the north docks area, known as the "Atlantic Corridor", and so made the need for a station more urgent. Mayor Anderson said: "That whole potential has to be considered when looking at whether it would be sensible to have a station that could service the whole area." A new station could sit on the Northern Line between Sandhills and Moorfields stations. That would place it near to the Stanley Dock complex, home to the Titanic Hotel. Next door the Tobacco Warehouse, the largest brick building in the world, is being converted into hundreds of apartments.Between the Tobacco Warehouse and Costco lie the ten streets that Liverpool council wants to see turned into the new Baltic Triangle. Officials suggest that old buildings and warehouses in those streets, including Cotton Street and Oil Street, could become home to creative and digital businesses – while there is also land available for new developments. Some firms have already moved to the north docks. The team behind the former city centre Kazimier venue has opened up the Invisible Wind Factory, while Make Liverpool has opened a workshop that can be used by entrepreneurs. In October, the council said the Atlantic Corridor had attracted £260m investment since January 2012, with another £180m of projects on site or seeking planning permission. Officials are planning a £22m road widening scheme for the A565 Great Howard Street and Derby Road, following the ongoing £9.7m work to make Great Howard Street a dual carriageway. Over the dock wall, Peel's plans for the £5,5bn Liverpool Waters regeneration scheme are moving slowly forward. Liverpool Waters stretches from the Royal Liver Building to Bramley Moore Dock. Most activity so far has focused on Princes Dock, where work on a new skyscraper could start this year and others are planned. the city's proposed cruise liner terminal would also be built off the dock. But the long-term masterplan would see houses, offices and even a park built on the remaining land over the next two decades.That in itself would support the case for a stadium. But if Everton did decide to build a stadium at Bramley Moore Dock then development at the northern end of the site would speed up. Mayor Anderson said: "The stadium could be a catalyst. "If you look at Peel's plan, they're talking about 15 or 25 years. "What I'm saying, and we're talking to Peel about it, is that it would be great to have 'bookends'. "We've got development taking place in the south. But also we could have this in the north. That would have a concertina effect down towards the city centre, where there's a vision for green space and housing. "There is a unique opportunity for regeneration and jobs to be created in that area of the city." Mayor Anderson said: "If the stadium does get sited at Bramley Moore then it's not just the stadium that's going to go there – it will be retail, leisure, bars and restaurants. That's what will be attracted there because the stadium is developing. "It makes even more sense to develop a station there that serves that whole district." Liverpool council this week revealed it wanted to build a new road to the waterfront. The planned road would cross what's now the King Edward Industrial Estate between waterfront Waterloo Road and the junction of Leeds Street and Great Howard Street. That scheme would help improve access to Princes Dock, and potentially to any future cruise liner terminal. But the mayor says another link to the waterfront is being planned further north. That road could link to the central area of Liverpool waters, earmarked for housing and a park, but could also improve access to any stadium. He said: "The £6m road that will be announced in a couple of months time will service that site. It would help, of course, the new stadium."
'WE HAVE ALSO INVESTED AROUND ANFIELD'
The mayor and Merseytravel will now have to work out how any new station would be funded. Any council investment around an Everton stadium site would prove controversial. The mayor says he would only approve any such funding if it benefited the city. And he compared any investment around Bramley Moore Dock to the regeneration work the council has carried out around Anfield stadium as Liverpool FC has rebuilt its main stand. He said: "We're not shareholders in the football club. We are prepared to work with Everton to see in what ways we can assist them. "But whatever we do it will be in the best interests of Liverpool and its people, not solely in the best interests of Everton FC." "We invested around £23m around Anfield because was a regeneration project that was not just a stadium for Liverpool FC. "If we can help Everton FC in a way that can benefit Liverpool and is good for the city then we won't shirk from doing that." Not much, yet. A Merseytravel spokesperson said: "The Long Term Rail Strategy for the Liverpool City Region, published in the summer of 2014, identifies a number of potential new station sites across the region, including one at Vauxhall on the Northern Line of the Merseyrail network. "We will work in partnership with all the key stakeholders engaged in the development of any new stadium to ensure the appropriate public transport provisions are in place to facilitate effective connectivity."
Man Utd asking price for Memphis Depay proving prohibitive to would be suitors
5 JANUARY 2017 • 8:58PM
Memphis Depay could be stuck at Old Trafford until the end of the season with Manchester United's eagerness to sell rather than loan out the Holland winger proving a significant financial obstacle for would-be suitors. United paid PSV Eindhoven an initial £25 million for Depay in June 2015 and want to recoup a substantial portion of that fee for the 22-year-old. But the combination of a £20 million price tag and Depay's £90,000 a week wages have so far proved prohibitive to clubs interested in ending the player's Old Trafford nightmare. United manager Jose Mourinho has already insisted that Sam Johnstone, the goalkeeper who joined Aston Villa on loan on Thursday until the end of the season, would be the only first team player to leave on a temporary basis this month. But it remains to be seen whether United soften their stance over Depay later in the transfer window and allow him to leave on loan with a view to him playing regularly elsewhere and potentially bolstering his transfer value ahead of a permanent move in the summer. Ronald Koeman, the Everton manager, is interested in taking Depay to Goodison Park as a replacement for winger Yannick Bolasie, who could be out until next year with a knee injury. But with Koeman prioritising the purchase of another United player, Morgan Schneiderlin, for whom they are expected to make an improved offer this week after having a £19 million bid rejected, Everton would prefer a loan arrangement regarding Depay. Roma are also thought to be more interested in loaning than buying Depay while Nice have spoken publicly this week about the financial hurdles to securing a deal and United's opposition to a loan. "We looked at him, like a lot of clubs have, but it is extremely complicated," Jean-Pierre Rivere, the Nice president, said. "It is a situation that is out of our financial reach. You have a club that bought him for a certain amount that wants to sell him. When we looked at Depay, it was in another way, which is not possible today." Contrary to reports, United have no interesting in re-signing 35-year-old left back, Patrice Evra, with Mourinho determined to give Luke Shaw a chance to prove his worth. United are also looking to recall Cameron Borthwick-Jackson from his miserable loan spell at Wolverhampton Wanderers next week after growing exasperated at how the young left back has been frozen out at the Midlands club. The Telegraph reported last month how Mourinho had rejected a bid from Wolves to sign goalkeeper Johnstone on loan after being unhappy at the treatment of Borthwick-Jackson, who has made just six appearances in the Championship and not played since early November.
Everton boss Koeman will "accept" if board say targets are too expensive
22:30, 5 JAN 2017
Ronald Koeman says he must "accept" if Everton's board deem a transfer target too expensive. Everton had a £19m bid for Manchester United's Morgan Schneiderlin rejected this week but are expected to return with an improved offer and remain hopeful of landing the midfielder. Koeman believes buying and selling clubs 'play games' in January in order to get the best deal possible. But the Blues boss says that if the board decide to walk away from the negotiating table on one of his targets then he will have to accept the disappointment - but insists he won't go searching for cheaper alternatives. "I think that is from the last couple of years that business sometimes is really difficult," Koeman said. "It is always a game between the club who needs to sell or likes to sell a player and what Everton or other teams like to pay for a player. These are negotiations. Sometimes it is going fast and sometimes it takes more time than we like." "That final decision is always by the board," he added. Farhad Moshiri (L) and Bill Kenwright (C) all addressed fans at the Philharmonic
"I am not the man involved in the money or the number to sign a new player. It is my technical view of the player. "If the final decision by the board is that the player is too expensive and we don't pay that price for the player I need to accept it." Koeman says the club have identified the first choice targets for this window and will not be looking for second best if they fail to land them "We know what we want, we know the players that we want and it is up to the board to make the deal and then, ok, if we don't get that positive goal from the board then we are focused on what my job is which is to prepare the team for the next game," he said. "We will see if finally we get the players in because that is really important for the team. If not then we don't sign other players because that is not what I want."
Everton will not consider allowing Deulofeu to leave until injuries clear up
Winger has been subject of rumoured interest from AC Milan
22:30, 5 JAN 2017
Ronald Koeman will only consider the release of Gerard Deulofeu on loan when Everton's injury problems ease. The Catalan winger's Goodison future looks uncertain after he was left out of three of the last four matchday squads. Everton completed the signing of 19-year-old attacker Ademola Lookman on Thursday afternoon in a deal worth around £10m. AC Milan are rumoured to be keen on Deulofeu but Koeman insists the club have not had any approach for the 22-year-old. But the Everton boss said he would not entertain the idea of allowing the out-of-favour winger to leave until the club's injury problems clear up. Aaron Lennon is a doubt for the weekend's FA Cup third round tie while Koeman revealed that Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be sidelined for between 7-8 weeks with an ankle problem. Yannick Bolasie is also out for up to a year after undergoing knee surgery. "At the moment no, because with the injury of first Bolaise and second Dominic," Koeman said, when asked if he would allow Deulofeu to leave. "Then there is no possibility for Deulofeu at the moment. We have had no approaches." Deulofeu's chances of forcing his way back into the side appear to have been hurt further by the arrival of Lookman. Koeman says it was important to add a young player in that position. "First of all you need to look always at your u-23 team, if you had that winger in then you don't sign a new young boy for that money in that position," he said. "We have Dominic as a striker and if we have, for example, Tom Davies as a midfielder then you don't sign a player in his position. "Yes we like to bring in an older more experienced midfielder in the position. "You always look inside at what you have and don't have then you try to bring other players in. "He is 19, he will not play next week against City, but he will be involved in training and we will see how he improves on this level. "It is good that we bring in the boy at this point of the season. That is the best for him first and second for us."
Who are Everton training ground sponsors USM Holdings?
6 JAN 2017
The deal forms part of the two-pronged £75m windfall chief executive Robert Elstone revealed at Wednesday night's General Meeting, with a new shirt sponsorship deal forming the second aspect of the deal. Everton have not disclosed how much the USM contract is worth but some early estimates suggest it will see the club bank at least £20m over the course of the five years. The contract also gives USM a set of global marketing rights, including a presence on media interview backdrops. Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov created USM Holdings, a private global holding company, in 2012 to "streamline and consolidate" the business interests of him and his associates – of which Moshiri is one. KIRK Moshiri, who acquired a 49.9% stake in Everton last February, acts as chairman to the board of directors at USM, which is based in the British Virgin Islands. It is believed Moshiri owns a less than 10% stake in USM, with Usmanov claiming around 60% of shares and Vladimir Skoch being the company's other "main shareholder". Moshiri sold his shares in Arsenal Football Club to Usmanov in order to set the wheels in motion on his purchase of nearly half of Everton last year. At the General Meeting, Moshiri spoke of his relationship with the 63-year-old businessman and how he brought him to the Emirates. "I had looked at a number of clubs and I'd been at Arsenal for a very long time as a minority shareholder and I just wanted to be involved in a club," he told the audience at the Philharmonic Hall. "The reason I got into Arsenal is my business partner is a crazy fan of Arsenal and I went with him, we do most things together." Everton secure bumper £75m shirt and training ground sponsorship deal
USM's main areas of investment include metals and mining, telecommunications, technology and media including Metalloinvest, Russia's largest mining company which specialises in the production of steel. As part of its mission statement, the company says: "USM is committed to acting in the long-term interests of its stakeholders. "Environmental and social issues are a core component of its business, from investment analysis through to decision-making." Under USM's umbrella are also Baikal Mining Company, which owns one of the largest copper reserves in the world, the Mail.Ru Group, the owner of Russia's most popular social networks, while the group also has stakes in Spotify and Uber. Their website reads: "Bringing together the interests of Mr. Usmanov and his partners into one holding, USM is structured to facilitate the sharing of both intellectual and financial capital amongst its businesses." Before adding: "The success of the group is built on the foundation of global investments in high-quality companies that drive economic growth, create opportunities, foster innovation, and make a positive impact on society. " Training ground sponsorship deals are becoming increasingly common in top flight football with Manchester United and Manchester City owning two of the most lucrative in the Premier League. United, one of the world's highest earning clubs, secured an eight year deal to rename their Carrington training base the Aon Training Complex, as well as have their logo on all training kit, in 2013, worth just under £20m a year.And as part of Man City's £400m 10-year deal with Etihad, their training base and Academy is known as the Etihad Campus.
Everton's Finch Farm training ground has a new name after Russian sponsor confirmed
00:01, 6 JAN 2017UPDATED07:51, 6 JAN 2017
Everton's training ground will be renamed USM Finch Farm after the Blues revealed a multi-billion-pound Russian holding company as one of their lucrative new sponsors. The five-year naming rights deal will begin this month and will also see the USM logo advertised at Goodison Park. USM is one of the world's largest private holding companies and was founded by Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov, a close friend of Everton majority investor Farhad Moshiri. Their latest financial results saw the company generate revenue in excess of $6.3bn (£5bn). At the Blues general meeting on Wednesday, chief executive Robert Elstone said the deal with USM, and an as yet unnamed new shirt sponsor, will be worth £75m to the club. Businesses within USM Holdings include Metalloinvest, the largest mining company in Russia, and CIS the leading global manufacturer of hot briquetted iron. USM founder Alisher Usmanov is a close friend of Farhad Moshiri's
They also own Baikal Mining Company, which owns one of the largest copper reserves in the world, and MegaFon, one of the major telecommunications operators in Russia. Ivan Streshinsky, Member of the Board of Directors of USM Holdings said: "The naming of Finch Farm, and the extensive package of marketing rights, provides USM and the businesses within our group with unique year-round global media exposure. "We've done considerable research into what this partnership can deliver for us and we're very excited about the difference this will make as we continue to build our brands." Mr Elstone added: "We are really pleased to welcome USM into our commercial portfolio as training ground naming rights partner. Robert Elstone speaks during the Everton General Meeting on January 4, 2017
"I'm sure that the marketing platform this provides USM and its businesses will help them achieve their growth objectives. "It is a significant and exciting deal for Everton as we continue to grow our commercial revenues. "We've invested heavily into our training facilities over recent years and this deal means we can continue to provide top class facilities, which we know plays an important role in attracting the best playing talent, from academy right through to first-team." In 2013 Everton became tenants at their 55-acre Halewood training ground after selling the complex to Liverpool council in a £13m deal.
A look at the last SIX teenagers Everton signed who broke into the first team at Goodison Park
05:00, 6 JAN 2017
Ademola Lookman became Everton's most expensive teenager when it was announced that the winger was signed for a deal worth up to £11m. 'Mola' joined from Charlton Athletic, and although he is cup-tied for this weekend's clash against Leicester City in the FA Cup, he is expected to feature in the first team this season. Ronald Koeman has not been afraid to throw his youngsters into the limelight, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Tom Davies and Mason Holgate becoming first team regulars this season. The ECHO looks at the Blues' last six teenage signings who made it into the first team at Goodison Park, including their time at Everton and where they are now.
Ademola Lookman signs
Magaye Gueye – July 2010 (£1m)
Years before Idrissa Gueye graced Goodison Park, another Senegalese player was the talk of Merseyside. Well perhaps not the talk of Merseyside – but certainly a hot prospect. Gueye was actually recommended to David Moyes by former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier before he returned to England to manage Aston Villa. The French-born midfielder was bought from Ligue 2 club Strasbourg for £1m back in 2010. Although he came with great promise, Gueye only managed a single Premier League goal for the Blues in a 4-0 thrashing over Sunderland in 2012. He did, however, bafflingly start the FA Cup semi final against Liverpool at Wembley that same year. The winger spent the following season on loan to French outfit Brest before leaving the Blues for Millwall in 2014. In 2015, Ian Holloway dropped the midfielder for being overweight. "He has to get back under the ratio I want if he wants to play for this club again. It is quite simple," Holloway told South London Press. Gueye now plies his trade back in Turkey with Super Lig side Adnaspor.
Apostolos Vellios – January 2011 (£250,000)
Everton secured the services of striker Apostolos Vellios in the January transfer window after scout Mick Doherty – the man who spotted Seamus Coleman – recommended him. Vellios was signed as a 19-year-old from Greek side Iraklis and had his most prominent season for the Blues in 2011/12 when he netted three goals in 15 Premier League appearances. After failing to break into the first team and two fleeting appearances on loan to Blackpool, the Greek striker left for pastures new. But his career has enjoyed something of a resurgence in recent months. Before his return to England with Nottingham Forest last summer, Vellios earned his first international cap for Greece last March. He has since played five times for his country as well as netting six times in 12 league games for Forest this season. Talk about a turnaround.
John Stones – January 2013 (£3m)
Stones signed a five-and-a-half year deal at Goodison in January 2013, proving to be a steal at just £3m. The defender made his debut for Barnsley aged 17, making 28 appearances for the Tykes before the switch. He signed for the Blues as an 18-year-old and quickly proved his worth under David Moyes. He made his first Everton appearance in the League Cup against Stevenage in August 2013 and never looked back. A player with stature and confidence, he slotted seamlessly into the first team at Goodison. Such was his presence at the back, he became the subject of many high profile bids in 2015 – notably from Chelsea – which were all rebutted by the Blues. But the financial clout of Manchester City was too much for Everton, and indeed Stones, to resist the following season. City captured Stones for an eye-watering £47.5m back in August, making him the second most expensive defender of all time behind David Luiz.
Confirmed: Ademola Lookman joins Everton in deal worth up to £11m
Brendan Galloway – August 2014 (undisclosed)
The defender was brought in by Roberto Martinez from MK Dons on a five year deal in 2014. Galloway became the youngest player to appear for the Dons in 2011 when he made his debut aged just 15. "Short-term, I just want to work hard to better myself as a footballer here, which I know I will with the coaches and other staff here," Galloway said on arrival. "Long-term, I also want to get in the Everton team and play week in and week out in the Premier League and play in a team that's doing well, which I know we will do." It hasn't quite turned out like that for the left back, having broken into the first last season, Ronald Koeman sent him out on loan when he took over in the summer. His time at West Bromwich Albion hasn't been what he, nor his boss at Everton, would have hoped for. Only making three appearances for the Baggies, he has fallen down the pecking order under Tony Pulis. His determination however, can not be questioned. "I'm going to try and work my hardest to get back in the team because that's where I want to be," Galloway said in October. "I want to be playing week in week out for West Brom." Another impressive defender who was brought to Goodison Park as an 18-year-old. Holgate has enjoyed some fairly regular first team football this season after he was brought in from Barnsley 18 months ago. The Yorkshireman, who holds many similar traits to fellow Barnsley alumni Stones, has made seven first team appearances under Koeman this season and has been a breath of fresh air. But a recent interview with the Daily Mail suggested Holgate wanted to shrug off any comparison with Stones, striving to carve his own path in the footballing sphere. Confident with the ball at his feet, steady positional awareness and diligence in defence has instilled confidence in the Blues boss to throw him into the first team. Last month Koeman put his money where his mouth is and Holgate penned a bumper deal to keep him at the club until 2021. Encouraging signs for players making their way through the ranks from David Unsworth's U23s side. The Yorkshire scouting expedition yielded yet another player – this time from Sheffield United. Calvert-Lewin impressed during a loan move to Northampton Town in 2015 where he returned eight goals in 26 appearances before arriving back at the Blades. After two senior appearances at Bramall Lane this season he was snapped up by the Blues on deadline day. The 19-year-old striker served his time in the U23s before being called up by Koeman to make his debut in the 2-1 win over Arsenal last month, coming on as a second half substitute. He featured in three of the following four games, earning a starting spot against Southampton before being substituted after 12 minutes with an injury during the side's 3-0 win. He'll be out for up to eight weeks as a result. Unsworth first spotted Calvert-Lewin at 15 years old during his time as head of academy coaching at Bramall Lane. He handed him his first contract at the age of 16 before meeting up again at Goodison Park last summer. With Lookman's arrival, it's encouraging to see the Blues give their vibrant youth a chance to shine in England's top flight.
Everton transfer rumours: Blues make approach for Roma defender
08:58, 6 JAN 2017
Everton have made an approach for Roma defender Kostas Manolas, according to Sky Italian. The 25-year-old Roma defender is thought to be one of the very best in Serie A, and it's reported that Roma have previously been unwilling to sell the defender, with Chelsea reportedly a recent admirer. However the Greek international has suffered an injury-hit campaign, making 20 appearances in all but having had four separate spells on the sidelines. Roma signed Manolas back in 2014 for a fee of around £12m. He is said to be worth at least double that amount now. Elsewhere this morning and the speculation over Morgan Schneiderlin's future continues. Everton are said to be favourites to sign the midfielder, but L'Equipe report that West Brom are currently offering more money to Manchester United - causing a delay in any potential deal. Ronald Koeman is keen on a reunion with the former Southampton midfielder, who is said to be eager to leave Old Trafford for more regular game time.
Former Everton midfielder Paul Gascoigne back in rehab to 'get free of his demons'
11:13, 6 JAN 2017UPDATED11:20, 6 JAN 2017
Paul Gascoigne has gone into rehab to try to "get free of his demons" and attempt to win his battle with alcohol in 2017, the former Everton player's agent said.A statement on the Facebook page of the former England star's representatives, A1 Sporting Speakers, confirmed his latest attempt to get professional help. This comes just over a week after the 49-year-old - who made 22 appearances for the Blues between 2000 and 2002 - suffered a fractured skull after allegedly being kicked down a staircase in a London hotel. Last year he was said to have been left devastated by the death of his 22-year-old nephew, Jay Kerrigan-Gascoigne, who was found dead at his girlfriend's flat in Gateshead following a long-running battle with mental health issues. The statement issued in the name of Terry Baker said: "Paul wants to let everyone know that he has gone into rehab. We have spent nearly every day helping him through his annus horribilis since Jay passed away. "He is making a serious effort to get free of his demons and trying to become alcohol-free for 2017. I'm not religious at all but if any of you are, say a prayer for him." The former Newcastle and Tottenham player, who got 57 England caps, has battled alcoholism for more than 20 years. Posting on Twitter after the incident at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, Gascoigne said: "Hi everyone I got jumped kicked down the stairs I've got 15 stitches in my head I've a fractured skull 2 broken fingers 8 teeth nicked."
Everton deal for Morgan Schneiderlin close as negotiations almost complete
12:07, 6 JAN 2017UPDATED14:57, 6 JAN 2017
Everton are closing in on a deal for Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin. The ECHO understands that personal terms are in place for the France international to swap Old Trafford for Goodison. Everton are now in the process of agreeing a fee with United for the 27-year-old after an opening offer of £19m was rejected. It is believed that the Blues will land Schneiderlin with a bid of around £22m. Ronald Koeman made the former Southampton man a priority signing this month, and admitted last night that he is looking to "bring in an older more experienced midfielder in the position." Reports that Schneiderlin was due at Finch Farm for a medical today were premature. And United boss Jose Mourinho, speaking at his press conference today, confirmed he will allow the France international to leave but insisted they had yet to reach a final agreement with Everton. '"Their situation is exactly the same, both of them I will allow them to leave the club,' he said, referencing Memphis Depay as well. "I will allow them to leave if the right offer comes. Until this moment, no. Is this a good situation? No. Why not? Because I don't think about them as options in this moment." United want to recoup as much of the £24m they spent on Schneiderlin in the summer of 2015 and look ready to reach an agreement with the Blues. West Bromwich Albion, who also made an approach for the player, are understood to have dropped out of the race for his signature.
Ronald Koeman despises this claim and the evidence grows that it's unfair
13:56, 6 JAN 2017UPDATED16:42, 6 JAN 2017
"I wasn't impressed, no...I look to the development of young players and they still have a lot to learn. They are still not on the level that is needed for the Premier League." That was the blunt assessment the Southamton U21 side by Ronald Koeman during his tenure on the South Coast. The young Saints had just beaten Chelsea 1-0 as they began their defence of the Premier League Under-21 cup in January 2016. His comments stung - not just the young players concerned, but the advocates of a famed academy which had produced the likes of Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain within the previous decade. Southampton are a proud club. And their youth system is their golden child. When Koeman left for Goodison after leading Saints to two top seven finishes, the news was met with surprising ambivalence in some quarters. For all his success on the pitch, his perceived negligence of the academy had been noted and never forgotten. So when 19-year-old Josh Sims, fresh from the club's youth ranks, set up the goal which condemned Koeman's Everton to a 1-0 defeat on his return to St Mary's, it seemed too good to be true. Fans taunted the Dutchman with chants of "Josh Sims, he's one of our own", the winger vowed to prove the Blues boss wrong, and Saints legend Matt Le Tissier said Koeman's comments had "come back to bite him on the backside". Karma seemed to have rediscovered its sense of humour "I wasn't aware of Josh Sims when I was here, and he is not my problem," he said after the match. Whether his comments were sincere or fuelled by post-defeat disappointment, they served only to entrench the perception that Koeman was not right for the Saints He did not value young players. What more evidence did you need? It's a label the Dutchman despises.But one he did little to shake off during his first few months on Merseyside. Of the 20 permanent and loan signings he made while in charge of Southampton, only three (Sadio Mane, Juanmi, Saphir Taider) were younger than 23. Sadio Mane was one of three player younger than 23 signed by Koeman at St Mary's In his first transfer window at Goodison, he signed five players whose average age was nearly 29. None was younger than 26. And while the likes of Idrissa Gueye and Ashley Williams have proved to be shrewd acquisitions, their arrival seemed further evidence that his was a transfer policy which prioritised pragmatism over prospects. There seemed no long-term thinking, no strategy besides bringing in players whose impact could be immediate. Everton have a famous academy of their own, from which the likes of Leon Osman and Ross Barkley have graduated to the first team. Tom Davies: Advice from Ronald Koeman is helping me improve as a player
And like Southampton, Everton's current crop of youngsters are flourishing. Under David Unsworth, the young Blues' U23s lead the Premier League 2. So when Koeman was asked - in the wake of the Southampton defeat - if their run of only one win in nine games justified giving the kids in the chance, his answer had the alarm bells ringing once more. "Of course we have we have young players but when is it time for a young player? I don't believe [it's now]." Dele Alli takes on Mason Holgate at Goodison in August He had ditched Mason Holgate after a few games of the season and he was now resisting calls to blood the likes of Tom Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Fast forward a month and Everton faced Southamton again. Davies and Calvert-Lewin both started as Koeman became the first Premier League manager to play two teenagers this season and the Blues were on the verge of signing the exciting youngster Ademola Lookman from Charlton Athletic. Maybe this Dutchman is for turning. Some had warned Lookman he would be making a mistake choosing to work Koeman. But when the club confirmed the 19-year-old's arrival, the Everton boss said: "This is part of the vision we have for the club and it's important to give to young players the opportunity so that the team continues to evolve and improve. Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin facing anxious wait over ankle injury
"We believe in the player and in the development of the player which, of course, will take time but he will have a big part to play in the future of the club." Given his history these comments seemed to represent, at worst, muddled thinking or, at the very least, a break from tradition. But, in truth, Koeman has not changed anything - the idea that he does not place sufficient emphasis on youngsters has always been unfounded.Seamus Coleman in action with Southampton's Matt Targett last term
He had great success in bringing players through as manager of Feyenoord and the Dutchman has been keen to remind people how he handed the likes of Jake Hesketh and Matt Targett their senior debuts at Southampton. Everton needed instant fixes after two 11th-place finishes and two years of stagnation under Roberto Martinez and he continues to seek players - such Morgan Schneiderlin - who can come straight into the team. But his comments about Lookman illustrate how his message to young players has always been the same: you will be given a chance. But only when you are ready. This has upset some Southampton and Everton fans who believe success in the youth ranks is qualification enough to warrant a first team place. Is Koeman wrong? Perhaps. Is he consistent? Undoubtedly. Chances for the likes Davies and Calvert-Lewin have been few and far between this season. But the Everton boss has been careful to play them only when he believed they were good enough. Countless young players have been exposed too early but the Dutchman's judgement has appeared sound up to now. Neither has looked out of place at the top level. After splashing up to £11m on Lookman - making him the most expensive League 1 player in history - Koeman cannot be accused of not investing in youth. Whether the 19-year-old ever justifies that price tag, only time will tell. What is certain that Koeman will not rush his development. He will play. But, as ever, only if or when he is good enough.
How Ademola Lookman slipped through the academy net before making his £11m move to Everton
Friday 06th January
Lookman was still playing Sunday league in 2014 when Charlton spotted him. Less than three years later he is in the Premier League It was April 2014 and Charlton Athletic Under-16s were coming to the end of their season. They had some gaps in the fixture list so organised a few more games, to give their players a few more minutes and just to see, on the off chance, what boys were playing for other teams. When Charlton welcomed London FA U-16s to Sparrow's Lane, in New Eltham, they could not believe their eyes. London FA is a representative team made up of players drawn from local Sunday league sides. They had a little 16-year-old winger, Ademola Lookman, who played for Waterloo FC. He had never been part of an academy or attached by a big club. But he was the best player on the pitch by a distance, dazzling with his easy ability to beat opponents.
Everton's Scandinavian scout leaves club
16:43, 6 JAN 2017
Everton are searching for a new Scandinavian talent-spotter after their long-serving scout left the club. The ECHO understands that Bryan King has quit the Blues having worked for them since 2008. King held a similar role with Tottenham Hotspur between 2002-08 and was Aston Villa's European scout before that. And it is believed that King will rejoin Villa and work under Ian Atkins, the Championship club's chief scout who left Goodison earlier this season. King, 69, had a playing career as goalkeeper with Chelmsford, Milwall and Coventry during the 1960s and 70s. After retirement he forged a successful career in scouting and became an integral part of the network used by David Moyes before being retained under Roberto Martinez and, this season, director of football Steve Walsh. Everton are considering a move for Alexander Isak - a player King had been recommended to the club.
Royal Blue: Moshiri wants the best but until then canny Everton must invest in stars of tomorrow
19:00, 6 JAN 2017
According to Bill Kenwright, Farhad Moshiri dreams of playing fantasy football with Everton. "He sits there in front of Sky Sports and says 'we'll get him, we'll get him'" he told Wednesday night's General Meeting. Well, that's the dream. The reality, for now at least, is that Everton must approach the transfer market in a different way and though Moshiri still wants those marquee signings, maybe, they'll have to wait. There's money to be spent, more than any other Everton manager has ever seen, but its value is all relative when you consider the current pecking order in the Premier League. Or as Moshiri said himself, the difference between the elite teams and the rest. And as Everton found to their cost in the summer, when they went head-to-head with those clubs for targets, they'll miss out. It's only a matter of time before Everton break their transfer record, of course, but even in smashing through the £30m barrier and handing out £100,000-a-week contracts, they'll only be able to get so much. What Ronald Koeman is doing right now is jump-starting a side that finished 11th in back-to-back seasons with experienced, proven players who can make an immediate difference. But, and to borrow another of Moshiri's phrases, it's not sustainable. The goalposts have moved since Chelsea and Manchester City bankrolled their way to success. Financial Fair Play has capped unregulated splurges and so Moshiri and Everton must find other, smarter ways of building a squad capable of challenging the top four - the elite - on a consistent basis. Everton have still spent decent money on the 19-year-old, it's a deal worth in excess of £10m and comfortably puts him in the top 10 most expensive signings the club have ever made, but in context of modern day football, it's an increasingly normal transfer fee. But it's the way the Blues have to conduct business. By signing youngsters from the Football League such as John Stones, Mason Holgate and Brendan Galloway, Everton have been operating along such lines for the past few years but on a different scale to the Lookman transfer. While spending £25m on Yannick Bolasie and over £20m on Morgan Schneiderlin is what the Everton team needs at this moment, the belief, and hope, is that Lookman will look a snip at half the price in a few years time.cArsenal, for example, were doing this 10 years ago. Football took a sharp intake of breath when the Gunners announced they'd agreed a £12.5m deal with Southampton for Theo Walcott in January 2006, and eyebrows were raised when they went back to the South Coast five years later and wrapped up the £15m transfer of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Like Lookman, they'd never played in the top flight. Spurs did the same in 2007, agreeing to pay £10m for a 17-year-old Gareth Bale. Everyone knows what happened after that. So while Moshiri may yearn to one day be able to tell the Everton manager he can pick and choose from some of the very best players in world football, he knows the smart thing for the club to do is invest in the players of tomorrow, today. Why one Everton fan has had enough of Premier League football If you'd like to read why Evertonian Peter Farrell refused to pay into every Premier league ground, in his protest for more fairness to fans, then take note. Peter was in St. Luke's Church signing copies of his book 'Give The Fans Sweet FA' before the derby last month, and will be back again tomorrow. If you didn't manage to get one last time, he will be back for one final time before the game against Leicester. Catch him at St Luke's Church from 1pm. Peter's book has had plenty of five star worldwide reviews on Amazon.
Koeman knows Everton must end trophy drought - but can't promise instant silverware
22:30, 6 JAN 2017
Ronald Koeman says he understands Everton's need to end their long trophy drought - but warns he cannot guarantee silverware anytime soon. The Blues have not tasted success since 1995's FA Cup triumph over Manchester United and, having gone out of the League Cup, are looking at this season's competition as their only chance of winning something this term. Everton welcome Leicester City to Goodison on Saturday (3pm) and though Koeman appreciates the importance attached to the third round tie he warns that his Blues "project" will take time. "I knew that was important for this club to win a trophy because it's a long time since they won a trophy," Koeman said. "For a lot of other clubs it is the same. We know about the history of this club and what the people like but that is also the project. "If you bring in a new manager and sign new players that is not always (going to happen) in the first season. It is a longer project than just short term, and everybody knows. It is sometimes difficult for the fans to understand that, I understand that too." Everton are in seventh place in the Premier League table, one point ahead of West Brom but nine behind sixth-placed United. Ronald Koeman despises this claim and the evidence grows that it's unfair
"I knew before the season we did not fight for the title because our position is maybe the best of the rest," he said. "The FA cup is a different competition, you cannot compare it with the level of results in the Premier League. It is a different competition, if you get a draw you need to play a replay. "If the team is fighting until the end of the season for this position in the table then it is a good first season, and we know how difficult it is to be part of the big ones in the Premier League but that is much more for next season and the third season of this project." Koeman made six changes for the fourth round League Cup tie with Norwich in September and watched as Everton lost their unbeaten start to the campaign. The Blues then embarked on a run of just one win in 10 league games - so does the manager agree it impacted on their momentum? "That is possible, I don't know," Koeman replied. "Normally I think if I need to play against Leicester and they are doing very well like last season I am not more afraid to play them home against Leicester than I am now "It is a different competition, you cannot compare it. "If you are in a good run and the confidence in the team is good and you are strong mentally you have a better chance to win the game. I did not expect a bad run after Norwich. I don't think the disappointment of that evening was involved in the next games, I don't think so."
Is Everton v Leicester City on TV? Plus everything else you need to know
The Blues face the Premier League champions in the FA Cup this weekend
05:00, 7 JAN 2017UPDATED14:47, 7 JAN 2017
What time is kick-off?
They're going old school with this one, it's a 3pm Saturday kick-off. How can I watch it? Unless you have a ticket for the match at Goodison Park, it seems as though you can't watch it. But what you can do is follow our live blog. Phil Kirkbride , Greg O'Keeffe and Glen Williams will be providing live updates from Goodison as it happens.
The Bradford-born official is one of the most experienced on the circuit. But his refereeing of Everton games has not been without controversy. Back in January, this time in the Capital One Cup semi-final against Manchester City, Atkinson was in charge when a contentious City goal was allowed to stand. 'Here was Farhad Moshiri in the flesh and he didn't disappoint'
Raheem Sterling had allowed the ball to go out of play before he crossed to Kevin De Bruyne to put City 2-1 ahead. Phil Jagielka said Atkinson was "a little bit arrogant" after the Blues skipper challenged him on the decision. Both games he has refereed this season have ended in 1-1 draws. The opening day of the season against Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea City back in November.
Jagielka has a checkered past with Martin Atkinson
Who should I look out for in the Leicester team?
Now seeing as Leicester are attempting to revive their league form of last season, the FA Cup could be a chance for some rotation players to get some game time. One of The Foxes' most exciting prospects is Demarai Gray. A product of Cadbury Athletic (yes, the chocolate company), Gray progressed through Birmingham City's ranks before the move to the King Power stadium. After the £3.7m switch, he has found a starting place difficult to come by for the champions. But the 20-year-old has time on his side. He was taken off during Everton's 2-0 win over Leicester on Boxing Day, much to Foxes fans' dismay. The elusive winger is certainly a tricky customer for defences and is certainly not afraid to take a pop at goal. His 25-yard effort against Manchester United earlier this season is testament to just how dangerous he can be. If he gets the chance to run at the defence, watch out. A hot prospect indeed.
Everton v Leicester City team news - Koeman goes strong as Holgate comes back in
14:13, 7 JAN 2017UPDATED14:32, 7 JAN 2017
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The media playback was aborted due to a corruption problem or because the media used features your browser did not support. Ronald Koeman has named a strong side for today's FA Cup third round tie with Leicester City. The Everton manager has recalled Mason Holgate, Gareth Barry and Enner Valencia to the starting line-up, with Tom Davies keeping his place in the side. Everton vs Leicester LIVE - FA Cup 3rd round football from Goodison Park
There's a place on the bench for Gerard Deulofeu, Bryan Oviedo and Arouna Kone. Joel Robles continues in goal with Holgate, Ashley Williams and Ramiro Funes Mori in front of him. Barry captains the team and anchors the midfield alongside Davies with Seamus Coleman, Ross Barkley and Leighton Baines bolstering Everton's options in the middle of the park. Valencia, who scored his first goal for the club on Monday against Southampton, partners Romelu Lukaku up front. Leicester have made five changes to their team but Jamie Vardy is not included in the matchday squad.
EVERTON: Robles, Baines, Williams, Funes Mori, Holgate, Coleman, Barry, Davies, Barkley, Valencia, Lukaku. Subs: Hewelt, Jagielka, Deulofeu, Kone, Mirallas, Cleverley, Oviedo
Everton vs Leicester City match report: Ahmed Musa double turns game on its head for Foxes
The Independent 07/01/2017
Ahmed Musa scored twice in quick succession to turn the game on its head Getty
Ahmed Musa scored twice to remind Leicester City that sometimes, still, everything can go their way as they came from behind to beat Everton at Goodison Park. It was at this venue last season that the thought that Claudio Ranieri's men could pull off the impossible first became a concrete reality. Yesterday, in circumstances very different, this famous arena may again be the ground that convinces their fans that all will be fine this season. A hard-working 3-2 victory here in December 2015 confirmed they were genuine top-flight contenders and although a lot has happened in the time since – including becoming the most wonderfully incongruous Premier League champions in history – a league relegation battle seems an inevitably this season. Yet Ranieri named a strong side, including new signing Wilfried Ndidi, as he sought to bring buoyancy and momentum back into Leicester's season. He was emphatically rewarded. Musa superbly sealed a fine comeback win and although the FA Cup might not matter in some corners, for others its rejuvenating properties may yet know no bounds. While this victory might start rescuing Leicester's season – and boost their confidence is nothing else - Ronald Koeman, the Everton manager, wanted the occasion to help him continue to rebuild Everton's campaign. The club's majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, promised at the midweek AGM that the club would not become a 'museum' and it has now been nearly 22 years since a trophy was brought to this corner of Merseyside; a gap that feels increasingly incongruous considering Everton's silverware soaked period in the 1980s. With that in mind, Koeman had promised to 'go for it' in this contest and also selected his strongest possible XI. Yet the commitment to this competition shown by the respective managers did not translate into a classic. Far from it. Two shots on goal – one apiece in the first half – underlined the abject standards on offer. Neither team erred or excelled, nobody brought disgrace nor delight. It was just one of those afternoons. Everton youngsters Tom Davies and Mason Holgate were bright and honest while Romelu Lukaku and Enner Valencia also worked hard but highlights were non-existent and as the opening half progressed, Leicester increasingly settled into a counter-attack groove, interested in little other than the occasional optimistic foray forward via Gray and Ulloa, before the latter was lost to injury after half an hour. Everton poked and prodded in the second half, helped by a Goodison Park crowd that finally awoke and the introduction of Gerard Deulofeu from the bench, but they could not truly hurt Leicester while one close-range header from Leicester captain Wes Morgan ominously showed that they could still offer the odd threat themselves. Eventually, something of note happened after 63 minutes as the effervescent Deulofeu finally opened the visitors defence, sliding an inch perfect pass towards Lukaku who could not miss from a yard out for his 17th goal of the season. Yet no sooner had Everton scored than Leicester were level. Concentration has long been an Everton weak point and they were guilty of that here as Musa snuck through the home side's defence to bundle past a helpless
Before Musa, Leicester or Everton knew it, the visitors were in front, as five minutes after his first, he carved his way through the home defence and calmly beat Robles to turn the match on its head. Koeman laid the blame on himself and his players. "In my opinion it's not bad luck. We did it by ourselves," he said. "We were 1-0 up and its unbelievable how we dropped back. A lack of concentration maybe at 1-0. No pressing on the ball, a pass inside Seamus and we knew Musa was fast and inside three defenders. Finally 1-1. "We did the most difficult thing which was to score the goal because Leicester were really defensive. I don't understand how we lost the game because there is no reason but if you play like we did after 1-0 then you ask for it." It was some comeback and what it could do for Leicester's season – in both this competition and the league – remains to be seen. Could they beat the drop and win the FA Cup? Who knows. Yet stranger things have happened; just ask Leicester.
Everton (3-5-2): Robles; Holgate (Deulofeu 46) Williams, Funes Mori; Coleman, Davies, Barkley (Kone 75), Barry, Baines; Lukaku, Valencia (Mirallas 61).
Subs not used: Hewelt, Jagielka, Cleverley, Oviedo.
Leicester City (4-4-2): Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Chilwell; Mendy, Ndidi, Drinkwater, Albrighton (Kapustka 84); Ulloa (Musa 35), Gray (Fuchs 77)
Subs not used: Zieler, Hernandez, James, Okazaki.
Everton 1-2 Leicester City player ratings - Bunch of 5s as only Blues strikers impress
17:04, 7 JAN 2017UPDATED19:21, 7 JAN 2017
Joel Robles 5
Looked content walking back and forth on his 18-yeard line for the majority of the first half. Good save when called into action from a Demarai Gray shot. Couldn't recover from a goalmouth scramble for the first goal and was helpless for Leicester's second.
Mason Holgate 6
Was very advanced in the first 45, but his final ball definitely lacking which meant any Everton attack was thwarted in the final third. He did not shirk his defensive duties, but was substituted by Koeman to make way for Deulofeu in a 4-4-2 system.
Ashley Williams 6
Did the basics well as usual, good in the air and calm on the ball. Looked laboured against the pace of Musa for both goals and exposed more as the game opened up. Both goals left Robles in one-on-one situations.
Ramiro Funes Mori 5
Couldn't live with the Leicester attack as the game wore on. Out of position too often which left Williams trying to cover both centre-back slots. Awful challenge on Musa earned him a blatant yellow, too.
Seamus Coleman 6
A constant attacking outlet down the right in the first half but was withdrawn to right-back in the second. One of Everton's bright attacking sparks before the break found himself defending for much of the second 45, adapting to the system.
Tom Davies 6
Misplaced a couple of passes but settled in as the game progressed. Got around the pitch well and helped Gareth Barry in the engine room. More was asked of the 18-year-old in the second half as the Blues' 4-4-2 system left him with less cover in the middle. His legs and energy helped Barry marshal the midfield.
Gareth Barry 5
Koeman would have selected three at the back knowing the Barry is a vital cog in the wheel. Not troubled too much in defence but provided assuredness at the back in the first half. The pace of the game caught up with him in the second half and the midfield opened up around him as the system changed to two in the middle. Failed to influence the game in the second half but no glaring errors and nothing too fancy, as you'd expect.
Leighton Baines 7
Worked hard down the left-hand side. Some of his balls into the box didn't find the likes of Lukaku and Valencia, but quelled all of Leicester's advances down that side. Created overlaps in attack when in midfield and reverted well to his defensive role. As solid as you'd like from the left-back.
Ross Barkley 5
Lacked the spark which was needed to unlock the deep-lying Leicester defence. Threatened early on but drifted after half-time and he made way for Arouna Kone in order to liven up the attack as the Blues fell behind.
Enner Valencia 7
Easily the Blues best player in the first half. So industrious it freed up Lukaku to roam into his areas. Set Lukaku up for the best chance of the first half and looked a threat throughout. Unlucky to be brought off for Mirallas but fresh legs and a fresh system needed.
Romelu Lukaku 7
Got the goal which put the Blues in front after half-time. Did well against the likes of Wes Morgan and Robert Huth but was crowded out too often as Everton became desperate for an equaliser. Far too much expected of him with the likes of Kone, Deulofeu and Mirallas failing to fire around him.
Gerard Deulofeu (for Holgate 45) 6
Lots and lots of step-overs. Much of which came to nothing. But then a simple shoulder drop took him past Ben Chilwell and he rifled it across the face of goal for Lukaku to tap home from two yards. A much needed spark and injection of energy for the Blues in the second half but still too inconsistent.
Kevin Mirallas (for Valencia 61) 5
Very little impact after coming. Rifled a shot past Schmeichel's right-hand upright but didn't add the threat that Koeman would have hoped for in order to get back into the game.
Arouna Kone (for Barkley 75) 5
In a word, rusty. The one chance he had to get into the box after his introduction left him looking bewildered as to what to do next. Like all strikers he needs game time to get his confidence up and shooting boots on, both of which were visibly absent from the Ivorian.
Everton 1-2 Leicester City full-time report - Lukaku goal not enough as FA Cup hopes dashed
17:11, 7 JAN 2017UPDATED19:21, 7 JAN 2017
Everton crashed out of the FA Cup after Leicester City fought back to win at Goodison. The Blues were on course to progress to the fourth round when Romelu Lukaku gave them an early second-half lead but a quickfire double from Ahmed Musa sent them out of the competition. Everton's lead lasted just three minutes as Musa levelled and then soon made it 2-1 after exchanging passes with Danny Drinkwater. The FA Cup represented Everton's last realistic shot at ending their 22-year wait for silverware but their hopes were extinguished in the space of five second-half minutes. After a dreadful opening 45 minutes of few chances, the second half exploded into life. Everton broke the deadlock just past the hour mark when substitute Gerard Deulofeu got the byline and crossed for Romelu Lukaku to tap home. But the Blues' lead lasted just three minutes as Ahmed Musa, an early replacement for the injured Leonardo Ulloa, equalised after bundling the ball over the line after his shot had come back off the post. And on 71 minutes, Musa put Leicester in front as he played a one-two with Danny Drinkwater that cut right through the middle of the Everton defence before finishing coolly past Joel Robles. Everton, who had thrown on Kevin Mirallas and Arouna Kone late on, were left with less than 20 minutes to prevent a second third-round exit in two years but failed to trouble Schmeichel in the Leicester goal and exited the competition.
EVERTON (3-4-2-1): Robles; Holgate (Deulofeu 46), Williams, Funes Mori; Coleman, Davies, Barry, Baines; Valencia (Mirallas 62), Barkley (Kone 75); Lukaku. Subs: Hewelt, Jagielka, Cleverley, Oviedo. BOOKING: Funes Mori. GOAL: Lukaku 63.
LEICESTER CITY (4-3-3): Schmeichel; Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Chilwell; Mendy, Ndidi, Drinkwater; Gray (Fuchs 77), Ulloa (Musa 35), Albrighton (Kapustka 84). Subs: Zieler, Hernandez, James, Okazaki. BOOKING: Kapustka. GOALS: Musa 66, 71.
REFEREE: Martin Atkinson.
Everton 1-2 Leicester City analysis - There can be no excuses now, Blues need to get busy in the transfer market
17:39, 7 JAN 2017UPDATED19:22, 7 JAN 2017
"One or two."
That was Ronald Koeman's imprecise and hopefully inaccurate reply when asked how many other new signings he expected to follow Ademola Lookman into Goodison this month.
Try four or five.
There is too much detritus in this squad. Too few genuine options. This afternoon glumly underlined that again. Koeman may simply have been using the phrase to swerve the question. We must hope, because the notion that the Blues only need minor tweaks is absurd. And after last summer's failings in the transfer market supporters will have no patience for that, already mentioned, gripe that January is a tough market in which to buy. Koeman and Steve Walsh have to do the business this month, supported by a chain of command above them which deals smoothly with other clubs.There can be no excuses after the only hope of anything tangible to celebrate this term was extinguished on a dismal afternoon.
League or Cup? Romance or reality?
Ronald Koeman manager of Everton looks on during the Emirates FA Cup third round match between Everton and Leicester City It was a fascinating sub-plot which emerged from Wednesday's general meeting when Farhad Moshiri and Bill Kenwright disagreed over what mattered more. The former focused on the "gold standard" of the Premier League. For the latter it was the chance of silverware.
It's irrelevant now.
Now at least 22 years will have passed before Everton have a chance to open their trophy cabinet for anything other than a spot of dusting. Ronald Koeman may not agree but he must accept some early responsibility for this. One of the major mis-steps of his otherwise progressive reign thus far were the six changes he made to the team which had just comfortably beaten Middlesbrough when Norwich came to L4 in the League Cup back in September. The even more significantly rotated Canaries won and Koeman had shot himself in the foot. He can't be accused of fielding a weakened line-up today, but he did leave himself in the situation where the vagaries of the draw, that cruelly produced the Premier League Champions, would be a big part of the narrative of his first season. The campaign when both cups slipped away with a whimper.
The long 45
What's the opposite of magic?
Mundane? Prosaic? Ordinary? Well, take your pick - whichever - because they all apply to the first half of this game. That quality so usually associated with the third round of the FA Cup did a disappearing trick at Goodison for 45 minutes. And it was painful. Other than savouring Tom Davies' enthusiasm and the moment Romelu Lukaku sprinted back to barge a Leicester new-boy Wilfred Ndidi off the ball, there was nothing. Nothing. It was the second time in the space of a couple of weeks these two sides have produced a half of football so dire it makes a Saturday afternoon queuing in Ikea seem preferable. It was that bad.
Geri still useful-ish
FA Cup Everton vs Leicester City. Everton's Romelu Lukaku taps in the first goal for the blues. Photo by Colin Lane If only you could count on this Gerard Deulofeu more often. The winger's introduction was Koeman's first attempt to spark something, anything, from this tie and it paid off on 66 minutes. He dropped his shoulder, zipped past Ben Chillwell and got to the byline before whipping a low ball across the face of goal that nobody, certainly not a striker of Romelu Lukaku's pedigree, could miss. Rumours persist that AC Milan want to give Deulofeu the chance to prove the slower pace of Serie A will suit him. Koeman, rightly, says no exits will be countenanced until he has his own recruits in place. This should definitely apply to Geri, even if later forward darts had him back at his over-complicated, delaying worst. He may never be able to produce consistency but on the occasion he turns it on, he's a natural born game changer.
Another Walsh zinger
He won't have taken any pleasure from it, but Steve Walsh could perhaps be forgiven a wry smile. Another of his scouting picks was star man for his former club and he only came on at half time. The Foxes paid a club record £16m for Ahmed Musa on Walsh's advice, a transfer teed-up before he swapped the Champions for the Director of Football job at Goodison Park. Musa joined the Foxes from CSKA Moscow proving not every Russian import is a disaster. When Roberto Martinez dispatched his scouts to watch Oumar Niasse they were clearly at the wrong Moscow club. And his pace and movement certainly hurt Everton at Goodison today, often leaving Ashley Williams badly exposed. Rapid and direct, he's the type of player Koeman could use. Let's hope Walsh has a few more like that up his sleeve this month.
West Brom FA Cup: How Brendan Galloway fared on his return to the Albion first team
18:02, 7 JAN 2017
A few weeks ago it seemed as though Brendan Galloway's West Bromwich Albion days were numbered. A regular bench warmer, reports suggested Everton would recall him early from his season-long loan, and that Albion would not stand in their way. But Tony Pulis has dismissed that suggestion and called on for Galloway for his first appearance since September. In from the cold, here's a guide to Galloway's most memorable moments against Derby.
6 - Pushed forward and drew Derby players to the ball, leaving space for Phillips. He played simple to Phillips who was quickly crowded out.
16 - Stuck to the lively Tom Ince like glue and denied him a sight of goal after the former Liverpool apprentice cut in from the right flank.
25 - Excellent burst of pace to recover and peg back Ince just when the Derby man looked like striding into the final third..
45 - Whipped a delightful cross into the 'corridor of uncertainty' after Albion broke from their own half. Another excellent sliding clearance from Keogh thwarted the Baggies.
53 - Galloped back towards his own goal after Ince accelerated into the space in behind. Morrison brought him down, and the Derby man stepped up to fire in the free-kick.
65 - Had the chance to pick out McClean's run, but could not execute the pass.
68 - Replaced by Hal Robson-Kanu as Pulis went with two up top in search of an equaliser.
Koeman challenges Everton to recognise size of rebuilding job after FA Cup exit
"If a young player of 18 is today one of the best on the pitch then it says enough," says the Everton boss
18:10, 7 JAN 2017UPDATED19:22, 7 JAN 2017
A furious Ronald Koeman has challenged Everton's board to recognise the extent of the re-building required in the January transfer market after his side's listless FA Cup exit. The Toffees manager was clearly frustrated after watching Leicester City come from behind to win 2-1 at Goodison, and condemn the hosts to yet another season without silverware. Koeman, who is waiting on progress with bids for Manchester United duo Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay, issued a thinly veiled warning to anyone in the club's hierarchy who thinks there is no rush to strengthen the squad this month. He said: "I know what we need to change and if everyone opens their eyes today maybe we will get further on our improvement as a team. Because that's really what we need and that's all about what happens this month." Asked about signing new players he replied: "I have that in mind and the board knows because we spoke together about what we need. That's the job of Steve Walsh and it's my job. "I hope everybody realises what the team needs to play and to get results that meet the expectations at this club. "I can explain more but I don't like to because that's talks we need to do inside. But if a young player of 18 is today one of the best on the pitch then it says enough." Pressed on whether haggling with United for Schneiderlin and Depay had progressed in the last 24 hours, he said: "I don't know. I didn't hear anything about it. I don't know." Koeman also hit out at the attitude of his players who let their hard-won lead slip casually through their fingers via Ahmed Musa's second half brace. "In my opinion it wasn't bad luck," he said. "We did it by ourselves. We were 1-0 up and it was unbelievable how we dropped back. "If we see how they equalised there was no pressing on the ball, a pass inside of Seamus and Musa was faster than three defenders. "We'd done the most difficult to score a goal because Leicester were very defensive, but OK we scored. I don't understand why we lost. If you play like we did at 1-0 up you ask for it. "Everybody is disappointed but we're still in a good position in the table." Everton face Manchester City next Sunday (January 15) and the Dutchman warned his players they could face a similar humiliation as West Ham, beaten 5-0 by Pep Guardiola's side in their FA Cup clash on Friday night. He said: "If we play like the last 30 minutes we can have the same result as West Ham. "You need to do better. That's about eight days time. We lost today and I'm not thinking about next week yet."
'Sign Lacazette!' Watch Everton fans have their say after FA Cup 3rd round exit to Leicester
The Toffees' wait for a trophy will almost certainly stretch into its 23rd year after a 2-1 reverse to the Premier League champions
19:18, 7 JAN 2017
Everton 's FA Cup exit to Leicester has certainly got the Blues fans talking. The Toffees' wait for a trophy will almost certainly stretch into its 23rd year after a 2-1 reverse to the Premier League champions at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon. The Blues took the lead through Romelu Lukaku before two goals from Ahmed Musa saw the Foxes dump Ronald Koeman's men out of the Cup at the third-round stage. FA Cup Everton vs Leicester City. Final whistle disappointment Everton's Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines. Photo by Colin Lane After the game, we asked a number of fans just what needs to be done at Goodison Park. Some appealed for calm and for Koeman to be given time and funds to reshape the squad. Others bemoaned a lack of fight on the afternoon, and one young fan wants to see the club sign Lyon hitman Alexandre Lacazette!