How Silva and Brands have righted transfer wrongs of Koeman and Walsh

A few days ago, many Everton fans were concerned – and justifiably so.

Marco Silva, with the unenviable task of overhauling a squad teeming with deadwood on huge wages, had managed to add just two senior players, Richarlison and Luas Digne, to his ailing ranks.

While some high earning disappointments, Davy Klaassen and Kevin Mirallas to name a couple, had been moved on, others continued to stink the place out.

Pre-season, meanwhile, had been nothing sort of a disaster.

Humiliating defeats to teams including Championship new boys Blackburn Rovers and Rennes only served to highlight the side’s lack of pace, athleticism, guile and cohesion.

It was all too familiar.


The mistakes of the previous summer, when then manager Ronald Koeman and doomed director of football Steve Walsh splurged wads of cash on poor players, looked to have spawned a scarily similar sequel.

Fortunately, supporters, myself included, needn’t have worried.

Silva and his director of football Marcel Brands had, it seems, a plan. Remember those?

On Deadline Day, Everton signed four players, each of whom will improve the first XI.

Bernard, a Brazilian forward courted by Chelsea, West Ham and Inter Milan among others, joined on a free transfer having left Shakhtar Donetsk earlier in the summer

Centre-back Yerry Mina, wanted by Manchester United and Lyon, arrived in a £27m deal from Barcelona, swiftly followed by midfielder Andre Gomes, who signed on a season-long loan from the Catalans.


At the time of writing, Chelsea centre-back Kurt Zouma looks also set to sign on loan for the season after Everton submitted the relevant paperwork in the nick of time.

Those signings should make fans very happy – not merely because they’re good players, but because they prove the manager had identified the same failings they’d been screaming about for 12 months.

Bernard will add much-needed technical ability, flair and that little bit of magic that was sorely lacking under Koeman and his successor, the much-maligned Sam Allardyce.


Mina, who starred for Colombia at the World Cup, and Zouma, should inject pace and athleticism into a back four that’s still reliant on the heavy legs of Phil Jagielka, who turns 36 later this month.

Michael Keane, who hasn’t really convinced, to put it kindly, since joining for a staggering £30million during last summer’s debacle, will surely struggle to command a place.

And in Gomes, Everton might have finally found a suitable replacement for playmaker Mikel Arteta, a player who departed Merseyside way back in 2011.


When you pop those four in the basket along with the fast, dynamic Richarlison and Digne, who should become Leighton Baines’ successor at left-back, the summer shopping starts to look pretty healthy.

Silva and Brands have started to trim their bloated squad, replacing deadwood like Ramiro Funes Mori and Joel Robles with younger, hungrier and better players.

Others will follow them through the exit door before the European transfer window closes at the end of August.

They had a plan and they executed it.


Unlike Koeman and Walsh, they showed patience and confidence in their dealings. It’s unsurprising, considering Brands, formerly of PSV Eidhoven, has 20 years’ experience in the director of football game.

These things sound simple, but they’re things Koeman and Walsh weren’t able to do, despite having bucketloads of majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri’s cash at their disposal. They let him and fans down.

Of course, there’s a chance that not every signing made this window will work out. That’s just football. But on paper, they at least appear to be the right sigingings.

Koeman and Walsh, doing their best Laurel and Hardy, landed Everton in another fine mess. Allardyce did what he was brought in to do, ensuring survival in the top flight.

Now, it’s down to Silva and Brands to clean up that mess and make Everton great again. They’re not there yet, but they’ve made a pretty decent start.

Whisper it quietly, but signs of optimism are sprouting again…

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