The work that Rafa Benitez completed in the summer transfer market was hardly going to get many Everton fans excited.
They signed five players throughout the window with an accumulative spend of just £1.7m. Finances were evidently restricted but what hasn’t helped is some diabolical expenditure over the last five or six years at Goodison Park.
During the course of the 2017/18 campaign, the Toffees spent a jaw-dropping sum of £182.88m. They followed that up in 2018/19 by thrashing out £89.82m on new players, and then in 2019/20, they took their spending to just shy of £110m.
2020/21 was a little more reserved at £67.38m but it was still a sizeable outlay, especially when you consider how little they had in their reserves over the last few months.
They had to look towards free transfers for the most part, but fortunately the only player on whom they spent any money has hit the ground running.
Demarai Gray has two goals in his first three outings and has looked in fine form with some exciting performances, but the same can’t be said for a lot of their more expensive signings.
Take Alex Iwobi, for instance, a man who cost the club around £34m when he signed from Arsenal in the summer of 2019.
The Nigerian was an inconsistent player for the Gunners but had plenty of potential and was an experienced Premier League player despite his tender age.
However, the winger has been a costly mistake for the Merseyside club. Iwobi isn’t even a regular starter at Goodison Park, and due to his shoddy performances, his value has fallen by £14.2m in two years. As per Transfermarkt, he’s now rated at just £19.8m.
Marcel Brands is a keen negotiator but he will have every right to be fuming with the attacker for being such an expensive error.
On that evidence, it’s hardly a surprise to see that he was described as “embarrassing” by the Liverpool Echo’s David Prentice last season.
The winger has looked a little more promising in the early weeks of 2021/22, registering an assist against Southampton, but he has still done little to prove that he deserves a regular berth in the team.
Brands should be particularly concerned with how this investment has played out over the last few years.