This season has potentially given a preview though into how their recruitment process is changing, having spent a total of £35.55m on eight players, including a bargain £1.8m deal with Bayer Leverkusen for Demerai Gray, and a free transfer for Andros Townsend.
However, back in 2018, the club almost spent £52.6m on just Brazilian striker Willian Jose according to Mundo Deportivo – a full £17.05m more than what they spent this season alone, after he scored 34 goals and creating eight more over the two seasons before in all competitions.
Currently at Real Betis on-loan from Real Sociedad, the powerful forward’s career hasn’t gone exactly to plan, as he has failed to secure a permanent move away from the top half/mid-table Spanish team since being linked, and is now worth a measly £16.2m at 30-years-old – a 69.2% decrease on the fee the Merseyside club almost spent on him.
His poor loan spell at Wolves last season didn’t help the decrease in his valuation though, as he scored just one goal in 17 games – with 12 of them coming from the start, as he failed to settle in playing in England, saving Toffees owner Farhad Moshiri a lot of embarrassment for not completing the transfer years before.
This season, he has started 14 of his 23 La Liga appearances, scoring seven goals and setting up a further four – with a goal contribution coming once every 110 minutes in the Spanish top flight – where he looks far more at home.
Against strikers in La Liga this season, the one-time Real Madrid prospect ranks in the top 3% for least mis-controls per game (1.41) – demonstrating his excellent hold-up play, but in terms of shooting, he ranks in the bottom 10% for shots per 90 (1.71), and also in the bottom 19% for shots on target percentage per 90 (30.4%).
Despite being called a “hard-worker” by Wolves journalist Tim Spiers, Jose was not at all suited to the Premier League, and there is no doubt that a transfer of over £50m, let alone over £20m, would have been a poor deal for Everton – who avoided disaster.