The signing of Sandro Ramirez was pretty much an unmitigated disaster for Everton and will go down in history as one of the worst ever sanctioned by Steve Walsh, the Blues’ former Director of Football.
The Spaniard arrived on Merseyside in 2017 for what then seemed like a bargain £5.25million fee as the Toffees triggered a release clause in his contract with Malaga, after he had scored 16 goals in 31 games the season prior.
But former Everton boss Ronald Koeman would not see the same output from the promising striker he’d signed, as Sandro offered next to zero impact with just one goal in 15 appearances before ditching royal blue for his first spell away on loan.
“There was a lot of interest in Sandro because, of course, he’s a goalscorer, he’s young and he has a big future in the game,” Koeman said upon his unveiling, via quotes by Sky Sports.
“We have been trying to bring in good players so we can have greater productivity in the team and he will bring that. He will bring a lot of good qualities and he’s a really good goalscorer, too.”
Goals would continue to be scarce over the coming years as Sandro endured a drought in front of the net lasting 710 days, with the former Spain U21 international failing to strike home a second Everton goal and firing blanks for loan sides Sevilla and Real Sociedad.
He ultimately ended his barren run in November 2019 whilst with Real Valladolid and saw out that term with four goals in all competitions, but it proved to be too little too late as Everton agreed to mutually terminate his contract earlier this month so that he could join SD Huesca on a free.
It capped a miserable and expensive three years for Everton, who flushed more than £12.4m down the drain through the signing of Sandro having awarded him a £65,000-per-week deal on top of the fee paid to Malaga.
Everton managed to avoid handing over even greater sums through the loan spells they orchestrated, with Sevilla understood to have covered the striker’s contract in full during his half-season in Andalusia, while Sociedad paid two-thirds of his wages during his time at the Anoeta Stadium.
Valladolid also paid an unspecified portion of Sandro’s lucrative terms, meaning Everton may have paid out less over the 25-year-old’s time under contract, but it also remains to be seen how much the Blues agreed to pay in order to avoid the final year of his deal.
The potential Koeman felt he saw in Sandro is something the striker never managed to live up to in three years as an Everton player, but he could now find himself in a position to prove the Dutch coach was right, abbeit far, far too late from a Toffees’ point of view.
Sandro was given his Huesca debut at home Valladolid on Sunday and opened his account for Michel’s side early in the second half to complete a two-goal comeback, just five minutes after Waldo Rubio had converted from the spot to double the visitors’ advantage.
The Toffees flop could not further contribute any efforts on goal or key passes during his 34 minutes on the field, per SofaScore, yet he impressed his new boss having entered the action just seconds before finding the net.
“He is not responsible for scoring the goals [but] he has a lot of talent” Michel said, via quotes by Marca.
Sandro has a long road left ahead of him in order to restore a reputation that has been left in tatters after years of struggling to score, but he is on the right path to putting his torrid time as Toffees player behind him and prove that Everton did more than waste in excess of £12m.