Marcel Brands pulled off a masterclass over the past year in his negotiations to bring and keep top talents including Ben Godfrey and Lucas Digne at Everton.
According to figures published by the Football Association, via the Liverpool Echo, the Toffees paid a combined £14m to agents between February 2020 and February 2021.
That’s a drop of nearly £3m from the previous 12-month period, and far less than their big-spending Premier League rivals Chelsea who top the charts at £35m.
Both Manchester clubs City and United paid agents nearly £30m, while Liverpool (£21.5m) plus north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham (£16m) handed over more than Everton.
The Blues’ spending included their deals to sign Godfrey, James Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Allan, Niels Nkounkou, Robin Olsen and Joshua King.
It also included the new contracts awarded to Digne, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate, Michael Keane and Anthony Gordon.
Relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion sit bottom of the spending charts for agent fees at £4m, despite the arrivals of 15 players at The Hawthorns this season.
Everton’s investments in transfers and tieing down some of their top talents to new deals has seen Carlo Ancelotti’s side challenge for a top-four Premier League finish, and will exit the international break four points clear of Arsenal and with a game in hand.
Everton spending less than half on agents than Chelsea and a considerable amount less than the other top-six clubs will go down as a masterclass by Brands, given the wealth of talent the Toffees’ Director of Football has brought to and kept at Goodison Park over the 12-month period.
Chelsea are only five points better off in the Premier League table than Everton ahead of the 30th round of fixtures, despite their significant outlay and playing a game more than the Merseysiders.
Liverpool sit ahead of the Blues only on goal difference, while Tottenham are two points above the Goodison Park natives though having also played a game extra.
The signings of Allan, Doucoure, Rodriguez and Godfrey – who Richard Cresswell, his former coach at York City, claims has a “ridiculous” amount of similarities with Rio Ferdinand – have played a great role in Everton’s strong position.
Olsen’s arrival on loan from AS Roma has likewise had an impact, with Ancelotti often lauding the Sweden international for helping to keep Jordan Pickford on his toes.
The Toffees will also be in a strong position to fend off any approaches for the likes of Digne and Calvert-Lewin this summer through the pair signing new contracts, with Manchester United previously said to be tracking the England striker and Atletico Madrid eying a move for the French full-back.
Everton and Ancelotti would surely loath losing their 14-goal top-scorer in Calvert-Lewin or six-assist lead playmaker in Digne, but are positioned well thanks to Brands’ masterclass in negotiating the deals and managing how much was spent on agents.
AND in other news, Everton are tracking a £17m striker with “a wealth of talent”…