In a surprising turn of events, Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has reportedly ordered the club to explore the possibility of signing Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa.
The Toffees have overspent their transfer budget over the course of the last three years, leaving Marcel Brands with a lot of work to do to reduce a bloated squad, but Moshiri is said to be willing to stump up the cash to bring Costa to Goodison Park.
But what is the point in making a statement signing?
Forget the fact that Costa hardly guarantees goals having scored just five times in La Liga goals over the past two seasons, this is about Moshiri and how his demand could ruin Brands’ progressive work.
The former PSV sporting director has worked wonders to bring in excellent young players such as Lucas Digne.
That he managed to sign the marauding full-back for a fee of just £18m underlines Brands’ eye for a shrewd negotiation.
Everton’s director of football has outlined the club’s intentions to bring in players between the age bracket of 20-25/26, and has implemented that policy well by signing Digne, Richarlison, Yerry Mina and Bernard.
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Surely sticking to a transparent, consistent policy and reaping the rewards is more of a statement than splashing the cash on a tempestuous maverick?
That seems to have been Moshiri’s preference since he arrived at Everton.
His first season at the club, having taken over in February 2016, saw Moshiri spend huge sums of money on players who are peripheral figures at the club just three years on.
Williams has since left the club, Lookman has been put up for sale, and Bolasie and Schneiderlin are not first-team regulars.
Moshiri’s second season at the club was even worse.
Davy Klaassen, Cenk Tosun, Theo Walcott, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane were signed for a total of £160.6m; only Pickford, Keane and Sigurdsson have been successful in the respect that they are first-team regulars.
At a time when Brands’ hard work has seen most of the deadwood cast aside and some quality players be signed for reasonable fees – £22m for Andre Gomes, for example, was excellent business – Moshiri seems keen to make life harder for the transfer guru by splashing the cash on a 30-year-old with next to no sell-on value.
It is no secret that the Toffees are lacking a prolific striker. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is a decent hold-up player but him and Tosun mustered up just nine league goals between them last term.
Moshiri has to stop trying to solve problems by senselessly throwing money at them, though.
Costa might get the Everton fans off their seats from time to time, however, when that initial excitement dies down, Everton will just be left with an ageing striker, presumably on huge wages, leaving Brands with another piece of deadwood to clear out in the near future.
Moshiri and Brands need to pull together in the same direction, or Everton won’t make any progress.