Positive developments help lift prospects at Goodison
As transfer windows go, this was arguably the most positive in recent memory at L4.
With an hour to go the Blues appeared to be heading towards something of an impasse with the previously unheard of Fernando rebuffing our advances.
This, combined with Dave Whelan’s infamous buffoonery, meant that deadlock appeared the most likely outcome.
Fear engulfed a worried fanbase further as Fellaini’s transfer request, with seemingly no replacement being on the horizon, brought back dark memories of the 2011 window when Mikel Arteta jumped ship to Arsenal just as the window closed shut.
Fast forward an hour and the Blues had secured three excellent additions to the playing roster as well as retaining the services of its best player Leighton Baines.
Of the three new faces, the Romelu Lukaku deal was perhaps the most eye-catching.
Despite having more shots than any side so far this season, the quality of the end product has been our Achilles heel. Lukaku bagged 17 goals from just 20 starts last season, boasting a ratio of a goal every 117 minutes – the third best in the top flight.
He’s very much a complete forward and was one of only three players to score three or more top flight goals with left foot, right foot and his head last season.
The capture of James McCarthy may have been a tad excessive financially by Everton standards, but he is a more than competent performer who will bring energy, tenacity and crucially a more rapid passing tempo to the midfield. He will be joined by ex-Man City man Gareth Barry in the engine room.
Whilst the arrival of Barry was less well received, his defensive capability, leadership and experience will complement the youthful exuberance of his midfield colleagues Barkley and McCarthy.
The added bonus from the window was that Moyes – who had spent the bulk of the window trying to bully the club into submission – oversaw United’s worst ever transfer window, with his transfer ‘plans’ descending into a farce.
The Scot’s bungled attempts to shake Everton down – combined with his desperation to sign anyone – led him to eventually pay £27.5m for Fellaini, a cool £4m more than he was available for a fortnight ago.
Whilst a very good player on his day, Fellaini could be irritatingly inconsistent and has often been a liability.
The club’s hierarchy are often derided for their handling of transfer activity, but their brinkmanship to keep United at arm’s length whilst simultaneously beefing up the squad significantly should be applauded.
In light of what happened at the start of the summer I’m sure that pulling United’s pants down in the process would have been an added bonus.