Are Everton about to make their most important signing of the season?
After Roberto Martinez left with one game remaining of the season, it marked the end of another poor season for Everton. With a team full of so many promising players, challenging for at least a spot in the Europa League. However, the final position of 11th was deemed a success. Reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup glossed over the cracks, but the fans were very vocal about their displeasure.
With Martinez gone, the Everton fans were eager to get someone in charge who can get them back up the table whilst new investor Farhad Moshiri will want to see a return on his investment made in February. So the announcement that Southampton’s manager Ronald Koeman has been approached, only waiting for personal terms to be finalised, is a big boost for the Toffees. Koeman joined the Saints in 2014 from Feyenoord and lead his team to seventh and sixth in his two seasons in charge. This is one of the primary reasons that Everton have moved for the Dutch manager. European football is a must for the new investor, fans, and the players.
The next job is to attract players eager to play for the blue side of Liverpool. The budget that is now available helps whilst the opportunity to play with some of the calibre of talent already at Goodison Park is another attraction. Making sure that some of the stars, such as Romelu Lukaku, stay at the club and are not tempted to explore other options around the globe must be priority number one for the new boss. Having a man like Koeman who can deliver on European football on a much smaller budget than Everton now possess is a big positive.
However, not everyone is happy about the move. Southampton are said to be frustrated at the deal. A new five-year deal had been discussed by the Southampton board and the Dutchman, as well as transfer targets and a pay rise, to become the highest paid manager in their history. Koeman has frequently mentioned his desire to win trophies and feels that this is more likely to happen at Everton than Southampton. However, Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier told BBC Sport that he doesn’t think that Koeman will have “as easy a job as he thinks” and stated he is “quite surprised” that the former Ajax and Barcelona player has decided to leave.