Say what you like about David Moyes not being trophy-laden enough to be the ideal successor for Sir Alex Ferguson, but you can't deny he didn't work wonders at Everton.
Maintaining a mediocre team on a limited budget and ensuring an annual top-half finish is no mean feat, but it's the duty that now falls upon the shoulders of Moyes' replacement, Roberto Martinez.
The Spaniard, astute as he has been in the transfer market so far, faces a difficult challenge in making sure the prized assets that made his predecessor's job slightly easier don't leave before he has time to get to grips with his new position.
During his time on Merseyside, David Moyes was able to obtain the adoration of the Goodison faithful, and an element that helped him no end was his ability to take unknown entities and mature them into star performers.
One look at Wayne Rooney is a prime example of Moyes' skilled tutelage, and the current duo of Maroune Fellaini- signed for £15million from Standard Leige- and Leighton Baines- purchased for £6million from Wigan- provide stellar evidence of his ability to develop good players and make them great.
It is the latter two that possibly offer Martinez the biggest headache of his new role. Both are being keenly sought after by none other than Manchester United, and with Moyes showing no sign of relenting in his pursuit, it looks like the new Everton boss has a very difficult decision to make.
Relinquishing the services of either or both men would undoubtedly replenish the Goodison Park coffers no end, but exactly how much impact would it have in the long-term for their on-pitch fortunes?
Fellaini had a monumental season with the Toffees last season, and was a decisive factor in a number of their hard-fought victories. Baines was equally important, and with the left-back now tipped to succeed Ashley Cole in the England team, it looks as though his confidence is only going to increase.
With the departure of former captain Phil Neville, Everton have lost not only a strong dressing-room presence, but also a fair amount of top-level experience to boot. With the change of manager, experience is something that the team will need now more than ever, and if two more key-figures were to leave the club, just how damaging could that be to team morale?
Martinez, whilst at Wigan, engineered his side to play well by passing and moving, and one would assume this tactic would be implemented at Everton also. To do it successfully though, the likes of Fellaini and Baines will be needed to provide quality in key areas, and the two will be incredibly difficult to replace, regardless of the transfer fee that they command.
If Martinez has any say in the matter he should look to retain the services of at least one, if not both men, for at least one more year.
As difficult as it may be, and as much as the money looks good, Everton will find it virtually impossible to replace Fellaini or Baines, and their consistent league standing could falter as a result.
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