Love it or loathe it, the transfer window always creates pub banter and excitement, or for the lesser teams and supporters - worry.
With the transfer window due to slam shut today, there are still a few big deals in the pipeline. Not least, John Stones, who has appeared to attempt to force through a big money move to Chelsea by handing in a transfer request, and with the prospect of £40 million for a player they bought for less than a tenth of that two and a half years ago, surely a deal is likely to happen?
The question is, do Everton have enough time to get a replacement? and if so, who?
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In September 2013, Tottenham cashed in on their prized asset of Gareth Bale -moving to Real Madrid for around £85 million. They brought in Soldado, Lamela, Paulinho, Chadli, Eriksen, Capoue and Chiriches. All distinctly average players, with the exception of Christian Eriksen who has proved to be a very astute piece of business, but not on the level of Bale.
Last year, rightly or wrongly, Liverpool pocketed around £65 million for Luis Suarez. They replaced him with Balotelli, Origi, Lovren, Markovic, Lallana, Emre Can and Ricki Lambert. Among that little list, some would argue that Lovren has proved his worth, but very few would successfully argue a case for the others.
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The point is, clubs can not expect to sell a world class player and replace him with a handful of average ones. These players are worth the fee they command because they are match winners, they turn a 0-0 into a 1-0 win, they get supporters off their seats. Whilst it is nice to have more numbers in a squad, you can still only start a match with 11, and trying to integrate half a dozen players in one go just wont happen!
So the Everton board (and Roberto Martinez) have some decisions to make. Take the £40 million and invest it in to the squad, or spend it on one quality replacement. Well, that depends on what they want to achieve this season - survival or European football.
Sadly for Everton fans, its more likely that they will get a 35-year-old has been, than a world class defender in the prime of their career.
Roberto, its over to you.
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