Selling Fellaini may not be as bad as first feared for Everton

by Lee Davies

Fellaini EvertonIn recent times Everton have seen a lot of interest in their talismanic central midfielder Marouane Fellaini. Premier League rivals such as Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have all been credited with interest in the Belgian and it seems that a move is on the cards that would see him leave the Goodison Park side whom he has been at since signing from Belgian side Standard Liege for £15million in 2008.

Last season Fellaini was certainly one of Everton’s two best perfomers, he played in 31 of the Liverpool outfits 38 games scoring 11 times. However, despite the importance of the Belgian to Everton and to the Evertonians, it is common knowledge that a bid of £23million pound from a Champions League playing club activates a release clause for the frizzy haired midfielder. Obviously losing a player of Fellaini’s calibre would be damaging to Everton’s chances of a European place finish next season but would losing Fellaini actually be as bad as it seems for Everton?

If Everton were to sell Fellaini, incoming manager Roberto Martinez would have money to spend in the transfer window. It’s common knowledge the Everton aren’t rolling in money and so selling Fellaini would probably give them their transfer budget for the summer. His release clause is rumouredly £23million and this is enough for ‘The Blues’ to get in a few new faces that would not only replace the Belgian but see them strengthen other areas i.e. a new striker. The major difference for Everton over the last few seasons, especially when challenging for Europe, is that their main rivals for European places are much richer than them. They can afford not to sell to buy, the same cannot be said for Everton who have sold players like Jack Rodwell and Joleon Lescott to Manchester City and Mikel Arteta to Arsenal in recent seasons. So selling Fellaini would supply them with the money they need to go after players like Leroy Fer of FC Twente and Arouna Koné of Wigan, two of Everton’s reported targets.

Leroy Fer

Fellaini’s sale could see Fer’s arrival

Secondly, Fellaini’s sale could gather up to £23million, this would result in a lack of a need to sell other players such as Leighton Baines. Baines has no release clause and so Everton are in a different position with their left-back to the one they are in with Fellaini as they are under no obligation to sell the England international.

In my opinion, Baines is not only a better player than Fellaini but would also be harder to replace and this is the reason I believe Everton should look into selling Fellaini rather than Baines. Baines, the only player to feature in all 38 of Everton’s Premier League games last season is, I think, is much more of a key player to the club than the Belgain. Think about it logically the fee Everton would receive for the left-back would be around £15million, £8million less than what they would receive for Fellaini, in my opinion Baines is right up there with the Jordi Alba’s and Ashley Cole’s of this world and could not be suitably replaced for £15million.

However, for £23million, Everton could find a suitable replacement for Fellaini with the likes of Leroy Fer being available this summer. So selling Fellaini would mean Leighton Baines stays at Everton, unless they receive a ridiculous offer.

Leighton Baines

Fellaini leaving could mean Baines staying

If we look back at the last time Everton broke into the top four it was the 2004-2005 season, the first season since the sale of wonderkid striker Wayne Rooney to Manchester United. Everton used that money to buy key players in that seasons side, Tim Cahill arrived from Millwall, Mikel Arteta arrived from Real Sociedad and James Beattie came from Southampton (the later two signed in January and February of that season).

The sale of Rooney effectively saw Everton into the Champions League in terms of financing the club to be able to achieve what they did. Could a sale of Fellaini see a similar rise? Well it’s unlikely, Everton would have to finish higher than three of both Manchester clubs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool (as well as obviously the other sides) and although this is not impossible, I wouldn’t advise betting on heavily on it. Despite this, it could easily see them into the Europa League either via the league or the cup. Selling Fellaini could be them bring in new players, and bringing much desired European nights back to Goodison.

All in all, I believe Evertonians need not worry too much about Fellaini’s departure because it would allow Martinez to have ample money to buy who he wants in terms of replacements and other players, it would allow them to hang onto other key players such as Leighton Baines and finally it could see them repeat the scenes of 2005 and could see European football return to Goodison.

9 Responses

  1. Nick oakley says:

    Rather stating the obvious and one written by so many other hacks. You need to find a new angle/ new info. Sorry Lee to be negative but we would like some new stuff rather than just another new kid on the block trotting out the same old diatribe.

  2. Steve says:

    Got to agree with Nick sorry Lee…you could have picked this up 2 weeks ago from any Everton forum on the net. Not the swiftest of contributions.

    Just to give you a more up to date view, though Fer does hold the interest of Evertonians, its Keisuke Honda that is really causing excitement for us. The news that Milan may have to offload players from their wage bill before they could try to tempt him only increases the hope amongst the Goodison faithful.

  3. Lee Davies says:

    I see Fer as I more like for like replacement Steve but Honda is obviously a great buy and would love to see him in the royal blue shirt. Nick I’d like to know what part of it was stating the obvious, the articles wasn’t directed on selling Fellaini merely the possibilities after he has gone, how can something that hasn’t happened yet be obvious?

  4. Iain Love says:

    Sorry Lee but it is obvious that selling Fellaini for more money is better than selling Baines. Also Fer would replace his position but is not proven in our league. Lastly we aren’t sure about Martinezs tactics with Everton and talk of europe is premature.

  5. Steve says:

    I’d possibly agree with the idea of Fer being like for like, but, therein may lie the problem for Martinez. We have a first choice defensive midfielder in the shape of Gibson.

    If Martinez does want to go three at the back, with Baines and Coleman as wingbacks (and why wouldnt he?!) can we really play with two defensive midfielders?. Dont see it myself.

    I think we need a more forward thinking playmaker to go alongside Gibson and, to my mind, Honda fills that billet better than Fer. If we were after a young dutch player it would be Georginio Wijnaldum from PSV, who’s similar to a young Pienaar in that he can play through the middle or on the wings.

  6. Lee Davies says:

    Iain, I with you that selling fellaini for more money is better is a little obvious but the article itself isn’t all that obvious, and it doesn’t matter at all that he plays abroad so many players come with out experience and turn out to be amazing (ronaldo, suarez, aguero…..). Talking of Europe isn’t exactly premature considering we almost managed it last season either. With the right buys it could happen

    Steve I agree actually, Gibson isn’t the forward minded central midfielder Moyes tried to play him as, I suppose Honda or Wijnaldum would be ideal for that role or even Osman if we choose to spend the money elsewhere. Even playing Barkley in that role isn’t a bad shout

  7. Nick oakley says:

    Sorry Lee

    You obviously spent a lot of time writing this article – I simply mention the content as being obvious as that’s what all Evertonians have been thinking for the last few weeks. We know all the info you have trotted out and surely it is obvious that we all think regularly about the possibilities of whats going to happen after certain sales. And finally it is obvious to all Evertonians that we would prefer Fellaini to go than Baines and therefore that’s where our thoughts lead us

  8. jed goodright says:

    They could sell the whole team and it won’t make any difference – Everton is on the way down – relegation fodder and off into the 2nd division within a couple of years – it’s over

  9. Robert Chambers says:

    Just mad that we finished above you for the second season in a row, eh?

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