One solitary point since New Years Day's smash and grab victory over West Bromwich Albion has left Everton mingling in mid table obscurity perilously close to the danger zone. Realistically though, the biggest haul we could have expected from games with Bolton, Spurs and Aston Villa would be 7, at very best, which would have us hobnobbing with the European hopefuls, so to be heading into February looking over our shoulder is a tad disappointing.
However, we must move on and what better time to start rebuilding than during silly season, which rather remarkably has been quite busy thus far at Goodison Park. With the acquisition of Landon Donovan already secured before the festive period, it has allowed David Moyes more time to focus on problematic areas forced upon him by the form and injuries of any already threadbare squad.
One player already through the door is the regularly linked and often ridiculed, Darron Gibson from Manchester United. The stocky Midfielder shared a frosty relationship with those at Old Trafford but still managed to make 60 appearances for the Red Devils scoring an impressive 10 times. It appears a late night post-Christmas jaunt to Southport's bars with ex-Everton favourite Wayne Rooney and fellow Irishman Johnny Evans was the straw breaking the Camel's back for Alex Ferguson and brought a close to his United career. A few eyebrows were raised, including mine, when he put pen to paper earlier this month, not only due to scepticism of his talents but also questioning whether a central Midfielder was a priority.
The more I read about Gibson the more I liked, he's clearly not afraid to shoot from distance, which is a trait we have missed for a long time and he only commanded an upfront fee of under a million pounds, which is definitely our end of the market. He also turned down a move to Sunderland in the Summer after the 2 clubs agreed at 5 million pound deal to take him to the North East. Looking back at the purchases that Steve Bruce has made through the years, he has a keen eye for both a solid signing and unearthing a diamond in the rough, so hopefully Moyes will get the best out him and we'll have another bargain on our hands.
So focus returns to the positions we desperately require cover for and the recruitment drive seems to have taken us back across the pond to the United States of America. We currently have Donovan's former LA Galaxy team mate, Edson Buddle aiming to impress during a weeks trial period from his Bundesliga Zwei club FC Inglostadt 04. If the wonderfully named Buddle was to commit his future to Everton Football Club it would further strengthen our American links and hopefully act to increase the ever growing fanbase.
Since the latter part of the 20th century, Goodison has been home to some of the biggest names in the US game. Walter Smith started the influx with the minuscule front man Joe-Max Moore, the trend continued under Moyes with successful loan periods for Brian McBride, Landon Donovan and eventual permanent signing Tim Howard. America has been a regular destination for pre-season training camps which ever increases our profile and doubles up as scouting missions for potential signings. In 2011 Chris Woods was appointed Goalkeeping coach for the US Mens Team by Jurgen Klinsmann, who himself spent time at Finch Farm, as have a number of young up and coming talents to train with the first team and gain invaluable experience.
If Buddle can prove himself we could have the natural finisher we have craved this campaign, our only real reference point, as it stands, of his goalscoring prowess are YouTube clips of his successful period with the Galaxy 2 years ago. We'll have to wait and see if an agreement can be reached, but our last American import who had an unsuccessful stint in Germany hasn't done to badly for himself so with a bit of luck Edson can take over where Landon leaves off.
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