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Everton have already suffered a blow already in the January transfer window with the news that Steven Pienaar chose to join Tottenham Hotspur instead of signing a new contract with the Toffees.
Could Everton’s poor start to the season have affected his decision to leave?
Something similar happened to Everton in the last campaign, but their form in the second half of the season was that of title contenders.
David Moyes will certainly hope so, and some reinforcements this month may aid that goal.
However, if his team do go on a winning run, there will only be a nagging feeling of what if?
What if Everton could start well and sustain their best form for a whole Premier League season?
A question for another day perhaps.
Here are ten potential transfer targets for January.
1. Matthew Jarvis
When a team loses its left midfielder, it is only natural to want to immediately secure a replacement – particularly one that could establish a similar partnership on that side with Leighton Baines.
Matt Jarvis has had an excellent season so far in the Premier League for Wolverhampton Wanderers – even if his club aren’t getting the results they require.
He has four assists and has scored two goals in the Premier League so far this campaign, and could certainly flourish at Everton.
With Wolves in the relegation zone, Jarvis may well consider a move, but his club would be understandably reluctant to sell.
2. Eric Dier
Everton have been strongly linked to a move for 17 year-old English central defender Eric Dier, who is very highly thought of at Sporting Lisbon, and featured in an FA and Umbro campaign for the new England shirt.
However, he is yet to make a first team appearance for the club, and having expressed doubts about his likelihood of national team selection while playing abroad, he may well be open to a move – especially with a manager like David Moyes so prone to giving young players a chance.
Tony Hibbert, Jack Rodwell, Dan Gosling, Leon Osman, James Vaughan – and of course Wayne Rooney – are just a few of the players to have come through the Everton youth ranks in recent years, and Dier would certainly get his chance at the club if he earned it.
The young Englishman would be unlikely to immediately break up the impressive partnership of Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka, but given that he is considered one for the future, he may be able to be picked up for a 5 figure fee.
3. Robbie Keane
As well as prospective left wingers, David Moyes needs a goalscoring striker – one of the most sought after and expensive commodities in the Premier League.
Darren Bent’s £18m initial transfer to Aston Villa added to his previous transfer fees of £3m, £16.5m, and £10m to Charlton, Tottenham and Sunderland respectively scarcely compare with the cumulative transfer fees paid for Robbie Keane.
Coventry paid Wolves £6m, Inter Milan paid Coventry £13m, Leeds United paid Inter Milan £12m, Spurs paid Leeds £7m, Liverpool paid Spurs £19m before Tottenham bought him back for £12m.
This means Robbie Keane has cost clubs £76m so far in his career – and should he achieve one final move that will be increased.
Everton certainly need a striker who can score goals, with their roster of forwards having scored just four goals between them all season.
Yakubu has now left for Leicester, and if Robbie Keane is available at a decent price, perhaps Everton could secure the Irishman’s signature.
4. Charlie Adam
Charlie Adam has been linked with most clubs within a certain bracket in the Premier League after contract talks stalled with Blackpool.
A move to Everton has been rumoured in recent days, but there is not the need for his type of player that there is at other sides.
Could Adam really break up the central midfield triumvirate of Tim Cahill, Mikel Arteta and Marouane Fellaini?
One would think not, and he is hardly likely to come in on the left wing as Pienaar’s replacement having failed to impress there for Rangers.
5. Yannick Djalo
Djalo has scored 18 goals in 82 appearances for Sporting Club de Lisbon, and has just broken into the Portugal international team.
He also can play on the left wing, able to cut inside or go down the flank to cross.
A fee of £4m or so is believed to be enough to secure the tricky player’s signature, and as a friend of Manchester United star Nani, Djalo would be open to a move to the North West of England.
6. Niko Kranjcar
If Everton are looking for a like for like replacement for Pienaar, they could do far worse than sign Niko Kranjcar from Tottenham.
In fact, Tottenham’s ownership of the Croatia international makes their bid for Pienaar appear even more curious.
Kranjcar moved to Spurs in 2009 for between £1-2m, and if Everton could get the 26 year-old for anywhere near that fee they would have secured quite the bargain.
A creative force anywhere across the midfield and possessing an exceptional strike from range, Kranjcar could be the answer for Everton.
7. Jelle Vossen
Belgium international striker Jelle Vossen has been linked with Everton since October, when David Moyes was spotted watching the Genk forward score for his country against Austria.
Having begun the season with an astonishing 14 goals in 11 matches, Vossen naturally attracted attention from outside the Belgian league, and the quick hitman is reportedly available for around £5m.
Could he be the prolific striker Everton desperately need?
8. Peniel Mlapa
19 year-old Togolese striker Peniel Mlapa is another striker linked with Everton.
The 6’4″ teenager was rumoured to be heading to Goodison Park in a £3m transfer last summer, but though the move failed to materialise, the media do not believe David Moyes has lost interest.
Recently the recipient of the German Young Player Of The Year award, Mlapa’s strength and height make him a huge threat – and his vicious right foot can score the most spectacular of goals.
9. Adam Barton
20 year-old Preston midfielder Adam Barton’s impressive displays for his club has seen him feature in rumoured moves to both Everton and Liverpool, but it is the blue half of Merseyside that looks the more likely side to win the transfer chase.
He is rated at £5m by his club, due to breaking into the Northern Ireland team as a teenager, but given Preston’s woeful season so far he finds himself unsettled at Deepdale.
David Moyes’ links with Preston, and his ability to turn Football League players into Premier League stars make this transfer all the more viable – at the right price.
10. Ivan Rakitic
Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic’s deal with Schalke 04 is coming to a close, and the 22 year-old star has been repeatedly linked with a move to the Premier League.
Likely available on the cheap due to his contract situation, Rakitic is highly regarded within the ranks of his club and country, winning comparisons with Luka Modric.
He would be an excellent signing for Everton should they make a successful bid.
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