The transfer deadline has closed for Premier League clubs, and of all the clubs in the English top flight it could well be argued that Everton fans enjoyed the best deadline day of the lot. Signing not one, but three players in the space of 10 minutes saw some top quality players arriving at Goodison Park. Some arrived on permanent deals while others were loans, but in all the Toffees secured the services of the likes of Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes from Barcelona, Bernard from Shakhtar Donetsk and by the looks of things Kurt Zouma will be arriving on Merseyside on a loan deal as well. Mina in particular is a real coup for the club, as he was also interesting Man Utd – Everton have done very well.
When Marcel Brands and Marco Silva signed on the dotted line at Everton this summer, they will have known they were in for a testing couple of months.
Even without a World Cup and a shortened transfer window to deal with they had a difficult job on their hands getting the Toffees up to scratch.
They had inherited a squad that was too big, too old and nowhere near good enough to achieve the aims of majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.
Early on the pair identified that a bloated squad would need reducing down to more manageable numbers. Removing several high paid players was the main aim. Carrying out the task would be no mean feat given those players deemed surplus to requirements were unlikely to garner much interest.
Legendary Argentina striker Diego Maradona has apologised for claiming that England committed “monumental robbery” in their World Cup last-16 tie with Colombia on Tuesday evening. The former Napoli star was incensed that American referee Mark Geiger had apparently shown a bias towards England, punishing Colombia more often than the Three Lions. Speaking on a nightly World Cup show on Venezuela-based Telesur, Maradona had said: “Here’s a gentleman who decides, a referee who, if you Google him, shouldn’t be given a match of this magnitude… Geiger, an American, what a coincidence.”
It is a massive week for Colombian football. The nation knows that if they can get past England in the last 16 of the World Cup and book a place in the quarter-finals, then they can equal their all-time best showing at the biggest tournament in world football. That was achieved in the last World Cup in Brazil in 2014. They were ultimately eliminated by the hosts 2-1 in the final eight, but this time around face a showdown with either Sweden or Switzerland if they can get past Gareth Southgate’s men. If they are to achieve that, then of course the defence will have to be at their best to frustrate the Three Lions’ forward line. That makes it neatly time to name this week’s best defender, and it is none other than the South Americans’ Yerry Mina.