After weeks of speculation, debating and social media fume, Everton have finally got their man. Ronald Koeman has joined the Blues from Southampton after Everton agreed a compensation package of £5m with the Saints and handed Koeman a yearly salary upwards of £6m. Yes, you read that correctly. Everton have paid for a new manager, and are giving him serious cash for his services. The way the Koeman saga has panned out truly signifies a new era at Everton, one of ambition, money and winning – rather than the Kenwright years of plucky little Everton punching above their weight.
Ronald Koeman was clearly first choice for the Goodison hot seat from the start. Reports suggested he wasn’t keen on the job initially, until Farhad Moshiri waved in his face a bumper contract and a huge transfer war chest to build a squad capable of winning things, which he simply couldn’t get at the Saints. The allure of awakening the clichéd ‘sleeping giant’ of Everton may have played a part, but what pleases me is the fact that with the financial clout we now possess, Everton are finally starting to act like a big club again. We aren’t looking around for an unproven quantity to get lucky with – we are getting a proven winner who will not let the club down in the way past managers have. We have neglected our past and settled for second best for too long – gone are the days when we would watch helplessly as we sold our home-grown icons and put in laughable bids for players we could never dream of having. Everton mean business and if the suggestions that Sevilla’s transfer wizard Monchi is on his way to L4 are on the money, we have clear evidence that Farhad Moshiri has come to turn Everton into winners and he, unlike the previous regime, believes in the club’s motto.
Koeman himself has worked wonders with Southampton – for two seasons finishing in the top seven, despite mass exoduses in both transfer windows he worked there. He has played fast, dynamic football that has swept away some great sides – the 4-2 demolition of Manchester City towards the end of last season comes to mind. The Dutchman has brought some fantastic talent to the South coast, with the likes of Sadio Mane, Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic particularly catching the eye of fans across the league. His shrewdness in the transfer market will be crucial in a window where Everton could spend upwards of £100m and many deadwood players will be shown the door. Moshiri has chosen the ideal man to take Everton through the window and on to the next level. His record with previous clubs is positive too. He has won Dutch titles with both Ajax and PSV Eindhoven, as well as spearheading the resurgence of Feyenoord back into European football. His record at Valencia wasn’t the best, but he still managed to win the Copa del Rey during his time at the Mestalla. He certainly has the credentials to lead Everton forward into better times.
Every Evertonian has the right to be excited about this new chapter. Moshiri is here with cash to burn, and when the manager can get to work with a new Director of Football on securing transfer targets, a summer of positivity and excitement beckons for the born again Mersey Millionaires. Times are changing and Everton have firmly grasped their place at the Premier League’s top table. Failure is no longer going to be tolerated.