Everton have been linked with a number of Wigan Athletic players past and present since the appointment of Roberto Martinez, but one name more than any other has the potential to be Everton’s signing of the summer. Victor Moses only joined Chelsea last summer and although he failed to hold down a regular starting position, he performed well enough to enhance a burgeoning reputation.
Despite been just 22-years-old, Victor Moses will feel now is the time to establish himself as an integral part of a top Premier League team. Unfortunately for the Nigerian international, the arrival of Jose Mourinho is likely to further limit his opportunities in the Chelsea first team. Moses was largely restricted to appearances from the substitutes bench in his debut season for the Londoners, but still managed to find the net a total of 10 times, particularly benefiting from Rafa Benitez’ rotation policy in the Europa League. Mourinho is expected to begin a period of significant recruitment to ensure his Chelsea squad is able to challenge for both the Premier League title and the Champions League and it is expected that Victor Moses will be deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.
If Chelsea do decide to sell, they will look to regain a significant percentage of the £9m they paid for Moses last August. Therefore his signing would eat significantly into the transfer budget promised to Roberto Martinez by the Everton board. However, I believe his signing would significantly boost both the Everton attack and the Blues’ creativity in central midfield. Moses can play anywhere across the forward line, but it is on the wing that he has established himself, using his power, strength and pace to create goals for both himself and his team mates. Not only would his arrival create competition for places in the wide positions, alongside both Mirallas and Pienaar, it would also enable the latter to move into a central position, providing Everton with more guile and creativity in the attacking midfield role. I believe this to be Pienaar’s favourite role and despite David Moyes’ reluctance to play him regularly in this position, he was often at his best when he had the freedom to play behind the main striker, rather than focusing on the additional defensive duties Moyes always demanded from his wide players.
Since Mikel Arteta left the Blues, Everton have lacked a player capable of unlocking the best defences in the league. Leon Osman has often been relied upon as the main creative force in the central three preferred by Moyes, but Osman has been deployed in a more withdrawn role. This has allowed Fellaini the freedom to play as Everton’s “Number 10” and resulted in Everton becoming more direct, especially when teams arrived at Goodison with the sole aim of avoiding defeat. Martinez has a significantly different footballing ideology to his predecessor and is unlikely to follow this approach, instead preferring Everton to retain possession, opening teams up with a combination of pace and cleaver movement of the ball. Fellaini, if he remains at the football club, will operate in the Belgium’s prefered role, as a withdrawn midfield player, operating alongside the likes of Darron Gibson in central midfield. Pienaar would then take on the role as chief creator, retaining the potential to link up with both Baines and Coleman in their naturally attacking full back play. Martinez has shown a tendency to operate with a 4-3-3 formation, encouraging his wide players to operate high up the pitch. This would perfectly suit Kevin Mirallas’ game, and if the Blues are able to secure the signing of Victor Moses, Everton would be a regular goalscorer short of delivering on Martinez’s aspiration of bringing Champions League football back to Goodison Park.
Victor Moses made his professional debut for Crystal Palace as a 16-year-old and by his 18th Birthday he was already an integral part of the Palace squad. A number of Premier League teams began to show a serious interest in Moses, with David Moyes strongly rumoured to be considering a move for the then England u21 international. Wigan Athletic and Roberto Martinez won the race for his signature, picking him up for a bargain fee of £2.5m. He struggled at first to establish himself in the first team, but within 18 minutes, he was considered by many to be Wigan’s best player and already the top clubs were admiring his play. Although not prolific in front of goal, he played an important role in helping Wigan retain their Premier League status, but his performances had alerted Chelsea who vigorously chased his signature, finally proving successful with a week remaining of the 2012 summer transfer window. Shortly before arriving at Stamford Bridge he declared his interest in representing Nigeria, the country of his birth and played a successful role in securing the 2013 African Nations Cup, scoring twice in a win over Ethiopia.