Feb 022015

While the rest of the country goes deadline day crazy, on the blue half of Merseyside things look like being a little quieter.

At this stage, it seems unlikely that there will be any major business done by Everton, with Roberto Martinez insisting that January is not an ideal market for “finding solutions.”

Still, there could be some activity at Finch Farm today. The ECHO understands Martinez may look to add a goalkeeper to his squad before the 11pm cut off, providing the right deal comes up.

* Click here to see our transfer window deadline day live blog

“We are a little bit weak in that area,” the Catalan said earlier this month. “It is something we will assess.”

Though Joel Robles’ form has picked up since then, Tim Howard remains sidelined, and with questions about his own form pre-dating his injury. Everton’s other available keepers are Jindrich Stanek and Russell Griffiths, two 18-year-olds who have trained with the senior side this season, but who boast little or no first-team experience.

A new arrival, then, should not be ruled out.

Where, though, could Martinez be looking? Here, the ECHO assesses some potential keeper signings for the Blues…


Jack Butland (Stoke City)

A player who has long been on Everton’s radar, dating back to his Birmingham City days.

The 21-year-old’s ascent has not been as swift as some anticipated over the past two years – he was, after all, part of England’s squad for the 2012 European Championships – but few doubt his talent.

With Asmir Begovic firmly ensconced as Stoke’s regular first-choice, and experienced cover available in Thomas Sorensen, a loan move for Butland would certainly not be out of the question in January. Indeed, the youngster has already spent time at Championship high-flyers Derby County this season, making six appearances for Steve McClaren’s men.

Tall, strong and good with his feet, Butland’s positional work is considered by many to be his biggest weakness, but at 21 there is bags of room for development.

Alex McCarthy (QPR)

At 25, there must come a time when the Guildford-born stopper shakes off his ‘young gun’ tag.

Many expected that when McCarthy joined QPR from Reading last summer, this might be the season it happens. So far, though, there has been just one Premier League appearance – a 3-2 loss to Liverpool in October – and McCarthy has been forced to watch on as Rob Green continues to be first choice.

Still, he is rated highly by many within the game. McCarthy has good stature, fine reflexes and agility, and has enough Premier League experience from his Reading days. The trouble is, he might just be exactly what QPR need in the second half of the season.

Jonathan Bond (Watford)

Currently competing with Butland for the first choice spot with England U21s, Bond is behind former Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes at club level, at a time when he should be looking to establish himself as a first-teamer.

The 21-year-old has had a taste at Watford, as well as during loan spells with Bury, Dagenham and Forest Green.

Hardly ideal preparation for a club like Everton, granted, but he’s well thought of within the national team system.


Neto (Fiorentina)

Out of contract next summer, the 25-year-old Brazilian has been widely linked with a January move away from Italy, with a number of Premier League clubs reportedly interested.

Neto boasts a solid record this season, with the Viola one of the meaner Serie A sides around. His contractual situation would also mean his asking price would not be as prohibitive as it would with other targets.

Guillermo Ochoa (Malaga)

The flag-bearer of the YouTube generation, the Mexican was one of the standout goalkeepers of last summer’s World Cup, but has struggled at club level.

A move from French side Ajaccio to La Liga outfit Malaga has not worked out as of yet.

Ochoa didn’t play his first competitive game for his new side until December, with Carlos Kameni very much first choice at La Rosaleda.

Agile, quick and dynamic, though with erratic tendencies, Ochoa is an interesting option. Whether he’s the right one is another matter entirely.

Orjan Nyland (Molde)

Tentatively linked with the Blues late last year, the 24-year-old has 10 caps for Norway, and is rated as one of the best ‘keepers to emerge in the country for years.

Those who have seen him say he has strong reflexes and shot-stopping capabilities, and can use his feet well. Though the difference between the Norwegian Tippeligaen and the Premier League is night and day.


Shay Given (Aston Villa)

Few boast more Premier League experience than the Irishman, though his first-team career has tailed off significantly in recent seasons.

Behind Brad Guzan in the pecking order at Villa, Given has made just two league appearances in two years, spending part of last season on loan at Middlesbrough.

Still deemed a top professional, however, it is not unthinkable that the 38-year-old could still do a job, short-term, in the top flight.

Brad Friedel (Spurs)

Another golden oldie, Friedel too is third-choice at his club, behind Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm. He is also one of the finest goalkeepers, outside the elite, to have graced the Premier League.

Then again, his relationship with fellow American Tim Howard might mean this one is a bit, well, you know…

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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