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Brands confirms James free transfer and explains £60m spend

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Marcel Brands has revealed Everton spent just over £60m on signings in the last transfer window but confirmed James Rodriguez arrived on a free.

The director of football also confirmed that the club paid £200,000 in "training compensation" to sign Niels Nkounkou but Robin Olsen's loan from AS Roma came without a fee.

Brands, in delivering his annual presentation at the General Meeting of the shareholders this evening, spoke of how the financial impact of the Covid pandemic forced the club to walk away from a "few" potential deals, with a move for Gabriel Magalhaes believed to be among them.

But Everton still managed to land players in three key positions and overcame the "one of the weirdest" transfer windows to land Rodriguez on a free transfer from Real Madrid.

“It was one of the most difficult and weirdest transfer windows ever," Brands said.

"The pandemic was clearly involved in this transfer window.

“We finished the window with a squad of 27 players -a little bit more than originally planned.

“We signed six new players. Three on a permanent transfer – Allan, Doucoure and Ben Godfrey. One on a free – James Rodriguez. One on a training compensation – Nkounkou. And one loan without a loan fee – Robin Olsen.”

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Brands says the sale of nine players during the last window - including Morgan Schneiderlin and Kieran Dowell - saw the club recoup £6.5m, leaving Everton with a net spend of £54m, having spent £60.5m on Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ben Godfrey.

The director of football stressed how the reduced spending power in leagues across Europe, and in the Championship, impacted on their plans to reduce the squad size and bring in more money in player sales.

Since Brands took over, in June 2018, he has signed off on 74 player exits (including loans) which have brought in £100m. Brands confirmed that £30m came from Idrissa Gueye, the only "key" player the club have sold in that period.

Brands said he inherited a squad of 40 players, worth £311.9m, but a squad of 27 players is now worth £456.3m.

“It was one of the most challenging transfer windows ever," he said.

"The average spend of the Premier League clubs was around £63m and the overall net spend of the average Premier League club increase from just over £30m in 2019 to almost £43m in 2020. This was mainly a result of significantly reduced player sales.”

Everton accounts and AGM

In commenting on a slide in his presentation, which illustrated the drop in money spent in the last window, Brands said: “I spoke before on the influence on the transfer window.

"This slide show how the money that was spent on incoming transfers dropped to 70% in other countries like Germany, Spain, France, Italy and, also, an important market the Championship in England.

"All of these markets were very important for us to sell or offload players in the past.”

Brands says he does not "expect" additions to Everton's squad this month but, instead, the focus will be on "offloading" players.

The Dutchman said the Blues' ideal squad size is 23 or 24 players but the current set-up has 27 players in it, not including Yannick Bolasie or Mo Besic.

Brands said the club want the make up of the squad to comprise of three goalkeepers, eight defenders, six or seven midfielders and six attackers.




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