As of right now, Everton are heading towards European football after playing excellent football in the Barclay’s Premier League. And, a big part of their current success has been the development of Marouane Fellaini.
Fellaini is a big, powerful midfielder who is capable of playing pretty much anywhere in the centre of the park. He can lie deep and protect the backline, he can slide up and orchestrate play or he can play near goal and has been a revelation there this year, using his deft touch and aerial ability.
Fellaini has oft had the eye or larger clubs with his unique combination of skill and size being quite intriguing, but more than ever he’s looking like a man who will warrant looks as he brings so many things to the pitch.
And, Everton don’t really have anyone who can replace or replicate what he brings. Alas, they were in the midst of snapping up Dutch international Leroy Fer, a man capable of wreaking havoc like Fellaini is capable of. Fer is a massive weapon in the air and is capable of playing anywhere in the middle of the park. Sounds familiar, right?
Everton were rumored to be splashing £8.6 on the Twente FC man, which sounds like a large sum for Everton, who normally are quite frugal. But, if the arrival of Fer meant that Fellaini could be sent packing for what would be a much larger sum.
And, if Fellaini isn’t dealt, then the team isn’t at a loss when Fellaini is rested, suspended or injured. Plus, the two could combine to form one of the more physically imposing midfield duos in the league.
But, Everton’s medical staff had worries over Fer’s knee and Twente were unwilling to change the fee based upon this finding as Everton wanted to make an appearance stipulation, and now the deal has fallen apart.
It’s tough to miss a guy who was never on the roster, but with a deal that close to being finalized, this certainly is a blow to the Toffees, who rarely miss on a guy because they can’t afford to.
Sitting in fifth and just three points back of Tottenham for fourth, Fer could have been just the push that Everton needed.
Now, the whole season will be marred with what could have been, and we’ll see if Everton can prevent their would be strengthening from becoming a subtracter to their success. Only time will tell if Everton made the right call and saved themselves from an eventual nightmare, or cost themselves a shot at club football's largest stage.
Special thanks to MStewartPhotography for the image via Flickr.