Everyone knows it will be an interesting summer for Everton Football Club. It’s the first one where everything is already in place. This time last year Moshiri had only just invested into the club, and there was no Ronald Koeman and no Steve Walsh at the club. It made for quite a messy summer as targets could not have been properly scouted.
One player who did arrive at the club was Maarten Stekelenburg from Fulham. At the time I thought it was a strange move, we already had Joel Robles at the club so we already had a back-up goalkeeper I thought, we didn’t need a new one. I kept expecting Koeman to make a move for someone else, but it never happened. It never looked like happening.
He started the season as our number one. A goalkeeper not wanted by a Championship club and one which Southampton fans were very happy didn’t return after his loan spell there. The Dutchman started brilliantly however and kept us in a few matches, but it was never going to last. The mistakes crept in and were part of Everton going through our early season bad patch.
Koeman dropped his favourite and played Joel Robles. Martinez had done exactly the same thing last season when Tim Howard lost form. Throughout his time Robles has shown that he is a good goalkeeper, and better than Stekelenburg. Our form and clean sheets weren’t a coincidence as the Spaniard performed to a high level.
Everton history of fine goalkeepers
Robles is good, but not quite good enough. Everton were blessed with one of the greatest goalkeepers of all-time in the 80’s and 90’s in Neville Southall, but we’re not expecting that. To be fair, Tim Howard was very good for a long time. Nigel Martyn was extremely good for the few years he was at the club. If the club want to achieve great things over the next few years, then we need to find a goalkeeper who will be there through that period.
It’s what Tottenham did with Hugo Lloris. That fantastic piece of recruitment has helped transform the club into title challengers. We need other players in, of course, and also the threat of star players leaving means the club could have a lot of work to do. The best teams have a great goalkeeper who provides stability in the position.
Everton haven’t had a goalkeeper good enough since the 2013/14 season which was Howard’s last good one at the club. That has really showed at times and it’s an anomaly on the teamsheet, the ability of our number one doesn’t match up to the rest of the first 11.
As it stands, it must be the biggest transfer priority. Everton need to find their Hugo Lloris. That’s a difficult ask, but we need vast improvement regardless. Stekelenburg has somehow found his way back into the side, and he again showed why we desperately need to replace him. If Everton want to have a great season in 2017/18, getting a new goalkeeper is an absolute must.