Follow the Jelavic Road...
Disgruntled Evertonians may be sated by a very impressive transfer window.
Given that the club is supposedly broke, this has been a highly satisfactory transfer window for Everton. As December turned to January, fans were all under the impression that the infamous "Arteta money" had been handed to the bank, and that any transfers in would be predicated on the prior sale of a current player. But it's turned out well.... It's been a while since The Blues have been talk of the transfer market for the right reasons, but the £5.5 million arrival of Nikica Jelavic from Rangers seems to have been the highest profile move of the frantic day.
The player's record and commendations speak for themselves, notwithstanding that they're mostly from the SPL, and the hastily viewed Youtube video makes him look like a natural goalscorer with great awareness. Time will tell whether he can fill the gaping hole that Everton have in the opposition penalty box. Quite where this leaves Vellios, Anichebe and Stracqualursi, only David Moyes can tell.
One notable absentee from that list of patchy strikers is Louis Saha, whose departure to Spurs (the terms of which I'm yet to find out) ends what has been a divisive spell on Merseyside. His best days are way behind him, and the one goal in 14 games, along with all-round laziness and disinclination to face the goal he's meant to be shooting at, means he won't be a great loss. And neither will his gigantic wage.
What Harry Redknapp needs him for in a team with Defoe and Adebayor, only he knows. As when "King Louis" signed at Everton, you'll hear a lot from fellow professionals about how they've learned first hand of his strength, movement and awareness, from when they played against him. Only tonight on Match of the Day we heard just that from Martin Keown and Lee Dixon. Remind me boys, when did you last play in the Premier League?
Anyone who has seen him this season will know that Saha's undoubted natural abilities aren't manifest in his performances, which have frustrated the best efforts of Fellaini, Baines and Donovan to create chances up top.
Coming in the other direction is returning hero Steven Pienaar, who has re-joined on loan until the end of the season, after failing to settle in at White Hart Lane. His positive creativity has been sorely missed, and it's been well-observed that Leighton Baines hasn't looked the same since the South African left on the cheap. The reunion of the two down the left flank will have Everton fans licking their lips.
Speaking of left-wingers who never really settled, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has come to the (undoubtedly correct) decision that his future lies elsewhere than the Premier League. The Russian, who cost £10 million two-and-a-half years ago, looked constantly too short of time and too pre-occupied with avoiding physical contact to play any serious role in the midfield, and has headed to Spartak Moscow for about half the price Everton paid. Anyone with greater knowledge than mine of Russian football can tell me whether that's a controversial move given that he used to play for Lokomotiv Moscow. Answers on a postcard.
Bilyaletdinov is another we'll chalk up to the "don't trust Moyes with lots of money" list, but perhaps the loss of a few million quid was worth it just for this goal. The earlier imports, of Landon Donovan and Darron Gibson are proving to be marvellous and astute respectively, making it a surprisingly good month of business for the club.