A day after tying Blackburn in a hard fought game, Everton Football Club (my favorite team) have gotten some bad and potentially devastating news. Early in the preseason we lost forward James Vaughan to a dislocated shoulder. Shortly thereafter, we lost our center midfielder/Australian international Tim Cahill to a foot injury. These two injuries effectively decimated our depth in offensive positions. The speculation over the last 2 weeks has been that Everton was going to buy 2 new players to help with this, Middlesbrough striker Yakubu and Benfica’s Manuel Fernandes. Yakubu is a proven striker in the EPL so the Toffees (Everton’s nickname) were understandably excited, however Fernandes was the one we were most excited about.

Fernandes was on load with Everton for a few months last year and he was special. He was a playmaker, seemed to like the team, and really understand what the manager expects from his club. He made things happen on the field, and was a young and upcoming star. The thought of a midfield with Arteta, Cahill, and Fernandes serving up strikers AJ and Yakubu had most Everton fans salivating.

Well today we all came crashing back to earth. After passing his physical and having all matters of the contract agreed upon (but not signed), transfer fees set, even being the personal guest of the Everton owner at the Blackburn game, Fernandes has decided to do an about face, and sign with Valencia (in the Spanish league). This move came out of nowhere and has stunned all involved.

To make matters worse, Yakubu’s transfer bid is also looking tenuous as he cannot secure a work permit now to “work” for another team in the EPL. There is a rule for foreign players that they cannot play for an EPL team unless they have played in 70% of their country’s international games over the last 2 years. Yakubu, a Nigerian star, has fallen out of favor with the coach of the Nigerian national team, so while he has been a star in the EPL for 5 years, due to a technicality and a political matter, that transfer may be crushed as well. Everton is appealing the work permit issue for Yakubu and should have a final answer on Wednesday.

And the transfer window is closing fast (all teams need to be set by August 30), and won’t open again until January I think. I hope David Moyes can figure something out…

Looks like we won’t be seeing Manuel Fernandes doing this again this season.