Marcel Brands has lifted the lid on Everton’s two most expensive signings of the summer.
Everton spent just over £80m in this most recent transfer window, with Richarlison (£35m) and Yerry Mina (£27.1m) their most expensive purchases.
Brands oversaw a fine summer at Goodison Park after being appointed director of football, but admits the club paid over the odds for Richarlison.
He also admits his initial reaction to Mina’s goal for Colombia against England at the World Cup was: “Sh*t, he’s scored”. Which is excellent.
But it was Richarlison that the Dutchman managed to get through the door first, in a deal made “difficult” by a broken relationship with Watford, manager Marco Silva’s former club.
“We thought it would be a very difficult one because of the history of the clubs,” Brands told The Guardian.
“We were both convinced about him [but] I think with the situation with Watford, we had to pay a little bit more.
“I think maybe the market value was a little bit lower but, at the end, we are happy with him. We think he can be very special. He has a lot of speed, the capability to work; he is strong, he is tall. There are a lot of qualities for all the competitions in Europe. They are important qualities.”
Brands added that his work this summer is not yet done.
“First of all we had to reduce the squad. We started with 38 players and now we are on 29/30 and I expect something more to happen in the last weeks of the window. Finally I think the squad will be reduced.
“Financially we also reduced the wages – not fully to the target I had in mind but I think we can do that in the near future.
“We identified the positions that were our priorities and in the end we did some extras that were more loan deals.”
Brands also further discussed the signing of Mina with the Liverpool Echo.
“With the central defender, from the beginning we had Mina on our list and Lenglet on our list but he went to Barcelona quite early in the market so it was quite simple for us: go for Mina,” he said.
“And, honestly, I was watching England v Colombia in Farhad’s house with the chairman and Marco and I said: “Sh*t, he’s scored”.
“Because that makes it more difficult for us and especially as it came against England, so that was double sh*t.
“You go through those kind of things in the market, it’s like it is.”