Where are they now? Ronald Koeman’s 17 largely disastrous signings at Everton

Where are they now? Ronald Koeman’s 17 largely disastrous signings at Everton Davy Klaassen Everton Inter Ronald Koeman Signings revisited where are they now?

Ronald Koeman lasted 16 months as Everton manager. In that time the club made no fewer than 17 signings, which can charitably be described as something of a mixed bag.

With Romelu Lukaku banging in the goals before he was sold to Manchester United, Everton finished a respectable seventh place in 2016-17, Koeman’s one full season in charge. But the Dutchman was eventually sacked following a 5-2 home defeat to Arsenal in October 2017, a result that left the club in the relegation zone.

But what kind of legacy did Koeman leave behind in terms of recruitment? We’ve taken a look at all 17 players Koeman signed and where they’re at today.

Nikola Vlasic

Koeman’s first signing arrived as a highly-rated youngster from Hajduk Split, but he scored zero Premier League goals across his 12 appearances.

After being loaned and sold to CSKA Moscow, he returned to England with a similarly underwhelming stint with West Ham, where he did at least open his Premier League account with one goal in 19 matches.

Nowadays the 26-year-old is turning out for Torino and remains a regular international for Croatia with over 50 caps to his name.

Gylfi Sigurdsson

Everton’s record signing, signed from Swansea City for a reported £45million fee, did not prove value for money.

The Icelandic playmaker notched 31 goals and 25 assists for the club but the last two years of his contract out of the game, having been “suspended pending a police investigation.”

He joined Danish club Lyngby BK on a free transfer in 2023 and is currently plying his trade back in Iceland with Valur.

Cuco Martina

The right-back’s playing career can be mapped alongside Koeman’s, going from the Eredivisie to Southampton to Stoke and back again.

Unlike Koeman, Martina never quite reached the heights of a glamour club like Barcelona, while he represents Curacao as opposed to the Netherlands on the international stage.

A journeyman career has taken him to NAC Breda, who he helped get promoted from the Dutch second tier last season.

Wayne Rooney

Rooney returned home under Koeman, and while he was past his peak he enjoyed a decent little spell with his boyhood club.

The 2017-18 campaign featured Rooney scoring on his second debut, getting a first hat-trick for the club, completed with a memorable 60-yard effort against West Ham.

Having healed some old wounds with the Everton faithful, he was out his twilight playing years with D.C. United and Derby County before throwing himself straight into coaching.

The 38-year-old has just taken up his fourth managerial post and will sit in the dugout at Championship outfit Plymouth Argyle in 2023-24.

READ: 7 managers who magically failed upwards after disappointment: Kompany, Rooney, Lampard…

Michael Keane

The centre-back has made over 200 appearances for the club since his arrival from Burnley.

But his days as a semi-regular for England are long behind him and last season he fell down the defensive pecking order, making just four Premier League starts.

Keane has been a decent club servant over the years but his reportedly imminent departure sounds best for all parties.

Sandro Ramirez

Arguably, only West Ham can rival Everton for signing strikers who promised so much and delivered so little.

La Masia graduate Sandro arrived at Goodison Park fresh from a decent season at Malaga, in which he scored 14 goals in 30 La Liga appearances.

In stark contrast, in the seven seasons since he left Malaga he’s scored a grand total of 12 top-flight goals, with just one Europa League goal for Everton across three atrocious years on their books.

He did score seven goals to help Las Palmas get promoted in 2022-23, but returned to his blunt ways last term with just one goal from 1818 minutes of La Liga action last term.

Jordan Pickford

Fair to say this one’s gone alright.

Everton might well be a Championship club right now were it not for Pickford’s heroics between the sticks.

He’s been England’s No.1 throughout his time on Merseyside and always stepped up on the international stage as the Three Lions have enjoyed an unprecedented era of getting to the latter stages of major tournaments.

There’s certainly an argument to be had that he’s England’s greatest-ever ‘keeper.

Davy Klaassen

Both Koeman and Klaassen won Eredivisie titles at Ajax, but in distinctly different eras and didn’t work alongside one another until Everton. They only overlapped for a few short months, though.

“It is a combination of factors. I was not good enough for the game that Everton wanted to play,” the midfielder later recalled of his failed spell at Goodison, in which he made just seven Premier League appearances, falling out of favour until Sam Allardyce and Marco Silva following Koeman’s sacking.

“It has to do with yourself, with style and with choices of the trainers. I noticed quite quickly that it would be difficult at Everton, even before Ronald Koeman was fired.”

After just one season, Klaassen was sold to Werder Bremen at a considerable loss. He quietly rebuilt his reputation in the Bundesliga before a successful return to Ajax, followed by a move to Inter – where he just played a fringe role in their Scudetto-winning campaign.

Klaassen made Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands squad for the last World Cup, and scored their opening goal in Qatar, but he’s since found himself snubbed by Koeman.

He hasn’t received an international call-up since his old Everton boss returned to the national team set-up.

Henry Onyekuru

The Nigerian winger was signed as a promising and relatively unknown youngster from Belgian club Eupen albeit for a not inconsiderable £7million fee.

Onyekuru was immediately loaned out to Anderlecht, then Galatasaray, and never made an appearance for his parent club. He never received a work permit and was sold to Monaco, reportedly for a small profit, in 2019.

He’d later move about the Turkish and Greek Super Leagues before signing for Saudi Pro League club Al-Fayha last summer.

We’re disappointed to find a lack of ex-Premier League cult heroes among his team-mates, with ex-Rangers forward Fashion Sakala the only other recognisable name among a squad otherwise full of Saudi footballers.

Morgan Schneiderlin

After an inauspicious stint with Manchester United, Everton came calling for the Frenchman’s signature in 2017. The Red Devils somehow made most of their money back on the midfielder when they sold him to Everton.

Schneiderlin didn’t far quite as poorly at Goodison as he did at Old Trafford, but it’s still fair to say it’s not a signing remembered especially fondly by Everton fans. He made 88 appearances across four years and eventually returned to France, signing for Nice.

He’s since turned out for Australian club Western Sydney Wanderers and Turkish Super Lig outfit Konyaspor and is currently on the books of lesser-known Greek side A.E. Kifisia.

READ NEXT: Ranking all 23-24 Premier League managers based on how ‘High Performance’ they are

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every Everton manager in Premier League history?

Enner Valencia

What was that we said early about underwhelming Everton and West Ham strikers?

Here’s one that ticks both boxes. The Ecuador stalwart spent the 2016-17 season on loan from the Hammers and scored three goals in 21 appearances.

Valencia continues to lead the line for his country, closing in on 100 caps, and is currently turning out for Brazilian side Internacional after trophy-winning spells in Mexico and Turkey.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

The striker has had his struggles with form and fitness over the years, but for £1.5million he’s proven to be immense value for money in an era where the club have other p*ssed money up the wall left, right and centre.

Calvert-Lewin has notched 68 goals in 245 appearances for the club. As with Pickford’s contributions at the other end, it’s easy to imagine them in the second tier right now without his goals.

But he’s approaching the final year of his contract and reports suggest Everton are considering a sale this summer.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name Everton’s top goalscorer from every Premier League season?

Yannick Bolasie

Oh, Bolasie.

The livewire winger never quite reproduced his ‘streets won’t forget’ cult hero best from his Crystal Palace days. He spent five years on Everton’s books but four of them on so-so loans away.

He’s still going at the age of 35, turning out for Brazilian club Criciuma Esporte Clube.

Ashley Williams

Oof.

As is becoming something of a common theme during Everton’s recent era of questionable, scattergun recruitment, in Williams they signed a player that had proven his dependable, Premier League quality elsewhere – but was past his best once he arrived.

The former Wales captain started off promisingly enough following his £12million move from Swansea but didn’t take long to lose form and fall out of favour.

He was loaned out to Stoke and eventually released before seeing out his playing career with Championship club Bristol City.

He’s a pundit in his post-playing career, and you might’ve noticed him speaking on the BBC during Euro 2024.

Idrissa Gueye

A more than decent one, this. After a disastrous relegation season with crisis club Aston Villa, Gueye proved himself a canny pick-up by Everton. He proved his quality throughout three solid seasons and was eventually sold on to PSG for a considerable profit.

After three years in the French capital, in which he won two Ligue 1 titles and featured in the Parisiens’ run to the 2020 Champions League final, he returned to Everton.

The 34-year-old Senegal international is still a key player under Sean Dyche.

Maarten Stekelenburg

The Dutch ‘keeper followed Koeman from Southampton to Everton, via parent club Fulham. He arrived a year before Pickford and spent half a season as the first-choice ‘keeper before a leg injury kept him sidelined.

After the arrival of Pickford, the experienced Dutchman stuck around at Everton for another three years as a back-up.

He made a surprise return to the international set-up with the Netherlands at Euro 2020 and saw out his playing career back at boyhood club Ajax, eventually hanging up his gloves last year.

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