Everton’s foray into the Italian market this summer has not proved to be the runaway success many fans hoped it would.
Everton spent big to sign Moise Kean from Juventus but he has struggled to repay that fee with anything like good performances on the pitch.
There are various reasons behind that but there is no doubt that, yet again, signing players from Italian football is always a gamble – especially for Everton.
The last time Everton signed a player from Serie A it was in the summer of 2005-06. Everton brought in three players that summer. The latest of them was Andy van der Meyde. Signed from Inter Milan, he struggled to look anything like the player who was lighting up Ajax prior to the San Siro.
Matteo Ferrari also arrived on loan from Roma. He actually impressed in some of his outings but injury severely impacted the Italian international’s season. Everton did not keep him on.
The other is perhaps the most infamous.
Everton paid £5 million to sign Danish talent Per Kroldrup from Udinese, as reported by The Telegraph. That might not seem a lot today, but back in 2005, it made Kroldrup the club’s most expensive ever defender.
It was a disaster. The then-26-year-old defender suffered a groin strain and struggled to come to terms with English football. In January, it was over. David Moyes sent Kroldrup packing. He returned to Italy, joining Fiorentina, at a financial loss.
Now, with reports of Serie A interest in Kean for as early as January, it seems history might repeat itself.
It might be some time before Everton look at the Italian market again.