Everton Women are certainly a team on the up. That has been made evident by their recent run to the FA Cup final and the decision to hand manager Willie Kirk a new deal earlier this month.

But perhaps the biggest sign of Everton’s growing success and ambition is their performance in the transfer market.

Everton have secured some eye-catching names in 2020.  Danish stars Rikke Sevecke and Nicoline Sorensen were joined by Norwegian stalwart Ingrid Moe Wold and talented young left-back Poppy Pattinson in July. 

Everton Women v Brighton & Hove Albion Women - Barclays FA Women's Super League
Photo by Emma Simpson – Everton FC/Getty Images

Then came the coup of Valerie Gauvin in August whilst Spanish talent Damaris Egurrola arrived at the start of September.

The credit for Everton Women’s transfer business has to go to Sarvar Ismailov, a man with connections to a controversial figure.

Ismailov is the nephew of Alisher Usmanov and was appointed sporting and commercial director of the Everton Women team in March.

Usmanov is a close friend and business associate of club owner Farhad Moshiri and a former part owner of Arsenal. Usmanov may not have any shares in the club, but the Uzbek billionaires stamp is clear to see all over the club with companies USM Holdings and MegaFon major sponsors.

Ismailov’s presence with the women’s team is just another.

When Gauvin was brought in, Kirk paid tribute to Ismailov for his help in bringing the French star to Walton Hall.

“Sarvar (Ismailov, Everton Women Sporting Director) has worked tirelessly to get this deal done, and it shows his commitment and ambition to the Club with what we want to achieve here.”

Of course, Ismailov is not alone, with the likes of Aaron Little and Sasha Ryazantsev playing a role.

But there has certainly been some impressive recruitment since Ismailov stepped into his role. Hopefully, there will be more to come.