Introducing Royston Drenthe – Everton’s New Number 10

The highlight of a turbulent deadline day in L4 was the purchase of the flamboyant Royston Drenthe. This post will give some intel on what we can expect……

What is his pedigree?

Signing a full Dutch International from Real Madrid it would be fair to trot out the cliché ‘the boys a bit special’ and certainly he is more Pienaar than Preki. He hit the big time in 2007 when Real paid Feyenoord  €13m after he was crowned  player of the European U-21 Championships. On arrival, Sporting Director Mijatovic, claimed  that “Royston Drenthe is the prototype of the modern player”  Drenthe has excellent technique – in terms of artistry on the ball he is similar to former Blue loan ranger  Manual Fernandes. It’s the mentality problem with Drenthe – can we keep him in check and focused on his football? The guy has a track record of being something of a flawed enigma which historically doesn’t sit well with Moyes management style. If Drenthe had the mentality of someone like Phil Neville though, it’s dubious that we would be in a position to sign him as he would probably have his pick of clubs offering higher salaries than us.

What position will he occupy?

Where he will be deployed is the big question. Naturally left footed, he likes to go on the outside on the left flank, but this would invade the space Baines exploits so well. – see below diagram – he could he be deployed wide right cutting in on his better left foot perhaps?  His right foot is decent though so he could do a similar job on the opposing flank. He can also play at left back (although not great) and as a defensive central midfielder (a position we are top heavy in)  He has ferocious pace and alongside the likes of Coleman , Rodwell and Fellaini enables us to play a more intensive pressing game higher up field when off the ball and looking for 2nd balls from a target man when we are in possession.

Drenthe is very direct and will take players on – this was one of the biggest skill gaps in the squad last season and why Moyes spent the summer longing for the N’Zogbia transfer that never materialized – Drenthe gives us this in abundance, he has lightening pace and will go for the throat at every opportunity.

Will this change how we play?

In a 4-2-3-1 where the defensive and attacking midfield roles are delineated – I would go Barkley left, Osman centre and Drenthe right as my first choice 3 – all are comfortable with both feet and are interchangeable in the attacking midfielder  berths. Rodwell and Fellaini would be deployed as the anchor men.  I feel this gives us the best balance of pressing off the ball and ability when in possession.  The pace we have lost from Beckford will be replaced by Drenthe pressing and getting in behind defences high up field– probably making our default system  4-2-3-1 and not 4-4-1-1. Baines is still very much the key attacking outlet – I would be surprised if his role was compromised to accommodate the Dutchman who can be selfish on the ball so it will be interesting to see where Roysten is deployed initially. Trial and error may be required by DM.


A positive and creative signing from the Blues. Bringing genuine quality on the ball and pace and aggression off it. If we can get him focused off the pitch we have a real star on our hands here.


9 thoughts on “Introducing Royston Drenthe – Everton’s New Number 10

  1. He sounds a good prospect if like you say we can keep his head in the right place. I’m mainly looking forward to having some pace in the side for once!

    Keeping him and Coleman fit and available all season should see us do reasonably well.

  2. Nice analysis but in the real world, Neville will have no idea how to use the vacant space afforded to him by Drenthe moving in-field. His chipped crosses are useless 99% of the time. On another note, Drenthe seems to get fouled quite frequently which should give Baines (now that Arteta has gone) plenty of opportunities from set-piece situations. I’m excited. Hopefully Heitinga and Moyes manage to keep him on the straight and narrow.

  3. Osman in your first choice 11? Really? Maybe in the second half of the season when he wakes up. I do love having him as back up though. If your going to drop cahill it has to be for Bily. We looked 30 times better against QPR when he came on. He’s clearly a top attacking player and need to be given the chance to concentrate on attacking. Give him a chance moyesy!!!!! Osman as usual at the start of the season was light weight and woefull, and as for Big Vic…… he is quite literally the worst player in our squad. Never does anything. Maybe in a strike duo he can be effective but he is certainly not a target man. Give Vellios a go too he looks great. Cant be worse than Vic and that is a scientific fact. You can’t operate at less than 0%. Can’t wait to see Gueye in action this season as well and when we get Seamus back!!! Great transfer dealings!! Money in the bank, under performing donkeys off of the wage bill and two fantastic attacking players for the season on a free. COYB

  4. Agree with poolshark1, this in an excellent blog.

    I agree that we should go for a 4231 formation but would suggest Coleman at RB and Neville in the centre with Fellaini. I can’t work Rodwell out yet it could be that he ends up playing that position.
    As a previous post suggested Neville is not great going forward which is something you need from your full backs in a 4231. We do however need him in the team.

    I’d also start with Barkley in the middle of the three. Coleman and Ossie would be a better combination and from what little I have seen of Barkley I think he is better through the middle.

    It looks a decent first 11 which could finish 6th to 11th but does depend on the fitness of all players but Saha in particular.

      • Seriously, I don’t know how Neville can be trusted with any role in our best XI. If anything, Moyes should be reducing his time on the pitch and giving Rodwell the chance to shine. Our captain offers nothing but just finger pointing.

  5. I agree that he is not the best player, and certainly not as good as Rodwell will be, but he has true leadership qualities that are as valuable to a team as ability. The stats later in the blog about our win percentage with and without Neville are a good indicator of his value to the team.

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