Incredible pace, electric footwork, and tricks in abundance are just some of the traits that Aiden McGeady will bring to Goodison Park. Having watched McGeady for eight or nine years, I know just how good he can be. His talents have long been admired by Premier League clubs and ever since he burst on the scene at Celtic, it was expected that one day he would play in England’s top flight.
McGeady’s fallout at Spartak Moscow has been well documented in the media and some may view the winger as a trouble-maker but I don’t feel that’s an accurate view. It was reported that McGeady refused to follow team instructions set by the manager and this resulted in him being exiled to playing with the reserves. For me, if there is any premier league manager who can get the best out of Aiden McGeady it’s Roberto Martinez. He’s the kind of manager that will feed his ego and create a sense of security which will allow him to express himself on the pitch without the pressures he may have had in Russia. Without a language-barrier he should feel more comfortable and this should be reflected in his performances.
With no large transfer fee hanging over his head, McGeady should be in a great position to kick-on and finally produce the kind of form a player everyone knows he is capable of. We’ve seen glimpses in the past but like most Irish fans know, McGeady’s end product at times has been dismal. If only his finishing and crossing matched his pace and trickery he would be one of the best wingers in Europe. His physical strength undoubtedly improved playing over in Russia and his consistency in a Green shirt at least, has improved. At the age of 27, McGeady should be hitting his prime and having played in a very competitive Russian league, should be more than capable of being a very important player for Everton.
Another positive for Everton fans is the fact that McGeady is joining a number of international colleagues which will definitely help him settle-in to life at Goodison. Everton now have five Irish players on their books with McGeady joining Darren Gibson, James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman and Shane Duffy. Playing in England should help his international career and Martin O’Neill I’m sure will be delighted. No more travelling thousands of miles for international games means less fatigue (hopefully). Coleman and McGeady playing on Everton’s right side together on a weekly basis will definitely strengthen the Ireland squad and hopefully a good telapathic understanding will develop.
Everton are building a very impressive squad and with another one or two signings I feel that they could really keep the pressure on other teams around them for that final Champions League place. Players like Barkley, Lukaku, McCarthy and Barry have come in and proved to be inspirational in the success they’ve had already this season.
Roberto Martinez’ free flowing football should give McGeady license to attack at will and with McCarthy and Barry holding the fort, he shouldn’t have to worry about defensive duties too much. Everton have a wealth of options on the wing now with Deulofeu, Mirallas, McGeady, and Pienaar. It will be interesting to see if McGeady will be seen as first choice or not.
Initially it was reported that McGeady wouldn’t sign until his contract expired at the end of the season but obviously Martinez was impressed with what he saw from McGeady in his trial. He was signed for an undisclosed fee on a four year contract and I’m sure the fee was no where near the £9.5 million that Spartak Moscow spent on him.
In McGeady’s six years at Celtic he was voted Young Player of the Year three times, won four league titles, two league cups and two Scottish cups. In 2008 he was voted SPFA’s Players’ Player of the Year.