Ronald Koeman was disappointed not to create the “perfect picture” at Everton by signing Moussa Sissoko on transfer deadline day but feels the club did everything they could on that front and insists he is happy with the “very good” squad he has been left with.
Toffees boss Koeman says Sissoko told him with 10 days to go in the summer window that he was interested in joining the Merseyside outfit from Newcastle.
And on deadline day last Wednesday the France midfielder had looked set to complete that switch for £30million – but ended up moving to Tottenham instead.
Everton did recruit forward Enner Valencia on loan from West Ham, to add to the earlier summer arrivals of goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, defender Ashley Williams, midfielder Idrissa Gueye and winger Yannick Bolasie.
And Koeman said on Thursday: “Overall (the window was) positive, because we signed some good players.
“Of course, we had a disappointment on the last day, but that happens in football, because you don’t get always what you like to have.
“It was not in our hands with Sissoko. He chose finally a different option, but I can’t say anything against the club, the board, the chairman, because we did everything to get the player.
“I did not have the meeting with his agents. From the outside, it was difficult.
“I spoke to the player, I think it was 10 days before the last day of the window – and the player showed his interest in coming to Everton.
“Then, finally, everyone knows what happened.
“I thought that was the player for us, what we needed at that moment. Then the picture was totally perfect.
“But still, without that player, the picture is very good.
“I am happy with the squad and the signings.”
Koeman added: “I think it is also now for everyone more difficult than ever to sign players – the money, the salaries, the agents.
“I think it is overall a difficult time, because if you see what happened on the last day, clubs signing players, doing big transfers – you can ask why today, why not three weeks ago?”
The Dutchman admitted Everton not having Champions League football to offer players – unlike Tottenham – was a problem.
“Yes, that’s true,” Koeman said.
“I had that experience when I was at Southampton (whom he left in June to become Everton boss).
“It is all up to this season, how we perform, because if we reach Europe, and that is our challenge, it will be more easy to get these kind of players.”
Koeman was speaking ahead of Monday’s Premier League clash with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Valencia could make his debut in that contest, while full-back Seamus Coleman is ready for his Everton comeback having recovered from an ankle problem and featured for the Republic of Ireland during the international break.
One player who will not be involved in the game on Wearside is Coleman’s club and international team-mate James McCarthy, with Koeman having revealed the midfielder has undergone surgery on his groin and is set to be out for three weeks.