Ronald Koeman has come out to say that the day Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud decided against a move to Goodison Park was the beginning of failure for the side.
Giroud was seen as a player who could compensate for the loss of Romelu Lukaku and Koeman thinks the failure to adequately replace the Belgian forward, combined with a tough fixture list, sealed his fate.
The Dutch manager was fired on Monday, after a 5-2 home defeat to Arsenal on Sunday left Everton 18th in the table, with just eight points from their first nine games.
And, although the club spent £140m in the summer, they also received around £90m for Lukaku alone, and Koeman told Dutch football magazine VI that a plan to replace the striker with Giroud fell through.
“I had Olivier Giroud in the building,” said Koeman.
“He would have fitted perfectly but, at the very last moment, he decided that he’d rather live in London and stay at Arsenal.
“That was really hard to swallow. You tell me, where you can get a better striker?