After a strong finish last season, Everton were expected to kick on and push for a European place this time around. So far, however, things have not gone according to plan in Merseyside. Everton lie in 18th place, with only 4 points from 5 games, only Palace and Bournemouth have done worse.
After the blockbuster sale of star striker and last season’s talisman, Romelu Lukaku, Everton lack the quality up front which served them so well in the previous campaign. Following the record transfer for 90 million, Everton have invested that money as fast as they have been able to. They have acquired the services of 8 players, including Sandro Ramirez, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wayne Rooney, Michael Keane, Jordan Pickford, Klaasen among others.
Much like the Spurs after the departure of Gareth Bale and Liverpool after they let go of Luis Suarez, Everton have spent the money on a variety of players rather than reinvest the same on one world class player. Building a team is always the more tempting option and its not easy to lure high quality talent, but we have seen in the past now that this is a more long term solution whereas bringing in quality can be more short term. Manchester United spent big in the off season, and the results are already on display as Lukaku has scored 6 in 6 and helped the Red Devils to the joint top slot in the league.
Over the years, both Liverpool and Tottenham have been able to balance their team out, but it can be argued that had Bale and Suarez stayed, the two teams would have had a bigger trophy haul than they do now.
Everton have a good deep squad now, one that can be capable to competing with the best week in and week out. They have one of the best young defenses in England at the moment, with a very talented midfield in front of them.
Pickford is one of the best goalkeepers in the country, and he’s keeping the likes of Stekelenberg out. Ashley Williams, Michael Keane, Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman once he returns from injury will form a potent back four. In front of them will be Klaasen, Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin. Gueye has impressed as a Defensive midfielder and continues to improve. Schneiderlin and Klaasen are both young and classy players who should be able to control the midfield once they are both settled in.
The real issue has been pace. With Rooney and Siggy, both payers are not quick runners and rely more on their skill and technique to score goals and assists. With Calvert-Lewin in the team, Everton just look a more threatening side.
Right now, the team appears to slow and lack creativity in the final third. They can defend well and hold the game up, but in order to win, they need to score goals and you are not going to get that with their current attack. Gone are the days when Rooney alone could take your team ahead and he needs support. In Sigurdsson, he has a player very much like him, who likes to sit back and create. Tom Davies was tried out last night and Everton lacked any kin of offense.
The ideal team for the Toffess that can ruffle a few feathers has to include Calvert-Lewin up top, with Baines and Coleman doubling up on the wings. Rooney and Siggy are too good not to shine and it’s only a matter of time, and if Kevin Mirallas and want away Ross Barkley can also fit in, Goodison Park might be celebrating come the end of the season.