I’ve gone and used the high-tech, futuristic lineup-builder (I know, I’m a genius) to get a solid idea of our current squad situation and the depth at our disposal.
It’s got to be said; we’re looking pretty strong.
Koeman, Walshy and the board have done a miraculous job at getting in convincing, first-team players very early on in the transfer window, something previously unknown to Evertonians. We usually spend our summers counting down the days until deadline day (the only day of the transfer window, as past-Everton would call it), just to be inevitably disappointed when our desired target drives straight passed Finch Farm after realising Arouna Kone was there.
Things have changed now.
The tight budget Moyes had and the not-so-phenomenal ways of Roberto Martinez are no longer a problem. We’ve grabbed ourselves a manager who shares the ambition of the fans; Ronald Koeman. Tag-teaming with our sparkly, rich shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, and secret-spy scout, Steve Walsh, the blues are on the up.
The position in our squad that needed serious attention was the No.10 position. With Ross Barkley’s future in doubt, the new blue trio had to make something happen. Even if Ross stays, depth is needed considering we have the extra fixtures of the Europa League this coming season. Well, the three musketeers did us proud, bringing in Ajax’s Davy Klaassen and none other than blue-boy himself, Wayne Rooney.
The lucrative, potential signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson would be an impressive capture, but given the strength we now have in this position already, is it worth spending over £40m on a player who is yet to prove he’s worth this much?
The signing of Michael Keane is nothing short of ingenious. The solid defensive wall had a top-class season for Burnley, proving his ability to play for a bigger club. The fact he’s already gained experience at the top level means he should easily slot into the team and won’t take long to adapt to the ways of Premier League Football.
Whereas, the likes of Klaassen and former-Barcelona forward Sandro Ramirez may take slightly longer to get used to the physicality of this league.
Nevertheless, I have great confidence that the two will hit the ground running, with Ramirez being said to have a fiery personality; just what Goodison Park love to see in a striker.
With Klaassen a proven goal-scorer over in Holland, scoring 54 goals in the last 4 seasons, we can look forward to his input for the blues, hopefully providing us with the goals we need from our No.10 and not just relying on a high-scoring striker.
With Lukaku leaving for the ‘best fans in the world’, we do still need another striker, despite the bargain signing of Ramirez. It is unlikely that we will sign a forward who Evertonians will be greatly convinced can be a solid replacement for Rom. That would probably require a big name; Aguero, for example. Not gonna happen. But for all we know, Ramirez will be more than good enough and win the golden boot next year. After all, our little spider-man Gana Gueye wasn’t exactly a guaranteed success, a lot of us had never even heard of him. But we simply must trust Walsh’s sixth sense- scouting.
Depth is still required though, so if the Giroud deal goes through, that’d consolidate our striker-position rather well. I mean, look at the man. Show a picture of him to someone who doesn’t know him, ask them what he does for a living. ‘Model’, ‘hair-gel ad model’ and ‘deffo a model lad’ would most definitely be the answers. He’d definitely boost our shirt sales revenue; probably women’s shirts mostly. With solid Premier League experience though, the groomed-Frenchman would slot in comfortably.
We must not forget the promising set of youngsters we have in our squad that can definitely do a convincing job in the first team, providing us with further strength in depth.
Take Tom Davies, for example, you’d say he was one of the stars of our 2016/17 campaign, as Dutchman-Koeman gave him the sacred opportunity of wearing the royal blue shirt in many Premier League clashes.
Koeman’s interest in introducing young talent to the first team is fortunately mirrored by Moshiri (our filthy-rich shareholder), as he has expressed his mission of making Everton the most productive academy system in the country. Wow. Little old Everton, eh. Forza la Moshy!
To brag even further about our spectacular, emerging young players, I’d like to mention how influential they were in the U20s World Cup in South Korea. Promising midfielder, Kieran Dowell, bagged a crucial goal in their final group stage match, against the hosts, grabbing the young Lions the top spot in group A.
19-year-old January signing, Ademola Lookman, took the round of 16 by storm by scoring the 2 all-important goals against a deflating Costa Rica. Ademola then went on the bag against the Italians in the Semi-final.
Now, we all know about Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s success in this tournament and how special he was. But firstly, he managed to slot the first goal against 6-time U20s World Cup winners, Argentina, in a 3-0 tonking in first group stage game.
The former Sheffield United youngster then went on to score the winning goal in the final against Venezuela, becoming the 3rd player EVER to score for England in a World Cup final. Go ‘ed Dom lad.
Anyway, I’m absolutely made up with the way things are looking and I’m massively confident that our squad will show great improvements on the pitch following our new recruitments. I’m predicting a solid 5th place finish for us next season, and I’d also expect decent cup runs and a famous knockout-round Europa League night at Goodison (or two).
James Lawson X