One version of the future...

By Sam Hoare 17/05/2016  0 Comments  [Jump to last]
Okay, so if you're adverse to those highly speculative, theoretical (read: Championship Manager) type pieces, then look away now. Having given myself half-an-hour's procrastination time before I do some less important work, I thought I would lay out my vision of an Everton team to fill up the trophy cabinet over the next decade.

So, first of all, the manager: I've decided to keep this article within some relatively realistic parameters and for that reason I'm going for Frank de Boer as I think Mourinho is nailed on for Man Utd and Koeman will stick at Southampton for next season before aiming at the top clubs. So Frank 'The Farmer' it is... bringing his backroom staff of Staam and Bergkamp along with his youth-orientated policy to create a young, vibrant team similar to what we have seen from Spurs this season. But better.

We are opting for a 4-3-3 but all these players are highly adaptable and Frank's work ethic means that they are fit and smart enough to fall back into a 4-4-2 or 4-1-4-1 if needed.

Goalkeeper – Joel Robles hasn't done enough. He's still No 2. In comes a strong, new No 1. Many potential candidates out there... maybe Butland could be tempted, Karius, Perrin, Sirigu, Horn etc. All look handy but I'm opting for Bernd Leno. – German efficiency and solidity between the pegs.

Left Back – Can Leighton Baines get back to the good old days? I hope so for one more season at least. Reinvigorated by the end of his nemesis, 'Brown Shoes', and well rested after no England work needed. Otherwise, Brendan Galloway steps up a level and Luke Garbutt has something to prove after his failed loan at Fulham.

Left Centre-Back – I like Ramiro Funes Mori but I don't trust him. He has a hint of the Yobo about him and a rash decision or lapse waiting to happen. Perhaps he will step up but I'm not totally sure. So I'm going for the beast from Napoli, Koulibaly – fast, strong and at 6ft-5in not easily beaten for soft set-piece goals. A snip at £20M+.

Right Centre-Back – I still have faith in John Stones who decides to stay when he sees what's happening at the club that put him in the spotlight. This is the season he really comes of age after a strong showing in the Euros. Phil Jagielka is still around and dependable on when called, as are the likes of Matthew Pennington, Tyias Browning and Martin Holgate.

Right Back – Tough one this but I'm giving it to Jonjoe Kenny. Only seen a glimpse of him but he put in more good defensive work on Sunday than I've seen from Seamus Coleman in a long time. Perhaps it may depend on what is needed on the day but for back line solidity I'm giving young Jonjoe the nod.

Left Central Midfield – De Boer and his team work hard on young Ross Barkley and get him fit as a fiddle and able to play the box-to-box role that he performed so well as kid for the Euro-winning England team. He can use his size and speed to dominate and break forward as part of a energetic midfield trio.

Central Midfield – Gareth Barry has been great this season and still helps out from time to time but De Boer brings in one his proteges the highly rated Ricky Bazoer for £20M. The lad has been compared to Rijkard and Viera, I've no idea if he's any good but the press seem to think so. Plenty of other dominant, energetic options out there or perhaps Muhamed Besic or James McCarthy might impress the Dutchman but I'm going for the glittering young Dutch star.

Right Central Midfield – Tom Davies. It felt like a new hero could have been unearthed on Sunday and let's hope it turns out to be the case. Inevitably it will be a learning process but the young star seems to have it all. Touch, intelligence, confidence and most importantly a serious desire to win. Get him in the team.

Right Wing – De Boer opts to bring in another gem from Ajax with Arkadius Milik who turns down Liverpool to join his former mentor. He's quick, strong, smart and has a rocket of a left foot to use to great effect when cutting in. Other options of course in Kevin Mirallas and the young Gerard Deulofeu who hopefully comes back to the fore and adds a little more consistency and work rate to his undoubted talent.

Striker – The big man, Romelu Lukaku stays, knuckles down, gets super fit with the rest of the team, and continues to knock them in for fun before becoming the most sought after young striker in the world. Or else he goes and we bring in one of Lacazette, Batshuayi, Embolo etc.

Left Wing – Kieran Dowell gets the chance to take his sparkling Under-21 form into the first team and after a Summer in the gym has a bit more strength to go with his undoubted artistry. Lukaku feeds off the the line of superb, curled left-wing crosses coming in and Kieran scores a few crackers himself. Other options could be Mirallas or dare I say the real Oumar Niasse – desperate to atone for his poor start to life at Everton. Or perhaps the much vaunted Yarmolenko finally makes the move... Why not?

So here's my starting team for the 2016-17 season:

Leno;
Kenny, Stones, Koulibaliy, Baines;
Davies, Bazoer, Barkley;
Millik, Lukaku, Dowell;

Subs: Robles, Jagielka, Coleman, McCarthy, Besic, Deulofeu, Niasse.

Leno (£12M), Koulibaly (£20M), Bazoer (£20M), and Milik (£13M) means £60M spent which seems a drop in the ocean for the new king of the roost, Farhad – who is spending more money developing the new stadium in the Princes Dock which will soon be undoubtedly the premium stadium in Liverpool if not the North of England.

It takes time for De Boer's young crop to gel and find their feet but they sneak 4th in their first season along with the League Cup before going on to win the Premier League the season after as Klopp's Liverpool implode to an unexpected relegation after a derby drubbing on the last day of the season sends them down on goal difference... (I may have left those realistic parameters at this point!)

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