A top-half-of-the-table finish is always good, but Everton will always fight hard to go a place or better than the previous season.
2018/19 was an odd season for the Toffees. There were exhilarating highs, such as victories over Man United and Arsenal, as well as gut-wrenching lows, including a 6–2 drubbing by Tottenham at Goodison Park. Neither the team nor the fans will want to see results like that again and Marco Silva will be looking to prevent that with some changes.
The club’s first match is away at Crystal Palace on 10 August. If you’re looking for Premier League tips or hints as to how the Toffees will fare against them or any other club this season, events on the transfer market always provide potential clues.
Comings and goings
It’s going to be an interesting season. In June, Everton made a couple of new signings: central midfielder Andre Gomes, a Portuguese defender from Barcelona FC, for £22 million; and goalkeeper Jonas Lössl, who signed on a free transfer from Huddersfield Town. Several players who were on loan to clubs including Anderlecht, Real Sociedad, Fiorentina and West Bromwich Albion, have made a return, which gives Silva lots of fresh options. There are also rumours that the club is looking to sign Nicolas Pepe and Adama Soumaoro from Lille OSC.
Generally, the side is in fine fettle. There are just two injuries: forward Ademola Lookman, who may be moving to RB Leipzig if the Bundesliga club are willing to pay the estimated (but unconfirmed) £25 million asking price; and Cenk Tosun, who has been out with a knee injury. Everton will also set with a clean disciplinary record.
Players who are looking sharp
There has been speculation about Theo Walcott’s permanence in the Everton squad. The team’s highest earning player has failed to deliver, and the Toffees have wanted to build a young squad. Worry he might. Some players have been especially outstanding in 2018/19.
Richarlison has been one of them. Despite playing out on the flanks, he’s still put 13 goals past keepers in the 2018/19 season since he arrived in July 2018. The manager may well consider making him an outright striker. Another player who has looked impressive has been Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The youngster has performed an integral part in the manager’s style of play and constantly presses, runs in the channels and holds play up.
The club’s pre-season has kicked off with a friendly versus FC Sion, which took place on 14 July, in the Stadte Saint-Marc and ended 0–0. The club’s next match will be against Monaco on 19 July and the stadium will also be at the venue. The Toffees then visit the DW Stadium for a friendly against Wigan Athletic. The last two of July will be against Sevilla and FSV Mainz at the Opel Arena.
After their friendly against Werder Bremen in early August, it’s time to get serious and play Crystal Palace in the Premier League. Their last encounter with the London club was a tough one, with neither side in the mood to concede a goal to the other. It could be more of the same unless the acquisition of Gomes shakes things up in midfield. It’s worth noting that the Toffees, despite some of the season’s disappointments, finished 8th in the league. A top-half-of-the-table finish is always good, but Everton will always fight hard to go a place or better than the previous season.
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