Summer Targets 2021

Sam Hoare provides a comprehensive analysis of the players who might be considered to fill the gaping holes in Everton's squad for next season

Sam Hoare 30/05/2021 51comments  |  Jump to last

It’s pretty clear what this Everton side needs this summer. Hungry players with heart who really want the ball, really want to win, and can inject some pace, dynamism, goals and creativity into this rather tepid-looking squad.

Right Wing

All season, we have lacked someone to consistently contribute from the right touchline. Whoever comes in needs to be able to beat a man, work hard up and down and, most importantly, bring goals and assists on a regular basis.

Leon Bailey (23, Leverkusen)

An obvious choice who has been linked often over the last few years. Bailey would seem a great fit. He is fast, a skilled dribbler, good at cutting in on his favoured left foot and has contributed 15 goals and 10 assists this season. He would immediately bring another dimension to our attack. But he would be costly and would our 10th-spot finish look attractive to him? Possibly not.

Generally speaking, I’m against offering huge wages to tempt players over as we then potentially get stuck with another Bolasie, Sigurdsson or Gomes situation where the player is hard to shift; but with Bailey it could be worth it. There might be question marks over his attitude but he is certainly a good player.

Possible price - £35-40M

Romain Faivre (22, Brest)

Very impressive in Ligue 1 this season, Faivre has racked up 6 goals and 5 assists. He’s not a speedster like some others but is nonetheless very good at beating his man and is in the top 5 in the league for dribbles completed. He has a good eye for a forward pass and can shoot from range as well.

Possible price - £15-20M

Dwight McNeill (21, Burnley)

The young Englishman has had another solid season for Burnley and can be relied upon to work hard, as you’d expect in a Dyche team. His output at 2 goals and 5 assists is not spectacular but he is capable of more and has a cultured left foot, as we saw in his goal against Everton. He’s a decent dribbler but not the quickest (and actually featured in a recent list of slowest Premier League players!) though a young player who can meld skill and intense desire and work rate could be what this side needs.

Possible price - £20-25m


Matheus Pereira (25, West Bromwich Albion)

The Brazilian followed up a very good season in the Championship with an impressive Premier League debut. 11 goals and 6 assists is a great return in a limited team that got relegated and is allied with a tremendous work rate. Like Faivre, he is prone to cutting in and may be more comfortable as a No 10 than a strict right-winger though could probably do a job in either position.
Do we need someone quicker who can really scare defenses? Perhaps. Crucially though he has shown he can score goals in this league and will have suitors as a result.

Possible price - £20-25M

Noni Madueke (19, PSV Eindhoven)

There are lots of interesting talents in Holland, including Antony, Stengs, Neres etc, but Madueke has caught people’s attention with 9 goals and 6 assist in only 1,200 minutes. He would certainly be a riskier option but the young Englishman could be a Bellingham-type move.

He has pace to burn and has played across the front line (perhaps most comfortable as a striker). He may not be the best option to hit the ground running but looks to have a bright future.

Possible price - £20-25M

Moussa Diaby (21, Leverkusen)

Another Leverkusen flyer. Diaby is possibly even a tad faster and more electric than Bailey. But he’s also a bit more raw. The young Frenchman is great running with the ball and uses it intelligently as shown by racking up 10 goals and 13 assist this season. He’s small at 5-ft 5-in but tough and agile enough to not relinquish the ball easily. His defensive work would need refining possibly but, at only 21, has time on his side.

Possible price - £30-35M

Other options: Lozano, Neres, Tsygankov, Sulemana, Goncalo Guedes, Wamangituka, Antony, Hudson-Odoi, Chukwueze, Traore, Lookman, Cunha, Doku, Neto, Wirtz, Ikone, Danjuma, Correa, De La Cruz, Saint Maximim, Tete, Sarr.

There’s lots of options here. My first choice would be Bailey. He’s at a good age and ready to step up, he’d surely bring goals, assists and much-needed dynamism to our right flank.

Right-Back

Max Aarons (21, Norwich)

Heavily linked with us, the recent whispers have been that this move is less likely to happen. Aarons has been one of the best right-backs in the Championship and has many fans, though he has only 2 goals and 2 assist this season. He’s quick, decent at dribbling, passes and moves well and is able to serve a good cross.

There are some doubts about his defensive capabilities and positioning especially; he has the pace to recover and people expressed the same doubts about Godfrey who has adapted well so far. At this age, he has lots of room to develop but does look a bit over-priced to my eyes.

Possible price - £30-35M

Emerson Royal (22, Real Betis, on loan from Barcelona)

The young Brazilian had another good loan season at Betis with 1 goal and 4 assists to add to his 3 goals and 6 assists last season. He is taller than Aarons at 5-ft 10-in but no slower and would seem to offer a good balance between attack and defense.

He is competitive and prone to slide tackles, which means he can be exposed at times but again he is young enough to absorb better coaching. Barcelona may be open to selling as they have Dest and Roberto, though some would like to see him played over Dest. He would hopefully be more Digne than Gomes.

Possible price - £20-25M

Ridle Baku (23, Wolfsburg)

The young German had an electric season for over-achieving Wolfsburg with 8 goals and 6 assists though it should be noted that he played a lot of matches at right midfield. This guy is really quick and seems to run all day, being in the top 5 in the league for distance covered.

He would look to be exactly what we need in terms of dynamism but may be less secure defensively. Wolfsburg may also be loathe to sell with Champions League football on the menu next season.

Possible price - £25m-30m

Tariq Lampety (21, Brighton & Hove Albion)

The young flyer had an electric start to his season with Brighton, beating men at ease and getting up and down the right flank with 1 goal and 2 assists in 20 games before he was brought down by injury. May be more suited to a wingback than a full back and at 5 foot 5 is unlikely to win a lot of aerial duels. His injury may be a concern as well as we have had enough problems with unavailable players.

Possible price - £25-30m

Pol Lirola (23, Marseille, on loan from Fiorentina)

A less glamorous option but the young Spaniard was quietly one of the best right-backs in France this season and would be a much more affordable option, allowing us to spend elsewhere. He is quick and good at dribbling but, like a few on this list, is less accomplished defensively and may be better suited as a wingback potentially. 2 goals and 3 assist on loan to Marseille this year.

Possible price - £10-15m

Zeki Çelik (24, Lille)

Çelik is not the fastest but had another very good season at title-winning Lille. He got 4 goals and 2 assists and may be the most defensively solid option on the list. Perhaps we might want a more dynamic option but then it may depend on whom we buy at right-wing.

For example, if we buy Bailey who is less dependable defensively, we may want a Çelik type behind; whereas if we buy Pereira who works hard getting back and likes to cut in, then perhaps a Baku bombing on would be more fitting.

Possible price - £20-25M

Other options: Montiel, Cluass, Menino, Mukiele, Dumfries, Tete, Junior Sambia, Odriozola, Klostermann, Laird, Ngakia, Atal, Dodo.

Right-back could prove a harder position to fill successfully. There are not quite so many appealing options around and many other clubs are looking for players in this position. Hakimi is one we might have made a go for a few years back who is now set for a mega-money move to PSG.

My personal choice might be Baku (I would just love a right-back who could bring that much creativity and dynamism to the team) but Emerson may be the more balanced decision.

Centre-Midfield

This is a more difficult prospect. Do we want a No 6 who can sit and screen, allowing Allan and Doucouré to play their more natural box-to-box games? Or do we want a No 8 or No 10, a centre-midfielder who can actually dribble and create whilst doing some of the dirty work too?

Either way, it probably needs to be someone with natural athleticism and a range of skills. Soumare would definitely have been on this list; Leicester City getting him for £20M is typically fantastic business from them.

Emi Buendia (24, Norwich City)

The Norwich man was on scintillating form in the Championship, managing an impressive 15 goals and 16 assists. He could easily be on the right-winger list too as he mainly featured there but usually ends up more central. He won’t be cheap but would undoubtedly bring a lot of creativity to the team as well as an impressive work rate and tenacity.

Possible price - £35-40M

Ryan Gravenberch (19, Ajax Amsterdam)

One of the Dutch crown jewels so to speak, the young midfielder will inevitably draw comparisons with Pogba for his elegant if languid style in the middle. He’s a definite all-rounder, capable of tackling and breaking up play but also dribbling forwards with the ball and scoring from range. Being tracked by a lot of top clubs but perhaps the chance of regular minutes with us could be a draw. He’s no Davy Klaassen but is still quite untested.

Possible price - £30-35M

Pape Matar Sarr (18, Metz)

If Gravenberch is a bit fresh, then this guy is positively raw. He’s only played half a season of senior football but he’s made a very impressive impact in his limited game time. Ranking highly in Ligue 1 for things like progressive passing, carrying as well as tackling and interceptions, it looks like the young Senegalese can do it all.

With 3 goals in his limited time, he could be like a Gana Gueye who also dribbles and scores. A risky buy but maybe one we can afford if Gbamin is able to contribute more time next year?

Possible price - £15-20M

Zambo Anguissa (25, Fulham)

Anguissa was one of Fulham's better players this season and is unlikely to feature in the Championship. He’s a solid physical presence who can tackle, run and crucially carry the ball forwards; he completed 2.7 dribbles per game last season, which is bettered only by Adama Traore and Saint-Maximin.

My worry would be whether he is good enough passing and shooting the ball, 1 goal and 3 assists last season might suggest not but perhaps he could do better in a better team.

Possible price - £20-25M

Albert Lokonga (21 – Anderlecht)

Might the young Belgian be the next Tielemans? Perhaps. He’s more about physicality than finesse but is still pretty decent on the ball with 3 goals and 2 assists in the Jupiler Pro League this season.

Another all-rounder who is close to breaking into the impressive Belgian squad and could develop into one of the players I was saddest for us to miss out on, Mousa Dembele. A cheaper option if we need to spend elsewhere and someone who could develop into a real talent.

Possible price - £10-15M

Lewis Ferguson (21, Aberdeen)

Another cheap option but possibly exactly the sort of player Ancelotti would rather not sign?! The young Scot has had another good season for Aberdeen with 9 goals and 2 assists and looks a well-rounded, hard-working player with the hunger to improve. He could perhaps replicate the likes of Stuart Armstrong or John McGinn, two players who I would happily add to the Everton squad.

Possible price - £5m-10M

Other options: Berge, Sangare, Zakaria, Barrios, Lemina, Nkunku, Koopmeiners, Rabiot, Ceballos, Da Silva, Adli, Dominguez, De Paul, Owusu, Aouiche, Haidara, Bissouma, Barrios, Mwepu, Tyler Adams, Marcos Antonio, Neuhaus, Aour, Kamara, Caqueret.

A difficult choice to make here as the profiles of the various players are quite different. As it’s hypothetical, I think let's go with the players who could have the highest ceilings, which would probably be Gravenberch or Pape Matar Sarr.

Sarr would be more affordable and, though he would need some time to adapt, he’d be able to fill in for the likes of Doucouré and Allan when needed.

Striker, Goalkeeper and Centre-Back?

Other positions that may need re-enforcing would be another striker potentially if Moise Kean is sold and maybe another centre-back if the rumours that Ancelotti is not happy with the abilities his options to play a high line or play out from the back. We also need a reserve goalkeeper.

Personally, I think our centre-backs are sufficient, especially with Branthwaite and Gibson returning (though neither had inspiring loans). The sort of centre-backs I’d be interested in are the likes of Demiral, Kounde, Tapsoba, Ampadu, Botman, Ndicka, Lacroix, Guehi, Aruajo, or Bade.

Bade especially looks like a real talent but many of these players will not be cheap and with Financial Fair Play to abide by I expect money to be focused elsewhere unless of course we sell one of our centre-backs. Personally, I rate Mina as better (when fit) than Keane but, if a decent offer came in for either of these players (or Holgate), then I’m sure Brands would strongly consider it.

Moise Kean would seem very likely to be leaving though Pochetinno moving from PSG might lessen his suitors. Richarlison is obviously capable of playing as a striker and there may also be time for the likes of Ellis Simms or Charlie Whitaker (impressive in the U23s) but much could depend on what system Carlo wants to play next season.

A few of the right-wingers mentioned, such as Madueke could play striker but other options could include Daka, Sima, Hwang, Boadu, Ings, Toney, Armstrong, Eduoard, Isak, Gouiri, Leao, Nunez, Dike, Dia, Randal Muani. Someone like Edouard or Gouiri who is a bit more creative than Calvert-Lewin and can link play well might be ideal.

As for goalkeepers, it may well be that Olsen stays; otherwise, the likes of Rui Silva and Romero look like decent freebies.

Players Leaving

Much of who comes in may depend on our ability to shift some of the deadwood. This will be even harder to do than usual and a lot of clubs have better players than ours on lower wages that they are trying to shift. It may be that Brands is prepared to sanction loans to get a few wages off the books but, either way, we have players out of contract this summer who should help balance the books.

Walcott, Bolasie and Besic will be taking their not inconsiderable wages off our books and I imagine the club will be very open to offers for the likes of Kean, Delph, Iwobi, Kenny, Gomes, Bernard and Tosun. Kean is the only one likely to fetch a decent sum; if we can sell him for £40M+, that would really help the books.

Possible Line-Up

So, to get all Football Manager for a moment, this is the sort of transfer window I personally might hope for:

Out

Kean – £40M
Keane – £20M
Iwobi – £15M
Bernard – £6M
Kenny – £4M
Delph – out on loan
Gomes – out on loan

Total = £85M

In

Bailey – £35M
Emerson – £20M
Bade – £20M
Pape Matar Sarr – £15M
Edouard – £20M
Romero – free

Total = £110M

Of course there’s a million reasons why these moves are unlikely but, nonetheless, just me having some fun at this point. It would give us matchday line-up looking like this:

Pickford
Emerson Bade Godfrey Digne
Allan Sarr
Bailey Rodriguez Richarlison
Calvert-Lewin

Subs: Romero, Holgate, Mina, Coleman, Doucouré, Davies, Gbamin, Sigurdsson, Gordon, Edouard.

That’s a youthful, attacking team with a good amount of pace and dynamism and some variety and experience on the bench to affect games. In tough games where we’d expect to have less of the ball, you may well bring in the likes of Mina, Doucouré and Coleman to make you more defensively solid but it’s important to have the options.

Energy, pace, hunger, creativity and pride, please. Over to you, Marcel.


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Reader Comments (51)

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John Quinn
1 Posted 30/05/2021 at 13:53:40
Really informative article as per usual Sam. Gives a really great overview of potential needs and options across the main European leagues. Sometimes I’m puzzled by the players linked and signed (although last year was better and we have been obviously hampered by Koeman/Walsh/Allardyce signings) and worry whether there is a sufficiently data- driven analysis and usage to drive recruitment. Are Brands and Ancellotti still more swayed by the eye test/tried and tested in these decisions than any moneyball driven approach (a nagging doubt I have) as if so, this is probably not a sustainable model and approach to a successful future and will see us consistently fall behind teams like Leicester (Soumare et al), Dortmund, Leverkusen, Lille etc? It needs to be a great summer to point us to a clear way of actually playing active and attractive attacking and dynamic football with a clear consistent plan and shape (Like Tuchel) but flexible enough to continue the good away results.

One more thing. Is anyone else concerned about the fall off in the last two seasons at the end of the campaigns? Or do you see this as more squad related rather than anything else more concerning ?

Tony Everan
2 Posted 30/05/2021 at 14:27:57
Sam, Excellent analysis of our options, thanks for this Labour of love.

The first two sentences are concise and accurate to what we need. We need quality young players who can bring pace and energy. The EPL is a different beast to what it was just five years ago, without quality, pace and energy you get overrun. It need addressing this window if we are to progress.

RW / RB, good point about the combination having to work together and be complimentary.

I like the Perreira, Emerson pairing. It sounds like it would give us a much needed threat down the right, whilst retaining some physicality and resilience defensively.

I like the front three of Richarlison DCL and Perreira in a 433 set up I think it compliments the midfield and give us balanced attacking threat.

Buendia would do for me for the midfielder ; goals, assists and tenacity. We need more goals from midfield.

Then a CB sale and a replacement with more recovery pace. Zouma has his flaws but we played better with him and Keane in central defence a couple of years ago. We were looking good towards the end of that season with that pairing. Can Bade bring us some of that ?

Jay Harris
3 Posted 30/05/2021 at 14:39:19
Excellent research and a thought provoking article Sam.

I was a bit concerned to hear today the there has been an alleged drop in faith in Carlo's transfer ability stating that he wanted to bring Maksomivic from Napoli and was refused.
Sounds like another bit of lazy journalism but you never know.

Personally I wouldnt hesitate to go for Lamptey with Perreira in front of him for 2 reasons.

1. We seem to have had more success with overlapping fullbacks (Godfrey and Seamus e.g.)
2. They have both shown well in the Prem.

Then I think we need to beef MF with either Anguissa or Bissouma.

Of course this is all fantasy football stuff but helps to ease the pain of a really disappointing finish to the season and gives us hope for the future.

David Pearl
4 Posted 30/05/2021 at 14:47:06
Sam, l was wondering how long we'd have to wait for your scouting report. Do you think Gordon will actually make the grade and be on the bench next season? I don't think he's half as good as Dowell.
Mike Doyle
5 Posted 30/05/2021 at 14:55:56
Sam you are wasted in the theatre. Clearly your try vocation is as a player analyst.
Fran Mitchell
6 Posted 30/05/2021 at 14:56:07
The right side is the clear and obvious area that needs improvement.

Sam's suggestions are all on point.

In terms of midfield, it's a interesting debate. Getting the balance.

If James is playing, then we simply need a defensive no6 style, which none of Doucoure, Allan, or Davies are. Doucoure and Allan are both ball chasers, engines and work better pressing higher up the pitch.

So whether we need another creative midfielder (improvement on Siggy/Gomes and alternative to the unreliable fitness of James) or not, I think a no6 has to be priority no3 on the list.

I like Davies as a player, but if we could sell him for 20 million and get a true no6 in - a player in the mold of Declan Rice or Kelvin Phillips, then the midfield would have much more balance.

An alternative up front also is necessary, as DCL will have a short summer after a long season and if he is injured for.any amount of time we are too light. That US player at Barnsley, Dike, looks a decent bet.

Sam Hoare
7 Posted 30/05/2021 at 16:30:43
Thanks all.

Tony@2, yes I think Emerson and Pereira could be a great pair, though I suspect we may go for a winger with top pace who can get in behind. And yes, I think Bade looks a top player who would allow us to play a higher line whilst also having someone who can pass through the press.

Jay@3, yes there have been a few snippets about Brands and Carlo being at odds, the former wanting younger players with potential and the latter wanting older players like Allan and Rodriguez who can hit the ground running. Can imagine it may end up a bit of both, like last summer.

David@4, it's hard to predict that Gordon will have definite impact after a disappointing loan at Preston. But Brands would probably rather have him on the bench on 20k per week than Iwobi on 80k per week if both will fail to make an impression! He may need another loan, or maybe not, hard to know.

Mike@5, i've considered it!

Fran@6, yes Dike was on my list. Looks a real handful. If he's affordable then he could be our new and improved Anichebe/Stracqualursi!

Robert Tressell
8 Posted 30/05/2021 at 16:34:18
I always look forward to this article, Sam. Thanks for doing it. At the end of another deeply mediocre season it gives us a chance to dream. This season possibly more than ever I look at it all in the context of another excellent article - Summer Spending by Paul the Esk about our (not very good) financial situation. The two things go hand in hand.

You make a comment about Lewis Ferguson at Aberdeen - that he's not the sort of player Ancelotti would sign. I agree. And quite a few players who I think would be a very good fit for our club right now fall into that category. Ancelotti has the ability to move this club up a gear if equipped with ready made quality but we simply can't afford it. I'm pleased to see no broken galacticos or aging nearly men on your lists but Ancelotti may have other ideas.

Kevin Dyer
9 Posted 30/05/2021 at 16:40:18
Good read and I agree with much of it.

EFC are pretty tight-lipped regarding transfer plans, as you'd expect. All we know (or can deduce) is:

1. Ancelotti wants a winger with a LOT of abilities!

2. At GK, the need to maintain competition for JP still applies so it'll either be Olsen or someone similar. Emphasis on experience and cheapness.

3. From Ancelotti's comments during the season, plus persistent transfer rumours it seems we will target a quick, ball-playing centre-half.

4. Nothing from the club, except for Carlo's appreciation of Coleman, but it is blindingly obvious that a right-back replacement is needed.

For me that's just the tip of the iceberg. Although Carlo has talked-up Gbamin it would be optimistic in the extreme to make any plans that rely on him, going forward, so that's 1 centre-mid needed, minimum. Either a classic no.6 or a player comfortable on the ball. Pace and energy a requirement either way. Whatever Richy thinks his best position is he needs to be shifted back to the left flank, which means we need a forward to compete with DCL.

So, assuming we retain Olsen, imo we need to be targeting 5 outfield players, no less, all of first-team ability. Sounds ambitious, but we will bring in a good amount for Moise Kean (c.£40m) and with the number of players we should be moving out we'll really need the extra bodies. Of those 5 no more than 1 should be over, say 26.


Barry Rathbone
10 Posted 30/05/2021 at 16:48:49
Great stuff.

I have no idea who these players are but if accurate why are we paying thousands for a DOF when a lad on the internet can do it for, presumably, a mars bar and a diet coke?

Kunal Desai
11 Posted 30/05/2021 at 16:57:58
Someone should point Marcel Brands and the rest of the boardroom to this article and some of the potential names here.

Everton take the lazy option to recruitment, no one at the club is proactive to bring some of those listed.
Also I wouldn't be surprised if the recruitment is very skeleton and yet again falling short in key areas.

Ian Bennett
12 Posted 30/05/2021 at 18:07:44
I'd like to see a couple of clever loan signings to make the transfer fund go further.

We have done well using that strategy previously, and should follow it again. Lukuku, Barry, Arteta, Pienaar etc.

Derisk the situation with a couple of players to earn their stripes, on agreed future fees.

3 big signings, 2 good loans and a cheap keeper.

Right back
Right wing
Centre back
Centre forward
Centre midfield
Keeper

Jay Harris
13 Posted 30/05/2021 at 19:14:45
Freebies are better than loans at the same quality so Romero is a no brainer if Olsen wants away.

I think the real issue is getting rid of the dross.

Tony Everan
14 Posted 30/05/2021 at 20:15:46
Sam, Loic Bade isn’t short of admirers is he ? RS, AC Milan, Leicester,Leeds, Arsenal, Sevilla, Brighton all interested. Lens will get a good fee.
Gavin Johnson
15 Posted 30/05/2021 at 20:44:33
I'd also add Holgate and Davies to outgoings. They're more sellable than the likes of Iwobi, Gomes and Delph. Saints and Newcastle have been linked and either could fetch £15m-£20m. They're not the worst players we've got, but we're overloaded with average players, especially in midfield.
Robert Tressell
16 Posted 30/05/2021 at 20:49:24
Bade does look very good, the quality of young french centre halves is incredible. Similar but maybe a bit cheaper is Odilon Kossounou of Brugge. Big unit, aggressive but quite graceful and fast too. Not quite ready yet possibly but could take over from Mina after a bit of bedding in. In terms of RBs, there's also the giant Wilfried Singo of Torino. Looks too tall for a RB but very skilful and quick too. Both gettable for under £20m I expect which is a good price to pay for young players.
Sam Hoare
17 Posted 30/05/2021 at 21:46:58
Thanks Robert. Yes, Singo and Kossounou are on my lists. Kossounou in particular looks very interesting and could be a cheaper CB option. But like you say I suspect Carlo may be pushing for more experienced (and familiar) players.
James Flynn
18 Posted 31/05/2021 at 02:40:59
Gavin (15) - I agree with your view in general. Except that we won't get more than 6 million for the pair of Holgate (He goes, he goes. Me, I wouldn't mind keeping for another season) and Davies (Who, 5 seasons in, flat isn't good enough).

As he's been since he's arrived, Brands is silent. Carlo seems confident out loud that we'll be getting some players in to improve one of the worst mid-fields in the Prem. We'll see.

Me, my eyes only are on Brands. Let's see how good he is.

Danny O’Neill
19 Posted 31/05/2021 at 05:59:40
Great detailed analysis Sam. Thanks for the article. We all love the debate on who we should / could / couldn't debate when it comes to transfer signings. I'm all for shopping in Holland and I'd extend that to Germany and Denmark.

I won't go into individuals as there are a lot of options up there, but think everyone is in agreement on the right back. And that is meant with no disrespect to Seamus.

Wide attacking midfielder also. I know who I want but doubt we could get him.

The midfield requirement is interesting. Personally, I'd like someone who can sit between / behind Allan and Doucoure. For next season (and I'm thinking total short-term here), we can make do with James & Sigurdsson rotating in the number 10 role between them. A protector; the player we thought we had but have never seen in Gbamin. The player we lost in Gueye.

We need back up for Dominic. Or should I say competition?

And I'll keep saying it. Depending how deep our pockets are, a better centre back who can push us higher up the pitch.

I also think that we need to be conscious of the depth of the squad. That's not a short term or this summer fix, but we need to build the depth of the squad so that injuries don't hurt us so much. So we need to be conscious and careful of who we shift out too.

Not a lot to ask for!!

Thanks again. Much food for thought this summer and much interest ahead!

Jerome Shields
20 Posted 31/05/2021 at 06:06:36
Very good comprehensive list, Sam. I do expect some younger p!ayers, but do think Ancelotti will go for experienced p!ayers for strategic positions in the squad, as he did with Allan and James. I will be keeping your list as a template for later in the Summer.
Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 31/05/2021 at 06:34:47
I agree Jerome and think that is the best strategy. For every Allan, bring in a Godfrey. Think to the future but also the here and now.
Steve Shave
22 Posted 31/05/2021 at 07:38:35
Nice one Sam! I love this stuff. For me, Sell Kean and Holgate to bring in the readies and promote Branthwaite to 4th choice CB. My choices would be RB: Emerson RM: Buendia CM: Sarr (but only if we sell Davies) GK Romero on free and Edouard. That along with releasing some more dross would be an outstanding transfer window!
Mal van Schaick
23 Posted 31/05/2021 at 08:04:13
Good analysis of what may be required. Joe Willock on loan at Newcastle from Arsenal, who scored a few goals. Pereira would be a good addition.

I agree with #15 Holgate and Davies, added to the list.

Given our final league position outside of the top four, it’s unlikely that we can compete for top players, money or no money. So, if we take a punt on other players as we have done in the past, it’s still a gamble on whether we would see the owners ambitions of being a top four club.

Gerard Pauls
24 Posted 31/05/2021 at 09:18:14
John(1). I think you hit the nail on the head with your final sentence. The 'drop off' in form at the tail end of our season is alarming. It has happened far to frequently over several seasons. My personal opinion is that it sums up the lazy unprofessional and care free attitude of the majority of the players and to certain extent the management and core of the club from top to bottom. No pride or sense of responsibility is shown as if it is acceptable to finish mid table every year. Alex Ferguson stated many years ago that he found it very worrying and unprofessional that young players in their teens or early 20s showed no desire, pride or bollocks to try and have the winning mentality that he craved for...' I can scream and shout, throw tea cups etc but young multi millionaires unless they have their own personal pride and want to improve and win leagues,cups etc will just shrug their shoulders and see out their contracts' This I feel is the crux of the problem at Everton with the majority of players knowing they are on 'easy street'. Tuchel at Chelsea abet with much better players has instilled in the squad a passion and will to win in less than six months...we have tried numerous managers over 20 odd years and have got nowhere! as I say too many players, management, coach's etc are on easy street at soft touch Everton.
Ian Bennett
25 Posted 31/05/2021 at 09:32:21
Jay 13 - I'd take Romero, but it would need to be sensible wages only.

There are decent keepers available on low fees. Butland went to Palace for a million or so, whilst West Brom picked up Sam Johnstone on a loan. They would be better deals than sticking Romero on £75k plus.

Bobby Mallon
26 Posted 31/05/2021 at 09:36:23
Sam great Article. From your lists I would like Pereira from West Brom. But I would add ward prowse from saints. What we really need is a 15/20 goal a season striker. Goals win games. Aguero on a 2 yr contract for me. If not him the young lad from Chelsea. My only worry is our club is to soft and sentimental and will be hoping that Gabamin will get fit again and be that energetic midfielder we all crave. I would have let him go, but that’s just me. So my starting team next season would be. I think we should sell Pickford and get Romero in on a free.

Romero
Tariq Lamptey
Godfrey
Mina
Digne
Doucourér
Ward-prowse
Allan
Pereira
DCL
Aguero

Danny O’Neill
27 Posted 31/05/2021 at 09:38:15
Gerard, watch the Alex Ferguson documentary if you can.

This is a repeat from something I posted yesterday, but he makes very interesting and telling comments on how he differentiated between managing established players compared to up and coming young ones.

But ultimately, his passion and desire to win comes through.

Sam Hoare
28 Posted 31/05/2021 at 10:55:43
Steve@22, yes, i'd be pretty delighted with that window too! I think Buendia is unlikely, he's their best player and will probably cost £35m+ I somehow feel we are only likely to spend that on someone who has done it at European level like Bailey.

Bobby@26 it would be hard to say no to Aguero but would he have that hunger? Could be like our signing of Etoo an Rooney, though Cavani has worked out very well for United. At any rate I think he has already signed with Barcelona. I almost included Ward-Prowse, very handy player but a bit older and unlikely to be cheap as their captain. That type of energy/drive is very much what we need though.

Kevin Prytherch
29 Posted 31/05/2021 at 12:04:21
I was reading this article in the Echo the other day. Don't be put off by the headline, it's basically potential transfer targets from the Championship:

Everton can sign next Wayne Rooney and son of icon to save millions on transfers this summer

Anyone have any knowledge of any of these?
Sam Hoare
30 Posted 31/05/2021 at 12:34:19
One young player I didn't mention is Adam Hlozek, he's only 18 but finished with 15 goals from 19 appearances for Sparta Prague this year. He can play as a winger but is best as striker. West Ham have been linked strongly but he looks a real talent, able to score a variety of goals. Not sure what he would cost but looks and sounds a real talent.
Barry Hesketh
31 Posted 31/05/2021 at 12:54:45
It appears that one player linked to Everton, Phillippe Coutinho, will not be arriving at Goodison anytime soon, however, the interesting part of this story is the fact that Liverpool who are owed a large part of his transfer fee from Barcelona, sold that debt to a third party - how often does this happen and how does it appear in the books?

Reports in Spain claimed Barcelona have offered Liverpool the opportunity to re-sign Philippe Coutinho.

AS claim the Catalans have offered the Brazilian back to the Reds to avoid forking out €50m they still owe from his 2018 move to Camp Nou.

Only problem with that is they don't owe it to Liverpool as the Reds sold the debt to a third party, so offering Coutinho to Jurgen Klopp's side would be the same as offering him to any other club to raise funds.

The Spanish media have also linked Coutinho with a move to Everton recently, however, the ECHO understands that he is not on the Blues' radar.

Kevin Dyer
32 Posted 31/05/2021 at 14:40:36
#18 James, you're way off on your evaluations for Davies and Holgate. Just because you think these players are not good enough, doesn't mean that the wider football world would agree with you.

Davies is 22, with over 150 matches for a top-10 EPL team and is a regular in the national under-21 squad. He'd go for £20m, easily and that figure would only apply if we were disposed to letting him go. Holgate is a youngish player with a fair bit of EPL experience, I'd be surprised if he'd fetch less than £10m.

As regards Lamptey I'd pass on him. He is lightning quick and good going forward but at only 5'4 or so he'd be useless defending crosses. Brighton have a lot of the ball and play a high line, which disguises this vulnerability but we've shown no ability so far to play this way. Also, the lad missed half the season with an injury requiring surgery, so has very little top-flight experience (half a season).

Buying within England is expensive imo, which is why it's unlikely we could get Aarons. Norwich (like other EPL teams) are protected financially by the big English TV deals; they are under zero pressure to sell, unless the fee becomes outlandish (see: McGuire etc). Look at Zaha 2 years ago. Palace demanded £80m - which even we balked at - as that was what they placed his value, as an asset, at. Considering their win/loss record without him, I'd say that was fair. To us, he wasn't that valuable. It's similar with Aarons. Norwich are under no obligation to sell and would want £40m for him. Now, I think he's a promising player, but if we pay that kind of money for a fullback with one season of top-level football then questions need asking.

Mark Taylor
33 Posted 31/05/2021 at 14:49:56
I bow to others in their knowledge of players, all I would say is it would be nice if we could have a few more we actually add value to. With few exceptions, we seem to be adept at paying big bucks and subtracting value, ending up with a lot less than we started with and liabilities, not assets on the balance sheet.

Positionally, I think we have a big need for a creative, forward thinking midfielder. We are so ponderous through that area, crabbing back and forth, rarely penetrating or on the front foot and creating minimal forward momentum. It's possible that may also be because our front players aren't making the right runs. Allan probably shows the most vision which is worrying because that really isn't his forte and he doesn't do it very often. James certainly could but it seems he is made of biscuit...

Tony Everan
34 Posted 31/05/2021 at 15:14:15
Sam, Hlozek is a very interesting one and I think you may have hit on a player that will be in Brands's little black book and underlined.

About 6 months ago, we were looking for a back-up striker to Dominic and the young Dutch lad, Zirkzee, was very close to signing. He went to Parma for game time and we got King.

It points to Brands thinking on this. He wants backup to Calvert-Lewin and someone who can bring some energy and threat from the bench. He will be looking at the best young talent to fulfill that role. Hlozek looks like he could be that player.

Robert Tressell
35 Posted 31/05/2021 at 15:18:00
Sam, you're right, someone like Hlozek is a very rare chance of us getting someone genuinely world class. He is exceptional. The sort of player who could take over from James after a year to bed in – and then be a fixture in the side for many years (unless prised off us for a huge fee).

Sarr and Sima look like they could be in that category too. The fee could be about £30M. But it cost about that to buy Bolasie. I'd rather add potential brilliance to the squad than more fading mediocrity.

Ashley Roberts
36 Posted 31/05/2021 at 21:27:24
I cannot believe the news today that we are after Pedro and D’ambrosio!!! Somebody has to be yanking our chain? Do we get their bath chair and arthritis medicine free with the purchase? I really was appreciative of the article and if we could gather some of the younger players mentioned with some speed and determination like Godfrey, who knows. I would add Rabiot from Juve to the pot as he is a leftie and would give some balance to the team. He is only 26 and we could get a few years out of him. I also like the idea of Sima and also as well as Ellis has performed at Blackpool he could also be used as backup but I expect he will stay out on loan next season. So my wish list is Romero (Olsen not good enough to push Pickford), Celic, Rabiot, Bailey and Sima. I would also like another playmaker as James is only a bit player at best and Sigurdson is well past his sell buy date.
Brian Wilkinson
37 Posted 31/05/2021 at 22:18:28
If we manage to land those players, and get the ones out you mentioned Sam, I will be more than happy.
Simon Jones
38 Posted 02/06/2021 at 17:20:47
Summer targets - a manager
Brian Wilkinson
39 Posted 02/06/2021 at 18:39:22
Beat me to it Simon
Tony Everan
40 Posted 03/06/2021 at 21:04:08
It could now get an even busier window for us. Allan and James are Ancelotti’s players, they weren’t here for Everton. It’s a possibility that Ancelotti will try to take them for the squad at Madrid. Also, there’s rumours about him wanting Richarlison. Is it wise to keep players who don’t want to be here?

It’s often destabilising to get too many players in at once but this window could become manic. It will at least represent an opportunity for Brands to get some of his own scouted quality, potential, younger players signed up.

This window and next season is going to be a white knuckle ride. Scary, exciting, highs and lows, but I think we will gradually see an identity being formed and a proper team coming together. Hold on tight.

Paul Birmingham
41 Posted 03/06/2021 at 21:17:36
Great research and write upSam, and this insight shows with some guile and nous what can be done to boost Everton’s, squad this summer.
Kevin McCartney
42 Posted 03/06/2021 at 21:57:33
Awesome and informed article, lots of positives. but just, Sigurdsson, we really ought to get shut of him so that he is off the books and the wage resources can be used for far better use.
Sam Hoare
43 Posted 05/06/2021 at 17:54:50
Buendia off to Aston Villa for £30m. Great signing for them, especially if they manage to keep Grealish. A front 4 of Buendia, Grealish and Traore behind Watkins has a very good balance of pace, guile and work rate I’d say.
Justin Doone
44 Posted 06/06/2021 at 01:21:29
A good read but without expecting to much, if the right wing or right sided forward position is a key position then why not bring in a top class player and also an exciting youngster?

We don’t just need 3 players, we need 3 top class player's and another 3 very good, younger players to push, step in, cover and learn from the top class players.

I'm sure if we all had a free weekend we could watch and attended several lower league game's and identify some very good potential players. Skill, Pace, Work Rate, Spirit.

Come on Brands, bring them in.

Sam Hoare
45 Posted 07/06/2021 at 14:40:21
And Leciester now close to sealing the deal for Edouard?

If Leicester get Soumare and Edouard combined for less than £40m i'd say that is pretty brilliant business. Of course either could flop but a very decent chance both players will double in value over the next 3-4 years.

Whereas Allan and Doucoure will almost certainly be worth very little in 3-4 years. I understand that we maybe needed to bring in some dependable senior players but our ability to continually buy players who decrease in value/ability is frustrating. It just means we never have quite enough money to replace all the holes in the squad that keep cropping up.

Robert Tressell
46 Posted 07/06/2021 at 15:21:41
Villa and Leicester continue their well thought out squad building, then Sam.

Leicester again going for younger (but experienced) players ready for the first team. And, as you say, Sam - a very good chance to reinvest in more quality should Edouard or Soumare leave in the next few years.

I'm hoping we will put the emphasis on the sorts of players you've described here under new management. But I wonder what the truth behind Joorabchian's (spelling?) influence on the management will be and therefore transfer activity from his stable.

Sam Hoare
47 Posted 07/06/2021 at 16:31:48
Yes, Robert, i'm not sure how much good can come from Joorabchian's influence. His client list isn't especially exciting and more than anything it feels like Moshiri continuing to hold sway when really it should be Brands directing things.

So difficult to apportion blame when we have no idea as to the mechanics of the situation. Some claim that Iwobi was Moshiri's idea for example as he had liked him at Arsenal!

4 or 5 years ago (after selling some of their title winning stars) Leicester were in a very similar position to us; decent pot of money but a squad with lots of holes. The skill with which that money was spent is why Leicester will likely push for champions league again next season and we will likely battle for 8th.

It's really all about good, sensible recruitment. Of course any scout/DOF can get it wrong but some of our decisions have been so hard to fathom.

Barry Hesketh
48 Posted 07/06/2021 at 16:51:29
This report on one of the click-bait sites is the biggest problem that Everton is facing with regards to the recruitment of players or a manager. I know it's the modern way and it's not at all unusual but how much say do the leaders of the club actually have in 'choosing' who they hire?

Paris St. Germain have begun negotiations with Mino Raiola over the transfer of Everton attacker Moise Kean.

The Frenchman who spent this past season on loan at PSG, has impressed Mauricio Pochettino, and per La Stampa, negotiations between the Ligue 1 runners-up and Raiola have been confirmed.

As an aside Roberto Martinez has only committed himself to Belgium until the end of the Euro's - 'Watch this space?"

“I came to Belgium for two years [in 2016] so whenever you ask about future planning, I’m the wrong man, I’m sure I’m going to give you the wrong answer,” he says.

“I’ve got a contract until the World Cup in Qatar but my commitment was always very clear. I had opportunities to leave in the last 18 months but it was the Euros. The commitment to doing the Euros is the only thing I’m sure about.”

Brian Harrison
49 Posted 07/06/2021 at 17:24:24
Just read about Ancelotti's son Davide only moved to a new house a couple of weeks back, so obviously at that point, Ancelotti must have had no intention of moving. Just wonder what changed in those couple of weeks to cause the change of heart, and even then everybody knew Zidane wouldn't be at Real next season.
Barry Hesketh
50 Posted 07/06/2021 at 17:34:53
Brian @49,

I imagine that Carlo wasn't in the running for the Real Madrid job until they realised that their preferred options couldn't be hired, and therefore they turned to Ancellotti as a make-do-and-mend solution. Still awaiting UEFA to announce the Champions League ban for Madrid, Barca, and Juve.

Dale Self
51 Posted 07/06/2021 at 17:48:47
On the Ancelotti departure, let's wait a bit and see if more develops because his comments and various leaks about Inter wanting him suggest he knew for a while that he was leaving. Apparently others knew as well.

He damn sure is not behaving as someone who is contrite about having to leave for family safety reasons. I'll wait for another thread to post the list but safe to say he's a bit pissed and we don't know why yet.

The characterization of him leaving us for the prettier one does not add up. Something happened on our side of things is how he is at least trying to make it look.


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