Summer Targets 2022

Sam's look at what's out there by way of new players we might buy.

Sam Hoare 27/05/2022 42comments  |  Jump to last
Here we are again. Another important summer. Another rebuild. Another speculative transfer piece.

Perhaps more so than ever, this summer will be difficult to predict as we have no clear idea of how Lampard wants us to play (assuming he is retained) and who will be sold. It is highly likely that there will be many squad places to fill.

Tosun has already moved on, the Icelander is unlikely to feature again, Kenny and Delph are both out of contract and, if you believe Twitter, then the club is actively seeking offers for Gbamin, Allan, Gomes, Rondon and Townsend. Most importantly perhaps it seems possible that one or more of Pickford, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin may be let go to raise funds or make good on previous promises.

Most fans would agree that central midfield is a priority though central defence is probably not too far off. After a season like that, there is an argument that almost every position could use strengthening and the unknown futures of several players may add to that feeling.

However I don’t have time to go over every position so will focus on a central defender, a defensive midfielder, a central midfielder and a winger/striker.

A recent article in The Athletic suggests that the new direction set by Thelwell will be ‘young and hungry’. That suits me and will be the type of player I’m leaning towards

Central Defence

The big question here is will Mina stay? When fit, he is our best defender (maybe even our best player statistically!). With 1 year left on his hefty contract, there is a big decision to make on him. Was he unlucky last season or should he be moved on due to injury issues?

Personally I’m a big fan and if the physios think he could be relied upon more next year without fixture congestion and as many international games I’d keep him and extend his contract (at a lower figure).

James Tarkowski, 29

Not a young upstart! The Burnley player is a divisive option and would not be obviously suited to a higher line if that’s how Lampard wishes to play. However, he is a very decent defender who wins more duels on the ground and in the air than almost any other centre-back in the Premier League.

He brings leadership, set-piece threat, and is better on the ball than many would expect. Most importantly, he’s a free transfer, which allows us to spend elsewhere. I wouldn’t offer him over £90k but, if we got him on a free and were able to shift Keane to West Ham for a fee, I’d call that good business.

Evan Ndicka, 22

An impressive left-footed centre-back who is fast and strong and a decent distributor. He was a big part of Frankfurt’s European run and has been one of their best players this season. He even seemed to contain Michail Antonio quite well, which is a good sign.

He’s 6-ft 3-in and fast over the ground. He’d probably cost around £20-25M so not the cheapest option but could be worth double that in 3 years time.

Kim Min Jae, 24

The Korean has been the best centre-back in Turkey this season and is nicknamed ‘The Beast’. He’s hard to get past on the ground and in the air and technically useful and can bring it out of defence with his pace.

He’s also 6-ft 3-in and has almost 50 caps for his country. Shining in Turkey may not be enough to convince some (Hello, Cenk!) but he looks an accomplished centre-back and could be decent value at around £15M.

Cameron Carter-Vickers, 24

Talking of good value, this lad could be a bargain. He’s been very good for Celtic this season and many of their fans talk about him being a similar calibre of player to Van Dijk when he was there. He’s exceptionally strong but surprisingly agile and has 4 goals this year, which highlights his threat from set-pieces.

Celtic value the American at around £10M which would seem a snip for someone as dominant as him though of course bossing it in Scotland is not the same as doing it in the Premier League, which brings us onto our next player.

Calvin Bassey, 22

The youngster probably doubled his value over the last month with MotM appearances in the Europa League Final and Scottish Cup Final. He’s a powerful young player who has featured at left-back and centre-back for Rangers this season and done well in both positions. He’s very comfortable on the ball and has been compared to a young Rio Ferdinand.

He may have some similarities to Godfrey and, like the young Englishman, he’s not as dominant in the air as some others on this list. He would probably have cost £8M a few months ago but nearer £20M now.

Levi Colwill, 19

Excellent young prospect who shone on loan at Huddersfield this season from Chelsea. Like others on this list, he is 6-ft 3-in but fast over the ground and seems a good reader of the game at such a young age, as well as being confident bringing the ball out from the back. Huddersfield had one of the best defences in the Football League and the young Englishman was a big part of that.

I’m not sure Chelsea would want to sell him though and I’m not sure about the idea of loaning him, which would block the development of our own Jarrad Branthwaite, unless the latter were sent on loan. Do we want to polish Chelsea’s gems for them? Not usually… but we may have to box clever this window.

Other options: Joe Worrall, David Carmo, Reece Oxford, Matt Greaves, Moussa Niakhate, Merih Demiral, Josko Gvardiol, Loic Bade, Max Lacroix, Castello Lukeba.

My pick: If we could sell Keane and Holgate for £20m combined, keep Mina and bring in Tarkowski and Ndicka for the same price, I’d be delighted.

Defensive Midfield

Something we’ve lacked since Gueye left really, and even he was more of a roaming midfielder. Do we need a tackling machine like him? Or someone to dictate play, like Gareth Barry? Ideally a bit of both.

Mostly we need to be harder to play through, so I’m looking for hardworking players who can break up play and distribute whilst getting around the pitch frequently and quickly.

Ibrahim Sangare, 23

Anyone who reads my pieces will know I’ve been banging on about him for years! He cost PSV only £7M 2 years back and will probably cost 3 times as much now. A dominant defensive midfielder who is fast over the ground and puts in a lot of tackles.

He’s been very good for PSV this season and rumours are there are a few big teams looking at him. I'm not sure we will be at the front of the queue but a player of his ilk would really help.

Florian Grillitsch, 26

The Austrian international is a free transfer this summer and brings experience and versatility for a cut price. He has played at centre-back and defensive midfield for Hoffenheim this season and has been good in both roles.

He’s not the quickest but has good positioning and is a strong distributor of the long ball. He is composed and competitive. Think André Gomes but able to tackle.

Maxence Caqueret, 21

The young Frenchman is probably beyond us but I’m an admirer of his combination of steel and poise. He’s hard-working and has genuine vision and flair at times, able to dribble through midfield and pick a crucial pass, as well as tracking back to make a vital tackle.

He’s not the biggest but he’s quick and terrier-like. He’s not had the best season for Lyon, so perhaps they could be tempted by £20-25M but most likely he’ll stay there and move for double that in a year or two.

Mo Camara, 22

Salzburg (or indeed any Red Bull team) is usually a good place to look for talent and the young Mali player is a defensive midfielder who can break up play and run with the ball. A Kante of sorts… though that’s a very high bar.

Very fast with good acceleration, he is able to react quickly to counter-attacks (something we’ve lacked). They’ve just sold Aaronson to Leeds for a good (inflated?) fee so I wouldn’t expect him to come cheap but he’d be an interesting option.

Yves Bissouma, 24

I mean, he won’t come to us. And we probably couldn’t afford him at the moment. But this is what we need. Quick. Clever. Wins lots of duels. And gives the ball to more creative players. Yes, please. We need to find the next Bissouma.

Khéphren Thuram, 21

A big unit but relatively agile, the Frenchman is the son of legendary France defender, Lillian. He’s decent defensively but also has an eye for a pass, as well as a goal, and has 4 goals and 2 assists for Nice this season. Most importantly he has a great attitude and is very hard-working on the pitch.

He scores well in terms of progressive passes and looks an all-round player. I'm not sure how easy he’d be to get out of Nice but he looks a real talent with the right work ethic.

Other options: Aster Vranx, Yousof Fofana, Samuel Ricci, Matteo Guendouzi, Palhinha, Xaver Schlager, Amadou Haidara, Phil Billing, Ryan Yates, Jack Cork

My Pick: Given the need for new bodies in the middle (assuming Delph will leave and Gomes will be sold or sent on loan), I’d go for Grillitsch on a free and Thuram. A hard spot to get right, this. Maybe it’s worth splashing out on someone.

Central Midfield

More bodies will be needed in the middle and again it's difficult to know what we need without being sure what Lampard will play. Will it be 4-3-3? Or will he want a double pivot? Either way, I think we could use another central midfielder who will work hard, win tackles and also create chances.

Though I have to say that Alex Iwobi was doing a pretty good job in all these areas at the end of the season and I hope he will get more time in the middle.

Cheick Doucouré, 22

The young Mali player is perhaps too similar to his Toffee namesake. A non-stop dynamo that has done well in France this season. He is better defensively than Abdoulaye but perhaps less likely to turn up in the box with a goal or two. A hard0working young player I can see in the Premier League soon.

Christian Eriksen 30

What a renaissance for the Dane. We badly need someone who can take an excellent set-piece and there are not many finer deliverers of the ball than Eriksen. He offers a huge amount of creativity in open play too and could be the person to really make us tick creatively with a bit of movement around him. He will have lots of suitors though and seems happy and successful at Brentford.

Lewis O'Brien, 23

If you want hard work, look no further than the Huddersfield man who puts a shift in – both in attack and defence. This youngster has been a huge part of Huddersfield’s great season and covers every blade of grass whilst also contributing 3 goals and 3 assists with a good eye for a pass.

We could probably get him for £10-15M if they don’t win the playoff final.

James Garner, 21

Another youngster who really shone in midfield in the Championship this season. He excelled on loan at Forest from Man Utd and ended up with 4 goals and 8 assists. He’s not the quickest over the ground but has great touch and vision.

He’d be unlikely to start at United but I’m not convinced they’d want to sell him. Could be an option on loan but again, I’d rather not develop other people's players for them. Maybe £15M might get them thinking?

Lucas Paquetá, 24

A high-end option. The hard-working Brazilian had a great season at Lyon and ended up with 11 goals and 7 assists. He’s good on the ball and capable of genuine flair but does not shirk the defensive side, putting in an impressive 1.9 tackles per game.

Lots of people are looking at him and it's hard to see him going to us but one to keep an eye on. He would probably cost in the region of £35M this summer, which is more than we will spend on any single player.

Conor Gallagher, 22

A strong season for the young Englishman resulting in his first International call-up. He’s a dynamic box-to-box player who grafts hard and has managed an impressive 8 goals this season – including one memorable finish against us recently.

Young players in the England squad don’t come cheap and, even if Chelsea did want to sell, I imagine he’d set us back £30M. Maybe he’s worth it? I’m not sure we’ll have that type of money but he’s definitely the sort of player we should be looking at.

Other options: John Buckley, Joe Aribo, Omar Dorley, Djibril Sow, Marc Roca, Sander Berge, Wilmar Barrios, Elisha Owusu, Manu Kone, Renato Sanches, Morgan Gibbs-White, Dani Olmo, Billy Gilmour, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

My Pick: Eriksen and O’Brien would give us some silk and some steel without having to spend huge. Gallagher on loan might be very useful if an option.

Winger / Striker

I suspect one of Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison may leave this summer… maybe both. Either would be very hard to replace successfully. Without much basis, I’d guess that Calvert-Lewin would be keener to leave but that Richarlison is more likely to receive an appropriate offer. So I’ll probably concentrate on a new winger to replace him.

Brennan Johnson, 20

The young Welshman has been exceptional for Nottingham Forest this season with 18 goals and 10 assists. He also shone at Lincoln City in the previous season. Can he cut in the Premier League? I think so.

Blessed with quick feet and rapid acceleration, he can beat men with ease and has a decent shot off both feet. He’ll have to work harder defensively but has time to learn and could be a real star. May be unlikely to move if Forest win the playoff as expected. Otherwise, he would probably cost £20M.

Callum Hudson-Odoi, 21

I’m a big fan of the youngster who’s not established himself under Tuchel and I think he could be a real star if given a run of games in the right set-up. He’s superb at dribbling with a real burst of pace and can score as well as assist when confident.

Perhaps Chelsea might be persuaded to sell or offer a 2-year loan? I think Lampard could get a real tune out of him.

Evanilson, 22

A possible striker. The Brazilian has done okay at Porto this season with 14 goals but looks to me capable of better. He’s not as good in the air as Calvert-Lewin but he works extremely hard and is decent holding the ball up as well as linking play.

A rounded striker who could reach the next level over the next few years. He’d probably cost around £20-25M but could be a decent option if Calvert-Lewin departs.

Luis Sinisterra, 22

The young Colombian has been a real highlight for Feyenoord this season with 16 goals and 7 assists. He works very hard and has some phenomenal pace at his disposal. The fact that he has fared well in Europe too bodes well but may add some heft to his transfer fee. Completed a large 3.6 dribbles per game in the Eredivisie, so no doubt he would be fun to watch.

He would possibly cost around the £25-30M range, which may be too much for us, unless he’s seen as a Richarlison replacement.

Charles De Ketelaere, 21

Something of a De Bruyne type, the Belgian wonderkid has begun to really deliver on his potential this season, scoring 14 goals and managing 9 assists for Brugges. Blessed with solid technique and some natural athleticism he may go on to be a real superstar but many teams will be wary of paying a high price for a player who has not played outside of Belgium or established himself in the national team.

There may be an opportunity to steal a march though he’s more of a false 10 sort of player, which may not be what we need.

Alexander Isak, 22

The young Swede has not had a great season, which may make it a good time to go for him. He scored 17 last season for Sociedad but only managed 6 this season. But I still think he has some talent. He can play out wide or (ideally) through the middle and is quick whilst possessing decent height at 6-ft 3-in though he needs to learn to use his frame better.

He lacks a bit of aggression and confidence and would need to work harder defensively but, if well-coached, I think there’s a good player there who we could possibly get for £20M which would be half of what was being talked about last year.

Other Options: Amine Gouiri, Hwang Hee-Chan, Alfedos Morales, Jonathan David, Abdallah Sima, Nicholas de la Cruz, Andrea Belotti, Dwight McNeill, Max Cornet, Ismaila Sarr, Emanuel Dennis, Teemu Pukki, Georginio Rutter, Jesse Lingard, Armando Broja, Joao Pedro.

My Pick: Sinisterra could be real fun, if nothing else for the corner flag dancing with his Colombian compatriot Yerry!


We could also talk about goalkeepers (will Pickford leave?) or right-backs (will Patterson be ready?) but I’m pretty spent!

Worth a quick word about young players breaking through. The truth is that the only young player I think may be worth serious minutes next season is Jarrad Branthwaite. And even he may be better served by a loan in the Championship.

The likes of Simms, Dobbin, Warrington and Price could all get a few minutes here and there but would be better served by showing they are ready with a good loan in the Championship. Anthony Gordon did this to a degree at Preston which, whilst not a huge success, showed he was capable of mixing it at senior first-team level.

So here’s the fun bit where I go a little bit Championship Manager…

Out:

Gomes on loan
Keane – £13M
Holgate – £8M
Allan – £10M
Richarlison – £50M
Kean – £28M (obligation paid early)
Gbamin – £13M

Total: £122M

In:

Tarkowski – free
NDicka – £20M
Grillitsch – free
Thuram – £20M
Eriksen – free
Sinisterra – £30M

Total: £70M

First Team:

Pickford
Patterson Mina Ndicka Mykolenko
Iwobi Thuram Eriksen
Gordon Calvert-Lewin Sinisterra

Subs from: Begovic, Tarkowski, Godfrey, Coleman, Doucouré, Davies, Grillistch, Gray, Townsend, Simms.

It's quite a young team and I’m not sure it would get into the Top 7 but I reckon it should get near top half (which has to be our goal this season, I’m afraid) and is full of hard-working, quite dynamic players. A better centre-forward replacement would be nice and perhaps you could upgrade on Gordon or Iwobi but I think they have earned their spots for now.

Perhaps you’d play Eriksen higher up or drop him for tough games with less possession but there we go. I’d be excited by that squad. But I’m a bit hungover, so forgive me if my judgement is off. What do you think?


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Reader Comments (42)

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Robert Tressell
1 Posted 27/05/2022 at 19:54:40
Lots to be cautiously excited about as we head towards a window.

I'd love to see the likes of Hudson-Odoi, Garner and Carter-Vickers because it really complements what we've got in a 4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3 – and they could form the core of a really strong long term side along with Pickford, Mykolenko, Patterson, Alli, Branthwaite and Gordon

I think the key is building a balanced midfield that accommodates Dele Alli and protects the defence.

In addition to the names you suggest I keep scribbling down Ampadu of Chelsea (Venezia on loan this season), Krecji the big Czech who plays like a young Matic and Weigl (the former "new Busquets") although I've been quite disappointed when I've seen him play recently.

My biggest worry is more that Lampard will stick with 3-4-3 which I think the squad is not suited to - and will strain and confuse the recruitment drive.

Tony Everan
2 Posted 27/05/2022 at 20:26:15
Sam thanks for the information, I look forward to your pointers on who we could consider.

As you say, We play better with Yerry Mina in the team, that has to be taken into account when strengthening this window. I think you are right that Yerry and Richarlison will go, their contract situation will dictate that to a degree. In our financial position we have to be as prudent as possible allowing us to strengthen while we can.

I want aerial dominance, if a CB is 6ft 1” what is his record for winning headers in the box and from set pieces? We need to be thinking about our effectiveness on defending corners and free kicks. Sort that out and we’ll gain five places automatically. Tarkowski is a free, Colwill a loan possibly, so it may strengthen us whilst allowing funds to strengthen midfield and forward positions.

It can be debated whether that position is the priority no1 or whether the central midfield takes that position. The reality is that they are equal no1 priority.

The best midfields are a combination of players bringing something to the table. I think Allan will go back to Italy so for definite we will need a replacement Sangare, Obrien ?. Then Delph gone and Gomes surely loaned or sold, replaced by Garner and or Gallagher on loan.

Whoever comes in has to bring energy and desire into the engine room. Iwobi’s non stop energy and resurgence in the last six weeks was an important factor in our containment of teams. I want to see more of it.

Sigurdsson will be gone, Erikson would be a top quality replacement on a free, such a gifted player it would be great to have him.

Attack, If Richarlison goes, and it’s not a forgone conclusion, Brennan Johnson has to be considered, alternatively Hudson Odoi who needs a club to grow into and could then really catch fire. Franks links could realistically make this happen at the right price.

Rondon surely must go, so maybe we could get the young Columbian too m if there’s some spare change.

Sam Hoare
3 Posted 28/05/2022 at 06:15:25
Robert @1,

I actually forgot about Alli when doing my team sheet! I'm curious to see what role he plays next season but, from what I've seen, my expectations are fairly low as Lampard did not seem to trust him fully and his impact in his limited minutes was very small.

I'm not sure what the cost implications of playing him are in terms of transfer clauses but I would not be surprised if he does not feature majorly.

Lee Courtliff
4 Posted 28/05/2022 at 06:50:40
I was quite keen on Lewis-Potter, who I mentioned on here a few months ago, until I read yesterday that Hull want around £30M for him! He looked like an old fashioned winger, bit of an Anders Limpar about him. Anders is one of my all-time favourites at Goodison, btw.

Although I know this would be too much, too soon and probably see us fighting relegation again but there is a part of me that wouldn't mind us selling Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, etc and piling all the money into the likes of Johnson, Sander Berge, Garner, etc.

The thought of us building an exciting, young, pacy, attacking team really appeals to me. A bit of Sin Miedo, if you like.

Players on the way up who actually want to be at Everton, as we'd be the biggest club they've played for at this stage of their careers. Although I do remember the old saying..."if you buy Championship players, you end up with a Championship team."

But that's more older players who have maxed out their potential, rather than those listed on here.

Sam Hoare
5 Posted 28/05/2022 at 07:43:54
Lee, Lewis Potter looks a talent but I agree, £30M is too much, that's how much Kulusevski will cost who is at a different level. Even Bowen (who Hull fans believe was better) was only £20M.

I think your wish for a younger, faster, hungrier squad may come to pass. Plenty of good talent in the Championship, just have to get the right ones for the right prices!

Sean Roe
6 Posted 28/05/2022 at 07:58:19
Ronnie Edwards from Peterborough for central defence before he gets snapped up by someone else. Spurs and Dortmund are already sniffing around. He is quick, strong in the tackle, good positional sense and is as comfortable on the ball as John Stones.

The only thing he lacks is height but the big lumps in the Championship didn't get the better of him and big strikers in the Premier League appear to be out of fashion anyway.

Lee Courtliff
7 Posted 28/05/2022 at 08:05:42
Let's hope so, Sam. Hopefully the days of us spunking money on poor players with zero sell-on value are a thing of the past.
Bryan Houghton
8 Posted 28/05/2022 at 09:06:47
My hat in the ring is, if Calvert-Lewin leaves:

I think the two strikers who are just establishing themselves in their first Premier League season, and who we will all very much be talking about this time next year are Nketiah, and my choice of replacement — Jean-Philippe Mateta from Crystal Palace. Big, strong, fast and currently second fiddle to Zaha, and therefore flying under the radar.

We never replaced Lukaku — well, there he is.

Paul Birmingham
9 Posted 28/05/2022 at 09:33:36
Thanks Sam, for a very good overview of potential targets.

For me, previous articles on this forum regards the stability at boardroom level, could impact Everton's deals this summer, but I'm hopeful with Frank and his personality that he can have a significant impact on getting some good deals for Everton over the line ASAP.

Key to building for next season is to get new players in to gel with the squad.

Stu Darlington
11 Posted 28/05/2022 at 10:36:34
A thought-provoking article, Sam. I didn't realise there was such an amount of talent out there.

If we could land some of the names you and Robert identify with a nice blend of experience and youth, we could be in for an exciting season for all the right reasons this time.

It just needs our scouting and recruiting team to get their act together and get some sensible deals over the line. But there I'm afraid lies the rub!

Robert Tressell
12 Posted 28/05/2022 at 10:51:09
Sam @ 3. The Alli situation is a conundrum. Assuming Richarlison leaves, Alli is our most talented player and he'll be difficult to offload due to his wages. But if we do play him then it triggers payments - and none of us know whether he's actually going to perform.

Weird signing we may yet regret, but for it to work out he needs a strong defensive midfield base (like Wanyama and Dembele) and a player with vision playing wide / forward like Eriksen to create space and find him when he makes runs.

By the way, what do you make of Knight and Bird @ Derby? Both likely to be available very cheap.

Sam Hoare
13 Posted 28/05/2022 at 12:15:40
Robert, don’t know much about them but heard good things about Knight. Cashin is a decent player I believe. Dunno if any of them would be expected to contribute to our first team but we will need some cheap squad filling too.
Ajay Gopal
14 Posted 28/05/2022 at 13:24:52
Sam, thank you for your painstaking research – I am sure the EFC recruitment team would do well to consider your inputs. However, I find it strange that you would be willing to let go of Keane and Holgate – the 2 centre-backs who were actually present and helped us during the crucial last few games of the season – but would like to retain Mina, whose absence during large parts of the season contributed to why we found ourselves in the dreadful situation in the 1st place.

Please, no more passengers in the squad. I have already posted my 1st list of fantasy Ins and Outs on another thread. But assuming Lampard fights tooth and nail to retain the Big 3 - Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and Pickford, how could he strengthen the squad? Here goes:

OUTs:
Mina £20 million
Allan+Gomes+Rondon+Townsend £10 million
Gbamin £5 million
Moise Kean £20 million

(Also, if possible, release Dele Alli from contract to free up the wages)

Total £55 million

INs:
Barkley no fee
Gilmour/Garner Loan
Real Madrid Midfielder on Loan (Kroos/ Hazard)
Bassey £20 million
Ward-Prowse £30 million

Total £50 million

I think Carlo Ancelotti owes us one after suddenly scooting from Merseyside at the end of last season. The combined influence of Lampard and Carlo could see us landing Hazard with Everton paying a part of his wages.

The squad:

Pickford, Begovic, ANother
Mykolenko, Nkounkou, Coleman, Kenny, Patterson
Keane, Bassey, Holgate, Godfrey
Doucoure, Davies, Ward-Prowse, Barkley, Garner (or Gilmour)
Richarlison, Hazard, Gray, Gordon, Iwobi
Calvert-Lewin, Simms

Tony Everan
15 Posted 28/05/2022 at 13:43:09
The Athletic are reporting that the Loan Ranger is to be our first summer signing.

“The job includes securing moves and monitoring loanees’ development and welfare throughout the course of their stint away from Goodison Park.”

A common sense appointment.

Steve Shave
16 Posted 28/05/2022 at 13:51:20
Thanks Sam, I have been expecting this article and always enjoy the transfer bants with you, Robert, Tony and a few other football manager fans out there on the forum.

I pondered your article whilst out running this morning in the Dorset countryside and came up with the following hypothetical plan, all in the spirit of freeing up money and sorting out our FFP issues whilst still investing in the squad:

Sell: Keane £12M, Richarlison £60M plus (don't want to but it's inevitable and, if we can't get him to sign a new contract, then alas, now is the time) and if an incredible offer for Pickford came in I think we should consider it whilst Pope would be available for £20M or so.

If we can shift Moise Kean early (as speculated) then of course we should. I can't see us being able to shift Gomes on that money so might as well keep him as a squad player.

Sell Rondon for £3M too. Obviously there are others leaving – Tosun, Delph, Kenny and 32-year-old Icelander (more on him in a minute). Lots of wages there.

Buy: Brereton-Diaz to partner/provide competition for Calvert-Lewin as we might not have Richarlison to cover the No 9 spot – £18M, Brennan Johnson £30M, or Lewis-Potter £25M to replace Richarlison, a big ask of them but young and as you say Sam, hungry. Tarkowski and Grillitsch on frees (I think we should go all out for them both) and Gallagher on an expensive loan.

Outs = £75M plus wages of leaving players on bigger contracts
Ins = £48M plus a loan fee for Gallagher

This would have me pick a team for next season of:

Pickford
Patterson Tarkowski Godfrey Mykolenko
Grillitsch
Gallagher Dele Alli
Gordon Calvert-Lewin Johnson

Subs: Brereton-Diaz, Holgate, Coleman, Gray, Branthwaite, Warrington, Simms and Iwobi

Finally a word on he who shall not be named. I am keen to see what happens here. No way would I ever want him back and I have probably been one of his biggest critics on here, I think he offers little and is often off the pace.

I feel my criticism has been unfair at times and I am actually still projecting frustration with Koeman and Walsh for signing him unnecessarily during that ridiculous splurge. Not really the Icelander's fault. Basically my thoughts are this: if he is cleared, then surely we can sue someone for loss of a transfer fee and wages paid? If he is guilty, then surely we can sue him?

Fran Mitchell
17 Posted 28/05/2022 at 14:10:01
Lots of talk of massive clearout and such, however I expect the changes to be less than expected.

A few players leaving on a free, then maybe (hopefully) a couple of players to sold for nominal fees.

I expect from the first team squad to see Gomes, Allan, Delph, Rondon and maybe Townsend to move on. Then maybe one of Richarlison or Pickford.

I expect a a new centre half, maybe 2 midfielders, and one wide forward. 6 out and 4 in. Maybe a loan or two for squad depth.

Branthwaite to be loaned out, as well as youngsters like Price, Dobbin, Onyango, Warrington.

Hopefully we do target young players, and we target a 12-8th place finish.

In the long run, we need to target the Europa conference league and te Europa League. These are the tournaments where we have a realistic chance as club to win silverware.

Let's forget about the top-4 and Champion's League. Our rivals are West Ham, Wolves, Villa and co...

Jamie Crowley
18 Posted 28/05/2022 at 14:18:28
Great list. Why?

They're mostly all young with potential sell-on value.

No to Eriksen and Tarkowski. Too old.

I'm beginning to think it's possible we can keep all of Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, and Pickford with the outgoings we have. If so, we can only buy young. I'd be very excited for the upcoming season if we actually held on to the three players above, and added some younger prospects in midfield. To do that, I'd think we need to move on Mina and Gomes as well as the 6 players too to be off the books (5 with signing Begovic? Not sure but the rest need to go).

Ian Bennett
19 Posted 28/05/2022 at 14:31:36
Out (17, and that excludes our in-demand players )

Virginia
Lonergan
Kenny
Keane
Holgate
Delph
Sigurdsson
Gomes
Gbamin
Townsend
Allan
Alli
De Beek
El Ghazi
Kean
Rondon
Tosun

Sam Hoare
20 Posted 28/05/2022 at 14:55:17
Ajay@14, obviously the fitness of Mina is key but when fit he is our best centre-back. Last season was bad but the season before he managed 24 appearances and the season before that 29. If someone were willing to offer us £20M for him then fair enough but I'm not sure. May depend on the doctor's report but if fit I'd play him every day over Keane and Holgate.

Steve @16, Brereton-Diaz is an interesting one who I certainly considered when it looked like he may be a free transfer. Now that he's just signed a new contract I'm not sure whether he'd be decent value but definitely would be a useful option. I'm not sure I'd have Alli over Iwobi in my starting XI from what I've seen so far but maybe he'll show what he's capable of in pre-season.

Jamie @18, much may depend on whether Juve give us the £28M so that they can sell on Kean. And if we can sell Allan for £15M to Lazio. Those two moves would give us a little wiggle room at least.

Michael Kenrick
21 Posted 28/05/2022 at 15:02:00
Wow, Ian, that's some list... but hard to argue with many of them.

I'd like to think Frank sees unfinished business with Dele Alli.

Are Keane and Holgate really that bad?

I guess if Kenny was staying, he'd have been offered something by now, but still no word?

Gbamin comes back a new man – "Just like a new signing..."

Nah, it's hard to really make any convincing counter-claims.

Gary Jones
22 Posted 28/05/2022 at 15:17:27
Never going to happen, but…….

Outs (as well as out of contracts)
- Holgate (£10m)
- Mina (£15m)
- Allan (£10m)
- Davies (£5m)
- Gbamin (£10m)
- Broadhead (£3m)
- Gomes (£0m)
- Richie (£60m)
- Virginia (£4m)
- Dele (assume 0)

Free Transfers
- Grillitsch

Loan
- Broja
- Adama Traore

Buy
- C. Doucoure (£20m)
- B. Johnson (£25m)
- Sangare (£25m)
- Colwill (£15m)
- Lewis-Potter (£15m)
- Calvin Ramsey (£5m)

Net spend (excluding loan fees) - £12m in black.

Starting 11

GK - Pickford / Begovic
RB - Patterson / Ramsey
LCB - Colwill / Branthwaite
RCB - Keane / Godfrey
LB - Mykolenko / Nkounkou
DCM - Sangare / O.Doucoure
DCM - C. Doucoure / Grillitsch
LAM - Lewis-Potter / Gray
CAM - Johnson / Iwobi
RAM - Gordon / Traore
CF - DCL / Broja / Simms

Ian Bennett
23 Posted 28/05/2022 at 15:22:10
The only positive on Keane and Holgate, is they stay fit for me. I'd get rid and hope to find one decent centre back with the money.

Neither are kids anymore, and both have failed to prove that they're mentally tough enough to be at our club. You've got to say enough is enough and get rid.

Dele Alli did change the game against a Palace team that couldn't be arsed. For me, he's done, and I would move him on abroad.

I can't say I know a lot of Sam's list, but I'd take Eriksen on a free, Tarkowski on a free, Gallagher on loan. Those to me are smart pieces of business, and would push us up the league for sure.

Dale Rose
24 Posted 28/05/2022 at 15:52:51
Very interesting article. My initial thought is that much of the recruitment will depend on Lampard. I favour this as a plus, as he is well respected as a former top player and new manager.

I would think this will certainly bode well for some of the younger players listed in the article to put their faith in Lampard.

Jay Harris
25 Posted 28/05/2022 at 15:56:22
Sam,

An excellent expose of the market and thought-provoking debate. Of course we can all play Fifa Manager but, in the end, a lot will depend on availability, willingness to come, and synergy with the way the rest of the squad is set up.

I am not a big fan of 3-4-3 but with the development of false nines and rapid forwards I can understand the use of 3 mobile centre-backs. I also think Branthwaite has huge potential but was disappointing in his last couple of games.

Here are my thoughts extracted from another post:-

The urgent need is for a mobile centre-back who can lead and communicate with his teammates and particularly the goalkeeper. Secondly, two midfield players who can contribute goals, defend and pass.

My biggest disappointment this season has been the speed and accuracy of our passing which has had to be amongst the worst in Everton history.

We need to identify the targets for those positions which leads me to my next observation that our scouting system has been extremely poor and has been subjected to the Bill Kenwright, Farhad Moshiri and Kia Joorachim treatment.

I would hope Kevin Thelwell and Frank Lampard have sufficient knowledge and contacts to make good decisions if they are allowed to, and I pray that this is the case.

Personally speaking, for centre-back, I could tolerate Tarkowski but he wouldn't be amongst my preferred options, such as Ake, Coady, Simakan (Leipzig) and Zouma (swap for Keane).

My preference for midfielder{ Gallagher (on loan), Gravernbech (Ajax), Locatelli (Juventus) swapped for Kean, Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen), Dominik Szoboszlai (RB Leipzig). I was surprised that, with your knowledge of the European market, you didn't include some of these and wondered why.

In addition, I think we should do everything we can to keep Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, Pickford and Gordon – who are all under contract, so we need to stay strong on this issue. Secondary keeps: Iwobi, Mykolenko, Holgate, Gray, Doucouré.

Dusty bin = Tosun, Rondon, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Mina, Alli, Keane, Kean, Gbamin, Lonergan, Virginia,

Kevin Prytherch
26 Posted 28/05/2022 at 17:56:31
A lot will depend on outgoings for most positions, we have 5 senior centre backs (if you include Branthwaite) so I can't see much incoming unless some depart. Although many advocate the need for a centre-back, it's no surprise that the defence looked good when Delph was in front of it.

It might not be that the defence is actually that bad, it's the fact that they have zero protection. A fit Mina alongside either Godfrey or Holgate will suffice for now, especially with limited funds to spend elsewhere.

The key area, outgoings or not, is in midfield. We need someone with a bit of nous on how to operate smartly in front of the defence, like Barry used to, or Henderson does, or Rodri does and like Delph could if he was ever fit.

If we get this player in, we have players around them to make up a midfield 3. Without this type of player, the rest of the midfield looks lost and we're too easy to walk through.

Tony Abrahams
27 Posted 28/05/2022 at 18:14:38
It didn’t surprise me Kevin, because now Delph, can’t run, he just sat in front of a very deep back four.
Sam Hoare
28 Posted 28/05/2022 at 18:52:05
Jay@15

Here's why I didn't mention those players:

Gravenberch – Has just signed for Bayern.

Locatelli – an excellent player but he has made 30 appearances for Juve this season and is popular there. Highly unlikely he considers moving to us. (we could/should have maybe gone for Bentacur)

Wirtz – One of the most sought after youngsters in Europe. Will cost £40M plus and won't be coming to us sadly. Outstanding propsect.

Szoboszlai – Another good player. But I didn't include him as we are currently a step down from Leipzig. This one could have something in it though as he's not quite established himself in the team. Would be great for us if he's available.

Robert Tressell
29 Posted 29/05/2022 at 15:59:03
Quite right Sam.

Wirtz and Gravenberch will only play for us, sadly, if something goes wrong in their careers. Otherwise it will be Champions League all the way. They have been elite since age 17.

The talent we should be hunting out lies in:

- Champions League reserves (eg Jovic and Roca) who need games

- Prem Reserves / u23s (eg Hudson-Odoi & Garner)

- Championship (eg Lewis-Potter, Berge and Brereton-Diaz)

- Relegated clubs (eg Sarr and McNeil)

- Middling clubs in France, Spain and Italy (eg Niakhite and Damsgaard)

- Top clubs in middling / weak leagues (eg Kokcu, Okumu, Cicaldau and Krejci) but not yet big Champions League clubs

- Top young talent available at low cost (eg Popescu and Swedberg)

There are brilliant players here along with those Sam highlights (and many, many more besides) who need a club like Everton to give them a step up. We've been linked with a few of them too.

A few years shopping in these reliable, good value markets could stabilise our finances and help build a squad fit to grace the best stadium in the city.

Steavey Buckley
30 Posted 29/05/2022 at 21:48:47
Everton's transfer dealings in the post-Moyes era have been largely disappointing except for Roberto Martinez's first season in charge when he brought in 3 gold nuggets in the shape and form of Romelu Lukaku, Gareth Barry and James McCarthy. The other 3 players he also brought from Wigan turned out to be failures.

But without doubt the best Everton buy for many years has to be Lukaku, who scored on average 20 league goals a season, and brought a healthy £50M profit on a £28M outlay.

Next season, Frank Lampard and his backroom staff have to get their transfer dealings spot-on and find the right type of players they can work with and improve. But there is a big question hanging over the future of Dele Alli. Frank Lampard's transfer dealings will have to be successful if Everton are to be in the top half of the Premier League.

Laurie Hartley
31 Posted 30/05/2022 at 13:20:27
Thanks, Sam,

I haven't even heard of most of those players but I like the sound of that Kim Min Jae because we need a beast of a centre-half. There again, Tarkowski also fits that description and he is free.

On top of that, eight teams above Burnley in the table conceded more goals than them. Plus he is horrible, so he gets my tick.

The rest of my transfer strategy:-

1. Hazard in on loan – Gomes and Delph out.
2. If we have to sell one of our “big three”, let it be Calvert-Lewin.
3. Don't buy players from any other Premier League club.


Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
32 Posted 30/05/2022 at 22:12:56
For me the biggest priority is a defensive midfielder.

Notice how, when Delph was fit for a few games at the end of the season, we conceded 2 goals in 5 games. We may have opinions about players in the back 4 not being good enough but our considerations are:

Mina – great, best player when fit
Mykolenko – settled down and going to be good
Branthwaite – Man City already rumoured to be sniffing
Godfrey – so excited 2020-21 but fitness/illness issues last season
Patterson – Scottish international at 20.

Which of those would any replacement replace? And put a fit Delph in front of them and their jobs become easier and they are less exposed to making an error. Put it statistically - if a defence will make a mistake (such as failure to mark a guy coming at the back post 🤭) once every 30 times the ball comes into the box, then if the number of times the ball comes into the box per game is reduced, the number of mistakes per game is also reduced.

There was a complete lack of consistency in the defence (I did the stats in a long article but Lyndon did a far better seasons review) and we had 21 different combinations of a back 4. So the ball came in more often because we lacked the defensive midfield to stop it before it did. When we had that in Delph, then the guys we had were able to keep Man Utd, Chelsea and Leicester (twice) to just 2 goals.

Jamie Sweet
33 Posted 30/05/2022 at 22:36:35
I've seen a few mentions of McNeil and we were strongly linked with him a couple of years ago.

What happened to him this season though? No goals, one assist, having played in every game.

I know Burnley were rubbish, but that is an alarming drop in output having recorded 7 goals, 16 assists in the previous 3 seasons.

Do we still think he's good just because he scored an absolute belter at Goodison?

Brian Murray
34 Posted 30/05/2022 at 22:55:24
Nah, no McNeil. We have enough plodders in midfield.
Tommy Carter
35 Posted 31/05/2022 at 09:52:04
An interesting piece Sam.

I am not one for a huge overhaul. But I would suggest getting people out the door immediately.

Get a few in. Then see where we are in January before bringing in more.

Gomes
Mina
Keane (West Ham reportedly linked)
Kean
Allan
Gray
Gbamin
Davies

(Approx £80M for these)

The above can all attract a transfer fee. Will be on big wages and can therefore leave.

Wages such as:

Delph
Tosun
Kenny
Sigurdsson
Rondon

Get these off the books and we are looking at a much healthier financial position.

Then we have Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and Pickford. Arguably our most saleable assets.

I think we can accept Richarlison is going. And I'd expect somewhere much closer to £75M, Sam.

Calvert-Lewin I think should attract a £60M fee.

As for Pickford. I'd like to see him stay but, if the opportunity arises to sell him for £30M, then I would do the deal.

So potentially we could be looking at £245M in transfer fees. Leaving us with a core squad of:

Mykolenko
Nkounkou
Patterson
Coleman
Branthwaite
Godfrey
Holgate
Townsend
Doucouré
Iwobi
Gordon
Alli
Simms
Dobbin
Onyango

That's 15 players that could be supplemented with about 5/6 new signings of the correct mentality and attributes to help us push on.

I would start with looking for a decent keeper. Not a superstar. Just a decent solid dependable keeper. Predrag Rajkovic of Reims in France would be my choice.

Clearly we need a strong and dominant centre-back. I'd spend reasonably big here and go all out bringing Matthias Ginter to Everton. A vastly experienced German international centre-back. Outstanding player. Good age and would be an achievable transfer for us.

I'd even bring Harry Souttar to the club. Exactly the kind of player we've missed for a long time. Really dominant and a good developing player. He's had a bad injury but I think he will recover from that and otherwise is not injury prone.

Moving into midfield. Again it probably needs to be big money. Sangare is someone we should seriously look at.

Patrick Wimmer from Arminia Bielefeld would be a sensible addition at a good price.

Antonin Barak another achievable and sensible signing.

Forward / Wingers

Noah Okafor and Scott Twine for me are glaringly obvious. It is not difficult. These are players who will no doubt be come top class. They are ready for the Premier League. Bargains to be had. It's not difficult.

As a big signing, I've said it for years on this website: Berardi. Although whereas this was once very achievable for Everton, perhaps it is no more.

I would consider Beto at Udinese as a striking option certainly.

I also believe that Mikkel Damsagaard would be an achievable signing although he has had a difficult 12 months. I believe he will bounce back from this and be an unbelievable player.

We all of a sudden become a squad of really hungry, talented and powerful young players.

Beto for example is a real rough diamond. But his physicality is ideal for the Premier League. There is much room for development but he is arguably unplayable on his day. Bring some consistency to his game and smooth out those rough edges and there is a potential superstar there.

Ginter is just unrivalled class. A real top class leader and player.

Patrick Wimmer will be a star. He glides with the ball. There are not many who have the combination of balance, grace and aggression like this guy. Another future star.

Some basic ideas from me. I don't expect that we will sign any of these players that I have suggested. And that will be a mighty shame. I will watch them all impact and progress at other clubs.

Sam Hoare
36 Posted 31/05/2022 at 16:28:27
Tommy @35, thanks for those. some interesting names. I'm not quite so big on Ginter as you (he's not had his best season) and I don't think we should be spending big on anyone over 24 really but some interesting options.

Not really heard or seen much of Barak or Beto but Twine, Okafor and Wimmer are all interesting options. Damsgaard has always looked a lovely player though his struggles in Serie A might put me off.

Can see us getting a Souttar like option. Heard we are in for Jacob Greaves at Hull who is a slightly more athletic option. Would not be surprised to see us with 3 centre-backs next season.

Jamie Sweet
37 Posted 31/05/2022 at 21:22:44
Interesting that you'd take £30M for Pickford, Tommy.

I believe that is what we paid for him. Surely his value has risen considerably since then, what with becoming England's Number 1 with almost half a century of caps, and the form he hit this season?

Also, given what he did for us in the last few months, he's probably one of the last ones I'd want to cash in on. He was absolutely magnificent.

Sam Hoare
38 Posted 31/05/2022 at 00:02:39
Some interesting stats on Pickford for those who are interested: Link

In other news it sounds like we’re getting close to Tarkowski. Don’t hate it as a bit of business if he’s on £85k per week. A leader, who wins a lot of duels and is available for almost all games. Allows us to spend any transfer money in central midfield which is arguably more pressing.

Mal van Schaick
39 Posted 01/06/2022 at 12:07:16
Please don't go, Almiron. £60M release clause.

Lewandowski on a 1- or2-year deal? Raphina from Leeds? Alessio Romagnoli or Franck Kessié from AC Milan? Khéphren Thuram from Nice?

Can we please get some players in early instead of the usual last-minute charades that we have had to put up with?

Brian Murray
40 Posted 01/06/2022 at 12:26:53
Mal, you have suggested the tabloid usual suspects and as well being out our price range we now ( hopefully) are acting and thinking out the box at the third time of asking with a savvy dof who is decisive and has contacts far and wide. Well that’s my theory anyway.
Jerome Shields
41 Posted 01/06/2022 at 23:38:02
Sam, I don't agree with your opinion on Mina. I do think with need an attacker which is a tall order. I would like Eriksen, but that ain't going to happen. Connor Gallagher would be a dream come true. But I suspect Frank has someone in mind more obtainable with potential.
Paul Birmingham
42 Posted 02/06/2022 at 00:39:28
TBF, until we all know the clubs statute pocket money, or loads of money, it’s gonna be very interesting this summer.

The bonus ball is any player considering EFC, knows he has the most partisan, die hard supporters in the EPL, to support him...

At least for a while.. lol.

Frank and his Team, will deliver this summer.

UTFT!

Cathal Donnellan
43 Posted 02/06/2022 at 17:02:31
Mina and Richie both on their last year of contract. We have to be looking at selling both, or re-sign them. I could see Mina running down his contract but Richie is a goner. He wants to go and deserves to be playing CL. A bidding war for him would be be the best outcome for him.

My real concern will be if DCL wants to go to. Having to replace both him and Richie is a tall order.


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