By Danny Atherton
After an up and down season Everton finished strong to claim 8th place in the Premier League, just missing out on the European places.
With the season over attentions now turn to the summer recruitment and what is going to be a very important transfer window for the Blues.
Goalkeeper Jonas Lossl has already been brought in from Huddersfield on a free transfer but the number one priority for most fans is securing the signature of on loan Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes, but is he vital to the future of Everton?
After starting the season off injured Gomes went onto make 27 appearances for the Blues and very early on it was clear why Barcelona had been willing to take a chance on him. His ability to dribble the ball past players in the middle of the park with ease along with his outstanding range of passing quickly became evident and made him a fan favourite at Goodison Park.
His work ethic was also a very pleasing aspect of his game and something Everton fans demand from all our players. He wasn’t afraid to get stuck in when necessary or make tactical fouls even if he did occasionally cross the line.
However, statistically Gomes didn’t shine this season, he only managed to find the net on one occasion to go along with one assist and according to Whoscored.com he ranked last in key passes made.
Football clearly isn’t just about stats and Gomes offered a lot to Everton but I think it does prove he’s not irreplaceable should he decide to sign elsewhere.
Like many other players his form dipped during the Christmas period and while there are excuses for that (first time he had played in a league without a winter break) it would give you atleast a small worry about his ability to handle the rigours of a full Premier League season.
The two biggest objectives for the Blues right now surely have to be securing a trophy for the first since 1995 and getting back into the European places. To do that they need to start scoring goals on a regular basis and without a recognised centre forward at the moment goals from midfield are essential.
Barcelona are reportedly seeking between 25 and 35 million for Gomes and clubs have already began bidding for the 25-year-old.
In today’s market Gomes would be a steal at that kind of price there is no getting away from that. He has real quality and will be a fine addition to whoever he ends up at. If that doesn’t happen to be Everton aslong as the right player is brought in we won’t find ourselves any worse off.
If Gueye stays and continues to hold down the defensive side of the midfield then a box to box midfielder who can chip in with goals could be what Everton need to get to the next level. There are plenty of midfielders across Europe who can score goals and although they may lack the passing range of Gomes, Everton aren’t short of creative quality with players like Digne, Bernard and Sigurdsson.
When all is said and done I do expect Gomes to sign for Everton but we will need more consistent performances from the Portugese man if we are to achieve our objectives and hopefully he can chip in with a few more goals.