There are some clear gaps in this Everton squad. Carlo Ancelotti has made a big impression but the Italian has had enough time to learn that first-hand but we can expect things to change once the Italian has got a full transfer window to work with. The Toffees have a host of players whose contracts are set to expire and that will open up funds – and even more gaps in the squad. Here are five key positions that Everton need to strengthen and some players who could help them do it.
Maarten Stekelenburg’s contract is set to expire soon and Everton will need a replacement goalkeeper if the Dutchman isn’t staying around. Fortunately, there are plenty of options when it comes to available backup goalkeepers. The most tempting one is to tempt Jonas Lössl into sticking around. The Danish stopper has performed well at Huddersfield this season and could provide competition to Jordan Pickford rather than just acting as a stand-in.
One left-field option would be to make a move for the former Liverpool stopper Pepe Reina. The Spaniard is currently on loan at Aston Villa from AC Milan and has a tremendous level of experience after playing for some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Reina’s and Ancelotti’s time at Napoli didn’t quite overlap but the pair could look to change that if the stopper is keen on a permanent return to England.
Leighton Baines and Cuco Martina are both out of contract soon and Djibril Sidibe’s loan is set to expire at the end of the season. That will leave Everton drastically short in the full-back positions, even if Baines elects to stay as is expected. Nathaniel Clyne could be a good low-cost option at right-back with his contract at city neighbours Liverpool set to expire soon. Although, keeping Sidibe and Baines would solve this issue for another season at least.
This is a problem area for the Toffees. Yerry Mina, Mason Holgate, and Michael Keane have all made attempts to fill in the hole at centre-back for Everton this season but none have seized the opportunity. The Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes is said to be on Everton’s list of transfer targets. The left-sided defender is a realistic option and Ancelotti is said to be a fan.
Manchester United’s Chris Smalling could be a good purchase with his loan to AS Roma set to expire soon. The 30-year-old is said to be a target for a number of clubs in Italy and England. A more outlandish choice maybe someone like Jerome Boateng who has been strongly linked with an exit from Bayern Munich and played under Ancelotti at the Bundesliga side.
Everton are in dire need of some more options, both out wide and in attacking midfield. Thankfully, the possibilities are broad here. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Toffees rekindle interest in one of the players they were said to be keen on signing last summer. Everton Soares and Wilfried Zaha were both said to be high up on Everton’s wish list but both stayed at their respective clubs.
Jose Callejon is another player on that list but a good option could be the Mexican international HirvingLozano. The 24-year-old hasn’t clicked at Napoli and needs another move to showcase his undoubted talent. Goodison Park could be the place for it but he would cost a lot. One good low-cost option would be a move for the AFC Bournemouth man Ryan Fraser who is out of contract soon.
But of course, the big weakness is up front. Dominic Calvert-Lewin has performed extremely well in recent months but the Toffees need a new frontman with the likes of Theo Walcott, Cenk Tosun, Oumar Niasse, and Moise Kean failing to live up to their potential. The Turkish international, in particular, has been disappointing despite an encouraging start in England. There are options aplenty for the Toffees, especially in the free agency market.
Olivier Giroud could be an excellent alternative for the Toffees with the Frenchman’s deal at Stamford Bridge set to expire soon. He’ll want first-team football over the next few years as France prepare to guard their crown at the 2022 World Cup. Les Bleus are the early 6/1 second-favourites behind Brazil on Betway as of 23 March.
Another option to file in the category of dream signings is Dries Mertens. The Belgian forward is out of contract in the summer and Toffees fans will be hoping that his established relationship with Carlo Ancelotti is enough to tempt the 32-year-old into a move to England. If Ancelottiproves to be the attraction that many Toffees fans hope he will be then it could be a very pleasing transfer window for Everton.