This season was supposed to be the one where Everton put themselves back amongst the big boys. Instead, it’s turned into more of the same mediocrity. Carlo Ancelotti is still the man for the longer term though.
Here we look at his Everton transfer targets for what he himself has described as a summer of “change” with a desire to “play more attacking football” high on the agenda.
So, who should the Everton transfer targets be?
A commanding and ball playing centre back
One of the major criticisms Ancelotti has alluded to recently is the fact his team doesn’t have the ability and calmness to effectively build attacks from the back. A defender who is at ease on the ball will be critical to changing this whilst adding steel to the back line is never a bad thing. It is, however, not a combination that is easily – or cheaply – found.
The big name mentioned is Kalidou Koulibaly. The 29-year-old is valued at £45m but would be a huge statement of the Toffees’ intent given he’s been one of the best defensive players in Serie A for a few years now. His ability to play out from the back is supported by an overall passing accuracy of 88.7%. That jumps up to 93.4% when focussed on the shorter passes.
Defensively, he wins just over half of his headers but comes into his own in other regards with a 73.5% tackle win rate whilst averaging 1.2 interceptions, 1.0 blocks and 2.5 clearances per 90 minutes.
Another body in central midfield
The engine room of Everton’s midfield got a bit of an overhaul last summer with James Rodriguez the sparkling signing to complement Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure, who joined from Napoli and Watford respectively. Now though, it seems another midfield player is on the wish list with Andre Gomes hardly pulling up any trees.
Sander Berge is believed to be available from recently relegated Sheffield United; albeit the rumoured £35m is still a big price tag! He’s definitely good enough for the top tier with his ability to recover possession, which he’s done 4.3 times per game this season.
He’s very much a ‘safe’ ball player though who looks left and right rather than someone who might look to break the lines. A more ‘out there’ option could be someone like Aaron Ramsey.
The former Arsenal man is expected to leave Juventus this window having featured just over 1,000 minutes this season. He’d give Everton a bit more craft in the middle of the park and has an eye for goal.
Someone who knows where the goal is
Dominic Calvert Lewin has had a great season, but he’s not had much help in the goal scoring department; no other player has scored more than six league goals.
That’s an area that simply has to be addressed before next season kicks off. Of course, it will be hard work for Ancelotti to find a Premier League proven scorer particularly because an out and out striker probably isn’t what he wants because of DCL.
That means Everton’s transfer targets will either be coming from lower leagues or overseas. One name that now falls in that lower league bracket that will interest Blues fans is Matheus Pereira from recently relegated West Brom.
He had a hand in 16 goals for the Baggies scoring 10 and assisting a further six. The fee West Brom want for the 25-year-old is said to be around £20-25m.
The other possibility is to go all out for someone like Patson Daka, 22. He’s currently with RB Salzburg but has proven to be a machine in Austria. He has a total of 95 goal involvements (68 goals and 27 assists) in 124 games; it means he has a goal involvement every 74 minutes. Plus, his pace could rival a horse among the top TwinSpires Belmont Stakes contenders.
Again, his price isn’t insane with suggestions he’ll be in the same ballpark as Pereira. Regardless of where they turn, it’s likely they’ll face competition.
There you have it, a look at Everton’s transfer targets. Who did we miss? Let us know who do you think is going to be in Ancelotti’s to-buy list.