Jul 25, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; Everton forward Damarai Gray (11) celebrates with defender Ben Godfrey (22) after scoring a goal against Millonarios during a 2021 Florida Cup championship soccer match at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Given how much has changed at Everton since we were all last back in a full Goodison Park, it’s tough to know quite what to expect from this campaign.

But some of our contributors have had a go anyway.

Have your own opinions? Let us know on Twitter @theblueroomefc.

Adam Sutton

Player of the season: Godfrey

Young player of the season: Godfrey

Top scorer (how many): Calvert-Lewin (15)

Signing of the season: Insert someone here (hopefully someone good) 

Where will we finish?: Ninth

How far will we progress in the cup?: Quarters 

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: Yes

What will be the moment of the season?: The end of it

Alan Feehely

Player of the season: Richarlison. I think he’ll return from the Olympic Games (and the Copa America) recharged, ready to rock and roll. He’s on the verge of becoming the player we know he can be, but he needs to deliver the season he’s been threatening to deliver in order to elevate himself into the elite of the elite, turn himself into a €100m player. Hopefully he can do that at Goodison Park, and hopefully he can do it this year.

Young player of the season: Ben Godfrey. I think he’ll carry on from last season and improve his game even further, benefiting from Rafa Benitez’s tactical nous and becoming a more complete player, a defensive leader. My guess is that by the end of the season he’ll be the undisputed first-choice of our four first-team centre-backs.

Top scorer (how many): Richarlison (25 goals). I’m backing the brasileiro to the hilt.

Signing of the season: The one we’re yet to make.

Where will we finish?: I’m an optimist by nature so I’m going to say sixth, but I’d be highly surprised if that actually happens. The only glimmer of hope I’m holding on to right now is the parallels with the summer of 2004, when Wayne Rooney was sold and never replaced. 

There are similarities; a light squad, a defensive-minded coach, remarkably low expectations. Simply because we expect nothing positive to happen this year I feel like something positive could happen. I hope so, anyway.

How far will we progress in the cup?: Hopefully by January the team will be settled, accustomed to playing under Rafa and firing on all cylinders. I think his style of management is actually conducive to cup football, and one-on-one could outsmart other coaches and take us far. 

I’m going to be wildly optimistic here and say we’ll win the FA Cup, partly because of my reasoning behind backing a sixth-placed finish. Something tells me that it’s when we least expect it that good things will come.

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: If my crystal ball is correct, then most definitely!

What will be the moment of the season?: Seamus Coleman lifting the FA Cup his Everton career deserves. He was so sheepish lifting the Florida Cup, as if it would have been sacrilege to celebrate such a competition. Watching that, at one in the morning on a Monday, I couldn’t help but think to myself how I’d love to see him do it for real.

Ben Crawford 

Player of the season: I am very tempted to state the obvious and say Ben Godfrey but I’m going to go for Richarlison. Last season was very disappointing for him and I believe he will have the bit between his teeth this season as he eyes a big move next summer.

Young player of the season: Is it too easy to say Ben Godfrey will win it again? He would be my prediction but as an outsider I would have a punt at Jarrad Branthwaite where he to get enough game time.

Top scorer (how many): Calvert-Lewin (15)

Signing of the season: I hope at this stage it is Demarai Gray. If it isn’t and in fact Andros Townsend or even Asmir Begovic win the award then something has gone very wrong with our season.

Where will we finish?: 11th

How far will we progress in the cup?: Fourth round in both the League and FA Cup’s. I think we will draw a big team like City or Chelsea early on in the League Cup and I Think by the time the FA Cup comes around in January that Rafa will have more to worry about than a cup run.

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: I hope he will be as this would suggest he has been successful, but with the squad how it is now and assuming we are not about to allow an influx of new signing’s then I fear he wont last the season. I don’t however think it will completely his fault as his hands seem to be tied by spending restrictions.

Dave Downie

Player of the season: Doucoure. I don’t think we saw the best of him last season and he was played in different positions. Hope to see him on the front foot and driving us forward this term. 

Young player of the season: Godfrey. Easy. Nobody comes close and I think he’ll win the Ballon  d’or.

Top scorer (how many): Richarlison (18) – I think his Olympic success is the next rung on the ladder in his progression. Targeting between the posts as opposed to doing his work outside the box is next for me. 

Signing of the season: Gray. I think he’s got a point to prove, he’s quick and he direct – we don’t have enough of that. Although I wish we had more to choose from. 

Where will we finish?: 14th – it’s going to be a slog, it’s going to be dull and probably not pretty on the eye. Hard to see much better really at the moment. 

How far will we progress in the cup?: Third round exit in EFL Cup, fifth round exit FA Cup.

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: Yes, I think Moshiri and the board have accepted the malaise they’ve found themselves in and it’s going to be about consolidation for a while. 

What will be the moment of the season?: Capacity crowd at Goodison…and it collectively booing. I’m joining, it’ll be lovely to get back regardless of the results. I’m probably lying.

Laura Gates 

Player of the season: Calvert-Lewin

Young player of the season: Gordon 

Top scorer (how many): Calvert-Lewin (13)

Signing of the season: Gray 

Where will we finish?: 12th 

How far will we progress in the cup?: Quarters 

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: No 

What will be the moment of the season?: Beating Liverpool at Goodison with Benítez in charge!

Les Roberts

Player of the season: Townsend

Young player of the season: Richarlison

Top scorer (how many): Richarlison (15)

Signing of the season: Townsend

Where will we finish?: Eighth

How far will we progress in the cup?: League Cup win. FA Cup quarters.

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: YES

What will be the moment of the season?: Winning the League Cup

Lyndon Lloyd

Player of the season: Calvert-Lewin 

Young player of the season: Ben Godfrey (last season he qualifies, correct?)

Top scorer (how many): Calvert-Lewin (17)

Signing of the season: Gray

Where will we finish?: Ninth

How far will we progress in the cup?: FA Cup 5th Round; Carabao Cup semi-finals

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: Yes

What will be the moment of the season?: Victory in the Goodison derby

Keith Tomlin

Player of the season: Pickford

Young player of the season: Godfrey

Top scorer (how many): Calvert-Lewin (14)

Signing of the season: Gray

Where will we finish?: 10th

How far will we progress in the cup?: Quarters of both

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: Probably, because he’s Moshiri’s pick

What will be the moment of the season?: Beating the reds at Goodison

Mark Mosey

Player of the season: Backing Doucoure to continue to grow into the midfielder that we quite frankly need him to be 

Young player of the season: Anthony Gordon should benefit from a renewed focus on wing play and getting the ball out wide at all opportunities. 

Top scorer (how many): DCL, 18 across all competitions 

Signing of the season: Demarai Gray stands out in the early days of his Everton career 

Where will we finish?: Eighth

How far will we progress in the cup?: Semi final in the Coca-Cola Carabao pot, fourth round in the FA cup

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: Yeah he’ll get the season at least. Even if it’s not going well, there’ll be an intent from the board to stop the managerial turnover mid-season

What will be the moment of the season?: The first beat of Z Cars at the first home game

Matt Jones

Player of the season: Pickford. Feels like a season where a lot of shots will need to be saved and when he’s busy he’s brilliant. He had a great summer with England and it finally seems to have clicked with him.

Young player of the season: Godfrey. All the other prospects in the squad will go out on loan or won’t play. I think he’ll kick on again, although think he still needs to be a little more alert when playing in a centre-back duo.

Top scorer (how many): Calvert-Lewin (20)

Signing of the season: Gray.

Where will we finish?: 10th. We’ve got the 10th best squad in the league and a manager who tends to get decent performance levels from decent players.

How far will we progress in the cup?: FA Cup quarters; Carabao Cup quarters.

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: I don’t think so. Feels like this season could get toxic quickly and – fairly or not – the manager is going to face a lot of flak as a result. 

What will be the moment of the season?: The first big goal – late equaliser or winner – at the Gwladys Street. Getting that rush back will be fantastic.

Mat Flusk

Player of the season: Richarlison – if he’s still here in May. He knows this is the season he needs to announce himself to get that big move.

Young player of the season: Godfrey – doesn’t seem to be many other candidates does there?

Top scorer (how many): Calvert-Lewin (22) – he’ll be on penalty duties this season so his tally will be nudged up a bit. 

Signing of the season: Christ…whichever panic buy we bring in on deadline day? 

Where will we finish?: Sixth – wild shout I know but I’d rather be wrong about that than right about 10th!

How far will we progress in the cup?: We’ll probably go and win the League Cup won’t we, with that slob in charge. 

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: Despite what I said above I can’t see it going any way other than crashing and burning in acrimony by 1st November. 

What will be the moment of the season?: Redacted

Mick Greenall

Player of the Season: I always find it too ordinary to go for your top scorer for Player of the Season – unless you have a season like last year when everything else crumbles without the man who is practically everything to the team, even without his goals. 

That said, I think (I hope) Everton will be a tad more dynamic in 2021/22, subsequently leading to a few more contenders. With Calvert-Lewin out of the question, I’m expecting a big season from Abdoulaye Doucoure – hopefully we get to see him in a role that is enhanced from his cover-James-Rodriguez-position under Carlo Ancelotti. Or Lucas Digne, Benitez’s words and actions so far seem to be stressing the importance of width and crossing, it would make sense for the left-back to have a solid year.

Young Player of the Season: I don’t think there’s *that* many candidates for this one, mainly because I have no idea what the cut-off for ‘young player’ is, so I’m going boring and picking Godfrey to defend last season’s title.

Top Scorer: Calvert-Lewin, 16 goals. Be great if he could hit 20 in all comps again.

Signing of the Season: Evidently, there’s a lot to choose from here… but I’m going Andros Townsend. 

I hope it’ll be Demarai Gray, he’s definitely demonstrated the most promise so far in pre-season, but unsurprisingly, hasn’t shown the ruthless streak that’s consistently been missing from his game. Consistently inconsistent.  Unlike Townsend, who will be far more dependable and might pop up with a few match-winning goals or assists. Hopefully, there will be more competition for this one come the end of the window

Where will we finish?: Ninth would be my shout, but really, it could be anywhere between 7th and 12th.

How far will we progress in the cups?: Semi-Finals in the Carabao, knocked out by City at the Etihad a few weeks after a humiliating Goodison Park defeat to Blackpool in the FA Cup 3rd Round.

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: Absolutely.

What will be the moment of the season?: Signing a right-back. We could do the double over our Merseyside rivals for the first time since 1984/85, or trounce Arsenal at the Emirates 6-0 on the final day, but nothing will come close to us finally buying a right-back. If we do, anyway.

Mike De Asha

Player of the season: It feels like it’ll be a season that will require a lot of defending. Sigh. So I’ll go with Yerry Mina.

Young player of the season: Weirdly, there doesn’t seem to be much choice here anymore. When did that happen? Quite a few who could do well on loan, if the right decisions are made. But not many seem ready to breakthrough. Nkounkou will have to step up when Digne picks up knocks.

Top scorer (how many): Death by crossing means it’ll almost certainly be Calvert-Lewin. Let’s say 15 goals.

Signing of the season: Spoilt for choice, here, aren’t we? Gbamin counts, right?

Where will we finish?: I don’t think there’s been a season in recent memory we’ve gone into with less optimism. Sometimes those seasons go surprisingly well, but I can’t see that here. I’m saying an eye-scrapingly dull 12th.

How far will we progress in the cup?: Everton should have enough to move through the first couple of rounds of both cups with their squad, as long as the draw is kind. But as soon as they come up against a competent side in the round of 16, they’ll be dispatched at a canter.

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: Yeah, I’d say so. Unless Everton get relegated then Moshiri will probably stick this one out. He’s like a guy in a Vegas casino on a massive losing streak. We can all tell him to stop, but we can’t stop him putting everything he has on red to try and win it all back.

What will be the moment of the season?: Having fans back in Goodison seems like the easy answer here and yeah, it’ll be nice. But the first time the opposition goalkeeper is furiously booed for not returning the Gwladys Street clap will be like chicken soup for the soul.

Paddy Boyland

Player of the season: Ben Godfrey

Young player of the season: Niels Nkounkou – as one of the few under 23 players to qualify. Anthony Gordon, Jarrad Branthwaite and Ellis Simms should make an impression somewhere

Top scorer (how many): Dominic Calvert-Lewin (20 all comps)

Signing of the season: Demarai Gray

Where will we finish?: 10th

How far will we progress in the cup?: Quarter finals or thereabouts x2

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: Yes – 18 months seems to be when the curse sets in

What will be the moment of the season?: Fans back at Goodison for the first game

Paul McParlan

Player of the season: Richarlison . Fired up by Rafa, quality service from Gray and Townsend . Forms productive striking partnership with DCL.

Young player of the season: Ben Godfrey still only 23. Does that count as young ? Excellent first  season and will get better. If he is too old, let’s go for Ellis Simms if he is given a chance.

Top scorer (how many): Calvert-Lewin with 20, as him and Richarlison will thrive on service from wingers and form prolific partnership.

Signing of the season: Gray, fulfils his potential under Rafa and provides the crosses for Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison. 

Where will we finish?: Think we will finish 7th qualify for ECL.

How far will we progress in the cup?: League Cup – semis. FA Cup last 8 , all obviously dependent on not drawing City away in an early round.

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: Rafa will be in charge. Club can’t afford to sack him. Moshiri will give him time.

What will be the moment of the season?: James notching the winner in front of the Kop. At end of match Rafa will celebrate kissing his EFC badge in front of Blues fans, with everyone singing ‘ One Spanish waiter, there’s only one Spanish waiter’. In post match interview Rafa will say that it is always difficult to win ‘ at a small club’. 

“Some may think I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one”

Rob Vera

Player of the season: Richarlison

Young player of the season: Godfrey

Top scorer (how many): Calvert-Lewin

Signing of the season: Mrs. Begovic

Where will we finish?: 12th

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: Yes.

What will be the moment of the season?: Last minute Yerry header in front of the Gwladys to beat a plucky Brentford side which will be followed by a massive overcelebration by a minor American Everton podcasting personality

Warren Doyle

Player of the season: Doucoure

Young player of the season: Godfrey

Top scorer (how many): Dom, 16 in the league, 20 in all comps 

Signing of the season: Gray could be a really nice piece of business 

Where will we finish?: 11th

How far will we progress in the cup?: Quarters in both. League Cup, we’re just destined never to win that 

Will Benitez be in charge in May?: Yes. Solid season and will be given the opportunity next summer to build again

What will be the moment of the season?: Getting back to Goodison for the first time. Also, we always get one big result a season. We’ll turn over City or United at home

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