Everton seem to be ending the season on a strong note, as they continue their progress under Ronald Koeman. The Merseyside outfit have played some good football this campaign, attacking midfielder Ross Barkley is performing well, and star striker Romelu Lukaku is likely to finish as the top scorer in the Premier League.
A top-four finish is probably beyond Everton, but the Toffees could snap up the fifth or the sixth spot. Manchester United have Europa League commitments and may rest key players for their upcoming Premier League games, while Arsenal are finding it hard to pick up points at the moment and are struggling under manager Arsene Wenger. With Everton’s odds of finishing in the top six at 4/1, it may still be worth taking advantage of bookmakers’ offers, such as those compiled by comparison sites including latestbettingsites.co.uk, and placing a bet on the Toffees.
Everton, though, need to make signings in the summer transfer window in order to make a push for the Champions League places next season. There are some established players such as Lukaku and talented youngsters like Tom Davies, but the Toffees need experienced footballers with a winning mentality in order to challenge the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool in 2017-18. Below we look at three players Everton should target in the summer.
Michael Keane (Burnley)
Former Manchester United youth prospect Michael Keane is firmly in the sights of Jose Mourinho having announced he is to leave current club Burnley at the end of the season, but Everton could have an outside chance at landing the 24-year-old. The defender has been one of the leading lights this season at Turf Moor, with his performances playing a major role in helping the Lancashire side to stave off relegation and earning him an England call-up under Gareth Southgate. With the Toffees having two centre-backs in their 30s – Phil Jagielka (34) and Ashley Williams (32) – Keane could provide the injection of youth at the back the team are looking for.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Wayne Rooney is struggling for playing time at Manchester United at the moment, and it does seem that his time at Old Trafford is coming to an end. Having been able to make only nine Premier League starts this season, the England international forward could be tempted to Goodison Park. Everton manager Ronald Koeman has already stated his admiration of the 31-year-old, who started his professional club football career at the Toffees. Rooney has a winning mentality, and he still has a few more years left at the highest level.
Jordan Pickford (Sunderland)
Jordan Pickford has been one of the best players for Sunderland this season, and it is hard to see the goalkeeper playing in the Championship. The Black Cats are likely to get relegated from the Premier League, and the 23-year-old could be convinced to leave the Stadium of Light. Neither Joel Robles nor Maarten Stekelenburg has been particularly impressive this season for Everton. Pickford is a very talented and promising young goalkeeper, and he would flourish under Koeman at Goodison Park.