With the Europa League to add to next seasons’ schedule, the current Everton squad needs some major strengthening in the summer transfer window.

Taking a quick look at last Fridays’ game against Watford and (I think) we learned a couple of lessons playing against a big, physical side.

Firstly and despite a good effort, Tom Davies is not a natural right back and probably shouldn’t have had that question of marking the likes of Okaka asked of him just yet.

Mason Holgate, for all his sterling work in recent weeks, would probably admit to centre back being his preferred option.

Until Seamus is fully fit and ready to return, Mason is probably nailed on to continue at right back and Tom will naturally revert to his preferred midfield role.

So let’s make the shopping list…

We need a top notch, definite number one starting goalie.

Maarten Stekelenburg came in as a stop-gap, will surely move on in the summer and good luck to him.

Joel Robles, for all the clean sheets he’s kept, is not the inspiring, rock solid goalie we need.

He’s improved this season, of that there can be little argument, but is he the goalie we’re going to hand the starting role to – I think not.

With names like Pickford (who gets the nod of approval from Neville Southall), Forster and even Butland being bandied around, the tall Spaniard will probably revert to the role of back-up.

The middle of the defence is the area that needs the most urgent attention.

With names like Michael Keane and Virgil van Dijk being mentioned, and a heavier game schedule, it’s not unreasonable to assume that Ronald Koeman is looking hard at overhauling the centre of the defence – the area of the field that he dominated during his own playing career.

Phil Jagielka has endured being dropped this season and returned to perform well, but is beginning to show his age.

Ashley Williams has defended well and generally looks solid at the back, but his forward mobility is limited and his ball distribution varies between average at best and woeful, and age is not on his side either.

If the shopping goes well, neither Williams nor Jagielka will expect to be guaranteed starters next season.

Ramiro Funes Mori is still recovering from injury and has age on his side. He could be retained for squad depth, but is unlikely to be a regular starter.

Many feel he may be one of those to leave in the summer along with Niasse, Cleverley, Kone and probably Deulofeu.

Leighton Baines isn’t getting any younger and as a result isn’t getting forward as much and certainly nothing like as effectively as in years gone by. We need to have a suitable replacement/back-up sooner rather than later.

Midfield is the area that needs the least attention with Schneiderlin, Davies, Gana Gueye to shoulder the load.

Depth will be provided by Besic (please stay fit), McCarthy (if he’s still here) and possibly Gareth Barry to be retained as a wise old head for specific opposition and game scenarios.

Whether Ross Barkley stays or leaves, we need an offensive midfielder and one who will consistently take games by the scruff of the neck and run them, boss them, own them!

Up front, we need another striker to play with and put pressure on Romelu Lukaku… and if he leaves, two.

Calvert-Lewin and Lookman are still on the learning curve and not ready to start regularly.

Enner Valencia has worked hard when selected this season, but surely will return to West Ham ?

Kevin Mirallas has experience on his side and if he can improve his consistency and add a few more goals, he’ll be vital for the cup and Europa campaigns.

We have Yannick Bolasie to return and hopefully, he won’t have lost his pace as that’s the element we need much, much more of in all areas of the field.

We have a number of players ready and desperate to step up from the U23 squad, but they cannot be overused and over relied on.

They need to find their feet and grow into the added pressure, physicality and pace of the top flight.

So a top goalie, two quality centre backs, a left back, a game-changing midfielder and two goal-scoring forwards are the minimum requirements and by any stretch of the imagination, that’s a serious summer shopping list… next season starts now !!

Correctly identifying and securing six or seven major statement signings is what will be needed for two reasons.

Firstly to accommodate participation in four competitions and secondly, to send the message to Lukaku that the club is genuine about challenging for a top four finish and the ‘promised land’ of the Champions League.

Lukaku has stated till he’s blue in the face that he wants to play Champions League.

Make those six or seven statement signings, and throw down the gauntlet of challenge to him to stay and achieve his and our Champions League dream with Everton.

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Brisan123
Member
obc THIS. I recall a lot of whinging a year ago about us not spending, not closing deals… but back to back 11th place finishes might not appeal to the caliber of players we'll want if our goal is 4th or higher. Finishing 7, last team with a positive goal differential, defending the hell out of Goodison all might entice people who last year wouldn't come. Or might not. If you look at targets, allegiance aside, would you leave a team in another league that has a legit shot at Champs League for a team that it's an uphill battle?… Read more »
obc
Member
ijjysmith As much cash as we allegedly have, it's the persuading players that they actually want to play for Everton that's the issue I fear. But we shall see. THIS. I recall a lot of whinging a year ago about us not spending, not closing deals… but back to back 11th place finishes might not appeal to the caliber of players we'll want if our goal is 4th or higher. Finishing 7, last team with a positive goal differential, defending the hell out of Goodison all might entice people who last year wouldn't come. Or might not. If you look… Read more »
Brisan123
Member
tim cahill

I think 3 will be signed for the first 11 if Barkley and Rom stay. An extra 2 if they both leave. That's the bare minimum IMO.

GK 2new CB CAM 1wide man I CF needed
5 new starters and at least 1 squad player
6/8 deadwood have to go

tim cahill
Member
bluestevon

I'm not expecting that mate, will be a new starting keeper, new cb, and two new attacking players though.

Possibility of one more if we go heavy and get the cb's we want. Rest will be squad players who hopefully are good enough to push the rest.

So 4/5 New starters wouldn't shock me.

I think 3 will be signed for the first 11 if Barkley and Rom stay. An extra 2 if they both leave. That's the bare minimum IMO.

bluestevon
Member
BlueToff

Different eras though mate.

I'm not using FFP as an excuse either – it can be done – but just don't expect 7/8 new players to come in and be straight into the starting XI.

I'm not expecting that mate, will be a new starting keeper, new cb, and two new attacking players though.

Possibility of one more if we go heavy and get the cb's we want. Rest will be squad players who hopefully are good enough to push the rest.

So 4/5 New starters wouldn't shock me.

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