What we learnt from Monday Night’s draw with Manchester City.
Everton were unlucky yesterday not to hold out for the three points during a thrilling encounter at the Etihad which saw Wayne Rooney’s 200th Premier League Goal cancelled out by a Raheem Sterling Volley, which flew past the helpless Jordan Pickford.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin finally started a premier league game as a Striker, which is something that Evertonians have been asking for a while now. It was nothing short of DCL’s best game for Everton and his hold up play and speed was proving a real problem for Manchester City’s all star £200m defence.
We are used to see Calvert-Lewin as a Winger and it was such a relief to see the U20 World Cup Winner playing as a Centre Forward, and more importantly contributing to a excellent away point at the Etihad. Sandro Ramirez is currently out injured and Calvert-Lewin has shown that he can fill the real gap that Everton have in terms of striking options.
Nevertheless I think we can all agree that Ronald Koeman does need to dip back in to the Transfer Market for an out and out Striker. I believe Ademola Lookman would benefit from a year out on loan in the Championship, Nottingham Forrest fans have been raving about the qualities that Kieran Dowell has shown in the early stages of his one year loan spell at The City ground, and Lookman will be able to benefit from a similar loan move.
It is rumoured that Derby County are interested in bringing in the U20 World Cup Winner on a loan deal. With Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Sandro Ramirez and Wayne Rooney all able to play in the Centre Forward role, the imminent arrival of another Striker is going to see Lookman’s game time limited, thus my reasoning behind the 19 year old heading out on loan for the remainder of the 17/18 season.
Everton starting with 5 at the back is something that is becoming increasingly popular when we face the bigger sides in the league, and yesterday was no different with Koeman opting for Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Keane and Baines to try and contain the likes of Aguero and Jesus, and that is exactly what they did. Phil Jagielka and Mason Holgate in particular were superb.
Commenting on how well Jagielka played after the game was not exactly what I was expecting myself to be saying once I saw that he was starting, but he was quality. He kept the defence in sync and more importantly held a really strong line making it difficult for De Bruyne and City’s superstar midfield to break through the resolute Everton back four.
The Everton skipper did not put a foot wrong yesterday and some of the challenges he was making, in particular where Aguero had a clear shot on goal, and he slid in to force the Argentinian Ace to take the ball wide rather then being able to take a clear shot. With Ramiro Funes-Mori currently out for the foreseeable future, Jagielka could well be a regular in the Everton defence this season.
It is also worth pointing out how well Mason Holgate played yesterday. He kept Sane very quiet and it was such a shame the way his defensive header fell perfectly for Sterling to volley past Pickford. Many believe that this is the season where Mason Holgate will show Evertonians exactly what he can do and challenge the currently injured Seamus Coleman for that Right back spot once the Irishman is back and fit to play.
The Everton squad is really starting to take shape, and with the addition of another Striker and possibly a centre back we can really push on this season and try and improve on last seasons 7th placed finish.