In this new monthly series, I will be counting down my top 5 Everton players at the time of writing. For these rankings, I will try to be as unbiased as possible, but please keep in mind that these are my personal opinions and analysis.
These rankings will not be purely based on the quality of every player, as we would then see the exact same names at the top every month. Instead, I will be judging Everton’s Top 5 players based on their performance, impact, consistency, and importance to the team. Although this will be a monthly series, the rankings will not be based purely on the month before but will take into account the whole season so far with an added emphasis on recent performances. Many of my opinions will be directly influenced by my “Player Ratings” series of articles, which come out after every match.
I would like to personally thank the lads over at Saints Marching, from whom I got this idea, for letting me run with it myself. You can find them @SaintsMarching on Twitter.
For this first edition of Everton Power Rankings, I will compose my Top 5 based on what we’ve seen from every game of the 2020/21 season so far, and I will post the first monthly update at the end of January and at the end of each month after that. Without further ado, here are my Autumn 2020 Power Rankings.
5. Ben Godfrey
As you can see already, I am putting more value into December’s performances for this initial list. Prior to Lucas Digne’s injury, new recruit Ben Godfrey wouldn’t be getting anywhere near this Top 5, but I feel obligated to include him after his impressive recent run playing out of position at left-back. He was my MOTM against both Chelsea and Arsenal, and he also put out very solid displays against Burnley and Leicester, all while playing in a new position for a team he joined a little less than 3 months ago. Going further back, he did a very admirable job at right-back off the bench in the Merseyside Derby, and for those reasons, I have to put him at #5 in our inaugural power rankings.
4. James Rodriguez
If these rankings were solely based on the quality of each player, James would find himself in the top spot every single month, as he possesses a level of talent not seen at Everton for some time. The former World Cup Golden Boot winner, Puskas winner, and two-time Champions League winner made an instant impact on Carlo Ancelotti’s side, creating 5 chances on his debut at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, scoring on his Goodison Debut, and pitching in with 2 goals and an assist in the win over Brighton in October. He has a total of 3 goals and 3 assists so far in an Everton shirt, but he has had the second assist on 6 more. Now you may be asking why he has fallen down to the 4th spot, and that is simply because he has missed a significant amount of games through injury and the team has been winning without him. That being said, I’m very excited to have him back and I hope he can get back on the scoresheet very soon. We’re going to need him.
Prior to his injury, summer recruit Allan had played all but two Premier League minutes for Everton and for good reason. He is the only real defensive midfielder in the squad and is exactly what Everton lacked last season after Jean-Phillipe Gbamin was sidelined. Allan has been one of the first names on Carlo Ancelotti’s teamsheet every single week that he’s been available and has become a crucial piece of an Everton midfield that is unbelievably superior to last year’s. Since his hamstring injury at the King Power Stadium, Abdoulay Doucoure has been tasked with filling in for Allan, and although he’s done an admirable job, the Brazilian clearly occupies a role that no one else in the squad can to the same degree of effectiveness. I think all Evertonians were glad to hear that he should return to the pitch in mid to late January, a date well earlier than what many originally feared.
2. Michael Keane
I’m probably going to get some stick for this, but I think Michael Keane has easily been one of Everton’s most consistent players thus far this season. He has certainly been Everton’s best defender and has been a huge part of Everton’s recent defensive renaissance which has seen the Toffees concede just 1 goal in his last 4 league games, which came from a penalty given away due to a clumsy individual error by Tom Davies. Up until he was tactically substituted in the 65th minute at Bramall Lane on Boxing Day, Michael Keane had played every single minute of Premier League football for Everton, and that has apparently caught up with him as he missed the defeat to West Ham due to fatigue. Although Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s transformation under Carlo Ancelotti has stolen all the headlines, I’d be remiss not to say that Michael Keane is the second most improved Everton player since the Italian took the reigns just over one year ago.
1. Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Bet you didn’t see this coming. Before I gush about DCL’s incredible start to the season, I’ll address the fact that he hasn’t scored in his last 6 games in all competitions, which is mostly down to a complete lack of service since Lucas Digne and James Rodriguez succumbed to injury. He did, however, win the game-winning penalty against Chelsea and played a significant role in the Holding own-goal against Arsenal and Mason Holgate’s goal at Leicester. With that out of the way, the fact that the English international hasn’t scored in 5 Premier League matches and is still tied for third in the Golden Boot race tells you exactly what you need to know. The September Premier League Player of the Month has already scored 11 league goals through 16 games after scoring 13 in 36 last season and was the leading scorer in the league up until the past few weeks. He also scored his first Premier League hat trick against West Brom as well as his first Carabao Cup hat trick just 11 days later against West Ham. At the time of the Burnley game, DCL had scored 11 of Everton’s 20 league goals, and despite his recent absence from the scoresheet, he has to go down as the best Everton player of the season so far.
Please let me know your thoughts on this series and any ideas you have for it going forward! You can find me on Twitter @ParrettGost. I will see you all for a special FA Cup edition of Behind Enemy Lines ahead of our meeting with Rotherham United on the 9th. Until then, thank you all for reading, and as always, Up the Toffees!