Everton are always that club that just seem to be mid-table every season. You know they’re not getting Champions League, but at the same time there’s no chance of them being relegated, they just seem to drift around the mid-table. They finished 8th last season, behind Wolves and only just ahead of Leicester and West Ham, who all will be wanting to try and break into the Top 6 this season, as well as Everton.
Everton showed glimpses of quality last season, beating Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United with ease, but then follow these impressive results with a loss to an already-relegated Fulham side. They need to try and improve their consistency, which can be done by improving in the summer transfer window. They added to their squad depth with the arrival of Fabian Delph, bringing experience and leadership to the side, and also permanently signing Andre Gomes, who spent the year on loan last season.
However, despite possibly adding to their attack, their defence has took a huge hit with the departure of Idrissa Gueye, who in my opinion was one of the best defensive midfielders in the league, possibly in the world, trust me he is that good. A loss like him could damage Everton, and they need to replace him with someone who is as good as him, and suits Marco Silva’s system. He was one of the reasons as to why their defence was formidable last season, and contributed to them keeping the third most amount of clean sheets last season. Failing to replace him can affect certain players, such as Lucas Digne, but I’m sure they will replace him with a suitable player.
The best way of seeing how Everton will cope without Gueye is to see how they’ve fared in pre-season. Defensively they’ve actually been solid, keeping a clean sheet in most of their games except for losses to Mainz (3-1) and Sevilla (1-0). In attack, however, is a whole different story, creating very little chances and ultimately failing to score in most of their games. It’s clear to see that they miss Richarlison, who was on an extended break due to his success in the Copa America, but they shouldn’t be struggling as much as they have been, and is largely the reason why Marco Silva is looking at signing a striker.
Overall, pre season has been largely disappointing for Everton, however the main purpose of it is to get the players back to full fitness, and I suppose that that has worked, other than Richarlison.
Star Man – Richarlison (£8.0m)
Speaking of the Brazilian, When he arrived last season, questions were raised over the transfer fee, and how high it was for someone who hadn’t scored or assisted for 6 months. However, since Paul Merson said that Richarlison single handedly “Ruined the transfer window”, he became their top scorer with 13 goals and showed Everton fans why they paid the big bucks for him. To put it simply, he’s a quality little player and Everton have a real gem on their hands. He usually plays on the wing, his best position, however he did sometimes appear up front, although this was early in the season and was, in my opinion, not a wise decision. Richarlison is a brilliant technical player and has to be playing in the wing in order to get the best out of him! In addition to his season at Everton last season, he was rewarded with a few international caps for Brazil, and his penalty in the final sealed the deal and meant that Brazil were the Copa America winners this year, ending his season with a bang!
As mentioned previously, he scored 13 times and assisted only 3 times last season in FPL, scoring 153 points last season, which was one of the highest amongst the midfielders. People forget too that he is still only relatively young, a 22 year old in only his second Premier League season, providing 16 goal contributions, is fairly impressive. Obviously it isn’t on the same level as Salah, Mane, Sterling etc, but for a club like Everton, I’d say that his record last season was good, and is surely only going to improve next season.
That said, I will say the assists tally has to improve this season, and may do if Everton sign a striker, but this is one aspect of his game that he has to improve. I think this season will be better than the last, he’s used to the system that Marco Silva has implemented, and with the side strengthening in their attack, it surely means that Richarlison is going to be the star man at Everton for this season.
Hidden Gem – Bernard (£6.5m)
There was a lot of excitement when Bernard signed for free last season for Everton, and with good reason! He was a key player for Shaktar Donetsk in the Champions League and had played with a variety of tremendous players, Ronaldinho for example. His height was an issue, but his technical ability is that good that his height shouldn’t be that much of a problem. Largely speaking, he was a good player for Everton, but I thought he had a lot more to offer. The Premier League is so much different than Ukrainian football, obviously and it takes time to settle in to the league due to how competitive the league is. His first game saw him assist Sigurdsson, but it was obvious his height/weight would be a problem – a 5’5 (1.64m) player will get trampled on in the Premier League.
This season though, I think he’ll do really well. He’s settled into the league and is aware of how different it is to the leagues he was used to in the past. He’s a creative player that Everton lack sometimes, and I’d like to see him playing in the middle more often than he did last season. He scored once and assisted 4 times last season, which doesn’t sound impressive but he was unlucky not to get more than what he did.
Gamble Pick – Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£6.0m)
No one wants this lad to turn out to be a quality striker more than I do. I’ve been a fan of his for a year or two, sticking by him when most Everton fans started to lose patience with him. He has all the attributes to be a top striker, but I’ve never seen a forward do everything right, except for finishing, which of course is a problem. He showed glimpses last season of being brilliant, especially in the air and this season may be the time for him to kick on and start bagging a few more goals than he did last season.
As of writing, no deal has been completed for Moise Kean. But if he signed, I’d imagine that they’d alternate, or perhaps even play together. It’s unsure how they would work together, whether one would start one week, the other the next week. This is why Calvert-Lewin is a gamble, he’s a really cheap player in FPL, and could be a massive differential if he does start kicking on, but I’d be a bit wary of picking him especially as Everton seem to have highlighted a striker as their main priority in the summer window.
Hard to say at this point with the departure of Idrissa Gueye, but they should stick with the same 4-2-3-1 that Marco Silva loved last season. So, I’d assume (at this moment), that in gameweek 1, they should lineup like this:
Coleman – Keane – Mina – Digne
Delph – Gomes
Walcott – Sigurdsson – Bernard
Note – Richarlison returned to training a lot earlier than expected, but I still think he may be rested for gameweek 1, hence why Walcott is there. Delph will start because as of yet, no defensive midfielder has replaced Gueye, but rumours are that they are looking to sign one this week. And Calvert-Lewin obviously due to the rumours of Moise Kean signing.
Written by Bonus FPL (@BonusFPL)