Since the summer of 2016 Everton have been one of the Premier Leagues biggest spenders only bettered by the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City.
The Toffees have splashed big money to bring in the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Richarlison and Lucas Digne with the objective of finally breaking into the top 6 for the first time since the 12/13 season under David Moyes.
However, Everton’s spenditure hasn’t quite gone to plan, with the Merseyside club finishing 7th, 8th and even an uninspiring 12th since there spending began
The appointment of Carlo Ancelotti in December 2019 bought fresh hope to the club and their supporters but there was no hiding the shock of the arrival.
[caption id="attachment_24604" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Everton have made an ambitious move in getting Ancelotti in as Toffees boss and the improvements he has made have been notable. Imaeg Credit: BBC SPORT[/caption]
The Italian, who has won world’s best club coach on two occasions is also one of only three managers to have won the UEFA Champions League 3 times and this showed immediately as he steered the club clear of the relegation zone, which they had slipped into before Ancelotti took charge.
The Toffees finished 12th but it was clear things were to change on Merseyside in the summer.
Having already shown their intent with the appointment of Ancelotti, the board and owners would once more show their intent by backing the manager with sufficient funds in the transfer market, in order to make the necessary changes to the squad and finally move Everton closer to that elusive top 6 position.
Everton’s first coup of the summer was the signing of Napoli midfielder Allan who Ancelotti managed during his time at Napoli. Allan was signed for a few between £21-£22 million.
The Brazilian who described a strong part of his game to be ‘marking and the desire to go in and win absolutely every ball’ and this was shown by his performance against West Brom, winning 13 out of his 17 duels. The 29-year-old is also more than capable with the ball at his feet, seen in both his performances against Tottenham and West Brom. From Everton’s opening Premier League games, their new midfield general seems right at home in an impressive new looking midfield.
Next in the door at Goodison was Abdoulaye Doucoure from Watford, for a fee of £20 million.
The tried and trusted Doucoure, who was arguably Watford’s best player last campaign, is known for his ability to win back possession and turning defence into attack with his athletic capabilities. With Everton selling Morgan Schneiderlin for a mere £2 million to Nice this summer, four years on from his £20 million arrival from Manchester United, it was key that Everton spent wisely on a midfielder or fear facing the same fate with Schneiderlin as well as Davy Klaassen but with Aboulaye Doucoure I’m confident they have avoided previous nightmares
It was rumoured for a while, no one was quite sure if Everton could pull it off, but anything goes in 2020, right? Yep, it really does seem that way as the 2014 World cup golden boot winner James Rodriguez signed for Everton FC to be reunited with manager Carlo Ancelotti for the 3rd time.
[caption id="attachment_24606" align="aligncenter" width="300"] James Rodriguez broke through as superstar after his brilliant performance at the 2014 World Cup and his Everton career has got off to the perfect start. Image Credit: Planet Football[/caption]
This could well be the steal of the summer as the fee that Everton have reportedly paid is around £12 million. BARGAIN. The Columbian midfielder has hit the ground running at Goodison showing his undoubted quality on debut against Spurs and then running the show, alongside new teammates Domonic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, with a goal and assist against West Brom
A notable mention for the signing of Niels Nkounkou from Marseille, on what looks like a compensation type deal. The 19-year-old who never made an appearance for Marseille looks to be talented young left back.
Nkounkou who has featured in both of Everton’s Carabao Cup ties against Salford and Fleetwood has showing promising glimpses in both games mainly going forwards. With the retirement of Leighton Baines and stellar performances from Lucas Digne, I think Nkounkou will find himself floating between first team minutes, Matchday squads and U23’s games. An interesting one to follow.
With Domonic Calvert-Lewin of the back of his best goal scoring season ever and Richarlison with 19 goal contributions in all competitions last season, the addition of James Rodríguez could elevate those two players even further causing all sorts of chaos for opposition defence this term.
The two new boys in midfield have settled in quick and with Andre Gomes sat in the midfield too, it could be a long season for the likes of Sigurdsson and Davies who may have to get familiar with the bench
Finally, for Toffee fans it seems they are heading in the right direction. With a manager like Carlo Ancelotti at the helm and calibre of players like James Rodriguez it’s hard to see them not succeeding. As well as brining in the new, Everton have rid the old this transfer window, getting rid of the likes of Cuco Martina and Oumar Niasse, players who weren’t good enough to take Everton to where they want to be.
So the question is can Everton make the top six this season? Leave your thoughts below.