What should EFC’s current priorities be in the 22/23 Summer Transfer window?
As the 22/23 summer transfer window rumbles on, things have become more real ahead of the curtain raiser of the PL weekend August 6th at home to Chelsea. I say this as summer break is now officially over, and the players have reported back for their first week of Pre-season ahead of a trip stateside next week to play friendlies against Arsenal & Minnesota United. The official EFC home strip for the coming season has also now been released & on shelves in EFC stores.
I say things have become more real, because that’s how I feel every summer when the players come back from their summer holidays, as essentially the new season has begun, as players prep for the opening weekend in a months’ time. EFC have had a busy opening to July, with the obvious exit of club talisman Richarlison, the arrival of Centre back James Tarkowski on a free from Burnley, players returning for Pre-Season & finally Duncan Ferguson revealing he will be leaving the club to pursue first team manager ambitions. It’s never quiet is it? But now the prep has begun, what should Everton be prioritising over the next few weeks in regards to transfer business? I Touched on it Briefly in my first Article on Toffee Blues about what needed to happen next for Everton after the disaster of 21/22, and touched on transfer business, but thought I’d try go a little bit more in depth below.
Priorities in terms of incomings.
To put it most simply and honestly, EFC need signings this window, and ideally need them in sooner rather than later to get on the training pitch and get to work. Everton of course (well I’d imagine anyway) will not be solely working on just the one deal at a time, spinning plates comes to mind, but in terms of priority of positions needed in terms of importance to EFC going in to the 22/23 season, I think the list goes as below personally.
Priority one – A genuine number 6 to give balance to Everton’s midfield
For me this is number one in the book, and for me it’s a position EFC would be wise to spend wisely on in getting a profile in to grow with EFC, whilst also being ready to make immediate impact now. EFC for a while have needed that role filling, they need someone to help screen the back four whilst also having a hand in dictating how EFC play of sorts. The midfield has been weak and easy to get by for far too long now, EFC signed Allan 2 summers ago who they thought could play that role, but I think it’s obvious now to many who didn’t see it originally that Allan is not an out and out 6. I genuinely think the addition of a good level 6 could improve not only EFC’s chances of climbing the table, but also it could give boosts to Doucoure & Allan as they would be able to play their more natural roles of b2b midfielders.
Priority two – a forward to replace the Richarlison shaped hole
Think this next priority comes as no surprise, EFC have to fill that void left by Richarlison after his £60million move to Spurs as confirmed last week. Richarlison has been key for EFC during his 4 year stay & it is Vital that EFC replace him. The role Richarlison played for Everton was that of a versatile forward who played across the front three wherever needed whilst scoring goals, it’s a tough area for Everton to really get a like for like replacement in during their current situation. It’s obvious Richarlison will need replacing, but I don’t think it’s as obvious how you replace him…Richy mainly played off the left or upfront for Everton, but my suggestion would be FINALLY addressing that right winger position and bringing balance to EFC. You could for example go and sign a Dennis style player, who scored similar of that to Richarlison, who plays mostly centrally & left just like the former EFC no.7 OR, you can finally bring in a genuine RW to chip in with goal contributions whilst also addressing the fact that EFC only have 1 genuine right midfielder on their books in Andros Townsend. The Everton side has looked lob sided now for a good few seasons, as either the RW hasn’t been good enough or we’ve had LW playing out of position on the right hand side to accommodate the negligence of that position (which also doesn’t help in this case Gray/Gordon develop). A genuine right sided addition could benefit EFC in more ways than one, finally having a good player there whose most comfortable role is actually playing off the right and getting goal involvements, whilst also keeping Gray/Gordon in their own comfort zones on the left hand side. I just think be great to have that balance of bringing in a right sided forward to chip in (ideally with a left foot but not be all and end all) as we have 2 first team left wingers already.
If you went down the out & out RW route, you would probably have to get another forward in to play second fiddle to DCL (unless we want to see Rondon again) this hole could be filled by one of the foreign league spots for example.
Priority three – ANOTHER central midfielder
Midfield, just like every summer, needs an overhaul…
A player to come in in a Conor Gallagher mould could be great for Everton sitting alongside a 6 who can go up and down the pitch and excel both ends. Everton currently have on their books Allan, Doucoure, Davies & Gomes in that role, and all 4 don’t seem to be the type that the manager would want there if we’re honest. Links to Gallagher & Gilmour suggest that EFC want to address this. Everton’s midfield just needs a facelift (again) with current crop struggling this season, again the options could be improved by a genuine 6 addition in my eyes, but it can’t hurt to still get another body in there to add more quality & depth.
all depends on outgoings after the above positions, but i will say that in terms of say a Mina exit or a Nkounkou exit, EFC would be wise to go back to what they were good at…exploiting the loan market. It’s something I’ve been quite disappointed to not see us do in recent years in honesty, Everton used to be one of the best at finding loans as they were tight on finances, that seems to have disappeared in recent years. in EFC current predicament, it feels now a good as time as any to bring that way of thinking back. (We had no money so we signed our players on loan…)
EFC have a lot of work to do, if we didn’t seen a player in each of the above mentioned positions i’ve said are priority? then i’d feel uneasy going in to the PL season, because for me they are a matter of must haves, not ‘ideally we could get them.’ Below I’ve put together a big of a squad depth of how EFC are looking right now (07/07/2022) in terms of squad depth who are probably considered part of EFC’s first team, arguments for Simms/Dobbin/Warrington but likelihood is they go out on a loan. as you can see it’s light/not good enough at RW & 6 especially, hence why they’re my top 2 priority positions, especially with Townsend actually being on the shelf until November/December.