Pre-Season Preview

So the 1st of July has come and gone. Finch Farm is back to being busy as the players return for pre-season, one of them most notably being a handsome bloke brushing his hand through his hair as he walked down the steps. A sight for many Evertonians to behold. Pictures of training have also emerged including those of Marco Silva and his new best friend Luis Boa-Morte. So here we are getting closer to another season as a toffee and I’m nervous yet excited as usual. However, there seems to be a big chance for us this year to break the top six so let’s take a look at how the squad is shaping up so far.

First of all, ex Huddersfield goalie Jonas Lossl was our first signing of the window and it was nice to see him rocking up to Finch Farm. Surely a back up keeper, which is usually the first signing for clubs, but this fella could push Pickford more than Steklenburg. He has just came from a team where he was first choice all season so I doubt he is going to settle for second best. It is healthy competition for sure and maybe, if Marco decides to play him in the cups (I’d rather play our strongest team by the way) he can give us a better chance of winning. He has already stated on social media that he has been greeted by ‘welcoming people’ who have made him feel at home so all is good on the goalkeeper front.

Unless you have been on the moon for the past two years, we as blues also know that outgoings this window are very important for the size of our squad but more importantly, the wage bill. Nikola Vlasic is the only notable one so far as in terms of decent money as we recieved 15 million for the winger and to be honest, it’s hard to argue. A profit has been made on a player that simply wanted to move on. He’s done well for CSKA and good luck to him. He was possibly handled the wrong way by Koeman but I feel Silva has bigger fish to fry and it was nothing but sensible for all parties to let him go especially for that price. He didn’t exactly play a part last season and the manager had made his mind up quickly about him early on after he was first announced as the blues boss. It wouldn’t be a transfer window without Sandro Ramirez going out on loan either. It’s a shame really because he is probably the most recently disappointing player we have invested in in my eyes as he came with so much potential. I think we can all agree it just isn’t ever going to happen for him at Everton but good luck to him at Real Vallladolid. He really needs to break that goal duct which is now approaching two years since he netted at Goodison in the Europa. Brendon Galloway has also departed for Luton Town and I hope the lad can revive his career because he slotted in for us so well but the loan move to West Brom seems to have dented his carrer in such a hard-hitting way. There is also talk of Lule Garbutt leaving and he seriously needs a permanent move now which could be good for all parties. The likes of Kevin Mirallas, Cuco Martina and Yannick Bolasie still haven’t been seen at Finch Farm and I’m pretty sure Brands will be working on those deals. So the process has started for those departing with a decent start and the wage bill slowly but surely coming down.

All those players I mentioned there will not, or more likely could not, have a future with Everton but one player who went away on loan could really benefit us. Jon Joe Kenny recently signed for Shalke, with them announcing it South Park style and I think this is a wonderful move for him. He is surely only going to come back a better player if he gets in their side for the full season and Marco can have another look at him then. He looks good at times but I feel there is a lot of creases in his game that simply need ironing out. He is going to learn a lot in a different league and a new way of playing with atmospheres through the roof every week. A big experience for him.

Speaking of our youngsters, another chance is on the horizon for them with the opportunity to train with the first team and even feature in some pre-season friendly games. Can Morgan Feeney nulify a place in the squad this season. We are a centre back short remember with Jags departing and Morgan has done really well for the u23’s captaining the side and winning silverware along the way. The likes of Josh Bowler and Antony Gordon will want to give the manager a headache too. We have a solid young side there and I would love some of them to step up this season and get some minutes. It’s always good to see a player come through the academy and take a step onto the Old Lady’s pitch greeted by a massive roar from the crowd. I’d like to see that a few times this season for sure.

Last august, Everton left it late with player coming in and while that is all very exciting, I would prefer that Marcel would get his business done early if possible. New players being part of the pre season squad is only for the greater good. One major incoming has already happened though and it was the man I was referring to at the very start, the Portuguese Prince, Andre Gomes. For a lot of blues, getting him in was a priority and it was nice to see him making our shiny new kit look even shinier. He was actually one of the late arrivals last year with an injury problem to boot but being here from fay one is only going to benefit him and us. Look I have got to be honest here, when we were going through a rough spell I really did get angry at Gomes. I was at fault at times but when the team doesn’t do well, emotions can get the best of you. However I do think there were times where I was totally justified as he simply strolled around on the odd occasion and brought nothing to the game. I think I was more annoyed by him more than anyone based on the fact that on his day, he is unplayable. No one can get near him and he looks the stand out guy all over the pitch. If he can rectify that and produce nearly every game for us then that is a massive plus. I am totally behind him and I know he can put my doubts to bed because he truly is an amazing midfielder when he wants to be. I just thought he was his own worst enemy at times but we may have signed a bargain for 22 million in todays market. There is no doubt that he was made for Everton. The fans love him and he loves us. You only had to see his press conference to know how happy he feels here and long may it continue. Speaking of Andre’s presser another player was mentioned.

I think the next step simply has to be Kurt Zouma. We need to get him in as soon as possible as he seems to fit our dressing room and let’s be honest, he is a solid centre-half. I think everton are probably doing everything possible to get him in. I don’t know if anyone else noticed but when Gomes was asked about Zouma signing, he gave a cheeky smile like he knew. I hope this is the case as it takes last seasons squad forward with only room left for improvement with the rest of the incomings. We still need that striker in my opinion and I’m 99 percent sure Brands will be working on it. You can simply forget top 6 in my opinion if we don’t sadly.

It’s still early doors but so far so good. There‚Äôs not many things better on social media as a football fan when rumours start gathering pace and Paul Joyce confirms it three days before Everton do. In-between, we have them friendly fixtures to watch and let’s hope we can do better than last year eh. I don’t really want to see us lose to the likes of Blackburn. Lets hope this time next month our squad is in even better shape. I fully trust Marcel and Marco to deliver what we need. Come On You Blues! 

– Jordan 

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