When Everton announced the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti in December, many people were left wondering how they had pulled it off, especially with an open vacancy for the the Arsenal job which arguably seemed the more obvious suitor, but the pull of the Everton project and a generous paycheck meant that a 4 and a half year deal was struck by the Blues for the trophy laden Italian.
I’m still star-struck seeing that man in the Goodison dugout.
Ancelotti had been enjoying quite a successful start to his tenure as the Everton boss before the pandemic hit with just 3 defeats in his last 11, but it was enough to highlight what area’s needed strengthening and what did not. The summer transfer window should prove to be the first major milestone in which the Italian can really start to bring his Everton vision to life, so expect many in-going’s and outgoings.
The transfer rumour mill has been in full swing for a while now and, with multiple names being touted, a creative attacking midfielder seems to be emerging as the top priority.
Since his arrival in 2017, Gylfi Sigurdsson has failed to live up to his £45mil price tag and I don’t think any Evertonian would argue any different. Despite scoring 13 last season, it papered over the cracks in his performances where, in reality, they are rarely up to scratch and he just isn’t fulfilling his role as the creative outlet that we saw at Swansea. Rumours of his possible departure from the club immediately sparked even more on who could be brought in to replace him and seemingly atop that list – James Rodriguez.
The possible ‘Hollywood’ signing of Rodriguez could prove to be a real statement of intent from the Merseyside club and the prospect of reuniting with his former boss may just be the deciding factor in a transfer to the club. With the Copa America due to take place next year, James will be looking for an escape from Real Madrid in search for regular playing time and if reports are to believed, a 4 year contract has already been tabled by Everton. Whether it be the impressive Everton project, the chance to play in the greatest League in the world or the possibility of linking up with his old manager, Everton seem to be in a good position to land the Colombian.
Even though Rodriguez seems to be Plan A, his is not the only name to have been discussed..
Ramsey, Allan, Grealish, Koopmeiners – these are just some of the names being publicised over the last couple of weeks, and with Moise Kean finding himself the subject to some controversy recently along with with Napoli reportedly rating the youngster, a deal could potentially be struck including the young striker for Allan or another apparent target of Anchelotti’s – Hirving Lozano.
A right sided winger is another position that Carlo should be looking to strengthen this window as Theo Walcott is in a similar boat to Sigurdsson where he is just not producing enough consistency, even if we do see the occasional glimmer of quality such as the beautiful cross for Bernard’s goal versus Crystal Palace. Richarlison found himself being played out wide predominantly during the course of Marco Silva’s time at the club whilst opting for a lone striker but with Carlo having seemingly discovered a lucrative partnership between the Brazilian and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, it would be unlikely to see him return to the wing. That being said, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we saw a forward arrive during the summer.
A name, a fairly fitting name, has cropped up numerous times recently. Everton. Everton to Everton. It just seems like a match made in heaven. Everton Soares gained a lot of notoriety after his performances in the Copa America and he certainly caught the eye of Anchelotti who has reportedly already been in contact with the player over a proposed £31mill move to Goodison. AC Milan are also apparently keen on the attacker but with Roma showing interest in the Everton winger Bernard, there could be a deal to be made if the blues are willing to sacrifice the services of the the little Brazilian, which may not go down to well with the Evertonians who have seem to have taken a liking to him.
Everton are looking to go head to head with Arsenal over the signature of Gabriel Magalhaes as the blues look to strengthen their defensive options due to the question marks over the capabilities of Michael Keane and Yerry Mina, whilst Holgate looks to be a rising star in the Everton squad in which his performances have earned him a place in the regular starting eleven. Gabriel had seemed to be nailed on as Anchelotti’s first appointment but it now seems he’ll face stiff competition from Mikel Arteta’s side with Chelsea also now lurking.
Everton are yet to make a decision regarding the situation surrounding Djibril Sidibe as, like many other players, he has failed to perform consistently and he keeps forgetting to put his socks on… The right-back is said to be keen to make his loan move from AS Monaco permanent however his performances have yet to fully convince both manager and fans. With Jonjoe Kenny expressing his desire to extend his loan at Schalke 04 for another season Everton will have to make sure they have quality competition for the ageing Seamus Coleman, whether that be Sidibe or someone else.
It should certainly prove to be an exciting transfer window for Evertonians and they should expect to see some real quality come through the doors but rules have to be followed. Financial Fair Play will play its part in transfer plans so expect to see the deadwood shipped out before players are brought in.
Expect to see Anchelotti’s vision start to take shape next season. We should finally start to see an Everton team that doesn’t scream of mediocrity and can at last begin to challenge for trophies once again.