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Everton

Abdoulaye Doucoure the man to target as Marco Silva refuses to rule out Watford signings

Everton’s new boss finally gave the Frenchman the chance to shine at Vicarage Road.

Mathew Nash

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New Everton boss Marco Silva has refused to rule out trying to sign players from his former club Watford this summer. In his first press conference as Everton manager earlier this week he had this to say when asked about potentially raiding Vicarage Road, as reported by the Watford Observer:

“It will start in the next few days: names and names and names. But the first thing we will do is analyse what we have at the club. We will be assertive and find the right targets for us.”

Of course, this would just be another bitter blow for the Hornets if Silva was to come throwing cash around at the club. Watford are still irritated at the manner in which the Portuguese got the job at Goodison Park after he was initially approached back in November.

So Watford will not want Everton to some sniffing.

But if they do, who should they target?

One name that has done the rounds is Richarlison, who started the season brilliantly under Silva. But his form tailed off toward the end of the season. No, if Everton are to target any Watford player this summer then it should be midfield dynamo Abdoulaye Doucoure.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The French midfielder joined Watford in February 2016 but had to wait for his chance at Vicarage Road. After spending most of 2016-17 on the bench, it was Silva who first decided the Frenchman deserved more regular first-team football.

With that in mind, he threw Doucoure into the starting XI and the results have been clear to see, Doucoure was brilliant for Watford throughout the season. He played 39 games, scored seven goals and added four assists in a tremendous campaign.

Everton would be the perfect move for the midfield dynamo. They need extra reinforcements in the heart of the midfield. With James McCarthy injured and Morgan Schneiderlin out of form, it could be that the former Rennes midfielder is the perfect buy for Everton.

They would need to be quick. Plenty of other Premier League teams have also been credited with an interest in the player.

Back in April, the Mirror reported that Watford had put a £40 million price-tag on his head, amid interest from the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Everton may have to pay even more than that, just to soften the mood after the Silva controversy.

But if he is going back for any Watford players, then Doucoure should be top of the list.

Everton

Who is Everton’s £35 million rated defensive target David Lopez?

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Photo: Getty Images.

Reports from Spain suggest that Everton may make a big money bid as Marco Silva looks to rejuvenate the Toffees’ back line, having yet to dip his toes into transfer window this summer after last summer’s catastrophes cost Ronaldo Koeman his job, with Espanyol captain David Lopez being eyed up.

Mundo Deportivo believe that the Merseyside club are one of three clubs, alongside Spanish duo Real Betis and Valencia, to be interested in signing the 28-year-old as his current team grow increasingly concerned that they could lose him.

It comes after Mundo Deportivo previously stated, amid interest from Newcastle United, that Lopez would only be allowed to leave the RCDE Stadium if his release clause of €40 million (£35.4 million) were to be paid in full, though the latest reports suggest that Everton would not be willing to match that.

(Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

The former Napoli man is not well known by many in the Premier League, but he has quietly developed a reputation as one of La Liga’s steadiest defenders and a key part of one of Spain’s most solid defences at times in 2017/18.

Now in his third spell at the Catalan club, Lopez missed only one game last season, due to suspension, and played every other minute of action, keeping 15 clean sheets in 43 appearances, with his leadership and command at the back likely being key to the role that Silva could see him taking up at Goodison Park.

“It would not be good for the team if he were to leave because he is a player with status and in the spine of the team. Finding a player of his quality is complicated. It would be a tough blow and it would not be positive for the team. I hope he will continue, with him we gain a lot on the ball, in terms of tactical sense and helping the team. He’s a key man.”

Team-mate Victor Sanchez recently discussed the impact losing Lopez would have on Espanyol, speaking to L’Esportiu de Catalunya.

Consistent and strong in the tackle, Lopez offers everything that Everton have been crying out for as they look to replace their ageing giants of Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams.

With a ready made leader potentially ready to come in alongside Michael Keane, Lopez may not be the kind of glamour buy that some fans may have been hoping for, but he will certainly get the job done and bring a rich pedigree with him.

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Wilmar Barrios would be best joining Everton this summer

The Colombian stood out at the World Cup but Tottenham are also keen.

Mathew Nash

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Everton are the latest club being linked with a move for Boca Juniors midfielder Wilmar Barrios. The 24-year-old, who is also being courted by Tottenham Hotspur, has just come off the back of an excellent World Cup. TyC Sport are now suggesting that Everton would like to snap him up.

Barrios has a release clause of €18 million (£15.9m) and Everton are seemingly ready to test his resolve to remain in Argentina until the new year.

He showed at the tournament in Russia that he is ready for a move to Europe. Landing a headbutt on Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will surely only help him win over fans at Goodison Park should he make the move.

But Tottenham’s interest has been in the pipeline for much longer. Everton will likely have a fight on trying to convince Barrios to head their way and ignore the interest from North London.

However, Barrios might be better off heading to Everton.

Why?

He is far more likely to get regular football at Everton. Central midfield is a problem area for the Toffees.

(Photo credit should read JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)

Morgan Schneiderlin is universally unpopular with the Everton fans. James McCarthy is injured. Mo Besic, it seems, is up for grabs. The options in midfield for Everton are not as plentiful as they once were. Some youngsters, such as Tom Davies and Callum Connolly are coming through, but Everton still need to improve the middle of the park and Barrios partnered with Idrissa Gana Gueye could prove formidable.

Tottenham, on the other hand, have the likes of Victor Wanyama, Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier, Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks all vying for the midfield places.

Barrios would be better off at Everton where he can get his feet down and running as soon as possible.

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Jordan Pickford must bring his superb World Cup form back to Goodison Park

The 24-year-old was a stand-out performer in Russia.

Max Cohen

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Jordan Pickford
Photo: Getty Images

After winning out on the battle to be England’s number one at the World Cup, Jordan Pickford lit up England’s World Cup run with stunning saves and match-winning performances.

Now, the 24-year-old faces a critical campaign at Everton and must continue his bright form in the Premier League. 

Undoubtedly the Tofees’ best performer last year, Pickford can make a case to become one of the best keepers in the world under the management of Marco Silva.

Signed from Sunderland in 2017, he  became the most expensive English goalkeeper ever, but at times struggled to fulfil his sky-high potential at Goodison Park.

Although Pickford was constantly one of Everton’s brightest stars, offering consistency in a troubled season, he was occasionally prone to rash decisions.

But, in Russia, the Englishman truly brought his career to the next level with superb outings on the world’s biggest stage. The Colombia match will long live in the memory, with his penalty shootout heroics preceded by an excellent stop in the dying minutes of normal time.

(Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

The 24-year-old’s heroics drew the plaudits of England’s 1966 World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks, who tipped Pickford to be England’s number one for the foreseeable future.

“I thought he played really well. I was quite surprised, when you think he is quite young. I am sure the manager will pick him for the next few games. If he keeps playing as he has done he will stay with that job, definitely.”

All together, his tournament led to impassioned calls for him to be awarded the Golden Glove, and rightfully so.

Jordan Pickford can now be considered one of the best young goalkeepers in the world, and under Marco Silva he must bring his exquisite England form to the domestic front.

With a world-class goalkeeper between the sticks, the Toffees’ chances of making a push for the European places suddenly look a lot more realistic.

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