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Everton

Everton round-up: Striker search to continue; odds slashed on German arriving; Barkley bid rejected

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It is common knowledge that Ronald Koeman has been seeking a target-man striker to add to his forward line ever since the departure of Romelu Lukaku. With time running out fast and transfer deadline day upon us, the Toffees have been linked with several targets for whom they may make a late approach, the most surprising of these being a loan move for Watford‘s Stefano Okaka.

According to the Mirror, Koeman has been an admirer of the forward ever since he netted twice for the Hornets against his Everton side last season, and with the Italian falling down the pecking order at Vicarage Road behind new arrivals Andre Gray and Richarlison, the Merseysiders may be weighing up bringing the powerful striker to Goodison.

He already has one goal to his name after being on target in Watford’s opening game against Everton’s city rivals Liverpool, but hasn’t featured for Andre Silva’s side since.

Meanwhile, Koeman’s hunt for a striker may have been given a boost after bookmakers slashed the odds on RB Leipzig attacker Timo Werner heading to Goodison, as reported by the Liverpool Echo.

Werner rose to prominence as he netted 21 goals in Lepizig’s debut Bundesliga campaign, helping the well-backed club finish second behind Bayern Munich. He also impressed for the German national team who were victorious at this summer’s Confederations Cup in Russia.

The report claims that one bookmaker has cut the odds of Werner signing from 8/1 to 4/1, whilst they are reportedly  at short odds to bring in Diego Costa (1/2), Moussa Dembele (6/1), Christian Benteke (6/1) or Olivier Giroud (6/1).

Elsewhere, want-away midfielder Ross Barkley has been the subject of a failed £25 million bid from Chelsea.

BBC Sport report that the bid was merely half of Everton’s £50 million valuation of the England midfielder, but with one year left to run on his contract and the player facing three months on the sidelines with a hamstring problem, his value may inevitably plummet ahead of any transfer. The source also suggests the player may yet leave Goodison on deadline day.

Finally, Everton have achieved a breakthrough in their bid to sign Hajduk Split wide-man Nikola Vlasic. The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) confirmed via Twitter that the player has been given special permission to leave a training camp with Croatia’s Under-21 side in order to speak with Everton representatives over a transfer.

Ronald Koeman is thought to have been impressed by the youngster’s display over Everton’s two-legs against Hajduk Split in the Europa League qualifying play-off round, and is looking to wrap-up a deal for the 19-year-old before the deadline.

Hajduk club president Ivan Kos also hinted that Vlasic may leave the club before the end of the window, in an interview with Croatian newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija.

“The transfer window runs until 31 August, sometimes transfers happen a minute before midnight. We don’t want to lose one percent of our quality, but we also have to think about financial stability”, Kos said.

Scott is a Port Vale fan who writes regularly for The Boot Room as a freelancer. He is a fan of several sports but most of his experience in journalism comes from football and volleyball. He has produced several works on major Championships for both the FIVB and CEV in the volleyball world out in Switzerland, and is currently studying for a BA Hons in Modern Languages at the University of Oxford.

Bournemouth

Can Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe become Everton’s next ‘David Moyes’?

Eddie Howe could follow in the footsteps of former Toffees boss David Moyes.

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Eddie Howe
Photo: Getty Images

On Wednesday night, Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side were unlucky to fall to a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United, as the Premier League 11th ranked club gave the Red Devils a torrid time.

The remarkable success of the young English manager at Dean Court bears an uncanny resemblance to the career path of David Moyes. Just like Moyes, Howe would be a perfect fit at Goodison Park.

In 1998, Moyes began his managerial career at the tender age of 34 at Preston North End, who were then struggling at the foot of the third division of English football. The Scot proceeded to engineer a fantastic turnaround at the club, avoiding relegation in his first season and achieving promotion just two years later.

Moyes brought Preston within inches of promotion to the Premier League the very next season, but the Lilywhites were defeated in the play-off final by Bolton.

Everton v West Ham United - Premier League

(Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)

In 2002, the Merseyside club came knocking, signing Moyes in March with the club in the relegation dogfight. The Glaswegian kept the Toffees up that season, and the rest is history.

11 years at Goodison Park brought unprecedented success, with Champions League qualification, a string of top-seven finishes, and even finishing above dreaded rivals Liverpool on occasion.

Just like Moyes, Eddie Howe started his career in coaching in his early thirties, and has enjoyed immense success in lifting a lower-league club up the English league system.

Howe took over at Bournemouth when he was 31, steering them clear of the League 2 relegation places in 2009, gaining promotion to League 1 in 2010, going up to the Championship in 2014, and reaching the Premier League in 2015.

If anything, Howe has experienced more success than Moyes before joining Everton, as his Bournemouth side have tremendously overachieved in the top flight and look set to secure their Premier League status for the third consecutive year.

Everton would do well to acquire the services of the youthful English manager in the summer, as his arrival just might spark a similar revival to that of David Moyes.

With his incredible knack of getting the best out of his players, Howe would revitalise the Toffees and breath fresh life into a directionless club; just like the Scot did 16 years ago.

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Burnley

Sold by Everton in January, Aaron Lennon is enjoying resurgence with Burnley

The 31-year-old has quickly adjusted to life at Turf Moor.

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Photo: Getty Images

In Thursday night’s tightly-fought Premier League match between Burnley and Chelsea, the Clarets came within touching distance of eclipsing Arsenal in sixth position.

It has been a remarkable charge up the table for Burnley, and their stunning season is mirrored by the transfer of Aaron Lennon from Everton to Turf Moor.

The 31-year-old winger left Goodison Park in search of regular playing time, and has since slotted into a squad far more ambitious than Everton.

When Lennon was bought by the Clarets in late January, Burnley were just three points ahead of the Toffees. But after Thursday’s match against Chelsea, Burnley now sit in seventh position, a massive ten points in front of Everton.

It is clear that Lennon made the smart move in the winter when leaving struggling Everton for buoyant Burnley.

The ten-point gap between the two sides is due mainly to a superb five-match winning run engineered by Burnley. Lennon had started all five of those matches, contributing two assists along the way along with a host of bright, attacking displays.

(Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Cruelly for the Merseyside club, Burnley’s scintillating spell was kickstarted by a 2-1 win over Everton, in which Lennon played all 90 minutes and earned an impressive WhoScored match rating of 7.3.

To make matters worse for Everton, Lennon’s match rating eclipsed both Theo Walcott’s and Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s, both players who were preferred in front of the 31-year-old at Goodison Park.

Although Burnley’s fine spell was narrowly ended by Chelsea in a 2-1 defeat, the club still harbours an outside chance at an audacious sixth-place finish. Burnley faces three sides in the bottom half of the table in the form of Bournemouth, Brighton, and Stoke City, as well as a massive match at the Emirates to face Arsenal.

With Arsenal enduring a terrible run of form in 2018, Burnley will fancy their chances away at the Gunners, and former Everton winger Aaron Lennon will surely be at the heart of their lethal attack.

If Lennon can achieve a record-sixth placed finish with the Clarets, he will show the Everton hierarchy just how wrong they were in letting him leave in January.

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English Premier League

Everton fans would love to see Kieran Dowell get a chance next season

The 20-year-old has had a good season on loan at Nottingham Forest and deserves a shot at Everton.

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For a while, it seemed as though Everton could find themselves struggling to avoid relegation from the Premier League this season. The Toffees were struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League table and it cost Ronald Koeman his job.

Despite this, in recent weeks Everton fans have been left frustrated with the performances of their team under new boss Sam Allardyce. Several players are indeed under-performing. Two players that definitely relates to are Yannick Bolasie and Theo Walcott.

The Everton wide options have not impressed in recent fixtures. Neither looks up to scratch at the moment if Everton are going to improve on their season in 2018-19.

(Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

For many fans, it would be better to see one of their youth academy players getting a chance next season, ahead of the duo. The player in question is Kieran Dowell.

The 20-year-old has long been regarded as one of Everton’s hottest prospects. He made his debut for the club in 2014 as a 17-year-old in the Europa League. In the final two games of 2015-16, with David Unsworth as caretaker, he played against Bournemouth and Norwich City. Last season, he helped Everton win the Premier League 2 title and won the Under-20 World Cup with England last summer.

But Koeman was never going to give him a chance and Dowell was loaned to Nottingham Forest. The youngster had an excellent start to the season at the City Ground. He scored 10 goals for the club before the end of January. But, a busy season has burnt the youngster out and under new boss Aitor Karanka, he has become a far less used asset.

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

That is completely understandable. Asking a teenager to play a 46-game season is tough but Dowell proved in his early fixtures he has the talent to make it in the game.

Everton should not send him out again next season. Instead, the 20-year-old should be given chances off the bench and from the start in the Premier League. Based on recent evidence, he could do no worse than some of the players in attacking positions for Everton at present.

Fans would love to see another academy graduate make it into the first-team, just like Tom Davies last season and Jonjoe Kenny this.

But with Sam Allardyce in charge and Everton likely to spend again this summer, Dowell might have to settle for another loan spell away.

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