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Mid-table mediocrity: Where do Everton go from here?

The Boot Room

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Roberto Martinez will be one of a couple of Premier League managers looking at this campaign and seeing it as a chance missed. The most entertaining league has reached new levels of unpredictability this season with Leicester City topping the table and last season’s champions Chelsea sitting in 13th. Inconsistent form from some of the league’s biggest teams has opened up opportunities at the top of the league to break the ‘big club’ norm. Unfortunately for Everton fans, the Merseyside club won’t be one of them.

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Martinez finds himself in a difficult position with 14 games to go. He doesn’t have to look over his shoulder with trepidation of being sucked into a relegation battle but faces stiff competition to achieve Europa League qualification. The Spaniard’s team is floating awkwardly in the middle of the table and have been largely disappointing this season. Occasionally for a club in this position, you’d say that they’re just looking for the season to end to regroup and recruit ahead of an improved showing next season considering the amount of talent that Everton have. However, the Toffees could be slightly nervous to do that heading into the summer transfer window.

Everton have a wealth of young prospects and have had some fine individual performers this season which has shifted the spotlight off what has been a fairly poor season so far. Surely some clubs will be looking at the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley who have both starred in Everton’s formidable attack with the former netting 19 times in all competitions this season and the latter possessing the creativity, strength and intelligence to break open any team, or country for that matter.

Martinez also had to fend off interest from Chelsea in the summer for arguably England’s brightest defensive prospect in recent years. John Stones has come under criticism as of late for some defensive mistakes but it is without question that the composure and ability that the centre back has on the ball means that he will be a cert to be England’s first choice centre back for years to come. If reports in the summer are to be believed, Everton were turning down bids close to £40m for the young defender. However, with another full Premier League season under his belt and the frightening prospect that this ball playing centre back is, Everton would have every right to push the asking price up this summer if interest persists.

Gerard Deulofeu is another player that has impressed this season after re-joining Everton permanently in the summer from Barcelona. The Spaniard is a winger that full-backs hate to play against with his unpredictability similar to that of this Premier League season. In Everton’s 2-1 home defeat to Swansea a couple of weekends ago, Deulofeu was arguably the best player on the pitch. He produced teasing cross after teasing cross, and the skills and tricks that he has in abundance illustrated exactly why Martinez wanted to bring him back to Goodison Park. In midfield, the veteran Gareth Barry has taken the young Muhamed Besic under his wing. The Bosnian covers a lot of ground, is tenacious in his defensive duties and is guaranteed to improve every minute that he is partnered alongside Barry in the centre of the park.

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Everton are one of the few teams left in the FA Cup that have the ability and opportunity to put everything into winning the competition. Sitting comfortably in mid-table with no fears of going down and stiff competition looking upwards, the five time FA Cup winners could see the competition as their only chance to ensure that there is some element of collective success this campaign and make a statement of intent ahead of next season. A first FA Cup trophy since 1995 to add some silverware to the cabinet and a reward of Europa League football would be a good way to end the season to ensure key players remain on Merseyside next year.

If an FA Cup trophy doesn’t materialise you have to imagine that clubs would be looking at some of Everton’s players or some of their players could look towards the exit signs at Goodison Park. It would be extremely disappointing to see such young prospects leave the club in the summer but that could be a possibility if they feel like their impressive form this season has earned them the right to play at a higher level.

However, it would be great to see a team that has a well-structured blend of the experience of Jagielka, Baines and Barry with the exciting prospects of the likes of Barkley, Lukaku and Stones next season. Young talent like those on the Everton books need guaranteed first team football at a club where they know they can perform. Yes, this season for Everton has been disappointing so far and has to be considered an underachievement but, with some shrewd recruitment and if Bill Kenwright puts a firm foot down this summer, another season where Barkley, Lukaku, Stones and co. can mature and develop will mean that Roberto Martinez will have a very dangerous team at his disposal.

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Everton

£3m Roberto Martinez project Shani Tarashaj thrown on to Everton scrapheap

The Swiss talent has not developed into the star Everton’s former boss hoped he would.

Mathew Nash

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It appears as though Shani Tarashaj is finally on his way out of Everton for good. This morning he completed a loan move back to his former club Grasshoppers Zurich, with a view to a permanent move next summer.

With the potential of a permanent move to Grasshoppers, it would bring the curtain down on a move that simply never worked out.

Tarashaj joined Everton back in January 2016. Then Everton boss Roberto Martinez signed the attacking midfielder Shani Tarashaj from Grasshoppers with the fee involved, according to the Liverpool Echo, around £3 million.


“I feel he is going to bring something very, very special to us. He is probably the best young talent in Swiss football.

“There are a couple of young players with a good reputation but I think he could have really good future…I feel that he’s going to get fans off their feet. He’s that type of young talent that we like to attract to Goodison.” 

  – Roberto Martinez after signing Tarashaj


Tarashaj was loaned back to Grasshoppers until the end of the season. He continued his fine form, which saw him earn a first Swiss cap and make the national squad for Euro 2016.

(Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

But things quickly went wrong for Tarashaj.

Martinez was sacked, with Ronald Koeman clearly not fancying the Swiss star. A loan move in Germany went poorly. Eintracht Frankfurt snapped him up but he struggled with benign angina, severe tonsillitis and a knee ligament tear last summer compounded his misery.

Everton now face the fact they will likely lose Tarashaj next summer, without the 23-year-old ever playing a game for the club.

This £3 million gamble has clearly not paid off.

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Marco Silva should aim for Christian Kabasele reunion at Everton

The Belgian defender would be an astute addition for the Toffees.

Max Cohen

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Christian Kabasele
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Everton are still without a signing this transfer window, but the side requires strengthening, nonetheless, especially in the centre-back position.

Marco Silva should target Christian Kabasele to bolster his defensive options, a player he knows well from his time managing at Watford.

Kabasele began his career in Belgium and enjoyed success at Genk before moving to Vicarage Road in the summer of 2016.

The centre-half has been capped once by Belgium, as he made the Euro 2016 squad and was cut at the last moment in the Red Devils’ World Cup 2018 team.

His international involvement and the fact he was even being considered in the star-studded Belgium set-up is a measure of his talent.

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

At Watford, the defender bagged four goals in 44 appearances, illustrating his threat from set pieces.

He was also the most consistent performer at the back for the Hornets, eliciting praise from the Watford support.

Everton fans in particular will know the danger the Belgian poses, as Kabasele flicked home a powerful header at Goodison Park during a league meeting in November 2017.

Marco Silva knows the defender well, as he played in every league match when Silva was the manager, starting all but one.

And the Portuguese has praised the Belgian in the past, hailing his performance when talking with the Hertfordshire Mercury in 2017, after a 3-0 win at St. James’ Park.

“Kabasele was brilliant. He had a fantastic game. He improves every day. He had a very good game with and without the ball and even with offensive set-pieces he has improved.”

As Everton supporters wait for their first signing of the summer, the club would do well to target Christian Kabasele, a proven Premier League centre-back who is a favourite of the Toffees boss.

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Everton’s exciting potential 2018/19 starting line-up ft. Laxalt, Malcom & more

Everton could be set for a successful season if they land their targets in the market.

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Everton
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Everton are yet to dip into the transfer market under Marco Silva but that is likely to change in the coming weeks in their preparations for 2018/19.

The Toffees invested heavily in their squad 12 months ago during Ronald Koeman’s reign at Goodison Park but struggled to find success on the field, which has left Silva with work to do upon his arrival at Merseyside.

Silva will be tasked on finding the right balance between new signings and utilising players already at his disposal, leaving fans excited following the success he had with Watford last season, and the potential line-up he could select next season looks rather impressive.

GK: Jordan Pickford

Fresh from England penalty heroics and being a stand-out performer in the Three Lions’ unlikely charge to the semi-finals of the World Cup, Jordan Pickford should enter his second season at Goodison Park rejuvenated and confident.

As part of a defence that conceded 58 goals in 38 games last term, Pickford has plenty of room for improvement in his club career but is one of few signings from Everton’s spending spree 12 months ago that can hold their head high.

While former England stopper David Seaman told the Daily Star he will secure a big move in the coming years, the 24-year-old is set to remain on Merseyside for the forthcoming season and will be a huge part of Marco Silva’s plans.

RB: Seamus Coleman

Injury restricted Seamus Coleman to just 12 Premier League appearances last season but the 29-year-old is fully fit ahead of the new campaign and tipped to become the on-field captain next season, with veteran Phil Jagielka remaining as club skipper.

At 29, Coleman is entering the prime years of his career and could emerge as the leader to the defence with both Jagielka and Leighton Baines facing a battle for first-team football in the twilight years of their careers on Merseyside.

Having spent nine years with Everton, Coleman is the figure that Marco Silva can construct a new defensive line ahead and his return after 10 months on the sidelines is a welcome bonus.

CB: Yerry Mina

After a World Cup campaign where the Colombia defender outscored Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi, Yerry Mina is tipped for a move to the Premier League before the window closes as the LaLiga giants battle to adhere to non-EU player regulations.

Goal have reported that Everton are the favourites to secure the talented young defender in a deal worth around £21m, ahead of rival Premier League clubs that include Leicester City and West Ham.

Boasting six goals in 15 caps for his nation, Mina is a tremendous asset in the final third for set pieces but his defensive contributions cannot be overlooked. In his four appearances at the World Cup, the only goal Colombia conceded was a penalty from Harry Kane in the round-of-16.

CB: Michael Keane

After starring for Burnley and pushing into the England squad, Michael Keane earned a lucrative move to Everton but struggled for consistency in his debut campaign at the club – which saw his chances of making the World Cup shattered.

Things should be different for the 24-year-old under the guidance of Marco Silva though, as Keane has already praised his new manager’s focus on defensive play in comments made to the Liverpool Echo – which suggests the former Watford boss is looking to solve what was Everton’s main problem last term.

Keane can look to Leicester City’s Harry Maguire for inspiration after his superb charge into stardom during the last 12 months as he looks to get his career back-on-track, which may potentially see him partner the Foxes’ ace for England later down the line.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

LB: Diego Laxalt

Catching the eye for World Cup quarter-finalists Uruguay in Russia, Diego Laxalt has courted the attention of a number of Premier League sides, including Everton, and TuttoMercatoWeb state Genoa want around €20 million for the full-back.

Capable of starring on the left-side of defence or providing an impact further forward, Laxalt could be the long-term Leighton Baines replacement that Everton have been crying out for in recent seasons and would be a tremendous addition to the defence.

Formerly of Inter Milan, the 25-year-old has impressed with Genoa since making a loan move permanent two years ago and his performances at the World Cup show he is more than capable of competing at the highest level.

CM: Idrissa Gueye

Two years since signing from Aston Villa, Idrissa Gueye has established himself as an integral member of the Everton squad and a restructure under the guidance of Marco Silva could bring the best out of the Senegal international.

66 Premier League appearances in two seasons show Gueye’s importance to Everton and the 28-year-old should now be entering the prime years of his career, meaning that the ideal midfield partner could provide Gueye with a new lease of life.

Capable of playing in a more defensive role in midfield or in the middle of the park, WhoScored stats show that only Pickford made more appearances than Gueye last season – and he is expected to stay as one of the first names in Silva’s side.

CM: Wilmar Barrios

Another Colombia international tipped for a big move following his World Cup exploits, TyC Sports name Everton as one of three Premier League sides chasing a deal to sign Wilmar Barrios from South American outfit Boca Juniors.

Tottenham and Chelsea are the other two clubs linked with interest in the 24-year-old, who is said to have an affordable release clause of just £15.9m, but Everton could be able to offer first-team assurances that neither of their top-flight rivals can guarantee.

However, a deal is complicated by the fact that the report states Barrios will remain with Boca until December and Everton may have to increase their offer if a deal is to be pushed through immediately.

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

RM: Ademola Lookman

One of the brightest young talents within English football, Everton are having to fend off strong interest from Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig after Ademola Lookman enjoyed a successful spell on-loan in Germany during the second-half of last season.

Bild state the German side are ‘fighting like a lion’ to secure the services of the 20-year-old but the Mirror has reported that Everton have no intention to sell, adding that Marco Silva is to hold key discussions with the winger.

The core of those discussions is likely to be around Lookman’s playing time and Silva should certainly award the England U21 international with the first-team football he is looking for, as he could develop into a star for both club and country.

CAM: Gylfi Sigurdsson

Another player signed during Everton’s busy spending spree last year, Gylfi Sigurdsson fell short of expectations during his first campaign at Goodison Park as he scored four goals and contributed seven assist, Whoscored show.

The Iceland international was not up to the sort of standard that saw him become Swansea City’s stand-out player during his time in South Wales but, following a memorable experience at the World Cup with his nation, he should enter the campaign fresh and raring to go.

Everton’s attack struggled for consistency last season and a major part of that was not signing a replacement for Romelu Lukaku immediately, which put the likes of Sigurdsson at a disadvantage. Now that the side has been rejuvenated, he could shine.

LM: Malcom

Linked with some of the biggest clubs across Europe, eyebrows have been raised after reports from Sky Sports suggested Everton were in advanced talks with Bordeaux for the services of 21-year-old starlet Malcom.

The Liverpool Echo has since denied the Toffees’ interest in the Brazil youngster, although there is certainly no reason why that should be the case as Malcom would be a tremendous signing – arguably one of the best for any Premier League side this summer.

With Malcom playing in an attacking midfield trio alongside Gylfi Sigurdsson and Ademola Lookman, Everton would boast one of the most exciting front-lines in English football as well as boasting two of Europe’s most highly-rated youngsters.

ST: Cenk Tosun

Everton had to wait until January to land their replacement for Romelu Lukaku and it arrived in the form of Turkey forward Cenk Tosun, who enjoyed a decent first few months in the Premier League with five goals in 14 appearances, Whoscored shows.

Set for his first full season at the club, Tosun should easily exceed that tally in the coming campaign as his record for Besiktas last season prior to his transfer to the Premier League was fantastic – boasting an impressive 14 goals in 24 appearances across all competitions.

Hitting the sort of numbers that Lukaku did during his time at Goodison Park is a task that in all honesty is likely impossible but Everton could have more balance in their side with this attacking line, spreading goalscoring responsibility amongst the squad.

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