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Three Everton players ready to make an impact at the World Cup this summer

Ruari Macneil

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With the World Cup approaching rapidly, players with the chance of being involved look to finish the season as strongly as possible, to stand the best chance for selection and take some good form into the competition.

With 14 different nationalities in their first-team squad, Everton will have a strong representation at the World Cup this summer, if selection goes the right way.
The following are three Toffees stars who should aim to make a significant impact at this summer’s finals:
Jordan Pickford

Since the decline of Joe Hart, the England number one position has prompted quite a debate. The inexperience of the ‘keepers in and around the squad is perhaps why the position has become such a hot topic, with the four or five other options having less than 20 caps between them.
Pickford, who has two caps to his name, is in genuine contention for a starting position, with Jack Butland standing as his main competitor and, should Pickford earn a start and take his chance, the 24-year-old will be putting his hand up to be the Three Lions goalie for the foreseeable future.
Gylfi Sigurdsson

Gylfi Sigurdsson and his Icelandic warriors took the Euros by storm last time out, as they defied all odds to reach the quarter finals, beating England along the way. The former Swansea star is probably his country’s top performer and, after a tough first season with Everton, the 28-year-old will be hoping he can finish the campaign on a high and help his nation of underdogs to another stunning achievement at a major tournament.
Sigurdsson found the back of the net for his country at the Euros last time out and, if Iceland make any sort of an impact like they did in 2016, the Toffees star will have a huge role to play. He heads a strong and experienced contingent of five English-based players who have 236 caps between them. Faced with a group featuring Lionel Messi, Luka Modric and Victor Moses, the competition for qualification to the knockout rounds will be tough, but Sigurdsson and his teammates proved their are a genuine force two years ago.
Idrissa Gueye

Idrissa Gueye is highly experienced at international level with 58 caps for Senegal and will be hoping his star-studded side can make their stamp on the tournament. Often that one of the African nations turns out to be the surprise package of a World Cup finals, and the Toffees midfielder will be looking to carry on that tradition alongside fellow Evertonian Oumar Niasse.
With some serious fire power up front with Sadio Mane, Mame Biram Diouf, Keita Balde and Moussa Sow, Gueye’s role in midfield will be vital, to allow the previously mentioned players to thrive. Drawn against Japan, Colombia and Poland, the former Aston Villa ace has a genuine chance of reaching the knockout stages.

Life long lover of sport in general with a soft spot for football. A consistent defender of Scottish football as a spectacle. Desperately waiting to see my country qualify for a major tournament.

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Everton

Yves Bissouma would be the ideal first summer signing for Everton

Josh Kerr

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Yves Bissouma
Photo: Getty Images

According to Sky Sports, Everton could rival Tottenham for Lille midfielder Yves Bissouma as the two Premier League giants go head-to-head for the talented youngster.

After the sacking of Sam Allardyce from Goodison Park, Everton will know a huge summer window awaits. The Toffees need to recruit smartly if they are to improve on their 8th place finish of last season.

The midfield area needs serious reinforcements, with the likes of Davy Klaassen and Morgan Schneiderlin both enduring terrible campaigns. Bissouma, currently plying his trade in Ligue 1, could be vital in improving the club in the centre of the park.

Reports suggest Tottenham have been scouting the 21-year-old for the majority of the season so Everton should swoop soon if they are to get their summer plan in motion.

(Photo by Pascal Pavani/Getty Images)

The Ivory Coast-born midfielder already has 15 caps for Mali, and has hit three goals and one assist this season, impressing with his ability to play centrally or out wide.

Bissouma’s technical ability on the ball has impressed across the French league and he could be the addition that encourages Everton to play the free-flowing football that fans have been craving all season.

The report from Sky Sports also claims that former director of football Steve Walsh – who was sacked last week alongside Allardyce – was the one launching the interest in Bissouma, which means his exit could impact Everton’s pursuit.

However, the club should still monitor Bissouma’s availability as options in midfield are becoming increasingly thin, with several players becoming complacent and failing to impress on Merseyside.

The Toffees should undoubtedly follow up Walsh’s initial interest in the youngster and prepare to swoop.

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Marcel Brand’s stance on Ademola Lookman should reassure Everton fans

Max Cohen

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Ademola Lookman
Photo: Getty Images

On Wednesday, Everton’s new director of football laid out his plans for the Merseyside club, emphasising the importance of working with young players.

According to the Telegraph, Brands is set to meet with Ademola Lookman in a bid to convince the promising youngster to stay at Goodison Park; a move that will reassure Everton supporters.

The 20-year-old spent the second half of the season on loan at Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, enjoying a successful spell that was punctuated by three goals and two assists in his final two matches.

Yet, the Englishman’s fine end to his stay in Germany sparked reports in ESPN that the Bundesliga club were interested in purchasing Lookman on a permanent basis, a transfer that would come as a massive blow for Everton.

The talented attacker only signed from Charlton in the summer of 2017, and was tipped to be one for the future at Goodison Park. To lose Lookman after just seven league appearances for Everton would be a tragic misstep.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Luckily, Brands is well known for his development of young players and said he is seeking a forward-thinking coach who shares these beliefs.

As quoted in the Telegraph, Brand is looking for a “modern coach,” preferably someone “who wants to work with young players.”

These comments will surely come as a relief to Toffees supporters who suffered through Sam Allardyce’s reign, a manager who is possibly the polar opposite of a “modern coach.”

Maintaining the services of one of England’s brightest young attacking talents, one who was even tipped for a World Cup call-up, is undoubtedly among Everton’s top priorities this summer.

It is refreshing to see the club’s new director of football shares this view and Marcel Brands will do his best to convince Ademola Lookman to remain at Goodison Park.

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Everton news round-up: Baines remains, eight released and dressing room unrest

A round-up of the biggest news at Everton today.

Mathew Coull

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Baines Remains

First of all, there is good news for Everton fans. Reports this week that club legend Leighton Baines is considering his future at Goodison Park now seem wide of the mark.

It had been suggested that the England international was tempted by a move to Los Angeles to play in MLS. However, as reported by the Liverpool Echo, the defender has no intention of leaving the club he has been with for 11 years.

He is said to be excited about working with a new manager.

For Everton, it is great news. Not only is Baines a legend, but he is also the best left-back at the club and a danger from set-pieces who is reliable from the spot.

This news should certainly be welcomed among the Everton faithful.

The Not-so Magnificent Eight

Unfortunately for other Everton players, their future is out of their hands. Everton have released a handful of their under-18 staff today. Captain Tom Scully is leaving, with the expectation he will join Norwich City – according to the Liverpool Echo.

Others who have been told they can depart are Stephen Duke-McKennna, Tom Murphy, Sid Kerr, Charlie Ball, Nathan Moore and Jordan Corke. Nathan Baxter has also been released. He was signed under Roberto Martinez’s reign from Vitesse Arnhem but has failed to develop at Finch Farm and will now need to find his way elsewhere.

The release of Scully and Duke-McKenna may come as something of a surprise, but it appears that Everton are ready to freshen up their youth-team.

Whack-a-Mole

Now some troubling news reported by The Sun today. They claim there are huge divisions in the camp at Everton, namely between the whole dressing room and, seemingly, Oumar Niasse.

The report suggests the ill-feeling in the camp got so bad that youngster Tom Davies has even contemplated quitting the club.

(Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

But the most alarming factor about this story is the supposed ‘dressing room insider’ feeding this sort of ‘story’ to the press.

Everton fans will not enjoy seeing the dirty laundry of the dressing room being aired out in the open.

These matters should be kept in-house and Everton must search out and give the mole the boot before anything else.

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