Three things that must happen for Everton to count deadline day as a success
Everton have already enjoyed a successful transfer window, investing an impressive £135.9 million in a total of nine new players.
Despite this, the Toffees struggled manfully during a comprehensive 2-0 defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, lacking pace all over the pitch and struggling to showcase potency in the final third.
With Ronald Koeman keen on adding a striker to his squad and his team far from being the finished article, the Boot Room looks at what would make transfer deadline day a real success for the Toffees?
Signing a quick and potent striker
While Wayne Rooney has shouldered the burden in attack so far this season (and scored both of Everton’s league goals), his lack of acceleration and desire to drop deep and link play means that he is no longer consistently effective as a number nine.
Koeman will therefore be keen to add a centre forward before the day is out, with a number of options mooted by the press.
The Daily Mail have previously reported that the Dutch manager could move for Chelsea outcast Diego Costa on a short-term loan deal, but this logic seems flawed for two reasons. Firstly, Costa is likely to return to Atletico Madrid at some point during the next year (the Spaniards are currently restricted by a transfer embargo), while he also relies on pace and physical presence rather than electric pace.
A preferable option may be Cardiff’s Danish U-21 striker Kenneth Zohore, who, according to ESPN, is being chased by both the Toffees and Premier League newcomers Brighton. Everton would appear to be favourites to land the 23-year old, who is quick, direct and established himself as Cardiff’s top goalscorer that season.
Retaining Ross Barkley
The Ross Barkley transfer saga has rumbled on for months, with speculation set to continue until the close of the transfer window. Spurs have been linked with the star for months, although BBC Sport revealed yesterday that Chelsea were the first club to make their move with a £25 million bid for the midfielder.
This has been rejected, although with the Standard confirming that Spurs are still weighing up whether or not to make a last-ditch move for Barkley there may still be a deal to be done.
Everton will want to retain the services of Barkley, despite the fact that the talented midfielder has rejected a new deal at the club. After all, he offers genuine power and drive from the middle of the park, while he boasts a unique talent that will help the Toffees to vary their central midfield options.
With Barkley currently sidelined for up to three months with a serious hamstring injury, the Toffees will be hoping to retain their academy product for at least another season.
The addition of some cover at centre back
Although Everton look relatively strong at the back, they are arguably a little light on options at centre back (particularly of Ronald Koeman intend to play regularly with three at the back).
This may have inspired a last-ditch move for Barcelona’s former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen, with the Liverpool Echo suggesting that the Toffees are interested in completing a season-long loan deal.
Despite a poor track record with injuries, Vermaelen retains a commanding and experienced presence at the back, while the fact that he is left-sided also offer Koeman some much needed balance within his defensive unit.
He can also operate at full-back, so would definitely add some depth to Everton’s newly-formed defence. Barcelona may also be keen to do the deal, so this is a transfer that could take place towards the end of deadline day.
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