What does the Premier League 2018/19 season look like for Everton?
After spending sky-high last summer, Everton started the previous season on a high but by early November, they were brought back to earth as the club got embroiled in a relegation scrap. Although the Toffees finished 8th, that does not soften the fact that they endured an awful season.
Marco Silva has been appointed as Everton’s new manager and is finally at the helm of the club. Silva, charged with producing an exciting and attacking brand of football, must deliver positive results after getting sacked in the midst of last season by Watford.
After a wretched season, can Silva turn around Everton’s fortunes in the 2018/19 campaign?
Everton have signed Richarlison from Watford for a club-record fee of £40million. The Brazilian began brilliantly under Silva at Watford but faded post-November. Now reunited with Silva, Richarlison must justify his hefty price-tag this season.
The left-back position needed strengthening last season itself but Everton were too busy spending on other areas of the field. With Leighton Baines ageing and past his prime, Silva has signed Lucas Digne from Barcelona. Digne could be a valuable asset and he is a player who will certainly suit Silva’s style of play.
It was understandably difficult to offload the deadwood but Silva has done well. The likes of Wayne Rooney, Ramiro Funes Mori, Joel Robles and Ashley Williams have all left Everton, while Kevin Mirallas has joined Fiorentina on loan.
Meanwhile, Werder Bremen have done a big favour to Davy Klaassen by putting end to his disastrous Everton stint.
Key Player: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Sigurdsson had a mediocre campaign following his big-money move from Swansea. However, he was often played out of position on the left by Ronald Koeman to accommodate Wayne Rooney centrally.
Now that Rooney and Davy Klaassen have departed, the onus will be on Sigurdsson to make the No.10 role his own and start impacting games, which he seldom did last season.
The appointment of Silva should bring some much-needed stability. He must extract the most out of his players, especially Richarlison.
Cenk Tosun, Theo Walcott and Richarlison must improve Everton’s attack, while Sigurdsson should be granted the freedom to influence games in his own way.
Read more: Go for it Silva – This 27-year-old World Cup sensation could be a shrewd signing for Everton
Predicted finish: 7th
If the players succeed in understanding Silva’s model of play and reproduce it on the pitch, Everton could be in for a solid season and possibly finish 7th.