Eveton fans were expecting that there will make a charge for the top four and silverware last season, however it turned out to be one full of disappointments and poor performances. The result was that Roberto Martinez was sacked days after the final game, there is no doubting his abilities as a manager but the Spanish manager definitely missed a trick here as his team conceded way to many goals and squandered too many leads. Everton have brought in Ronald Koeman from Southampton to steady the ship. The Dutchman had a wonderful season with the Saints, that saw them finish record highest in the points table.
The new-found financial power at Everton with the arrival of Farhad Moshiri, will surely have encouraged the Dutchman that he can take the team up from 11th. He has always made his intentions clear about managing a big club but before that he must maintain the momentum that attracted the attention of Everton. He will have the necessary resources to strengthen the squad this summer, even though many top players are rumoured to be heading towards the exit door. Everton have that scope of improvement it’s now upto Koeman to get the best out of them. One player who has been consistently linked with a move to a big club is defender John Stones.
Last summer, the 22-year-old was subject to a move to Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea for £50 million, but incredibly the Barnsley born centre half remained on the blue side of Merseyside. Now, he is heavily linked with a big-money to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, and it looks somewhat inevitable that Stones will move on to pastures new. Therefore we look at three players who can replace Stones in the Everton back line.
Virgil van Dijk
If Stones does decide to move this summer, then Koeman might be tempted to raid his former club to get Van Dijik. The Dutch defender was in sensational form for the South Coast club last season. He already has three goals for Southampton, making him an attacking threat from set pieces, and more importantly he is a very competent centre-back, who is strong against attackers. He is still 25 years of age, therefore his best years are still yet to come.
Reid has been playing for West Ham since 2010, is much more experienced than stones but is also quite older. He will definitely be a risky signing but going by his performance last year with the Hammers, he seems to be in the form of his life. The New Zealand international is a tough centre back, who takes his defensive duties very seriously. He could prove to be a very important asset to the Everton back line.
The Napoli defender has been linked with a host of clubs this summer but with the departure of Stones, Everton will have the necessary resources to outbid other teams. Koulibaly is a quick and powerful defender, who has won six caps for Senegal since making his debut last year. He made 33 Serie A appearances last season, helping Napoli finish second.