Often we talk about what we need and first IXs, but football is a squad game nowadays, and hopefully this season will see us challenge for the top-4, while also making serious tilts to the 3 cup competitions. How is our squad prepared for this challenge?
Goal: Pickford gives us a certain no1 for the years to come, but Roubles' desire to move on means we lack decent back-up. With us hoping for a good run in Europe, the risk of having Stek in goal should any injury or suspension for Pickford is a risk too great to take. Also, real competition is always necessary in all positions. So back up keeper required.
Right-back/wing-back: Coleman is a potential club captain, one of the best in his position when fit. Unfortunately that will not be for some time. Kenny is a great prospect and should be given his chance, while Holgate can also do a job. In any crisis, Lennon and Davies also provide flexibility. No signings required.
Left-back/wing-back: Baines is our mr. Consistent, a great player for us over the years. Age is catching up, and a potential 50+ games this season is not something his organism will be looking forward to. With age comes loss of pace, and potential injury. We have no real cover here, Galloway out on loan and Garbutt not up to it. Ideally we'd have a potential long term replacement in mind, if not, then at least some sturdy back-up required.
Central-defence: occasionally we may play 3, mostly 2. Keane is our obvious main man there, and Williams and Jags can be relied upon if we interchange between them. But their long term replacement is needed. Also a big year for Mori, if he stays. Can he make the step up, make a solid pairing with Keane or is he just not good enough? Same can be asked about Holgate, can he step up and claim the position as his own? Pennington will offer back-up. Maybe required, albeit not priority.
Central midfield (defensive): Gana Gueye and Schneiderlin provide us with a solid base. Ball winners and positive, solid distribution. They guarantee we are not easy to play against. Back up is plentiful, with Barry, McCarthey, Besic and of course Davies all able to come in when needed.
Central midfield (creative/attacking): our undoubted weak spot. Klassen should provide goals and box-to-box energy. Barkley, well, we have no idea if he'll be here. Davies can also offer box-to-box energy, but that about sums it up. No great passers of the ball, no players whose brain and vision will win matches. At least one creative midfielder is needed.
Wingers/wide-forwards: Another weak spot. Mirallas continues to flatter to deceive. Decent to have around , option off the bench and Europa games but nothing much beyond that. Bolasie will miss half the season, and what he offers is still up for debate. Barkley can do a job as a forward on he right, but will he be here? Lennon offers squad numbers but little else. Both Sandro and Rooney may be deployed from the left. Lookman has great potential, but it is too soon to be relied upon. And Calvert-Lewin also has potential, but again not enough to rely upon just yet. At least one is needed.
Strikers: Rooney and Sandro are basically our only strikers, and both may be deployed in other positions. Calvert-Lewin may be able to claim he position, but a proven goal scorer, with ability to hold the ball and movement to bring others into the game is essential. At least one is needed.
Youth: Davies, Calvert-Lewin, and Lookman came in last season to offer genuine options to our first team. While Pennington cemented a place in the squad without looking like a real long term option as a starter. The coming season could well be defining for the futures of Dowell, Williams, Walsh and Kenny. Can they make the step up? With Europa League, as well as cups, they should get their chances. Maybe also some of the new lads signed to the u23s can make an impact too.
Based on this quick and highly subjective analysis, at least 5 new players are still needed for this club to mount a serious challenge on all fronts this season, 3 of which would be regulars in the first team.
Reader Comments (91)
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1 Posted 11/07/2017 at 05:55:44
We won't score enough and we won't create enough to challenge the top boys.
I can't believe we have spent so much without bringing in a "lock picker".
4 Posted 11/07/2017 at 07:04:49
Funny, but the more players we buy, the more we seem to need, Europa League and all. It's a two team game now.
At least one younger prospect will follow Davies through eventually, as well as Lookman. We're well set for the mid term but now is the issue, up front has to be addressed asap.
5 Posted 11/07/2017 at 07:08:32
Just seems a tad premature to me... seven weeks of the window still remaining and so many players on our radar, with more additions a virtual certainty. Let's wait and see how it shakes out.
6 Posted 11/07/2017 at 07:22:29
I want to get excited for the new team, but I don't really know who to get excited about. If Rooney wasn't a blue, we'd not beas welcoming as we have been â€“ and we've gone down the 'fading-pro' route before. It worked well with Barry, but it can go poorly as well (Eto'o?).
Other than Wayne, we've got a high potential defender, goal keeper and midfielder. None of them make me jump out of my seat. Last years signings of Bolasie and Schneiderlin were far more interesting as they were both players with a lot of proven Premier League pedigree.
I'm treading with caution here. I still fail to see where the goals will come from. Last year our problem was 'Who will create them?'. Now our problem is 'Who will create them and who will score them?'
7 Posted 11/07/2017 at 07:29:05
Outgoing: usual suspects: McCarthy, Barkley etc, Most important of all, the best striker we can get, maybe one of Man City's lot?
8 Posted 11/07/2017 at 07:31:22
Agree with Mike G about Stekelenburg and Will, you're right about the more we get the more we seem to need great comment :)
9 Posted 11/07/2017 at 07:54:23
It will be a bit easier to understand how it all fits together once the window is closed (so we know what pieces we have) and Koeman starts picking a few sides (so we know what formation we play).
On the specifics I would throw in Antonee Robinson as the potential cover for left back, he seems to have got ahead of Gallagher (in that he is not going out on loan) and he may be able to transition to the first team squad alongside Kenny. We also have Barry that can play left back. With both full back positions I am torn between bringing in a new first teamer or giving the youth a chance as back up for now. What I don't want is a short term make weight that blocks the youth and doesn't replace the incumbent.
As for midfield/attack I think it is clear that Sandro is a No 9 and that Rooney wants to play up front. Absent any new signings that will be two of our front 3. Bolasie when fit can provide the width, but in his absence I guess it will be Lookman/Mirallas fighting it out as they did at the end of last season. Barkley could also play in this front three.
In midfield it looks like Schneiderlin and Gueye in the Barry/McCarthy positions and Klaassen replacing Barkley as the attacking mid role.
For gaps I think we need another no.9 type striker and a wide attacking player as I don't rate Mirallas, Bolasie is injured for half the season (and may not be the same when he comes back) and Lookman may not be ready for prime-time.
Oddly although I have read that Sigurdsson can play anywhere across the front 3 I don't see him as being either of these types of players not the heading ability to be a No 9 nor the speed to play out wide.
As mentioned elsewhere there is a concern that we lack pace in the front 3 if we use Rooney and add Sigurdsson and Giroud to the mix.
The other player being linked is Leicester's Gray who is a winger but at 20 years old and struggling for game time at Leicester I wonder if this is the answer as we already have Lookman and there is the hugely talented Henry Onyekuru coming in next season.
It is all very exciting but it could all go totally pear shaped. Let's hope the management know what they are doing!! I think the next season will be a genuine transitional season and it will all start to really come together the following year. Can't see us finishing lower than 7th regardless.
10 Posted 11/07/2017 at 08:16:02
11 Posted 11/07/2017 at 08:30:13
David (#9) thanks for explaining about the jigsaw with supplemental pieces... it makes things so much easier to understand now!!!
To refer to last seasons squad as a 'completed puzzle' is just about the most ridiculous comment of all but good on you for making me chuckle.
12 Posted 11/07/2017 at 08:43:11
I would let McCarthy and Barry go and bring in one quality box to box midfielder. A creator and a striker are an obvious priority and I agree with us needing a quality winger.
Four players for me.
14 Posted 11/07/2017 at 09:23:03
15 Posted 11/07/2017 at 09:48:32
Then Nigel (#6) also makes me think, much I agree, some I don't.
We needed to move on. We needed to remember that this is a great club. A bloody giant!
Our shift in thinking, in behaviour has already got the cocky comfortable favoured few looking around and thinking twice. Good.
Buying "one good lad" and thinking "he'll make a big difference". Yep, smashing. That might have been true when footie was shown in black & white.
We've been "the best man's kid brother" for decades, never mind the third choice bridesmaid. Thinking like Accrington Stanley has won us just as many bits of silver.
New thinking. New players. New era.
16 Posted 11/07/2017 at 10:51:34
To me it's obvious a striker who can hold the ball up and bring others into play and someone who can feed them, without dithering on the ball.
The striker doesn't have to be a 20-goals-a-season man (although that would be nice) Giroud would be perfect. I'm sure one of our centre halves described him as the toughest No 9 they'd played against. My point is they don't have to be a world class player just someone who fits the system.
The playmaker a bit more difficult to find. Barkley to me always takes too long to release the ball, slows the play and gives opponents time. Top class players always appear to have time on the ball. We need a Mata or a David Silva, both of whom might be available.
17 Posted 11/07/2017 at 11:22:27
Now I feel like Augustus Gloop in the chocolate factory. We are gorging on everything available. We can go out and buy players who will improve us not just buying sticking plasters.
Being greedy I would like another striker, possibly Dembele. a genuine left mid though they are like rocking horse shit and a sub left back if the U23s can't provide one.
Our only problem is getting the players to gel together; if Koeman and team can get the team spirit going then we have great cause for optimism.
18 Posted 11/07/2017 at 12:26:51
19 Posted 11/07/2017 at 12:33:19
It can't be that drastic, can it?
20 Posted 11/07/2017 at 14:21:59
Should we acquire these players the balance doesn't look right particularly as they all look like first XI players to me in terms of quality, ego and wage costs.
21 Posted 11/07/2017 at 14:30:32
Getting a bunch of new faces doesn't always translate into success as we all know but better quality in midfield can ensure a fighting chance in most games.
I believe the midfield will be a big improvement on last season. I would dearly love to see Barkley play consistently well if he is a starter.
22 Posted 11/07/2017 at 14:46:37
With regards to replacing Lukaku's goals, I don't think it will be that difficult to do. Klaassen, Sandro and Rooney have all been brought in to add greater goal threat. We are still heavily linked to Sigurdsson who would add yet more goals from midfield.
David Ellis, I love the fact that we're being linked to players who all seem like 'First XI' material. For too long our squad has been paper thin.
23 Posted 11/07/2017 at 15:06:04
We will play a holding two, you are quite right, and this will be Gueye and Schneiderlin, with Davies, Barry, McCarthy, and Besic for support.
You then jump to lump in together the central midfield and the attacking midfield. these are two distinct positions, although unlikely to play in the same team and there will be some overlap.
If we play 4-3-3, then expect us to play one central midfielder just ahead of the holding two. This is Klaassen's position. And he is an excellent passer. that's what we have bought him for.
He is very quick at receiving the ball and moving it on. He doesn't take three or four touches and think what to do with it. The ball comes to feet, he's already made his decision and lined himself up for the pass and moves it on in a split second. This speed of passing is what we had the first season under Martinez, with Barry, McCarthy and Barkley, until it evaporated in the second season and all three were more laboured on the ball.
Backing up Klaassen is Davies, McCarthy and Barry. I expect Barry to be the one Koeman turns to in game where he can have a bit more time on the ball. Otherwise it'll be Davies or McCarthy depending on if he plays the two holding players mentioned above.
The attacking midfielder, the number 10 is Barkley. We have no one else who can do this position, although Koeman named Wayne as a 10. We could, as Koeman did a few times, play McCarthy or Davies as a false 10. A false 10 being a defensive player who's job it is to tackle a deep lying playmaker (Xabi Alonso / Pirlo type) and try to get us on the counter attack in a dangerous position. His passing doesn't need to be eye-of-the-needle stuff, it's win the ball and look for an easy pass and get us forwards. I think we are unlikely to see much of a 4-2-3-1 and so we are unlikely to play a No 10, unless Sigurdsson comes in for the right price.
I think we also need to separate wingers from inside forwards.
Left Wing: Lookman, and that's it. No one else has a left foot and will get to the left touch line and get crosses in. Bolasie can do this, but he's naturally right footed.
Right wing: Bolasie and Lennon.
Inside Left: Mirallas, Lookman, Sandro. All these guys like to come inside and use their right foot. Even Lookman. This player plays 10 to 15 yards off the touchline, like Pienaar, and is not looking to provide width. They are looking to shoot or play in the striker or inside right.
Inside Right: Barkley, Bolasie, Rooney, Sandro. A reverse of the above. They are expected to try to play in the striker or inside left or to shoot with their left. Barkley looked okay there for me at the end of last season, and I'd like to see more of him there. Barkley could be ideal in this position. He would do less defending than in a deeper midfield position, he can use his natural right foot as expected of someone on the right, but unlike the others in the category for this position, he has a booming left footed shot that is perhaps better or at least hit harder than off his more natural right.
Centre-Forward: Rooney, Sandro, Calvert-Lewin. This is a pivotal position. Pivotal usually means important in the context of English football, a position that all others move around. But here, I mean it in the truest sense of the term. It is a fixed position at others move around, or rotate around. So the inside forwards are flexible and can swap with each other, but the No 9 should be remaining fixed so as to occupy the defenders and cause them to lose the darting forwards who are moving away from their markers at fullback and charging across the centre back who needs to stay with the No 9.
If we play a 4-2-3-1, then the No 9 can be a bit more flexible, in that he can swap about, particularly with the 10, as the 10 becomes more pivotal. A 4-2-3-1 is caused a double pivot position due to the fixed position of the holding midfielders, and so brings flexibility to the forward line. Here Rooney could be 9 and drop to occupy 10, with the 10 roaming forward or wide and say Sandro coming in from the channel to move into the 9 position, and so pulling the defence apart and creating space.
Koeman is not signing wingers on purpose. It is clear to me that he will line up in the dutch favoured 4-3-3. We will then need a No 9 only.
I would say that we need a left winger, a centre forward and Barkley to sign or to be replaced, so as to have more tactical flexibility.
24 Posted 11/07/2017 at 15:06:55
26 Posted 11/07/2017 at 17:06:31
Niasse is listed in the squad and as a priority, I'd want to swap him for a proper quality striker. Aim high and go for Dollberg or Werner. Failing that, a proven EPL striker like a Giroud or a Dzeko.
The latter means adding a bit more pace. We need an upgrade on Mirallas and cover for Bolasie while he's out. Dembele (the Dortmund one) would be my choice, failing that Oyarzabal at Sociedad who is pacy and skilful, even though he dipped a bit last season.
Maybe we could coax Sessegnon from Fulham to learn from Leighton and be his long terms successor.
Elsewhere we need Sigurdsson only if we lose Barkley and on balance, I'm in the camp who still feels the latter has what it takes (and is a lot younger).
We have a surfeit of defensive midfielders and I'd be happy to raise some cash by selling McCarthy. I think Keane will need experience alongside him, so I'd leave that as is (unless we sell Funes Mori and need a replacement).
Right back is an issue. Seamus owns that position but he is out with a bad injury and I don't know how he'll be when he comes back. Nor does Holgate convince me there and Kenny isn't even listed. None of our centre-backs look like they can play there (I know Jags has, but far from convincingly). Tricky one. Maybe fill with a loan. If Sagna is still available, he'd fit the bill.
The two that would cost serious money here is the striker and the winger or left/right forward. But we have the Lukaku money (or some of it) plus we could raise a bit from selling Mirallas. McCarthy and maybe Besic. Oh and Niasse (snigger)...
27 Posted 11/07/2017 at 17:44:30
28 Posted 11/07/2017 at 17:55:14
29 Posted 11/07/2017 at 18:22:38
30 Posted 11/07/2017 at 18:33:36
31 Posted 11/07/2017 at 18:42:55
We have a dilemma now on whether to sign squad players (eg, a 27-year-old like Martina) and missing out on the prospect of seeing U23 stars like Antonee Robinson and Callum Connolly given opportunities as back up for Baines and Jonjoe Kenny as back up for Coleman. The manager has to weigh up the chances that we can unearth another Seamus Coleman or Tom Davies and save the club a shed load of money, against the possible loss of crucial points by playing players who were just not ready to step up.
The same issue arises in relation to Joe Williams, Liam Walsh and Kieran Dowell who along with others were very impressive in the U23 side last season. The introduction of young players last season has lifted our profile amongst the top youth talent and allowed us to sign Henry, Bowler, Donkor, Mathis.
All the U23 lads mentioned are qualified for List B of 8 players for the Europa League (Under 21 on Jan 1st 2017 and have been at the club for at least 2 years). We have submitted our List A of 25 for Europa League yesterday. 26 were listed with squad numbers for the new season. One of these was not on the Europa League list, so we can assume that was Tom Davies who is u21 and trained at Everton, so okay for list B. Interesting that Matthew Pennington was not in the 26 with squad numbers and is 22, so not qualified for List B.
We must have 8 homegrown players in our 25 for the Premier League. We have 13 in our list of 26 so no problem there. However, if we are to buy in 3 or 4 more players, we will need to sell 3 or 4 of the 26 named yesterday.
Nice to see Oumar Niasse get a squad number at least, although I expect he will be one to leave if we can sign another top striker. I wonder did he get a locker as well.
Quite a jigsaw. Then throw in the FFP regulations relating to % increase in Wages from season to season to further complicate matters, although as far as I can see, the penalty for exceeding the threshold is just a fine.
32 Posted 11/07/2017 at 19:05:03
I would go after Ben Mee. He is a decent enough left back having played there before making the switch to left centre-half. He is part of the reason Keane looked so good cleaning up after his mistakes made outside the box by providing cover.
Burnley almost never get trounced and generally the defenders keep them in the games. Might be worth a punt and can fill two positions of need as he can fill in for Baines and Funes Mori.
33 Posted 11/07/2017 at 20:32:26
It doesn't just have to be about raw speed of individuals across the ground (though that would help too, and we're still short of it).
34 Posted 11/07/2017 at 22:53:54
I don't agree with the lack of attacking midfielders with Rooney, Klaassen, Barkley fitting in naturally behind the main striker, with Schneiderlin and Davies as 'square pegs' in extremis. I would deprioritise signing Sigurdsson compared with a number 9 for up top.
I also don't agree with the 'weak' assessment of the 'wide' positions which probably means secondary strikers in reality.
Calvert-Lewin should not be considered an option here in my view (he is a fourth choice 9 after; TBC, Rooney and Sandro) but we still have Mirallas, Lennon, Rooney, Klaassen, Lennon, Sandro and Bolasie (to return eventually â€“ what he offers is not up for debate either by the way) to compete for the two wide offensive positions. Old-fashioned 'width' can come from fullbacks by switching to a two up front and three in the middle.
35 Posted 11/07/2017 at 23:08:24
Realistically all of our back 4 needed change, either immediately or imminently. Midfield looked light when you factor out Barry and McCarthy through age and injury. Gueye and Schneiderlin are different ways of playing one position. Deulofeu, Lukaku and Barkley were likely to leave (of course two now have).
I concluded we would need about six signings just to cover the forced change and I just couldn't see us doing it. Well the club proved me wrong there!
Obviously we still need more to improve but is it realistic to build a team from that many new players in one go? And would we be better served progressing the current crop, improving our standing and then aiming a bit higher than the likes of Benteke? If this side could be in the top 4 in January then that would make for a great opportunity.
36 Posted 11/07/2017 at 23:31:10
Might be better to build our team tactics and understanding on what we have at this stage and build again next window.
37 Posted 12/07/2017 at 04:24:14
The overriding coaching philosophy at the time was try to find a player who was a good athlete and a decent enough footballer. Cruyff turned it on it's head. Of course they had to be fit, but he looked for the footballer first. Once he found the footballer they coached football, football, football and less on the training side. Possession and winning it back quickly after the turnover, much as Barca do now, was the philosophy.
Given that Ronnie Koeman had some of his greatest moments playing for Cruyff, I don't think he will be too worried about the pace. Fitness yes and a team ethic, but pace is a bonus.
With regard to the article that spawned this thread, I believe that, even if we sign nobody else and we lose Ross, we are more ready than we were last year. If we sign more then even more ready.
38 Posted 12/07/2017 at 06:20:13
I think Jim Hardin (#36) has tipped the player we need to complete the starting eleven Trippier of Spurs.
Given the uncertainty surrounding Barkley, I wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of deal involving both of them.
39 Posted 12/07/2017 at 06:31:59
No chance with Trippier though for many reasons. One of the biggest ones being why would he swap a first XI spot if walker goes at spurs for a back up spot with us? And probably the biggest one, he's just signed a 5-year contract a week or two ago.
I also think we'll be okay at right back until Coleman comes back as I think Kenny deserves a chance and we also have Holgate who can do a job when needed. The more pressing situation is left back cover. Hopefully those rumours about the Dutch lad are true so we get more cover at center back as well as left back.
40 Posted 12/07/2017 at 08:40:15
Constantly talked about by media and fans, they almost never happen!
41 Posted 12/07/2017 at 09:17:31
Ernie â€“ in the light of James's post you are almost certainly right on this one â€“ and I have to agree right in most other cases also.
I will put one caveat on that though â€“ this week's business with Man Utd smacks heavily to me of creative accounting.
42 Posted 12/07/2017 at 14:01:13
I hate people who claim ITK status, but there's a bloke who posts on a forum that has an incredible record and claims to be close to the club. He's adamant that we had an offer of £100M from Chelsea and took Rooney in lieu of a £10M fee.
43 Posted 12/07/2017 at 17:50:12
And not a particularly good touch either.
44 Posted 12/07/2017 at 18:01:29
45 Posted 12/07/2017 at 18:28:05
Hard to argue with your analysis but for me if we could sign the likes of Sigurdsson and Giroud, Dembele or Vardy, I think we will gone a long way towards a squad that can breach the top 4.
Riedewald or Van Dijk would be icing on the cake,
I can't see Pennington or Dowell making the grade but have high hopes for Kenny, Williams, Walsh, Calvert-Lewin and Lookman together with Galloway and Browning.
46 Posted 13/07/2017 at 02:57:04
People say right back can be covered by some of the younger lads and that may be correct for finishing 7th, but if we want to push on then right back needs a quality fill in/replacement for Coleman.
As has been said, Rooney and Sandro are our only real senior strikers - Niasse still won't get much chance despite getting a squad number - so a Giroud type of experience/quality is needed.
Left back is a grim position at the club as Baines just isn't what he used to be. If/when he goes down, who from that squad is good enough to compete against the top clubs?
47 Posted 13/07/2017 at 07:42:10
If Sigurdsson is worth £50m, we were robbed over Lukaku.
48 Posted 13/07/2017 at 08:05:12
Coleman Williams Keane Baines
Lemar Rooney Sandro
49 Posted 13/07/2017 at 08:20:10
The facts are we finished 7th last season way out in front of 8th but too far behind 6th (and Man Utd are only going to get better next season). So what is the real target for next season? Break into the top 6? Win a trophy? Push for Champions League?
I think we might have to be realistic. I think Koeman is building a squad that can certainly challenge the top 6 this season and deal with the pressure of European football and all the games that come with it.
The youngsters will get some decent game time this season, and for me that's the most important thing. It will give them much experience and bring them along so they're ready next season or the season after that.
This might not please all fans who want overnight success (and God knows we've waited long enough!) but what's the point of investing in an academy and young players if you're not preparing for 2-3 seasons down the road?
Personally, I'd be happy if we made a real go at the top 6 this season, gained valuable European experience, and of course a great cup run with a trophy at the end would be the icing on the cake! I think we have the squad to do that.
The facts are IMO that by the time the transfer window closes we'd have lost our best player and goal scorer (who's gone to the team who finished one place above us last season and therefore strengthened them) but we would have strengthened several positions, have made 3-4 more signings, have another couple of youngsters ready to make the step up, and overall we'll have a much better squad than last season. That's improvement for me and a step in the right direction. It may take a little time for them to all gel and play the way Koeman wants, but we'll definitely be in better shape.
50 Posted 13/07/2017 at 12:01:47
That will be eight signings now....
51 Posted 13/07/2017 at 12:40:18
I'd say the main problem we all have at the moment, is so many new faces have come in, it's difficult to assess who will fit where in a team, as we don't know what shape we will play, will we play 3 or 4 at the back?
Lukaku leaving may well require a new formation up front; for example, we know Rooney can play wide if required. I'd be happier to see more movement up front, perhaps a dynamic, interchangeable front 3 (4-3-3 that can also be 4-5-1) that makes space for the midfield to move into, rather than an (albeit effective) goal-hanger.
52 Posted 13/07/2017 at 13:55:12
53 Posted 13/07/2017 at 14:12:09
54 Posted 13/07/2017 at 21:07:14
I would bring in a stronger back up and sell Robles. Pickford would be first choice and keep Stekelenburg as back up.
I would bring in an experienced right back on a year contract to cover Kenny until Coleman returns.
I would bring someone in to compete/cover Baines as there is no way he can play 2 games a week. I would send Garbutt out on loan or even sell if we can get a decent offer.
I would bring in a left footed player aged 24-28 to partner Keane. I would allow Jagielka to leave and sell Funes Mori this leaves with 5 centre backs with Williams, Holgate and Pennington as back up.
I would bring in a number 8 style midfielder and I would allow Barry to leave and sell McCarthy. It would give us out new player, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Davies and Besic competing for 2 or 3 places depending on formation
Rooney and Klaaasen with Barkley being sold.
I would bring 2 new wingers in one for each side with at least one of them being able to player number 10 role. I would also keep Bolasie, Mirallas and Lookman. I would send Lennon out on loan to make sure he got came time. McGeady would be sold.
Sandro would start season as first choice I would buy top class competition who could also be played alongside if formation allowed. Calvert-Lewin kept as back up. Niasse sold or loaned out Rodriguez loaned or released.
55 Posted 14/07/2017 at 07:44:34
Does not look right does it? No wingers; two defenisve midfielders at home.
Anyone do better?
56 Posted 14/07/2017 at 13:40:35
Defenders: Keane and Williams will probably form the go-to partnership, with Jagielka, Mori and Holgate ready to step up at any time. Baines's age has been catching up with him for some time now and someone like Ben Chilwell would be a welcome addition. Coleman would be one of the first names on the teamsheet, but until he remains on the sidelines, someone (namely Cuco Martina) to provide the inexperienced Jonjoe Kenny with some competition for places would be very useful.
Midfielders: As said multiple times already, we need creative force able to unlock defences and at the moment I can't see one player of that type in the squad. Sure, Klaassen might yet turn out to be that person. I'd much rather invest in a pacy, versatile, agile dribbler type winger/attacking midfielder (like Mahrez or Lanzini, etc.) instead of Sigurdsson though, who's decent, but more an artisan than an artist and a bit overrated, if you ask me.
Forwards: When you lose someone like Lukaku, you must replace him very sensibly and the problem is, top strikers are in very short supply these days. Any choice brings lots of risk, but considering we've already lost bags of pace with departures of Lukaku, Deulofeu and the injury to Bolasie, I'd rather go for someone with a little bit more pace than Giroud or Dzeko. Replacing Rom with a like-for-like seems the easiest solution, so I'd focus on Batshuayi, Benteke or Moussa Dembele (in this very order).
To put it short, we need 4 new players: a back-up right-back, a left-back, a creative attacking midfielder/winger and a striker.
57 Posted 14/07/2017 at 15:00:37
An interesting season and with that lot distracted by Europe and Spurs at Wembley there is hope for loftier ambitions but we will have our own issues with the Europa League.
I doubt we'll be challenged from below; however, it's going to be a long slog, but hopefully an enjoyable one!
58 Posted 14/07/2017 at 20:18:35
It's effectively a 4-3-2-1, with the 2 made up of one wide player and one no. 10.
With that in mind we are not as far away as 5 players.
Lookman will figure alot this season and Bolasie is still to come back. We also have Mirallas and Lennon who can play as a wide-man. That's 4 for effectively 1 position.
No 10 Barkley and Klaassen are directly competing, while Rooney can play there. We will need one if Barkley goes, although don't count Dowell out.
CF Sandro or Rooney with Calvert-Lewin also looking for more minutes in that role. Maybe 1 more, if the right player becomes available.
DMs Schneiderlin and Gana first choice. Barry and Besic back-ups
CM Davies has saved us some money here. We also have McCarthy and Klaassen could play this role. We have Joe Williams and Liam Walsh coming through.
RB Agree with the OP
CB Agree with the OP
LB I think it was madness to let Galloway go on loan. I hope we get to see some of Antonee Robinson, but I do think we need to be looking at this area.
GK - Stekelenburg will do fine as a back-up for this season, but we will need one longer term if Robles goes.
59 Posted 15/07/2017 at 09:48:13
Kenny Williams Keane Baines
Sandro Barkley Lookman
60 Posted 15/07/2017 at 10:18:55
Coleman Keane Williams Baines
Gueye Klaassen Schneiderlin
Barkley Rooney Sandro
61 Posted 15/07/2017 at 10:34:40
62 Posted 15/07/2017 at 21:46:51
There'll be a lot of players either not making the squad or on the bench, Koeman will have to manage this well. But of course we have Europe and I'm sure we'll get injuries.
It'll be interesting to see what the usual starting 11 will be. Will Davies start? He is a very good player, verging on outstanding. I can't see Calvert-Lewin starting much with the new additions.
63 Posted 16/07/2017 at 00:43:42
Kenny Keane AN Other Baines
Gueye Klaassen Schneiderlin
Barkley Rooney Sandro
64 Posted 16/07/2017 at 15:00:43
Ashley Williams is another I have severe reservations over and I would choose Jagielka, Fumes Mori or Holgate over him every time.
Another striker must be the main priority followed by a left back. I think we're well served in midfield and would prefer to spend the Sigurdsson money elsewhere.
65 Posted 16/07/2017 at 19:15:42
Sadly he's the weak link. Wishing Galloway wasn't loaned out. We still keep players way too long.
66 Posted 17/07/2017 at 04:25:19
Rooney will be our No.10 and will compete with Barkley for that position with Dowell and Klaassen also available to play that position. According to the Blue Room podcast Sandro is a No 9 rather than a No.10 (which is consistent with what you are suggesting).
If Sigurdsson came in he would take the wide forward role as would Walcott,. Otherwise its as you say between Bolasie, Mirallas and Lookman or possibly Dowell.
Klaassen will be competing with Davies for the attacking midfield role as opposed to being our No 10. Although he may play as a No 10 if Rooney is injured and Barkley is gone. Joe Williams I thought was a No 10 rather than the attacking midfield option, but never seen him play.
The left back cover for Baines seems to be Calum Connolly ahead of Antonee Robinson, but it seems that we are looking for cover in this area from the transfer rumours.
So with the current fit players that we have I think we would start with
Holgate (or Kenny) Keane Williams Baines
Most likely we will have first team starters to replace Sandro and Lookman by the time the season starts as well as a possible right back to cover for Coleman and get in ahead of Holgate... or Kenny... depending on how Kenny does. Holgate is not a right back but Koeman might prefer him over Kenny for his defensive qualities early doors against the big teams.
67 Posted 17/07/2017 at 09:53:38
The media continue the myth of Everton indulging in a "spending spree". The truth is yet again that Everton have made a transfer surplus.
And any future purchases are entirely reliant on raising more money via selling Ross Barkley. But don't worry: Bill is a massive Evertonian.
68 Posted 17/07/2017 at 10:04:27
The biggest difference for me this summer is the professional way in which we have acquired our targets so early into the window. It's been remarkable.
69 Posted 17/07/2017 at 10:14:42
Han't Wenger build several successful teams by balancing the books but spending heavily on player development & wages? Year-on-year spending counts for a lot more than buying a whole team in one summer.
Champions League and a new 60,000 stadium by 2020? It's happening.
70 Posted 17/07/2017 at 10:51:31
I appreciate that various areas overlap and help fund each other but if we end up with a few extra players in and a transfer surplus, helped by the sale of one player for approx £75 million, then that's all good.
71 Posted 17/07/2017 at 11:15:18
Not this time. This time, we bought early in the window (on top of the £30m spent in January) and we've bought 8 players, I'm not sure its possible to do more than that. We've also massively increased our wage bill, entered into much better commercial/sponsorship deals and acquired the land for a new stadium.
It couldn't be more different than the Bill Kenwright owning years - we have the money and we have a professional team within the club who know how to execute. If despite all this our net spend is zero than that's great because it means more dry powder for the next window.
72 Posted 17/07/2017 at 11:31:01
"And any future purchases are entirely reliant on raising more money via selling Ross Barkley".
I must have missed that announcement.
73 Posted 17/07/2017 at 11:54:23
He needs to sack his scouts.
74 Posted 18/07/2017 at 19:53:55
75 Posted 18/07/2017 at 20:05:32
76 Posted 19/07/2017 at 14:12:16
As things stand we need a main striker of some repute.
If Barkley's on his way, which looks likely, we need a replacement for him.
If Joel's on his way we need another keeper.
In addition we could do with cover at centre-back / left-back.
78 Posted 20/07/2017 at 18:29:59
Moshiri will want to more than balance the books, though, as he has a vast sum to garner if the riverside dream ground is to become more than just that.
79 Posted 20/07/2017 at 18:37:23
80 Posted 20/07/2017 at 18:43:02
Now that it seems we can't sell Barkley, coincidentally our spending has stopped. This squad is nowhere near strong enough yet. We are far too short in attack.
81 Posted 20/07/2017 at 18:49:47
82 Posted 20/07/2017 at 19:04:54
Chris (#81), keeping the powder dry is not necessarily a good policy when it comes to a striker. If the best strikers move early on in the window, as appears to be the case, there might be nobody worthwhile left to spend your money on later on.
I notice that Iheanacho hasn't gone to Leicester yet. Worth intercepting that deal? Unlike David, I do think that there's money still available for a striker, even without selling Barkley I just don't think the opportunity to buy a striker has presented itself yet. After all, we're not in the Morata league yet.
83 Posted 20/07/2017 at 19:09:43
Lukaku isn't the only player to have departed. Quite a few have left, which includes their salaries. Those salaries have now gone to the new players we've added with the Lukaku money. Why do people always forget about the salaries of players we release, loan, or sell for nominal fees?
84 Posted 20/07/2017 at 19:11:17
I was meaning for David and Phil to keep their powder dry until the window slams shut, not for Everton to.
If, by then, we haven't brought in the required players... then fair enough, and I'll be with them.
85 Posted 20/07/2017 at 19:12:12
86 Posted 20/07/2017 at 19:14:15
87 Posted 20/07/2017 at 19:23:12
Are you sure, it's quite a list. Lukaku, Deulofeu, McGeady, Kone, Cleverley, Valencia, McAleny.
Onyekuru, Galloway, Browning all loaned out.
That's quite a lot of salary to go through.
88 Posted 20/07/2017 at 19:26:00
I expressed it clumsily, mate.
89 Posted 20/07/2017 at 20:25:39
Surely we must be getting another striker and Koeman & Walsh must be confident of whoever is lined up for us to not be in for either of these.
90 Posted 20/07/2017 at 22:53:37
Indeed we have "saved" nothing at all on Kone and Valencia. One was out of contract (fully paid up) and Valencia was on a season long loan with no commitment to buy. We've loaned Onyekuru out but still have a commitment to pay the rest of his contract.
'm sure our wage bill for next season and beyond has increased considerably even if transfers appear to have balanced out.
91 Posted 22/07/2017 at 09:12:17
92 Posted 23/07/2017 at 20:00:29
Koeman now has a massive job. We ended up last year with a good potential squad with everybody saying we only needed 3 or 4 players and we will double that at least in buys and youngsters who are banging at the gate. Now we'll see how good our manager is. No wish to be irrational but I don't like the bloke and don't think he produced any significant progress last year. I hope he proves me wrong.
It'll need a couple of seasons at least and a lot of heartache in between. My opinion? We've only done a Liverpool/Spurs and bought a pile of players who individually aren't good enough to get into a title-winning team. Unless Koeman produces magic then this possibly means that we don't yet have the squad for a title push. We haven't bought real class and in fact have sold our only truly class player and we probably need a couple of genuinely class players to get to the very top.
It may be that we have them already as bargains and in the chaos of the Premier League, Europe and the cup competitions next seasons we may just gel as a squad.
Do you know who I feel that we missed badly? Hernandez (ex Man Utd; now West Ham), he would have been a great risk to take at that price.
My plea to the fans, especially the small group of irrationally negative ones, is to get behind the team in what will be difficult times ahead and remember what real supporters do. Great things are happening at the club; let's enjoy the ride even though it could be a roller-coaster.
93 Posted 24/07/2017 at 19:27:21
94 Posted 24/07/2017 at 19:40:33
95 Posted 24/07/2017 at 19:57:07
Last season, some thought it was a fairly solid but "underwhelming" one. My view is that, with the players he had, he did well and our position and goal difference, our goals for and our goals against were all much better than the previous season.
This one coming has seen our club bring in some top quality players, some excellent young potential and has brought us in a number of leaders and winners.
I don't think there is a player mentioned by any of us, that Walshy and Ronald have not assessed on a} the attributes they would bring; b) their attitudes and c} if we could get them! It's all very well saying we should get this player or that one but I would guess that Ronald knows exactly who he wants for each position he sees a need to fill or improve.
As it stands, we are now likely to produce a team that will be more aggressive, more thoughtful, more mobile and with each game that we play, the players will get to know each others game better.
I think we'd be lucky to all spark from the word go but we have at least four players who can bang goals in from any distance and at least four attacking players whose passing abilities are excellent.
If Koeman cant get the centre-forward he wants, then I think he would wait and would just get someone in on loan for the interim. I don't know if Dembele would be sold or whether Ronald would have him, if he was available.
I think we will be challenging for the top six much more aggressively; and my hope is that the teams above us will think they have a match on there hands when they play us. This time next year, I think we will be bringing in even more players of quality and if we can do in two years, what it's taken Spurs, Man City and the other lot 5,6, or 7 years, then we're on our way.
I think we can and I can't wait for the season to start.
96 Posted 24/07/2017 at 21:06:37
We still have the age old problem though of only being able to sign players that the usual top 6 clubs don't want and like it or not that's a big handicap.
We are only 2/1 to finish in the top 6 this year but that's the bookies being ultra cautious. I'd need 4/1+ before having a bet as our early League fixtures are hellish.
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