(I'll open with an apology to Mike Allison who also did a similar (and very good) article a few days ago.  I wrote this article a few weeks ago but wanted to wait till we were safe before publishing.)  

So it looks as though we will be a Premier League outfit next season despite everything. 

Summer 2024 will see a major overhaul in the squad. Obviously, that is a huge blow, especially Branthwaite.  Though it would be good to keep him, it’s almost certain that the finances won’t let us.

There’s a good chance we’ll lose quite a few more too.  Contenders include:

  • Fringe players for very low sums (Keane, Godfrey, Maupay, Holgate and Patterson)
  • Fringe players ending contracts (Gomes, Alli)
  • Older players on ending contracts (Gueye, Coleman, Young)
  • Young players on ending contracts (Kouyate, Warrington, Dixon and John)
  • Players entering the final year of their contract (DCL, Virginia, Godfrey, Keane, Doucoure, Onyanyo and Dobbin)
  • Loan players who we won’t re-sign (Danjuma and Harrison)
  • Beto (to avoid further payment obligations?)

After settling some bills, there won’t be a big transfer kitty even if we generate a lot of money from sales.  In fact we may only be able to spend 50% of what we bring in.  Maybe less than that. The meagre kitty will be spread across a lot of players, too.  Maybe as many as 10.  Maybe more.  So I doubt we’ll see any signings for more than around £20m, with most being between around £5m and £12m – and others comprising loans and frees.

And those who are hoping to see us give a chance to youth, I would point out that we have no-one in the England youth set up at any level – other than 16-year-old goalkeeper Douglas Lukjanciks. Whilst it is romantic to believe someone will step up if given the chance, there’s no obvious talent to promote just yet (and most would benefit more from a Championship level loan).  To remedy this, we’re already starting to recruit young teenagers like Boakye, Akarakiri and Graham – with lots more heavily linked.  But none of those will be first team ready next season.

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On that basis, I thought I’d look at what a realistic post re-set squad might look like based on rumours, financial constraints and the sorts of signings Thelwell makes. There’s no McTominay or Gallagher or other regularly mentioned favourites (who we are just never going to sign in reality).  But despite the departures there is a bit more pace, a bit more depth and maybe more goals.  It still going to be a hard season ahead though so hopefully Thelwell and Dyche can do better than I have…


We’ll miss Branthwaite and (despite his critics) Onana but this side probably at least has more pace going forward than our current First XI.

Goalkeeper: Pickford

Right back: Rensch (complete speculation but fits the bill due to likely price / availability) – but Norton-Cuffey would be a really good option.

  • Rumours: Dest of Barcelona, very unlikely to join in my opinion. Just lazy journalism because Barca are linked with Onana. Van den Berg (Middlesborough) although he’s really a CB not a RB, especially at Premier League level.
  • Free: Walters (Arsenal academy), Tete (Fulham).
  • Loan: Norton-Cuffey (Millwall on loan from Arsenal).
  • Final year of contract: Rensch (Ajax) and Comenencia (the Dutch full-back in Juve’s academy)
  • Low cost: Assignon (currently on loan at Burnley from Rennes), Gendrey (Lecce)

Left Back: Mykolenko

Right Centre Back: Tarkowski

Left Centre Back: Greaves (almost nailed on to replace Branthwaite given he’s another tall left footer and strongly linked – I think he’ll do well under Dyche and alongside Tarkowski).

  • Rumours: Greaves (Hull) DeWinter (below) and Lenglet (Barcelona), Anselmino (Boca Juniors)
  • Free: Adarabioyo (Fulham), Kelly (Bournemouth) – but both seem to be headed to richer clubs.
  • Loan: DeWinter (young Belgian currently on loan at Genoa from Juve); Doyle (Man City)
  • Low cost: O’Brien (Lyon), Esteve (Burnley on loan from Montpellier), Toure (Lorient) and Sangante (Le Havre).

Holding midfield: Ugochukwu (since he is almost exactly the same size and shape as Onana and should be available on loan) – but Keita, Chotard and Barranachea are probably better footballers.

  • Rumours: Gueye of Marseille, but purely because he’s free – not because he’s any good.
  • Free: Gueye (Marseille)
  • Loan: Barrenechea (young Argentine currently on loan at Frosinone from Juve) Ugochukwu (Chelsea)


  • Low Cost: Renato Veiga (Basel), Maloney (Heidenheim), Sheaf (Coventry), Onyedika (Brugge) Menino (Palmeiras), Chotard (Montpellier), Keita (Antwerp) and Charles (Saints).

Central midfield: Garner (despite lazy rumours to Fermin Lopez of Barca).

Right wing / midfield: Nelson (loan) – Whittaker would be really interesting given goal output but I think he’s headed to Italy with Atalanta or Lazio.

  • Rumours: Asprilla (Watford) Weah (Juve) Sarr (Marseille) Iling Junior (Juve)
  • Loan: Nelson (Arsenal) Chukwueze (AC Milan)
  • Low Cost: Whittaker (Plymouth)

Left wing / midfield: McNeil (although he might be shifted into the number 10 role to accommodate faster players on the flanks, some of whom are listed below).

Attacking midfield / No 10: Hamilton (complete speculation but fits the bill and will only cost a development fee) – but all of the loan options noted would be good along with Rowe of Norwich.

  • Rumours: Fati of Barcelona (lazy journalism).
  • Free: Hamilton of Man City academy.  This kid should be one of our top transfer targets of the summer in my view.
  • Loan: McAtee (Sheff Utd on loan from City), Patino (Swansea on loan from Arsenal), Rowe-Smith (Arsenal) Tillman (PSV on loan from Bayern) Ndiaye (Marseille)
  • Low Cost: Doumbia (Brest) Baturina (Dinamo Zagreb) Spertsyan (Krasnodar)
  • Final year of contract: Rowe (Norwich)

Striker: DCL (I think we’ll offer him a new contract – although wouldn’t surprise me if we are offered a decent fee and sell). Fofana is a very strong option for development if DCL does leave.

  • Rumours: Beier (Hoffenheim)
  • Free: Adams (Saints) Iheanacho (Leicester) McBurnie (Sheff Utd)
  • Loan: Broja (Fulham on loan from Chelsea), Fofana (Burnley on loan from Chelsea)
  • Low Cost: Saldanha (Partizan Belgrade), Durosinmi (Viktoria Plzen) Kennedy (Fluminense) Biereth (Sturm Graz on loan from Arsenal) Brereton-Diaz (Sheff Utd on loan from Villareal)



I haven’t gone into this in any massive detail because there are literally hundreds of players who could be recruited for the second string.  Just some of the more obvious players who fit the profile.

Goalkeeper: Virginia / Tyrer

Right Back: Bogle (I think it’s time up for Patterson) / ColemanRumours: NoneFree: Bogle of Sheffield United

Left Back: Burrows Rumours: Archie Brown (Gent). Free: Taylor (Burnley), Burrows (Peterborough)

Right Centre Back: Keane (sorry to break hearts but possibly one more season before he goes) / Welch

Left Centre Back: Wood (complete speculation but fits the bill as a free transfer with lots of scope to improve) – though a player like 18-year-old Alleyne from City could become our new Stones or Branthwaite and looks a tremendous player.  That’s the reason for the interest in 18 year old Anselmino – although he will go elsewhere.  Vitik and Koulierakis look very good also.

  • Rumours: Anselmino (Boca Juniors)
  • Free: Wood (Swansea) Osho (Luton) Alleyne (Man City)
  • Low fee: Kouliarakis (Salonika) and Vitik (Sparta Prague).

Holding Midfield: Gueye (possibly re-signed) / Metcalfe

  • Rumours: None
  • Free:  Lundstram (Rangers), Susoho (Man City academy)

Centre Midfield: Brownhill (Brownhill likely as free and known to Dyche – decent player too).

  • Rumours: Brownhill (Burnley) because he’s free – Moder (Brighton) and Onyeka (Brentford).
  • Free: Brownhill (Burnley), Hughes (Palace), DaSilva (Brentford), Barkley (Luton), Wright (Man City academy).

Attacking Midfield: Doucoure

Right Wing: Asprilla / Mills (we may get a complete wild card like Sosa but suspect they will try to get Asprilla given he has acclimatised well already to English football – and Mills may get a chance too).

  • Rumours: Sosa: 24-year-old Paraguayan winger with impressive in the Argentine league for Talleres.
  • Free: Skov (Hoffenheim) Ounas (Lille).
  • Small fee: Shoretire (Man Utd academy).

Left Wing: Dobbin / Ebere

  • Rumours: O’Hare (Coventry).
  • Free: O’Hare (Coventry).
  • Final year of contract: Sessegnon (Spurs).

Striker: McBurnie / Chermiti

It wouldn’t surprise me if Beto goes abroad to avoid us having to pay out on this; and McBurnie comes in on a free transfer to provide some experienced muscle while Chermiti continues to develop.  

Reader Comments (25)

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Jamie Sweet
1 Posted 01/05/2024 at 23:43:04
Very interesting, thanks, Robert.

Agree on Jacob Greaves, he looks like the perfect replacement for Branthwaite if we are sadly forced to cash in on him. There are definitely some similarities in their style of play.

Apparently West Ham are after Greaves now though, and Hull are reportedly wanting £15M.

So, unless we sort our shit out nice and early in the transfer window (which let's face it, we rarely do), we might not be able to compete in the market for some of the more sought-after players on your list.

Eric Myles
2 Posted 02/05/2024 at 08:06:36
Some salary info I posted on another thread that might help your calculations, Robert.

Everton Player Salaries

Eric Myles
3 Posted 02/05/2024 at 08:08:25
And the other thing, Jamie #1, is that we really have to sell before 30 June to help our PSR and only then can we buy.
Dave Williams
4 Posted 02/05/2024 at 08:16:11
Fascinating stuff, Robert. I confess I have never heard of 90% of these players and am in awe of your knowledge. I just hope our club are equally aware or otherwise they should appoint you quickly!

Great article!!

Jerome Shields
5 Posted 02/05/2024 at 08:21:15
Thanks, Robert for trying to provide solutions, which you have done comprehensively. There may be attempts to extend loans.

It just shows the results of a transfer policy based on loans and delayed payment to appease the financial situation, instead of a proper Strategic Review with across-the-board cost cutting and accountability. Hopefully restructuring will address this long overdue process.

Mal van Schaick
6 Posted 02/05/2024 at 08:31:28
Aside from Young, keep the same squad and just have another season of points deductions?

Joking aside, let Alli, Young and Holgate go, because this squad has proven that it has enough to be virtually a Top 10 club. Take Harrison on a loan again or buy him.

Pickford has shown that he is a loyal Evertonian, and in my opinion, he has been one of three of four players who have given their all, in dire circumstances and we must appreciate that and hopefully keep them.

If the ownership issue can be resolved and we have decent owners, re-schedule the debt, tweak the finances and pick through the rules, to enable us to recruit a few more players and let Dyche have some freedom to build his own team.

Bring on summer and bring on next season.

Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 02/05/2024 at 09:32:36
I'm with Dave Williams I don't recognise most of those players.

Fair credit and respect Robert. That must take hours of detailed research.

I consider myself a strategic thinker, but with Everton, I am mostly looking at the next match regardless who is playing.

Mal, good shout on Pickford. If it wasn't for his sometimes endless punts thatc an often go straight to the opposition's keeper, he would be up their for Manager's Player of the Season, although I think that will go to Tarkowski.

Young player of the season will undoubtedly go to Branthwaite, although he could quite easily pick that up as well as Player's Player and make it a treble.

Onto Luton. That is what is in front of us.

Lee Courtliff
8 Posted 02/05/2024 at 12:20:54
Burnley have a years option on Brownhill's contract so he would still cost a fee. I do quite like the look of McAtee at Sheffield United, hopefully Man City would loan him to us.

Smith-Rowe from Arsenal on loan won't happen but would be magic if it did.

Mihir Ambardekar
9 Posted 02/05/2024 at 13:40:30
Players to leave:– Holgate (~£2M), Lonergan, Keane, Dele, Gomes, Young, Maupay (£7-8M), Onana (£55-60M), Patterson (£8-10M). We will get nearly £75M from sales and save on salaries.

Player to be kept at all cost this season:– Branthwaite

To be sent on loan:– Chermiti (Championship), Warrington, Mills, Hunt, Welch, Ebere, Metcalfe, Okoronkwo, etc.

Players to sign:–

1. Ndidi, replacing Onana (on a free)

2. Barkley, replacing Gomes (on a free). He did well last season. He can play as an attacking midfielder or deep-lying creative midfielder.

2. Gueye:– contract renewal… or spend on Florentino Luis (Benfica) that will entail lot of cost (£40M). We don't have a pot to piss in.

3. Right Back:– Ridle Baku from Wolfsburg (may leave in the summer and has 1 year left on contract. May cost ~£15M). Better than Patterson, who is not fancied by Dyche.

4. Left defender:– Jacob Greaves (£15-20M). May be a natural replacement for Jarrad in 2025. I think he can also play as a left-back.

5. Right winger:– Jamie Bynoe Gittens (on loan from Borussia Dortmund) or Samuel Illing Junior (on loan from Juventus), Yáser Asprilla (on loan from Watford, with an option to buy).

6. Attacking Midfielder / Support striker:– Sammie Szmodics from Blackburn or Iliman Ndiaye from Marseille. Both can play as attacking midfielder, winger or striker upfront or as a No 10.

Any upcoming talents unearthed or signed would be a bonus.

Dyche should make use of subs more in the coming season to maintain continuity, sharpness and motivation amongst players, especially Dobbin.

Next season will be crucial for Beto and Calvert-Lewin both and I have a feeling that both will perform better with good players and a hopefully a good off-field scenario.

Robert Tressell
10 Posted 02/05/2024 at 16:14:48
Obviously there are all sorts of permutations for how the re-set will play out. But what does seem clear is that:

(a) There will be a big turnover in the squad this summer. This is tricky to pull off successfully.

(b) Players of real quality and low price or loan availability will be highly sought after. It won't just be us in for a player like Greaves from Hull. We could lose out to a much richer club like West Ham.

(c) Being more positive, we will still be a big draw for players from weaker leagues, and players struggling for game time who need a break. The players are always out there.

(d) Ultimately, we should be optimistic that the 2024-25 squad will be better overall than the 2023-24 squad (albeit light of at least two big talents).

(e) The squad is unlikely to be strong enough to play a more expansive game – but is hopefully going to be better equipped with pace down the flanks and a little bit more guile in midfield to be more effective or constructive on the counter-attack.

To put it another way, we'll still be very conservative but will not just rely on the long ball to Calvert-Lewin as an attacking outlet.

Dennis Stevens
11 Posted 02/05/2024 at 18:28:34
Surely Young will be offered another season - he's barely missed a match
Trevor Bailey
12 Posted 02/05/2024 at 19:08:11
Mihir @9,

Why the hell would we need Barklay back, he's a lazy non tackling pudding.

Dyche: "Okay, Ross, I need you to do some serious defending as well as your half-arsed midfield work."
Barkley: "You're fucking joking!" and he drops to the floor.
Dyche: "Where's that fucking defib!"

Never going to happen, thankfully.

Brian Williams
13 Posted 02/05/2024 at 19:11:47
Barkley? 🤣🤣🤣🤣
Mihir Ambardekar
14 Posted 02/05/2024 at 19:37:10
@Trevor. I get your point and he wont be the first choice but he is on a free and has done decent at Luton from an attacking point of view.
Mike Gaynes
16 Posted 02/05/2024 at 19:37:45
Robert, this is a spectacular piece of work. Can't imagine the number of hours you put into this research. Are you retired or do you just have an exceptionally flexible job situation?

I do need to call out the virtual absence of North American-based players on your list. I believe there are some players in MLS and Liga MX that can fill in some of our gaps, and Kevin Thelwell has those connections. Not sure why, but I have a hunch there will be one or two transactions from that direction.

Regarding the USA players mentioned, agreed that Dest would never come (he is happy in Holland), but Weah just might, and his searing pace on the wing would be a fantastic addition. He could even play an attacking right back.

Malik Tillman would be an excellent loan, a true attacking #10 with great pace as well. There is nothing our club needs more than speed. He has thrived at PSV, but Bayern might well be willing to upgrade him.

Trevor Bailey
17 Posted 02/05/2024 at 19:41:05
Mihir, if Everton are determined to go forwards and not backwards, then Barkley has no place in the club's future.

Honestly, he should not be an option at all – never mind not the first option.

Andy Crooks
18 Posted 02/05/2024 at 20:59:41
Superb article, Robert. Cheered me up no end. Good addition from Mike G.

All will be fine.

Robert Tressell
19 Posted 02/05/2024 at 21:44:04
Mike # 16,

It really doesn't take that long - because I've maintained spreadsheets on all this sort of thing since I was in my teens. I just do it for fun (which might mean I'm autistic?).

Definitely not retired; definitely not flexible employment.

Whatever the case, I agree with you about Tillman and his time at Rangers last year will have acclimatised him well to British football. The MLS players who look most likely to me at least are Noel Buck and Caleb Wiley. But ,as the MLS clubs get stronger financially, it's probably harder for us to buy them?

James Flynn
20 Posted 02/05/2024 at 22:07:50
These have 1 more year left on contract:

Keane - £80k per week
Holgate - £70k per week
Maupay - £50k per week

Not seo easy to move. Who'll take Maupay and Holgate (especially) at those wages?

If Jarrad goes, Keane might even be offered an extension. And Holgate back on the bench!

Edward Rogers
21 Posted 02/05/2024 at 22:58:14
Agree Mike G.

At the risk of repeating myself from other threads, we need players with pace, not 'headless chicken' types mind, but footballers with a turn of speed, particularly in midfield.

Mike Gaynes
22 Posted 03/05/2024 at 01:55:49
James #20,

Maupay this season has had a goal every 200 minutes, and a goal involvement every 150, in all competitions. And he's only 27.

Those numbers add up to money. We can definitely sell him. If Bees don't want him, somebody else will. But there is clear market value there.

James Flynn
23 Posted 03/05/2024 at 09:38:30
Mike (22) - Let's hope you be right then and we get rid. He was shit with us.
Sam Hoare
24 Posted 03/05/2024 at 09:41:19
Great article, Robert. Onana will be off I'm sure but I wonder if Dyche might demand that Branthwaite stick around another season. The ownership wrangle makes everything unclear but certainly it will be a summer of scouring the bargain bin. Let's hope Thelwell and his team are up to the job (if they are not pushed out by new owners?!)

Lots of names on your list are similar to ones on my spreadsheet.

If we sell Onana then Sara at Norwich would be high up my list depending on price (assuming they don't win playoffs); one of the best players in the Championship this year. Philogene from Hull is another. Perhaps too costly.

Ray Said
25 Posted 02/05/2024 at 10:38:52
Thanks for another of your really useful articles on players that could improve the squad.

I have seen Adam Idah play a few times for Celtic this season, where he is on loan from Norwich. I think he would be an upgrade on Beto and would like your view on this player.

Neil Lawson
26 Posted 04/05/2024 at 09:17:23
So the debate has already moved on to which of the current squad should be retained.

Taking account the lack of funds to purchase quality replacements balanced against identifiable players from all leagues who could make a difference and the need to raise some funds, from my perspective it makes gloomy reading.

My list: Branthwaite, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Garner, Calvert-Lewin, McNeil, Chermiti, Dobbin and Virginia. Gueye for 1 year. Leaves us a bit light on the pitch and on the bench!!

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