Everton enjoyed a terrific start to the season as they beat Southampton 3-1 at Goodison Park in their Premier League opener last weekend.
Adam Armstrong’s goal for Southampton saw Rafa Benitez head into his first half-time team talk with Everton with a lot to do, but whatever he said in the changing room worked wonders. The Toffees rewarded fans who backed them using a Virgin Bet bonus code as they scored three times in the second half, with Richarlison, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all getting themselves on the scoresheet.
They now travel to face Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds at Elland Road on Saturday afternoon as Benitez attempts to make it two wins from two in charge of the club.
Despite winning 3-1 against the Saints, there is at least one change Benitez should make to his starting XI against Leeds. The Spaniard has confirmed that Moise Kean is back in contention after missing out on the squad last week and the Italy international should be thrown into action against the Whites.
Of Everton’s attacking quartet against Southampton, Demarai Gray was the only player who did not achieve a SofaScore rating of 7.1 or higher. The summer signing from Bayer Leverkusen scored 6.8, with Andros Townsend (7.1), Richarlison (8.2) and Calvert-Lewin (7.8) deemed to have played better than him.
Gray created one chance and failed to register a shot on target as he had a limited impact on the Toffees’ impressive win. As per SofaScore, he only completed 14 passes and had 30 touches of the ball in total, suggesting that he struggled to influence the game from his advanced midfield position.
This is why Benitez must unleash Kean against Leeds to give him a chance to prove that he can perform to a higher level than Gray. His performances for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 last season suggest that he has the potential to be a key performer for the Blues.
Carlo Ancelotti previously described him as a “great talent” and his record in France went a long way to proving him right. Kean scored 13 goals in 22 Ligue 1 starts for PSG, averaging an impressive SofaScore rating of 6.92 for Mauricio Pochettino’s side. He also scored three goals in four Champions League starts.
This shows that the £49k-per-week beast has the quality to score goals at the very top level, which also means that he could have the ability to change games for Everton. Goals win games, and if he is able to translate his form from Ligue 1 over to England, his goals could help Benitez win more matches with the club, potentially starting with Leeds on Saturday.
He is also capable of playing across the forward line, which means that Benitez could employ a fluid system. Kean and Richarlison could drift in and out of the left flank and confuse their markers with their movement off the ball.
It’s time to give the potentially game-changing 21-year-old his place in the Toffees’ line-up.