Frank Lampard hasn’t exactly had the best start as Everton manager, with only a 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace in their penultimate Premier League match of 2021/22 guaranteeing their place in the top flight for next season.
It seems clear that there needs to be a summer overhaul of the squad, which the manager inherited from Rafael Benitez upon taking charge at the end of January.
There are problems all over the pitch – with the Toffees conceding 66 goals in the Premier League last season, the defence certainly needs upgrading. However, perhaps the main focus for now should be bringing in a striker.
Everton have been linked with a move for Chelsea marksman Armando Broja, who spent the season on loan at Southampton. Moving for the Albanian youngster would also mean that Lampard could finally axe Salomon Rondon following a terrible campaign.
The £43k-p/w Venezuelan only netted three goals in 23 appearances in all competitions this term, having signed for the club last summer, and these figures suggest that he doesn’t justify his wage packet. He was described as a “problem” by former Toffees defender Michael Ball and he recently felt compelled to come out and say that he wants to remain at Goodison Park amid any potential doubts over his future.
With Richarlison being the only Everton forward to score more than ten goals this season (he got 11), Lampard could make a shrewd move in signing Broja ahead of next season.
In contrast to Rondon, the 20-year-old has scored nine times this season, including important goals against Tottenham and Leeds; and at such a age, he appears to have an excellent future ahead of him.
Broja has been attracting interest following his Southampton performances, with Chelsea putting a €70m (£58m) price tag on him in March to fend off potential suitors.
This fee might put Lampard off, with other targets likely to cost significantly less. However, with the Albanian being described as “powerful” by journalist Josh Bunting, he could fit in well at Goodison Park.
Much will depend on the 43-year-old’s ability to shift some of the deadwood and generate transfer funds, but Broja should be high on Everton’s list of targets ahead of a crucial 2022/23 season.