Frank Lampard is a man with a big task on his hands at Everton, and with the club narrowly avoiding relegation from the Premier League following a vital 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace in their penultimate match last month, the supporters will be expecting much more next season.
The summer transfer window represents an opportunity for the Toffees manager to rebuild the squad, ship out underperforming deadwood and rejuvenate the players who will be staying for next season.
It has been a good start on that front, with the reported signing of defender James Tarkowski upon the expiry of his Burnley contract at the end of the month.
There could be another addition to the heart of defence, and Lampard could form a solid duo with a move for Olympiacos colossus Pape Abou Cisse, according to Greek journalist Giannis Chorianopoulos.
Everton were linked with the centre-back in January but a move didn’t materilise, although their interest appears to have resurfaced.
Cisse is valued at £7.2m and, at 26 years of age, he is just about to hit his peak years. It’s no secret that the Toffees’ defence was dreadful last season, conceding 66 goals in the Premier League (fifth-worst in the division), and this is an area that Lampard is clearly aiming to improve.
The Senegal international would likely be a rock-solid signing. He ranked fourth in the Olympiacos squad with a WhoScored rating of 6.71, while also winning two aerial duels per match. Tarkowski won 4.4 headers per game last season at Burnley, and the two players combined would be excellent at winning battles in the air, which could come in very useful while defending set pieces.
This prospective pairing could be the answer to Lampard’s defensive woes from last season, and although adding some top-quality attacking talent is desirable, improving the defence must be the priority at Goodison Park.
The Everton faithful could be set for an exciting summer ahead if Cisse comes to Merseyside this time around.