While a number of clubs in the Premier League will have their transfer strategy firmly in place, Everton’s will be in disarray.
Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to flee Merseyside three weeks ago has meant that their plans have had to be ripped up and thrown away. After all, seemingly incoming manager Rafa Benitez may want to focus on other targets.
Ancelotti may have brought Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure to the club last summer but signing a midfielder or two should be near the top of the new manager’s agenda.
Tom Davies has been linked with the exit door, while they could do with improving upon Andre Gomes. The former Barcelona midfielder is tidy on the ball but, when it comes to the physical side of his game, he is often bullied by the more aggressive players in the English top flight.
His form against the bigger clubs was particularly questionable as the Portuguese won just one of his 12 duels against Liverpool back in February. He then won only three of 14 duels against Chelsea in March.
Gomes suffered a horrendous leg fracture during the 2019/20 campaign but he’s arguably not been the same player since. That’s not Everton’s fault but they should look to provide him with some extra competition to help him improve his game, especially if Davies leaves.
Everton have had a profitable relationship with Barcelona in recent years, not only signing Gomes but also luring Lucas Digne and Yerry Mina to Goodison Park from Catalonia.
They could use that to their advantage again this summer to sign Miralem Pjanic.
Reports towards the beginning of the month suggested that Everton were interested in his services. That said, Marcel Brands will have to cough up a decent sum, with the Spanish giants refusing to sell him for anything less than €35m (£30m).
The Bosnian playmaker has been described as “world-class” by Raphael Honigstein in the past but appears to be surplus to requirements under former Everton boss Ronald Koeman at Camp Nou.
Barcelona’s loss would be the Toffees’ gain, however, as he’s an exceptional midfielder capable of adding extra spice to their central options. Last season, the Bosnia international completed over 91% of his passes, a tally which easily usurps every single player the Merseysiders own.
Pjanic failed to contribute to a goal in his opening campaign with Barca but he was a passing master during his time in Italy with Juventus and Roma, capable of unlocking the sternest of defences.
The 31-year-old provided 12 assists during his final two seasons with Juventus, playing 2.3 key passes and then 1.9 key passes per game over those terms (WhoScored). Those numbers top every player at Goodison Park over the course of the 2020/21 season, including the aforementioned Gomes and James Rodriguez.
With that in mind, he would be a superb addition to the Everton squad this summer.