Carlo Ancelotti has been a breath of fresh air for Everton and just over a year on from when he first arrived, they are now on the periphery of Champions League football.
Shortly after the Italian first arrived, he revealed his goal was to get the Toffees back playing amongst Europe’s elite. Of course, they still have some way to go before that becomes a reality, but they are edging ever closer.
It’s easy to see why too. Defensively organised and impressive on the counter, the likes of Allan and James Rodriguez have added steel and magic to a side that feels like they’re only missing a couple of players to challenge the big six properly.
Rodriguez was a particularly eye-catching addition and together with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ancelotti has found his key men.
That said, sprinkle a bit of extra stardust into Goodison Park and he could get even better.
Rodriguez has proven to be a big aid in the striker’s development but the arrival of another creative force could do the trick.
Last week, reports in Spain linked Everton with a sensational move for former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho.
A move at this moment in time seems farfetched but he’ll surely be on the lookout for a permanent move away after featuring just 12 times in La Liga this season because of a ruptured meniscus.
Despite his recent injury, this shouldn’t deter Everton. Coutinho is now 28 and in the prime of his career; he is still a genius in possession of the ball, carving something out of nothing on a regular basis.
The Brazilian dazzled and entertained for the best club side in Europe as recently as 2019/20, winning the Champions League with Bayern Munich on his way to registering 11 goals and nine assists in all competitions.
A master of his craft when it comes to scoring from long range, the £250k-per-week earner is equally good at finding a teammate as he is beating the goalkeeper.
His 1.3 key passes per match in Bayern colours are only fewer than Lucas Digne and Rodriguez in the entire Everton side this season. On that evidence, it’s easy to see why he’d lend extra support to Calvert-Lewin if he signs.
Capped 62 times by his country, Coutinho is still very much an elite player, words that are sensationally supplemented by Roberto Firmino: “He’s phenomenal. You simply can’t say that he’s not a magician. He has magical powers. He produces plays that don’t exist, that you couldn’t make up,” the Brazilian commented.
Coutinho’s move to Barcelona has been a troublesome one but he’s already made a home for himself in Merseyside before; all he’d be doing on this occasion is switching from the red corner to the blue corner.
The thought of him playing alongside Rodriguez and Calvert-Lewin next term is certainly a mouth-watering one.
Ancelotti and Marcel Brands must make that dream become a reality.