Rafa Benitez has plenty of work to undertake if Everton want to be considered a threat for the top six this season.
At the moment, it looks like they will fall into another campaign of mediocrity with a flutter of bargain signings in the window.
Unfortunately for the Toffees, their spending in the window doesn’t look set to get much greater.
They’ve been linked with a £3m move for Royal Antwerp full-back Aurelio Buta while another player on their radar is Sean Longstaff.
That’s according to The Athletic who claim that Newcastle’s potential signing of Joe Willock could lead to his departure from St James’ Park.
The report suggests that his future is now in question with Everton monitoring the £13.5m-rated gem’s situation.
Longstaff has come through the ranks at Newcastle and is a defensive midfielder by trade. That being said, he is yet to live up to the immense potential expected of him when Benitez was in the north-east.
Speaking about the 23-year-old in January 2019, the Spaniard said: “(Sean Longstaff) has the potential. He went on loan, came back and did well. We had a lot of teams asking about him for this January transfer window. (Longstaff) is a good player, a good professional, and he is working really hard.”
Although his tally of zero goals from last season dictates he wouldn’t offer much in the final third, he could be an upgrade on Tom Davies.
A fellow academy graduate, Davies is also yet to live up to his true potential and has been linked with the exit door as a consequence.
Longstaff, therefore, could act as a direct replacement for the Merseyside outfit.
In completing 1.4 tackles per match in the Premier League season, he usurped the Everton midfielder’s tally of 1.2. The Newcastle gem was down on Davies’ interceptions but had a slightly better pass success rate.
Furthermore, he had a greater impact in the offensive phases of play, registering more key passes and more shots per match.
Longstaff is by no means outstanding but like new signings Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray, he’d be a useful squad option for the manager.
If Davies does indeed leave then Benitez must move to secure his signature.