Everton have been one of the busier Premier League clubs in this summer’s transfer window, having brought in four new players and said goodbye to further nine who have either been sold, loaned out or even released.
New on Merseyside are Yannick Bolasie, Ashley Williams, Maarten Stekelenburg and Idrissa Gueye from Crystal Palace, Swansea, Fulham and Aston Villa respectively.
Amongst those to leave is prized asset John Stones who finally made his big money move to Manchester City, as well as Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert who were both released following a combined time of over three decades at the club.
As well as arrivals and departures, Everton have found themselves a new boss in the form of Ronald Koeman who joined from Southampton following the dismissal of Roberto Martinez at the end of last season.
It is a new look Toffees side, however things could have turned out much differently if they had secured everyone they had wanted to this summer. Here is what Everton could have lined up like this year if they’d done all the business they’d hoped for before the end of August ….
Brought in near enough hand-in-hand with manager Ronald Koeman from Southampton after his loan move from Fulham, Stekelenburg was bought as a replacement for the departing Tim Howard. Big, strong and with a point to prove having struggled for first team football in the past few seasons, the Dutchman is a solid figure between the sticks.
Why fix something if its not broken? Coleman still stands as one of the best right-backs in the Premier League. Both great going forward as well as getting back, the Irishman continues to go from strength to strength and has remained loyal to the Toffees despite interest from Manchester United amongst others.
Williams could have gone almost anywhere in the Premier League with a host of top clubs interested in securing his services after impressing for Swansea for so many years and more so at Euro 2016 with Wales too. The Welshman is rock solid at the back and a natural leader.
Sunderland’s man of the moment Lamine Kone looked set for a move to the Toffees earlier in the window, but the Ivorian opted to stay at the Stadium of Light instead and help with their inevitable fight against relegation with former Everton boss David Moyes.
Now on loan at Stoke but linked with the Toffees back in June, the Dutch international and Porto defender has plenty of experience on both the world and european stages, having finished third at the World Cup with Holland in 2014 and represented Porto numerous times in the Champions League since his move from Feyenoord. Most famous for his bulging eye balls, but it shouldn’t distract from the 24 year-old’s ability.
Kante mark two was one of the unsung heroes of last season, and was unfortunate to find himself in such a poor Aston Villa squad that was dismally relegated in embarrassing fashion. The Senagalese enforcer was excellent in the middle of park, breaking down play with countless tackles and interceptions and playing the simple balls allowing others to break. Koeman got himself a steal at only £7.1 million.
A player who has blossomed more with age, Adrien – now 27 – became hot property this summer with interest from Everton, Spurs and Leicester after back to back impressive seasons with Sporting Lisbon. A box-to-box midfielder with plenty of energy and a goal or two to boot, the Portuguese star could have been the midfield dynamo Everton have craved since the departure of Tim Cahill.
The tricky DR Congo international was greeted with mixed reactions from the Everton faithful when he joined earlier this summer, however the former Crystal Palace man is likely to thrive under new boss Ronald Koeman. Unbelievably quick, undeniably skilful and at times every defender’s worst nightmare, if Bolasie can improve his end product he will become one hell of a player.
The Algerian international scored seven goals in each of his two seasons at Porto, and has replicated that form on the international scene too, with a further seven goals in 28 appearances for his country. It still feels however that the winger – who can also play in the number 10 role or up front – has more to offer. Missed out on a deadline day move to Goodison.
The footballing world thought Juan Mata would leave Manchester United after the arrival of Jose Mourinho, with Goodison Park is supposed destination. Instead, he has thrived in the early parts of the season, and shown the kind of form that made him twice Chelsea’s player of the year.
Gabbiadini became a huge transfer target for Ronald Koeman amidst fear that Romelu Lukaku would leave the club, but the move for the Napoli striker was not to be. The Italian – who can operate either through the middle or on the wing – has scored 20 goals in his 60 appearances this far for the Serie A side.