Everton have under performed once again this season and the Toffees look like they will fall far short of their pre-season expectations.
The Everton fans would have been hoping to be in the mix for European places by this time in the season, but instead they are wondering if a poor run of form could see them drop down into the relegation scuffle.
While local rivals Liverpool go through another season of mediocrity, Evertonians are wondering why their side isn’t performing far better with all the talent at Roberto Martinez’s disposal. John Stones has been criticised for his willingness to play his way out of trouble, but the entire defensive shape of the side has left the club in a rather disappointing position.
The January transfer window saw Steven Naismith leave and it was to everyone’s amazement that Martinez did not reinforce his defence.
Here is the XI that the Toffees could’ve had after the window..
Tim Howard has been a point of constant frustration for many of the Everton fans this season and Joel is deserving of a chance to prove he can make the number 1 jersey his own.
The Toffees’ keeper tends to end up exposed, due to the shaky defence, and it must be one of the positions that Martinez is looking to strengthen in the summer.
Missing out on Byram was Everton’s biggest disappointment of the January window.
The former Leeds man opted for a move to West Ham instead and he would have provided good competition for the under-performing Seamus Coleman.
The full-back can play anywhere down the right hand side and would suit Martinez’s demands of his full-backs.
Each transfer window seems to be an ordeal for the Toffees to keep hold of John Stones now, but this January window saw little interest in the ball playing central defender.
His antics on the ball can leave the fans with their hearts in their mouths but his class is without question and it would be remarkable if Martinez can keep hold of him for next season.
Phil Jagielka’s injuries and Everton’s defensive insecurities should have made a centre-back the first priority for Roberto Martinez this winter.
De Maio currently plies his trade in Italy and would have been a player that Martinez considered bringing in amid the defensive chaos that has blighted much of their season.
Baines looks to have lost his position as England’s left-back of choice, yet the former Wigan man has still provided Everton with some stellar performances this season.
His work when he is on the front foot has never been under question, despite a growing concern at his ability to deal with tricky wingers.
Gareth Barry can still do a job in the Evertonian midfield, but it seems hugely wasteful to risk stunting the development of the greatly impressive Besic.
Besic’s energy and ability to break up the play makes him an ideal man to do the dirty work as the talented players in the final third work their magic.
Banega’s contract is up at the end of this season and the Argentine midfielder could surely have been available on a bargain transfer this January.
This star would complement Besic’s defensive work nicely and provide a passing range from deeper in midfield that the Toffees can be short of.
Martinez would face a lot of competition for Banega in the summer, but that shouldn’t put the manager off a potential move.
Barkley, if he is to develop in the player that so many want him to be, must reach a level of consistency that puts him on the same level as the best players in the league.
The attacking midfield man has been eclipsed by Dele Alli this season and should really be providing more regularly for his side considering the rest of the attacking quality around him.
Deulofeu, despite being rejected by Barcelona, is one of the most exciting players to watch in the Premier League at the moment.
The Spaniard’s rapid feet and fearless desire to take-on his full-back make him a nightmare for any defender to face, even when brought on from the bench.
Niasse was one of the most surprising moves of this January window and the forward made the move from Russia on deadline day for a surprisingly large fee.
Niasse can play from the wing or as a lone centre forward and would create a striking battering ram if partnered alongside Romelu Lukaku.
Evertonians can expect pace, power and goals from their new man.
Lukaku must be wondering how many goals he has to score to compensate for the dodgy defending at his club.
As with Mirallas, Deulofeu and Barkley, Everton must push on towards European football in the near future if they are to keep hold of the powerful Belgian.