It is strikingly obvious that Everton and Marco Silva are looking to work together to overhaul the squad and construct a more youthful lineup at Goodison Park.
The Portuguese boss’ first summer at the club saw him splash out £25m on Barcelona left-back Lucas Digne, whose arrival has seen former first-choice Leighton Baines limited to just three starts this season – throw in the fact that 33-year-old Wayne Rooney was binned in favour of £50m man Richarlison, and you get the picture.
However, the Toffees perhaps didn’t have enough funds in the bank at the time to replace one other ageing forward within their ranks – Theo Walcott. The England international is approaching his 30th birthday, and does not appear to be getting better with age judging by his three goals and two assists this season – despite becoming an obvious weak link, he has started all but two of the club’s Premier League games.
If they are to secure a place in Europe for next season, Silva and his Director of Football Marcel Brands must seek a replacement as soon as possible. Football FanCast provide five suggestions on how Everton can replace Walcott, and then give Toffees’ supporters the chance to have their say down below…
This is one of two options for Everton that will cost nothing, but perhaps the one that will have the biggest impact on the side. In Richarlison, the Merseysiders have one of the most exciting young forwards in the world, but they also have one of English football’s best youngsters sat on their bench.
Lookman starred for RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga last season, scoring five goals and applying three assists in just 11 appearances, but Silva blocked a permanent move as he wanted the 21-year-old in his team. Just one Premier League start this season suggests otherwise, but with Walcott performing so poorly, the former Watford boss must stay true to his word.
Check out Neymar’s controversial new haircut for 2019 and Xherdan Shaqiri as you’ve never seen him before in the video below…
If Silva still isn’t keen on throwing the England Under-21 international into his lineup, then he could do worse than put in a bid for Hoffenheim’s in-form winger Joelinton. The 22-year-old has scored eight goals and recorded five assists across all competitions for the German side so far this season, and would be an excellent long-term option on the Toffees’ right flank.
The Brazilian may cost a fair bit given his outstanding form, but he and Richarlison could become an iconic South American striking duo on Merseyside if Brands can wrap up a deal.
21-year-old Dowell is a central attacking midfielder by trade, but one who certainly knows where the net is. The England Under-21 international spent last season on loan with Nottingham Forest, where he excelled at the City Ground and scored 10 goals as well as recording five assists.
He has recently joined Sheffield United on loan, but if Walcott’s abysmal form continues, Silva would be wise to recall the youngster and look to integrate him into the first-team.
One man who is on the radar of some of Europe’s biggest clubs is Lille’s in-form winger Nicolas Pepe, who has excelled in Ligue 1 for the French side this season.
The Ivorian told La Voix Du Nord that he wouldn’t be against a move to another club in Europe at the end of the season, and whilst he most certainly won’t come cheap, Everton must put their hands in their pockets once again if they’re serious about overhauling the squad properly.
At just 23 years of age, and with 12 goals and five assists in 19 league starts under his belt this season, the sky is the limit for the explosive forward.
The 19-year-old winger has been setting La Liga alight with Villarreal this season, and is one of the hottest prospects in Europe. Chukwueze has been likened to Arjen Robben in the past as a result of his preference to cut inside off the right flank and test the keeper.
At the moment, the Nigerian international’s contract with the Spanish side is set to run out in the summer, so he could be an infinitely cheaper option than both Joelinton or Pepe. Seeing as he is also the youngest out of the three, and the youngest out of every suggestion in this article, the Toffees should seriously be keeping tabs on the youngster’s situation.
So, Everton fans, which Walcott replacement should Silva look to implement into his starting eleven at Goodison Park? Let us know by voting below…