Everton’s summer of investment is likely to just be getting started. As clubs continue to eye up Romelu Lukaku and John Stones’ move to Manchester City edges closer, the Toffees need to reinforce their squad and they need to do it sharpish.
Ronald Koeman was a wise managerial appointment for the blue half of Merseyside and the future is looking – compared to 12 months ago – relatively bright.
Idrissa Gueye was a shrewd addition to the midfield, but there is still a definite need for signings ahead of the new season. Weaknesses are as glaring as they were under Roberto Martinez, reducing the hopes of a top eight finish – that so many fans will be demanding.
For a club with the ambition of Everton, it’s easy to become fixated on the more glamorous potential additions. Looking for stars at international level is good and well, of course, but there’s often a fair few gems right under your very eyes. And one club who possess a smattering of class acts are Newcastle, despite their abysmal campaign last time around.
Let’s take a look at THREE Magpies who could make the journey to the North West…
With Jagielka short of fitness, Funes-Mori positionally chaotic and John Stones on his way out of the club, a centre-back should be the top of top priorities for Everton.
There isn’t really an option to not sign a central defender now. The season is upon us and Everton have, like several other clubs, not addressed the most glaring issue in their squad sufficiently.
Chancel Mbemba, although playing in a rather questionable back line, impressed for much of last season with Newcastle. His strength is complemented by his impressive pace and would be a sensible addition to many Premier League defences. The marks against Mbemba are for his tendency to over-commit and that could just about put Koeman off a move.
The villain of Newcastle’s relegation, Moussa Sissoko has spent much of this seemingly summer on his way out of the club. The move that he has probably hoped for is yet to materialise and this is, in part, because Newcastle have whacked an extortionate pricetag on him.
Inevitably, if all parties want the move, this price could fall with some decent negotiation from Everton and it’s by no means impossible Everton could pick themselves up a bargain.
The 26-year-old powerful midfielder is at home on the right, but could do a job as one of a three man Koeman midfield if required.
Much maligned last season, Sissoko still produced seven assists in a drab campaign for Newcastle and registered 2.2 key passes per match in the 2013/14 season. He is not the ineffective player that many would like to imagine, it is simply about motivating him to perform.
If Koeman could do that, Everton would have quite an asset on their hands.
As underused talents go, they don’t come much greater than Newcastle’s diminutive Spaniard, Ayoze Perez.
Newcastle have yet to grasp how it is best to use Ayoze, nor have they really found a regular position for him in the starting line-up. A natural creator with an eye for goal, he is best in the ten, but can certainly do a job from a wider role. Able to dribble out of tight spaces, he could certainly work well from wide areas for Koeman’s Everton.
One of Newcastle’s prized assets, Ayoze will unlikely come cheaply. However, Everton have the money and Perez would be a darn good way to spend it.