Everton have always been one of those ‘under the radar’ sides; people know they exist but they’ve never really done anything to get people’s attention.
They have been on the fringes of the big six clubs for years, without ever challenging properly. Last season they were very disappointing, finishing in the bottom half of the table for the first time in 10 years and under Roberto Martinez, they appear to be a side on a slow decline
Despite the additions of winger Gerard Deulofeu from Barcelona and former Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley, the side looks very weak and lacks strength in depth.
It was clear to see this against newly promoted Watford on Saturday when the Toffees could only manage a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park.
With around three weeks until the transfer window closes, Spaniard Martinez has some important work ahead of him.
Here are three players the Everton boss should consider signing if he wants his side to be competing in the top half of the table this season…
One area the Blues are certainly lacking is the centre of defence.
The current first choice pairing of John Stones and Phil Jagielka are both incredible talents and deserve to start every week, but they are the only players Everton have in that position.
If either were to get injured for a long period of time, the Toffees would be in massive trouble
During the summer they surprisingly allowed both Sylvain Distin and Antolín Alcaraz to leave the club without a replacement lined up for either.
Virgil Van Dijk is a talented young defender that has been drawing interest from a number of European sides this summer, including the Merseysiders.
He’s a big, strong defender with excellent technical skills, and has the intelligence to read the play and adapt his position to have the best chance of recovering the ball.
Available at around £10million, he would provide top quality back up to the English duo.
Currently the main striker at Everton is Romelu Lukaku. Although he is a very good young footballer with masses of potential, he can also been one of the most frustrating strikers you’ll find in the Premier League.
He can often go missing in games and, unfortunately for the Toffees, they have no high quality alternative to turn to as a plan B, bar Arouna Kone.
Austin is available this summer for £15million and would provide Everton with a top quality partner/alternative/replacement for Lukaku.
He is a proven Premier League goalscorer, finishing up last season with 17 league goals, which is remarkable considering his side were relegated.
Good on the ball, strong in the air and with a poacher’s instinct, Austin has all the qualities you look for in a centre forward.
The 26-year-old will be determined character next season as he tries to earn back his place in Roy Hodgson’s England plans ahead of the European Championships
The Toffee’s have been actively searching for a new playmaking midfielder this summer, with Inter Milan attacker Xherdan Shaqiri their top target. Unfortunately it now looks as if he will be joining Stoke City.
Another available option is the Barcelona youngster Alen Halilovic. The Spanish giants are looking to send the player out on loan in a bid to gain valuable first team experience.
Everton have developed a positive relationship with the Catalan outfit following their dealings over Gerard Deulofeu and the Goodison Park club would be regarded as a great candidate to take the 19-year-old.
Halilovic is a very talented footballer. He is great on the ball and has wonderful intelligence off it. Drawing comparisons to his fellow countryman Luka Modric, he is very highly regarded and has tons of potential.
The player would add quality to the squad and ease the pressure on Ross Barkley in that number 10 role.