Last season, when Everton brought in Roberto Martinez to replace the newly departed David Moyes, no one could have predicted the season they would have.
Everton finished fifth in the Premier League table (two places above Manchester United, where David Moyes ended up… for a few months anyway) and qualified for the Europa League. Fast forward twelve months, and things aren’t as rosy for the Toffees. But what next?
After a successful loan spell at Goodison Park, Romelu Lukaku put pen to paper on a long term deal at Everton. Yet just over a year later, the 21-year-old is already looking to move away from the team who helped to revive his career.
Despite signing for Chelsea on a five-year deal, Lukaku’s Stamford Bridge dream was cut short. He had a loan spell at West Brom, before moving on to Everton. Without Lukaku, Everton wouldn’t have reached fifth, but without Everton, Lukaku would still be a bench warmer at Chelsea.
Everton’s run in Europe did look incredibly promising, but was cut short by Dynamo Kiev. Before the Dynamo clash, Everton were one of the dominant teams. It looked as though if Everton were to have a shot at some silverware, their best chance would be in Europe. Their domestic form has dipped in comparison to last season, and arguably their focus should have been Europa League.
If rumours are anything to go by, it seems Everton could face a huge blow by losing Seamus Coleman. With a value of around £25 million, the team in question to sign him is Manchester United. If Martinez hasn’t already, he should be lining up potential replacements for Coleman should he make the switch to Old Trafford in the summer.
Despite dropping down in the Premier League, and not finding themselves in the Europa League final, Everton’s season is commendable. The added games in Europe has surely taken its toll on the side, and although points were dropped, this season should be used as a learning curve.
Everton need to consider options for strengthening their squad now. Romelu Lukaku himself needs to stay at Everton. Dreaming of a ‘big’ club move is all well and good, but in due course. He is still only 21 and is flourishing at Goodison Park; a ‘big’ move could end up being counterproductive. Lukaku needs first team football, which is almost guaranteed at Everton.
Roberto Martinez should remain as Everton manager; let him build on his squad. Stability is important, and chopping and changing managers too often is not a good idea.
Everton should strive to get themselves back into Europe for the season after next, as they’ll now know what to expect.