Everton are one of the most respected and traditional clubs in the Premier League, even the neutral likes to see them succeed. It’s guaranteed every year that the Toffees will finish in the top half of England’s top flight. After David Moyes left in 2013 to take on the difficult task of being as successful as Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, many thought that the Merseysiders will face a struggle on their hands.
However, arriving from a relegated Wigan Athletic side, Roberto Martinez started where Scotsman Moyes left off. Like Moyes, Spaniard Martinez had a relatively low budget to work with for a club aiming for at least a European spot. This is exactly what makes the Goodison Park outfit a credit to the Premier League. With masses of money floating around at most top flight clubs, Everton have never been a team to splash the cash. This lead to Martinez leading his side into fifth position, and European football was back on the blue side of Merseyside for the first time in five years.
Utilising the loan system has always been a strength for the Evertonians, with the likes of Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu and Gareth Barry prime examples of last year’s successes. This year, aswell as breaking their record signing by bringing back Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea on a permanent basis for £28m, Christian Atsu has joined on a season long loan. Starring for Ghana in the World Cup, the winger made prominence through his time at Portuguese giants FC Porto, before moving to Stamford Bridge and immediately being sent out on loan to Dutch outfit FC Twente last season. Now looking to make an impression in his first stint in the Premier League, the midfielder is quick and can take on full backs at his own will. With Atsu’s attributes and credentials, as well as Everton having a good eye for a loan signing, Atsu will be fundamental to the Toffees’ cause this season.
However, based on the start Everton have made, another season in Europe is becoming more difficult. Currently lying in 14th place, Everton have won just one in their first five league games, conceding 13 goals more than any other team in the division. Nevertheless, Everton have been known to be slow starters, especially under Moyes.
Also participating in the Europa League, Martinez’ side have been dealt a tough group to get out of with current French leaders Lille, German side Wolfsburg and Russian outfit FC Krasnodar joining Everton in group H. Despite breezing past Wolfsburg recently in a 4-1 rout, contesting in both the Premier League and Europa League, aswell as aiming for a good cup run in the FA Cup and Capital One Cup, will be testing times for the Toffees.
But this is one of Everton’s strongest and biggest squads in recent years all that are full of quality in every position. Despite the league and European commitments, Everton’s brand of football and quality of players like Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas, James McCarthy and John Stones, will eventually propel them up the Premier League table come the end of 2015.
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