Everton Are Being Overlooked for a Top Six Finish

Everton top six

Everton added to their victory away to Tottenham Hotspur by cruising past Salford City 3-0 in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.

With a flawless start and a summer of star-power recruitment under their belt, perhaps Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton could be the latest side to take a crack at the Premier League’s established top six.

Everton: A Side Being Overlooked

An Uphill Battle

A summer spend of £112 million in 2019 was only enough to guide Everton to 12th last term. Understandably, fans were not best pleased to finish behind Burnley and Southampton after 38 games.

The capture of long-term target Carlo Ancelotti certainly moved things in the right direction. However, a 28% win percentage under Marco Silva only improved to a still disappointing 40% under the Italian.

Upon reflection, the disjointed Toffees were destined for mid-table anonymity. Behind Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, nobody managed to top three league goals. Meanwhile, the likes of Theo Walcott and Tom Davies cut ineffective and unwanted figures in the Everton midfield. As summer rolled around, it was time for Ancelotti to go to work.

The Lure of a Legend

James Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan. If you offered this trio to Everton fans at the start of the window for £20 million apiece, most would have snapped your hand off.

Whilst some view Rodriguez as a risk, the same cannot be said of the latter two. Doucoure is proven at Premier League level and Allan has arrived after five seasons of regular Champions League football with Napoli. If nothing else, this pair will bring much-needed solidity and experience to a previously aimless Everton midfield.

Promising on Paper

Everton’s attacking contingent is now packed with sought-after stars. Richarlison is still a raw talent, but an enduring threat with a direct style of play and a willingness to drive for goal. James Rodriguez commanded a £63 million fee way back in 2014, the same year he secured immortality by winning the World Cup golden boot. Certainly, his stock has fallen since then, but his performance against Spurs oozed confidence and quality. Make no mistake, the Colombian has a point to prove.

Pair this prowess with a manager like Ancelotti and good things are likely to happen. The man has held the top job at Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, to name a few.

In light of this, one can only imagine how Dominic Calvert-Lewin is feeling these days. After his stellar run of form last season, the Sheffield lad starts this campaign as the bona fide starting striker. Clearly, Ancelotti fancies him, and the colossal vote of confidence should only spur him on after he opened his account against Tottenham last weekend.

What’s the Catch?

Many feel that the defensive trio of Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane and Yerry Mina are Everton’s Achilles heel. However, fans should not be so quick to judge. True, Pickford has endured a poor 12 months by his standards, but we have all seen what he is capable of. If there is one quality he has unequivocally, it is the hunger to improve and put things right.

Keane and Mina are both established and experienced internationals. Besides, if their standards drop, then Mason Holgate is a fantastic young centre-half and a more than able deputy.

One thing Everton do lack is depth in attack. If Calvert-Lewin picks up an injury, the only solution is to shoehorn Richarlison up top or resort to Moise Kean. The former is certainly able to carry the side on his day, but he is inconsistent. Kean is consistent, but only in his ability to spurn good chances.

With this in mind, an injury-free strike force is a priority for Everton. Liverpool seem to manage it though, with the evergreen trio of Sadio Mane, Mohammed Salah and Roberto Firmino never seeming to miss a game. Even without these issues, the Toffees won’t be troubling their city rivals in the league standings, although the very early signs suggest they will be a whole lot closer than they were last year.

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