Priorities

Everton’s announcement that Ronald Koeman is set to take the reigns at the club is seemingly due “within the next 24 hours”. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that the announcement by the club is on the back burner for me now as we are only waiting to be told what we already know. Instead of refreshing my Twitter feed constantly, as I have done over the past couple of weeks, I now find myself day dreaming about potential signings we could make once our rumoured war chest is unlocked.

I have had many conversations with friends and colleagues alike regarding which positions need addressing and I think most blues are in agreement that the positions that need most attention are that of goalkeeper, central midfield, left wing and of course, striker. Bearing in mind we have some youth players on the fringes of the first team who could be the answer, we would all probably be under the same assumption that we will inevitably sign players to primarily bolster these positions. Koeman isn’t well known for his trust in promoting youth unless absolutely necessary so I’m expecting the younger players to be loaned out or just stay within their respective youth squads.

The goalkeeper position for me is arguably the most important one to address as although I do rate Joel Robles somewhat, he isn’t the answer. I see him as a good, solid number 2. I’d be more than happy if he stayed at the club to be just that but after having a taste of being our first choice after the dropping of Howard, will he settle for the bench or instead seek to be number 1 elsewhere? There are a few goalkeepers of a higher ilk reportedly available this summer with Steve Mandanda being the most notable based on the fact he is out of contract in the summer and unwilling to sign a new deal before the Euros. The French goalkeeper would certainly be a great signing in my eyes. However, with funds more readily available will we be looking to make a greater statement of intent and bid highly on a goalkeeper already at a club? Reports of Joe Hart have been circling the internet along with Fraser Forster all being touted as Everton’s next man between the sticks.

The striker position is of similar importance as I’m sure we will all agree on, especially with a certain Belgian being all too happy to speak about his future elsewhere in the media. Lukaku has undoubtedly done himself no harm in getting that big money move to a club who is playing on the European stage with his goal scoring record this season. Many would question his ability to show up in the big games – the semi final at Wembley being the most notable. I am resigned to losing Big Rom this summer and what did we expect? He was always using us as a “stepping stone” as he was quick to point out when he signed. I for one would hope that the sale of such a promising player in the team would only spur us on to achieving great things next season.. Ring any bells? 2004/05? One can dream. There are a number of young promising strikers out there who may be open to a move – Breel Embolo, Vincent Janssen, Saido Berahino and maybe even Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho. The latter of the quartet reportedly wanting £150,000 a week may even be enough to put Moshiri off considering he has only just emerged. 13 goals in your debut senior campaign is tremendous, with most coming off the bench meaning his goals per minutes ratio is one of the best in Europe, but does that warrant £150,000 a week? I’m not so sure.

I think we can all agree on one thing though, this summer is going to be a very interesting time to be a blue.. Will the “sleeping giant” be awoken? I certainly hope so, but only time will tell.

Liam Fairhurst
Liam Fairhurst

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