Since Romelu Lukaku’s departure from Everton they have failed to replace his prolific goalscoring record, preventing them from growing and transforming into a top-six club; are the striker options at Marco Silva’s disposal good enough to mount a top-six challenge?
The Toffees finished fifth in the 2013-14 Premier League campaign but have failed to achieve a top-six finish since, so where is it all going wrong? Silva is slowly beginning to piece together an excellent Everton outfit, but there is one position that is severely lacking in quality.
Wayne Rooney returned to his boyhood club in 2017 but failed to make the dream impact that the Evertonians desired. He scored 10 goals in the 2017/2018 Premier League campaign and departed the following summer for MLS side D.C. United.
The striker position became vacant for a top-quality striker to thrive on Merseyside, but to say it has been underwhelming would be an understatement.
Last season, Everton looked to Dominic Calvert-Lewin to supply the goods and emulate the goalscoring prowess of Lukaku’s period at the club. However, the 22-year-old struggled to impress, netting just six times in 35 Premier League appearances; the striker position remains an ever-present issue for the Toffees.
Cenk Tosun was another who tried, but ultimately failed to achieve the heights required to help the club develop and improve. The 28-year-old target man was signed by Sam Allardyce in 2017/18, but since then has scored just eight goals in 39 Premier League appearances and looks out of favour under Silva.
This makes this summer transfer window ever-so crucial for Everton to sign a proven goalscorer who will transform this team into a side challenging for a top-six finish – it’s a difficult task, but by no means impossible.
If ever there was a time to break into the top six, it is now. Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea are falling short of expectations, and in certain aspects, regressing, while the likes of Everton, West Ham, Wolves and Leicester City are progressing.
I’m fully behind Diego Costa to Everton. If he can re-capture even half of his Chelsea form the he’s the exact player Everton need to kick on and potentially challenge for the top six.
— Ally (@Darloww_TH) July 7, 2019
When you analyse the rest of Everton’s squad, they have a platform to succeed – no question. With the likes of Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Bernard in behind the striker, the creativity and flexibility to damage any team in the Premier League is there to be taken advantage of.
Arguably, if they had a forward who dispatched his chances more frequently and clinically, the Toffees would accumulate a significantly higher points tally than recent seasons.
Not just offensively, but the blue side of Merseyside have a solid structure in midfield and defence to give the attacking options the license and ability to do damage going forwards – absent of the overwhelming worry and dependence on their defensive duties.
Of course, they have to work as a unit and defend, but with Idrissa Gueye and Andre Gomes in midfield, there is a solid base in the middle of the park to allow the attackers to express and demonstrate their attacking capabilities on a regular basis.
Everton’s recruitment has been disappointing in the striker department, and I think they should target a proven, Premier League goalscorer this summer – Callum Wilson springs to mind. The Bournemouth striker scored 14 goals and registered 10 assists in 30 appearances last season and could’ve been the solution to Everton’s problems.
At 27-years-old, Wilson is rapidly approaching his prime and it would’ve been a great opportunity to secure his signature this summer, but that chance has been and gone after he signed a fresh deal on the South Coast earlier this week.
So attention must switch elsewhere now but, if the Toffees sign a prolific goalscorer this summer, they will be the most equipped to break into the top six and could be a dark horse heading into the 2019/20 Premier League campaign.