Everton have made a series of signings over the summer in an attempt to bridge the gap to the Champions League places.
The Toffees have invested in the region of £90m for deals to bring Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen and Sandro Ramirez, while Wayne Rooney joined on a free transfer.
It was vital that the deals for Sandro and Rooney got over the line following the departure of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United.
The Belgian notched 25 goals in the Premier League last term, behind only Harry Kane, highlighting his value to Ronald Koeman’s men.
Everton are now pinning their hopes on the belief that a combination of their new forwards, along with Klaassen, Kevin Mirallas, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ademola Lookman, can fill the goalscoring void to push the club into the top four this season.
Due to the significant investment made by Koeman’s side during the summer, the club are well in the mix for Champions League qualification, with odds of around 10/1 for the Toffees to achieve the feat.
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The Toffees found themselves more or less in the middle of the division as 15 points separated the club from the Champions League places, while they were 15 points of eighth- placed Southampton – with only six points separating the ten sides that avoided relegation.
As a result, Koeman and his side have declared their ambitions to challenge for the top four or remain in purgatory.
Southampton’s struggles to maintain their standing in the upper echelons of the table have highlighted the dangers in selling toptalent and replacing the majority of a side’s lineup, which played a role in Koeman leaving for Merseyside.
The Toffees have managed to strengthen their team by cashing in on Lukaku and Jon Stones last season, along with the potential exit of Ross Barkley, bolstering their back-line with moves for two of England’s brightest prospects in the form of Pickford and Keane.
Both players operated at a high level last season, despite playing in sides that struggled at the wrong end of the table. They have the potential to form a solid defensive unit for the years to come, with Seamus Coleman approaching the peak of his career, while Mason Holgate is on the rise.
The midfield looks incredibly solid, especially the defensive half with Morgan Schneiderlin and Idrissa Gueye patrolling in front of the back four. The size and power of the Frenchman along with the endless energy and tenacity of Gueye will form a strong shield in front of Pickford and company.
Perhaps the biggest question for Everton this term is their ability to replace Lukaku’s goals.
They scored 62 goals last season, with no player other than the Belgian notching double figures.
There will be a level of expectation surrounding Sandro due to his pedigree in La Liga, while Rooney will aim to return to form playing in an advanced position once again. Whether Mirallas and Klaassen can get over the five-goal mark will be enough of a telling factor, along with contributions from Calvert-Lewin and Lookman.
It will be a hard task, but the sum of the parts may be enough to guide Everton into the Premier League’s elite rather than just one leading man.
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