It has been a season to forget for Everton fans. Sam Allardyce’s tenure at Goodison Park has been something of a damp squib; the Toffees are on course to finish eighth in the Premier League table but supporters are demanding change at the end of the campaign.
First and foremost, though, the 2018 World Cup is a priority for several Everton players. From potential Three Lions goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to Iceland midfield maestro Gylfi Sigurdsson, there are a few key figures to keep an eye on. Here are a few Toffees to watch in Russia this summer:
Will the Toffees shot stopper start for England this summer? Most Three Lions fans would say that he should. Pickford has had an excellent season and Gareth Southgate may opt for the Everton man to take the coveted number one jersey ahead of the competition. On current form, you’d certainly put him above both Joe Hart and Jack Butland.
As mentioned in Winningsportsbets article, Everton’s record would have been worse without Pickford and England will struggle too without the Toffees man between the posts. Everton fans will be keeping a close eye on Pickford’s form ahead of the 2018/19 campaign; a positive tournament could be on the cards if England fulfil their potential.
Ramiro Funes Mori
One of the biggest victims this season, Funes Mori has struggled for game time under Big Sam. He does, however, have 19 international caps for Argentina and could play a pivotal role for his nation this summer. Argentina fell short at the final hurdle in 2014 and Jorge Sampaoli’s men will be looking to go one better this time around.
Argentina aren’t exactly renowned for their defensive prowess and Funes Mori could find himself thrown into action despite his lack of top flight football this season. If he makes the squad, expect him to feature regularly throughout the tournament. A positive summer will raise his transfer value, and boost his confidence. A win-win for Everton…
Iceland’s hero at the European Championship in 2016, Sigurdsson will be desperate to shine for his country again this summer. He suffered an injury back in March and hasn’t featured since but remains on target for the World Cup. Prior to that setback, Sigurdsson had scored four goals whilst recording three assists in 25 Premier League appearances this season.
Under a different manager, Sigurdsson can flourish at Goodison Park and most Toffees fans are willing to give him a second chance. Big Sam’s restricted approach hindered Sigurdsson more than most of his teammates and the Iceland star will be looking forward to a fresh start in 2018/19.
Could Vlasic sneak into the Croatia squad this summer? It would be foolish to write a shock inclusion out at this moment in time. The Everton man has appeared just 11 times in the famous blue jersey this campaign and he is yet to get his name on the scoresheet. A lack of club football could severely diminish his chances of an international call-up.
If selected, Vlasic may be a bit-part player at best. He has claimed that next season will be his season and Everton fans will be expecting significant improvement on recent efforts. A successful appearance or two at the World Cup could give Vlasic the confidence to mature into a consistent option for the Toffees next season.
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