Given Everton’s limited budget, the choice of where to use those resources can be a delicate task. Martinez has kept his cards relatively close to his chest regarding a budget but mentioned that we won’t be seeing the likes of Lukaku’s transfer fee again so we don’t expect to see much available. Martinez however is a very good liar, so you can never be sure!
We know it’s an area that wont be strengthen. For a long time I’ve been of the belief that Howard is not a top class goalkeeper but not poor enough for a manager to decide to pay for an upgrade. In order to get a goalkeeper better than Howard, barring free transfers, you’d probably have to be spending in the region of £10m and not sure even the fans would want to use that amount of money for the position.
Probably our area of strength despite Coleman’s indifferent season last time out. Even if Garbutt leaves we have strength in depth in each position as well as young players such as Browning and Galloway able to play there. You imagine Baines and Coleman will be there for a few years yet though.
An absolute red alert in terms of needing to be strengthened with only Jagielka and Stones as Premier League regulars in that position. The problem is though the incumbents are our player and young player of the season respectively. That means that we’d have to spend a lot of money getting someone better or find a player who wouldn’t kick up a fuss sat on the bench. There is talk of Johnny Evans but the fee seems high and can’t see him being happy on the bench. Finding a player good enough to play when Jagielka or Stones can’t will be difficult.
This area no longer needs to be strengthened. We currently have 5 central midfielders all capable of filling different roles in Barry, McCarthy, Besic, Gibson and now Cleverley. The signing of Cleverley should hopefully take strain off McCarthy who was overworked last season. We will have less games but even so, it will enable us to keep fresh at all times.
Another area of imminent need and we have our targets in sight. Mirallas may, or may not, be off, Pienaar is either unfit or playing badly these days and McGeady is, well, average. Aaron Lennon would be a popular purchase with the fans due to his excellent loan spell and hopefully the club can make it happen but obviously Levy will be trying to get every penny he can for the deal. Gerard Deuloefeu is another signing that would be immensely popular with the majority. He has incredible ability and phenomenal potential (yes I am using that word) and will not be needed at Barcelona. Whether it be on a loan of permanent, a return to Goodsion would be much welcome. Everton definitely need one winger, probably two.
Hard one to judge. We need a lot better in that position than the Barkley of this season. Martinez will have to decide whether he wants to stick or twist with Ross in that position but the absence of a good enough back up is worrying. Osman didn’t play badly towards the end of the season but if we’re aiming for Europe, and the Champions League, we need a lot better. I think we should stick with Barkley as first choice but we do need someone else capable of playing there.
[See Centre Back] Trying to find a player for little money who is better than Kone but will happily sit on the bench is not an easy task and our lack of youth team player in that position is also worrying. We managed to get Eto’o last year but he was never going the be happy on the bench. Again a back up is needed but hard to find.
Our priority now has to be a winger as that is the definite area of our first 11 that needs strengthening, with only a moaning Mirallas good enough to play there. After that we need back up centre backs, attacking midfielder and striker which will be difficult to find. Either way hopefully Martinez can do our business early and not have the shambolic pre-season that we had last time around.