Are Everton guaranteed top 4 this season?
Updated: Oct 8, 2020
Whilst the 'big six' have been battling it out in both the transfer window and on the pitch, Everton, having been perpetually locked in a their shadow, may finally be about to break into the limelight.
The signing of James Rodriguez shocked many and should yet still shock more. Rodriguez comes with the highest of credentials, having played at Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Monaco. Rodriguez can perform to the highest of abilities on the world stage as-well having been awarded the golden boot for his six goals and 2 assists single handedly dragging Columbia to the quarter finals. However, James seems to have reignited this top form in his first few Everton games after what was some barren spells at Munich and Madrid, with 4goals and 2 assists form just his first four games. There is no wonder Everton are first in the league and that is down to their stunning marquee signing who provides both creative outlet and clinical scoring prowess.
Paying just 2-£20m Everton have a contender for signing of the season. James will further be hungry to score and win big trophies having won the Champions league twice with Madrid and a europa league with Porto. This winning mentality will be pivotal to driving Everton to the promised land of the Champions league this season and the experienced Ancelotti holds the keys to do so.
Whilst Rodriguez will take the headlines, and rightfully so given his 4 goals and 2 assists in 4 games, the additional signings of Doucouré and Allan bolster what is now a solid midfield. The triumvirate of the attacking Rodriguez and the defensive, but hard working, Doucouré and Allan construct a balanced and fearful Evertonian midfield. The signing of Doucouré particularly impresses me. Having been trapped in a doomed Watford side last year a player of his capabilities deserves to play premier league football and Everton realised that. The midfielder fired home four goals in 2019-2020 season, 5 the season before that and has created over 10 assists in the last two seasons.
His towering presence and high work rate will help Everton maintain that quick press they've ruthlessly persisted with so far this season. Only arguably man city have a midfield with as much talent and discipline, however, it is Everton's defence which further pushes their team into the top for and above the 'usual candidates'.
Lucas Digné is one of the best full backs in the league. Along with the experience and reliability of Coleman, they represent both some of the most dangerous crosses and defensively disciplined full backs in the league. Even the most avid toffee fans would have to concede that the Liverpool full backs might take the edge on this one. Regardless the recent addition of Yerry Mina and the young and promising English talent of Michael Keane offer Everton a blue wall of defence. Again, even in the centre backs, Everton continue to provide goal threats with another talented Colombian in Yerry Mina who is a notoriously clinical header of the ball, as many England fans will be aware of...
The one achilles heel that may drag back this Everton team dripping with talent may be the man between the sticks. Pickford, having been the man of the season for Sunderland a number of years ago and has produced numerous good high pressure performances in the England shirt, is horribly out of form. Already two glaring mistakes in Everton's opening four games has taken the shine off what has been their best start to the league in years.
A particular clanger against Crystal Palace exposed Pickford's dire keeping recently and mounting pressure form both Everton and England fans to find replacement for him at club and country level has clear broken his confidence. Despite the poor form of Pickford though the signings Everton have captured and the winning experience of Carlo Ancelotti, another great signing by Everton, will be enough to snatch a top four position.
Everton will be looking to put behind their disappointing 12th placed finish last year and capitalise on what could be the most openly contested league since Leicester's magic. The big teams have many defensive frailties including Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and especially Arsenal. Everton's pacy and clinical attack will put any of these teams to the sword this season as their confidence and winning streak has all the hall marks of a top four, maybe even title winning side...
Player fo the season: James Rodriguez
Top Goal scorer: Dominic Calvert-Lewin