2015/16 Finish: 11
Last season would have to be considered a disappointment for Everton in our eyes. They have a much better team than their record suggested, and a lot of the issues could probably be attributed to former manager Roberto Martinez. Everton seemed to lack any sense of defense in games. Instead it seemed like they had just hoped they would outscore every other team. Obviously this didn’t work and at one point Everton went through a ten game stretch with only one win.
Transfers In: Bassala Sambou (CF), Maarten Steklenburg (GK), Chris Renshaw (GK), Joe Hilton (GK), Nathan Baxter (CB), Idrissa Gueye (MF)
Everton’s signings this window have failed to impress. While Gueye should provide depth to the midfield, it’s unclear if he’s a player that will help push the club forward. Sambou is an interesting youth prospect, but he won’t be an immediate help. Steklenburg is the player most likely to have an immediate impact. He should be their starting keeper and brings plenty of experience with him.
Transfers Out: Tim Howard (GK), Aidan Graham (DF), Tony Hibbert (DF), Felipe Mattioni (DF), Leon Osman (MF), Steven Pienaar (MF), Jindrich Stanek (GK), Jordan Thorniley (DF)
While Everton didn’t bring much in, they also haven’t lost much. Howard was aging and struggled last season, although he was also a scapegoat for Everton’s defensive struggles. None of the other players listed had much an impact last season.
Key Player(s): Ross Barkley
Before today, we would have considered John Stones the key player for this Everton side, but that responsibility now falls to Ross Barkley. At the age of 22, Barkley is going to have to emerge as a leader. He’s going to be the creative spark in their offense. He must continued to develop into the player that many expect him to be. If he takes that step this season, Everton will be a tough side.
Predicted 2016/17 Finish: 8
We expect that Everton will improve upon last season’s finish. They have plenty of attacking talent with Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley, and Gerard Deulofeu. Combine that with an impressive defensive record coming with new manager Ronald Koeman and we should see a much more complete Everton squad.