It now seems inevitable that Ronald Koeman will be the next Everton boss. The two clubs seem to be close to agreeing a compensation fee and the Dutchman is widely expected to in charge of the Toffees by the end of the week.
The club from Merseyside have vastly underachieved in the past few seasons under Spanish boss Roberto Martinez, despite having a relatively talented squad.
Koeman has a big job on his hands waking up the sleeping giant that is Everton though.
Persuading key players to stay
In the likes of John Stones, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku they have three of the most highly-rated young players in the Premier League. The problem is two of the trio have expressed their desire to leave the club in the last 18 months.
It seems that Everton are fighting a losing battle to keep the highly-rated Lukaku, who scored 25 goals in all competitions last season. Never one to hide his light under a bushel, the striker has been telling everybody willing to listen that he wants Champions League football next season.
Reports of a mooted asking price of around £65million suggest that he will not come cheap, but the feeling amongst Evertonians seems to be to sell the striker if he no longer wants to be at the club. That mooted transfer fee is a lot of money and can be reinvested.
Stones has requested a transfer in the past, but Martinez and Everton refused to sell to Chelsea. The England international struggled to develop his game under Martinez and was often criticised for his over-playing in defence.
The arrival of Koeman could allow him to learn from a former-world class defender. Working with Koeman and the potential improvement he brings could persuade the youngster to hang around on Merseyside.
Squad needs major rebuilding this summer
The new Everton boss, now likely Koeman, will need to rebuild the Toffees squad. Lukaku is likely to leave, but there is a whole host of players whose contracts are up and some who have proven just not good enough in the past.
Veterans like Steven Pienaar, Tony Hibbert and Leon Osman have all been great servants to the side from Merseyside, but are no longer good enough for the Premier League. Then there are the likes of Darron Gibson, Arouna Kone and Aiden McGeady, who are just not good enough.
One major position at Everton that needs sorting out next season is the goalkeeper’s position. Veteran Tim Howard has left the club to return to his homeland with Colorado Rapids, after a decade of outstanding service to the Toffees.
His last few years with the Blues are best left forgotten, but for the much part he was a great last line of defence for Everton.
Current first choice ‘keeper Joel Robles is still yet to fully convince that he is good enough to maintain the position in the long-term. I have a feeling that a new goalkeeper will be top of the new bosses’ priority list this summer.
Koeman will be given full backing from the Everton hierarchy
Suddenly Everton are no longer punching above their financial weight. New majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has apparently been very pro-active in the clubs pursuit of Koeman and if he does get his man it shows he is a man that means business.
He has already put his money where his mouth is by buying into the club and promising investment and his influence is a positive one in the appointment of the clubs next boss. Koeman looks to have Mr Moshiri’s full backing, but for that the Dutch boss will be expected to deliver big style.
The clubs ambition in recent seasons was breaking into the top four, something that the Toffees are odds of 12/1 to achieve next season.
Koeman has impressed during his two year stint at Southampton and Everton seems like a club that will give him the tools to be successful. Whether he can help the club fulfil its potential remains to be seen, but if he does not then it looks like it will not be down to the lack of backing from Farhad Moshiri.
Will Ronald Koeman be successful at Everton?