Everton boss Roberto Martinez has a massive job on his hands carrying on the good work started by former-boss David Moyes.
The former-Wigan boss will have to try to keep Everton near the top of the Premier League table with limited funds available.
It is a difficult task. The Spaniard did a relatively good job in Lancashire and made some very shrewd signings along the way. Everton are a far bigger club than Wigan, with far bigger expectations.
Martinez may need to attempt to sign players that are above Wigan’s standard, but available for knockdown fees. Which in itself is probably the biggest challenge he will face on Merseyside.
Here is a list of players that Everton have been linked with this summer:
Antolin Alcaraz (Wigan)
The Paraguayan international was plagued by injuries last season, so only played a bit part in the Latics relegation. On his day, he is quite a solid centre-back and Martinez knows him well from his days at the DW Stadium.
The biggest attraction of Alcaraz is that he is available on a free transfer. He would probably provide decent cover at centre-back, if Dutch defender Johnny Heitinga leaves Goodison Park this summer. Evertonian’s main concerns are his age (30) and his injury record though.
Arouna Kone (Wigan)
Kone is another player that Martinez knows well from his days with the Latics. The Ivory Coast international scored 11 Premier League goals last season, as the Latics finally succumb to relegation to the Championship.
According to the Daily Mail, the 29-year-old striker has a minimum fee release clause of £5million in his contract. Kone is not the worse signing in the world and with even better service at Everton could score even more goals next season.
Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow)
The latest Japanese poster boy is not just a pretty face, the midfielder can actually play a bit, and the 27-year-old most recently proved that at that Confederations Cup. His country may have failed miserable at the tournament, but Honda came out of tournament with his reputation enhanced.
Honda has been around the European game a good while both in the Dutch and Russian game, but it now seems he wants to test himself out in a major European league. Honda’s contract expires in Moscow in December, so the Japanese international could be available for a knockdown fee this summer.
With Marouane Fellaini’s Everton future in doubt this summer, Honda would not be a bad option for Martinez to have. However, Italian giants AC Milan are also believed to be interested in signing the CSKA star.
Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow)
McGeady is another player currently plying his trade in Moscow. The former-Celtic star is rumoured to be looking for a move back to Britain this summer. The Republic of Ireland winger has always had a lot of potential, but never really lived up to the hype surrounding him.
According to the Daily Mirror, McGeady could be available for a fee in the region of £4million, as he is entering the final year of his contract. Martinez is a known admirer of the winger and tried to sign him during his time at Wigan.
Leroy Fer (FC Twente)
Talk of this deal just will not go away. Everton had agreed a deal with Twente in last January’s transfer window, only for the deal to fall apart due to the midfielder having a problem with one of his knees.
However, the player himself has stated that the club keep in regular contact with him and maybe an £8million move could be revived, should Mr Fellaini decided to move to pastures new this summer. The 23-year-old would certainly give the Toffees a bit of drive from the centre of the park, with a large amount of change to spare from the Fellaini sale.
Roberto Martinez will know the size of the task at Everton. The Spaniard will be expected to keep Everton in the top six, if not challenge for the Champions League places next season.
With a few shrewd signings added to the already talented squad then it is not so much mission impossible, more like mission improbable.
Which players will arrive at Everton this summer?
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