Everton and Swansea now seem stuck in one of the transfer sagas of the summer over Icelandic playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson. Reportedly, the Toffees have had two bids rejected for the Swans star player.
The Welsh club insists that they will accept nothing less than £50million for their star man.
According to the Ibtimes, the club from Merseyside may well make a new bid of £40million, plus an additional £5million in add-ons and allow highly rated young defender Calum Connolly to spend the new season on loan in south Wales.
Reports suggest that Everton boss Ronald Koeman sees Sigurdsson as a key addition to help the Merseysiders crack the top-four in the new campaign. However, I would suggest that a new striker would maybe be another logical addition.
Everton squad full of attacking midfielders
First, I need to get this out of the way, I am a big fan of Sigurdsson. I do believe that he is a very good player and may yet turn out to be a good signing for the Blues.
However, Everton now seem to have a number of players whose preferred role is as an attacking midfielder or a number ten. Wayne Rooney and Davy Klaassen are both attacking midfielders, while there are also the likes of Kevin Mirallas and even Tom Davies that can play behind the striker.
England international Ross Barkley is also an attacking midfielder option. However, the 23-year-old is unlikely to be with the Toffees much longer.
Both Rooney and Klaassen will expect to start games in the new campaign. If Everton signs Sigurdsson, he could be falling over Rooney and Klaassen trying to find the same space in the same areas of the pitch.
Everton lacking in strikers
Everton have just two real striking options in their squad. They have Rooney and they have Spanish youngster Sandro. Both players have a goal in them, but never are likely to be prolific in the new campaign.
Rooney struggled for first team action at Manchester United, so his goal tally was not especially impressive. Sandro’s is a completely different situation. The 22-year-old scored 16 goals in all competitions for Malaga last season.
However, the highly-rated Spain under-21 international will need some time to adjust to life in the English top-flight. It would be unfair to expect the Spaniard to be prolific in his debut campaign in the Premier League.
The fact that he can also play on the flanks means he also may not start as a central striker for the Toffees. Sandro made a lively cameo coming off the bench in last weeks’ 1-0 Europa League third qualifying round first leg against Ruzomberok.
Rooney struggled to have an effect in that game. The game illustrated why the Toffees need to bring in a new striker. It may well have been one game. However, it is evident that they have not yet brought in a variable replacement for Romelu Lukaku.
The Toffees may have a lot of goal potential in those attacking midfield roles with Klaassen, Rooney and potentially Sigurdsson. However, the attack still needs a striker who can contribute a good amount of goals too.
Everton unlikely to make the top-four
Even in my biased opinion, I do not believe that Everton will finish in the top-four. The Blues are definitely moving in the right direction under Ronald Koeman. However, their odds of 10/1 seem a fair reflection of Everton’s situation.
Those odds reflect the fact that a number of the teams who finished above the Toffees have also strengthened their squads.
The likes of Manchester United and Manchester City will have high expectations ahead of the campaign kick-off. Meanwhile Tottenham, Liverpool, Arsenal and of course champions Chelsea will all be eying up at least a top-four finish.
I was not a big fan of Lukaku, simply because of his contempt towards the club at times. However, he was very good at getting goals, even if the other areas of his game were suspect.
If Everton are to mount a genuine top-four challenge, then for me the Toffees have to bring in a new striker that can score 20-plus goals a season and those sorts of strikers are very hard to find.
Should Everton prioritize signing a striker over Sigurdsson?
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