Everton have shown signs of challenging the top six this season but they have lacked the consistency needed to be up there. Brilliant wins against Arsenal and Manchester City were interlaid with a drab Merseyside derby defeat to Liverpool and if Everton are to move to a new gear, the players will have to buckle up in such a competitive league.
The crux has mainly been their attack. Unlike most other top teams in the league, who found new weapons midway in the attacking third, like Manchester United’s Henrik Mkhitaryan or Arsenal’s Oliver Giroud, Koeman has to pretty much stuck to the same formula of Lukaku at the top getting service from Mirallas, Lennon or Valencia.
Now, Enner Valencia has been really vibrant bringing an urgency to the team’s attack whenever he comes on, but he is never the player who can create chances and finish them in difficult times.
Now that the midfield is looking quite solid and stable with the inclusion of Schneiderlin, adding further balance to the team’s offence and defence will be the target. Koeman should aim at bringing a new face on the wings, which has lost much of its quality and freshness following Yannick Bolasie’s injury.
And the timing might be just right to make a move, as according to reports, Everton are facing stiff competition from French side Monaco in the pursuit of their long-term target Lyon winger Rachid Ghezzal. The Algerian is out of contract in the summer and he is refusing to pen an extension – meaning he can leave for free in July.
Memphis Depay’s recent move to the French side could further indicate his end at the club. The move has alerted top clubs from around Europe and both Arsenal and Everton have reportedly held talks with the 24-year-old’s agent.
It is his abilities to weave his way past opponents with ease and having an eye for the perfect passes, that makes Ghezzal a hot prospect across Europe. The Algerian can also be deadly from set-pieces and at 182 cm, Ghezzal is exactly like Mahrez, slightly taller.
And considering the impact Riyad Mahrez had on Leicester City’s league run last season, Ghezzal looks like an interesting option for the Toffees. However, landing the player wouldn’t be an easy task for the Merseyside club, as the player apparently has suitors in Napoli and also from Germany.
Everton have found their way back to the top half of the table after a frustrating winless streak and Ghezzal could definitely help them retain the position till the end of the season.