Predicted Finish: 7th
The Toffees have been trying to make strides in the league in recent years, strides that would take them into European competition. Last season (not for the first time) they achieved this objective; with new manager Ronald Koeman leading Everton to a 7th place finish; good enough for a place in the Europa League qualifying rounds. For a project still very much in the developmental stages, a 7th place finish is a favourable outcome especially given they appeared less than convincing in some key games and dropped point they probably should have claimed.
Ronald Koeman joined Everton in June of last year, after a respectable stint at Southampton. The Dutchman was brought in to steer the ship as the Merseyside club sets sail into this new era. With the money from the lucrative TV rights deal for Premier League clubs plus their own new investor, things look to be on the up at Goodison Park. In fact, especially if results go their way in Europe, Everton faithfuls can feasibly expect stadium renovations in the near future. Before then acquiring players would be the order of the day for any progressive club, Everton have certainly followed that pattern. Not just the number, but the quality of players coming is promising; to create a blend of promising young talent and experienced campaigners. The list includes: future England no.1 Jordan Pickford (23); Manchester United youth product Michael Keane (24); last season’s captain of an impressive Ajax side, Davy Klassen (24); and starting forward in Spain’s runners-up performance in the 2017 U-21 European Championship, Sandro Ramírez (22). Another ‘new’ recruit coming in this transfer window is Wayne Rooney. After ascending to the apex of football with United, Rooney returned to his hometown club to help usher his beloved Everton into this age. For proliferating clubs, just as important as bringing new players on board, is lightening the load. The offloading process began when Koeman came in last season and continued this year. Last season players like Leon Osman were released, this season players like Aroune Koné were released and the likes of Tom Cleverly and Aiden McGeady were sold
For more than a few reasons there are high expectations at Goodison this season and for the future. In a few years, the Toffees hope to be in among the conversation of the best in the league, and at least make their appearance in continental competition a more regular occurrence. Until then, cracking the top 4 would be best they can hope for. If you were a betting person, not being odds on favourites with an outside chance, the good money is in believing in their potential. But more it’s probable that they will finish in one of the European spots, even finishing 7th again wouldn’t be stagnation as the competition for these spots is sure to heat up. The likes of Southampton and West Ham will be sure keep the pressure on, all season.