After a couple of mediocre seasons Everton come into the 2016-17 campaign with the hopes of challenging for a European berth. Roberto Martinez who was with the club for three seasons from 2013/14 was sacked as manager with one game remaining last season.
For the first time in 22 years Everton has appointed the manager of a fellow Premier League club. Ronald Koeman who had been with Southampton from 2014/15 is someone who has proved his worth in the league. In his two seasons with the Saints he led them to a 7th and 6th place finish respectively.The expectation for Everton will be something similar, challenge for the European berths and do well in the cup competitions.
Everton 2016-17 Season Preview
Everton are a club who always have been patient with their managers. Similar patience will be required with Ronald Koeman as he tries to implement his vision in a talented but unbalanced squad. A number of long serving players including Tony Hibbert, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar have been released by the club following his arrival. The player exodus was expected with Koeman’s 1st season at Southampton witnessing something similar.
Much of Everton’s new found vigor can placed on the ambitions of Everton’s new majority stake holder Farhad Moshiri. After buying a majority stake of 49.9% of the club in February, Moshiri has been directly involved in many of the changes in the club including the sacking of Roberto Martinez.
Perhaps one of the players Koeman would have wanted keep, John Stones has been sold by the club. The fee of 54€ million proved too much for Everton to ignore. Another key player in the Everton ranks who has been linked with a move away is Romelu Lukaku. It has to been seen whether the club will be able to keep hold of the Belgian Striker.
This will be a season of consolidation for Everton. A Top 10 place looks likely and they’ll be a team that will trouble many of the top clubs in the league.
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Everton on paper do have pretty talented unit. The departure of John Stones resulted in Everton raiding the Swansea to sign their captain Ashley Williams. Williams will partner up with club captain Phil Jagielka at the heart of the defense. Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman should continue on as the left and right backs respectively.
The Toffee’s midfield is one of the best in the competition with the likes of Kevin Mirallas, Tom Cleverley, Ross Barkley and new signing Idrissa Gueye to name a few. Upfront Lukaku will be the automatic choice however if he leaves the club then Everton would need to add a quality striker to their ranks.
Former Barcelona starlet Gerard Deulofeu has been played upfront in pre-season with Koeman possibly preparing for life after Lukaku. In goal with the departure of Tim Howard in the summer the club has signed up Martin Stekelenburg from Fulham. He will start the season as the No.1 with Spanish keeper Joel Robles set to be his understudy.
Everton 2016-17 Season Prediction
Everton have the perfect opportunity to kick off the season of a high. After a opening day fixture at home to Tottenham they’ll face West Brom, Stoke City, Sunderland and Middlesbrough. We are predicting Everton to be among the Top 5 at Christmas however the second half of the season will see the stronger teams overtaking them and they’ll finish in 8th place but might qualify for Europe via cup competitions.
Verdict: – 8th Place
Player to Watch – Everton 2016-17
Despite being only 22 yrs old Ross Barkley enters his 6th season in the Premier League. Often compared to the Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, Barkley has shown signs that he can be one of the best on his day. Despite being named in the England squad for the European Championships, Barkley was overlooked in all of their games.
The time has come for Barkley to step up and deliver a season similar to Gerrard’s 2000/01 season. We expect Barkley to deliver this year and is a dark horse for the PFA Player of the Year.
Betting Tips – Everton 2016-17
1. Premier League Champions – 151.00 (Skybet)
Everton surprisingly are ranked behind Leicester and West Ham by the bookies to win the league title. We expect the Toffees to make great strides this season but not so much to win the title.
2. Relegation – 36.00 (10 Bet)
Not going to happen.
3. Top 4 – 14.00 (Paddypower)
They certainly do have the quality in their ranks to push the teams above them. However with teams like Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea & Liverpool considerably stronger than last year we don’t see Everton breaking into the Champions League spots.
4. Top 6 – 6.00 (Coral)
The teams that are expected to finish above them include Arsenal, Tottenham and Leicester in addition to the four already mentioned. It will be difficult task for the Evertonians but it is something that can be achieved. This won’t be bad bet considering the odds on offer.
5. PFA Player of the Year – Ross Barkley – 81.00 (Paddypower)
As already mentioned we expect Ross Barkley to finally rise to his potential this season. If he can drag his team to anywhere among the Top 5 he’s a definite contender for the Player of the Year award.
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Transfers In – Everton 2016-17
|Fee – €
Everton – 2015/16 Stats