If Everton are to achieve any hopes of a top ten….eight….six finish, clearly there is a need to bring in a more prolific goal-grabber.
Pre-season is a time for great optimism amongst football fans – maybe this really will be our year?
Often, the weight of expectation will be dictated by the activity of the club in the transfer market. It’s amazing how one marquee signing can seemingly right all of a team’s wrongs in the minds of their supporters!
As far as Everton are concerned, most of us have a shopping list in mind as to who we want to see step through the front door of Goodison Park, and for many, there is a clear and desperate need to sign a proven goal-getter.
Goals are football’s major currency, of course, and the Toffees bagged 44 of them in the 2019/20 campaign. That was the eleventh best haul in the Premier League, and less than all of the teams in the top eight of the table. For further context, it’s less than half of Manchester City’s tally, and Everton only scored two or more goals on 12 occasions – and just once in the last eleven games of the season.
Look, Carlo Ancelotti is building from the back as he looks to overhaul his playing staff. There’s no problem with that, but you have to keep clean sheets if that is your overarching philosophy – the Toffees failed to achieve that in 12 of their last 15 games.
You wonder if Ancelotti’s reluctance to really cut loose is a lack of belief in his two main striking options, although it’s hard to really point the finger at Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who notched 26 goals between them.
But if Everton are to achieve any hopes of a top ten….eight….six finish, clearly there is a need to bring in a more prolific goal-grabber. And until that happens, the Toffees aren't going to make any positive moves in the bookmakers' outright Premier League 2020/21 betting odds - always the best barometer of what is likely to happen.
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The jury is still out on whether Richarlison is a natural central striker or not.
The Brazilian was primarily deployed through the middle last season, and he’s even led the line for his national team. But a goal every 239 minutes of football – as his record stood in 2019/20 – simply isn’t anywhere near prolific enough.
With a goal every 204 minutes, Dominic Calvert Lewin is hardly any more spectacular in the penalty area, and he is something of a defensive forward, if such a thing exists. DCL works hard, puts himself about and harries defenders…which is all very noble, but it doesn’t win silverware, does it?
Here’s the thing – Everton recorded an Expected Goals count of 53.71 last season. Okay, so that’s hardly mind-blowing either, but it does suggest we’ve left goals unscored based upon the chances created. That tells us that with a more lethal centre forward, we WOULD score more goals and WOULD win more points. And that’s what football is all about, after all.
But let’s not point the finger of blame at just two individuals. Aside from Richarlison and DCL, the next highest Everton goalscorer in the Premier League 2019/20 was Bernard – and he mustered a princely tally of three.
So are Richarlison and DCL the right strikers to lead the Toffees forward? Perhaps not, but it’s clear that a complete strategic overhaul is required to get more players into goalscoring areas.