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Insight: Who should Everton sign?

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Last Updated: 16/05/19 2:40pm

Everton have been big spenders in recent years, so are there more bold transfer plans in place for this summer?

Last summer they brought in Richarlison, Yerry Mina, Lucas Digne and Bernard at a combined cost of close to £90m, with Andre Gomes and Kurt Zouma also arriving on loan.

Where do they need to strengthen this summer? What do the stats tell us? And who are the names in the mix? Read on to find out.

The pundit verdict

Charlie Nicholas: "Big decisions are to be made here. Marco Silva has an idea of how he wants them to play but has not got it over to them yet. They don't have a proper number nine. Dominic Calvert-Lewin never plays with a partner and is always on his own. They tried Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun there, but Everton are always at their best when they have a number nine with players around him.

"Everton have pace, attitude and lots of good assets that they use well. Gylfi Sigurdsson is a top number 10 that they utilise. But I don't know if Leighton Baines or Phil Jagielka will get contracts, and Kurt Zouma might go back to Chelsea, so they need defenders. Andre Gomes might go back to Barcelona, so they have a couple of midfielders to get too.

Marco Silva guided Everton to an eighth-placed finish

"They need to identify what their team style is. I am all for plan A and plan B, but they have to get plan A right. Do they play a false-nine or a number nine? Either way, the manager needs to get his point across and understand what the team and personality is going to be. Silva must add to his defence and midfield and certainly add up front.

"They must also identify the players there who are no longer required and then move them on. Everton probably need about six new players to replace them. They are a million miles away from the top-six right now - even considering what the situations are like at Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United."

What do the stats say?

Everton conceded 46 goals - the fifth-lowest total in the Premier League. They also ranked fourth for clean sheets with 14, while only three teams restricted their opponents to fewer shots (403). Those numbers suggest they already have solid defensive foundations in place, although perhaps not if they are unable to sign Zouma permanently.

Everton lost 14 points from winning positions

The Toffees have a relatively youthful squad - their starting line-ups this season the second-youngest in the Premier League on average at 26 years and 74 days old, but is there a lack of experience? Only Southampton, Fulham and Huddersfield lost more points from winning positions (14), pointing to mental fragility.

Everton fared well in games against the big six, with only Wolves, Liverpool and Manchester City taking more points from those meetings (12), but the need for a new centre-forward is reflected by the fact that Calvert-Lewin, Tosun and forgotten man Oumar Niasse only scored nine Premier League goals between them all season.

The manager's view

Marco Silva: "Of course, we need a strong market. It will be tough for us. We want to keep two key players who are on loan, we want to attack the market well. It is part of the job, part of the steps.

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"When you finish the season strong, you just have one way to go for next season, to improve. It is what I want, to improve what we did this season and it must be our target.

"The next market will be key for us and to keep our level."

What we know

Vinny O'Connor, Sky Sports News: "Everton are expecting a difficult market this summer but their ambition to improve a squad that finished the season strongly is undiminished.

"It's no secret that sealing permanent deals for loanees Andre Gomes and Kurt Zouma are priorities.

"Everton face competition for Gomes, but are hopeful his season at Goodison Park will prove persuasive. They've been in contact with Barcelona as they look to secure a deal, but with others interested, that's unlikely to be straightforward.

Signing Andre Gomes permanently is a priority for Everton

"Meanwhile Zouma's situation is complicated by Chelsea's transfer ban. With Gary Cahill on his way, Chelsea won't want to lessen their options at centre half and at the moment, they are ready to welcome Zouma back for pre-season training.

"Silva will also look to bolster his attacking options. He wants more goals from wide areas (a challenge for Bernard next season) but will also want another option through the middle to supplement what Dominic Calvert-Lewin has shown in the second half of the season."

Who have they been linked with?

As well as pursuing permanent deals for loanees Zouma and Gomes, Everton have been offered the chance to sign Portuguese midfielder Joao Mario, who is valued at £15m by Inter Milan (Daily Mail).

Everton have also been linked with wingers David Neres and Hirving Lozano, who play for Ajax and PSV Eindhoven respectively, but director of footballer Marcel Brands recently said there has been "no contact" with either player.

According to The Sun, Everton are vying to sign Argentine midfielder Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis - despite him only recently making his loan move from PSG permanent.

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