Everton fans will look back upon 2017 with some regret, with the sacking of Dutchman Ronald Koeman a particular disappointment, but the turn of the year brings with it great optimism.
The appointment of Sam Allardyce at the end of November proved a turning point in the Toffees season, with the relegation candidates surging up the table under the former England boss, with eyes firmly set on breaking into the top-seven in the second-half of the season. The club have the players to achieve the lofty ambition, with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson brought in in the summer months to turn this side into a Premier League force.
New chairman Farhad Moshiri backed Koeman in the transfer market, and fans here in The Transfer Tavern are hoping that the Iranian businessman repeats his generosity in the current window to allow Allardyce to put together the squad he feels is capable of challenging in the upper reaches of the division. Over a game of darts in the corner of The Tavern, our landlord had a chat with Toffees fans to find out exactly where they felt their side needed to improve this month.
Goals have come, but not in abundance, and the Toffees faithful expressed their desire to see Allardyce utilise the market to bring in a powerful striker with a proven track-record for goals at the highest level. Everton have money, but are some way from being able to challenge the European big boys for the biggest names in the game, so their scouting network must be in top shape to find Europe’s hidden gems.
Our landlord is something of an expert on the matter, and couldn’t help but suggest that the club attempt a move for Russian striker, Fyodor Smolov – rated at £13.28m on Transfermarkt. Top scorer in the Russian Premier League with ten goals in thirteen games, the 27-year-old has been in remarkable form since a 2015 switch to Krasnodar from Dynamo Moscow, and looks ready to try his hand in a higher standard league.
48 goals in 64 league appearances is a phenomenal record at any level, and Allardyce must take notice of such incredible stats as he hunts for a new striker. Smolov could be the man Allardyce needs to take Everton to the next level, and his capture shouldn’t blow too big a hole in Moshiri’s pocket.
Everton fans, which area of your squad needs the most attention in the new year? Let us know!