The Everton fans have been in fine spirits in the Transfer Tavern this week since their side’s performance in their 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Goodison Park last weekend.
Sam Allardyce’s side all but secured their Premier League status this season on Saturday as they moved into 9th position after 27 fixtures. Everton are still 6 points short of the 40-point mark which is widely considered to guarantee safety in the English top-flight, but they should have no problem in reaching that target in the near future considering the quality of their squad.
The supporters will now be hoping their side can continue to climb the table and beat both Burnley and Leicester City to 7th place this year in order to give themselves a chance of qualifying for the Europa League. Everton endured a miserable campaign in the Europa League this season as they finished 3rd in Group D on just 4 points, so they will certainly be hoping for a more successful run in Europe next season if they do indeed manager to qualify.
However, the main priority for Everton right now should be to consolidate what they have and identify the areas which are most in need of improvement to achieve a top-six finish next season. In terms of consolidating, The Toffees should strongly consider extending the contract of Jordan Pickford (valued at £18 million by Transfermarkt) before his reputation increases at the World Cup next summer.
The decline of Joe Hart will inevitably force Gareth Southgate to make a huge decision on who should be England’s number one in Russia next summer. Although there is strong competiton for the number one shirt from Stoke City’s Jack Butland, Pickford deserves to start between the sticks on the evidence of his performances in the Premier League since he burst onto the scene at Sunderland in 2016.
England’s goalkeeping history in recent years makes for grim viewing, so the supporters will certainly be hoping that Pickford can be the man to break the trend of high-profile mistakes that consistently plague English goalkeepers on the international stage.
Pickford could really catch the attention of some of Europe’s heavyweights with a string of fine performances for England in Russia, so Everton must be prepared to improve the 23-year-olds existing contract before the tournament kicks off in a bid to stave off interest from rival clubs.