Everton supporters in the Transfer Tavern are eagerly anticipating the start of the Premier League season, which for their side gets underway in the West Midlands on Saturday.
The Toffees stumbled to an eighth place finish in the English top-flight last time round under the guidance of both Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce, the latter of which lost his job over the summer despite leading the club away from the relegation places. And it is now up to former Hull City and Watford chief Marco Silva to take the club forward in the top-flight this term, which starts with a trip to newly-promoted Wolves on Saturday.
And after a summer of big spending at Goodison Park, expectations are high that Silva can lead the club towards the top six places, with the likes of Richarlison, Yerry Mina, and Lucas Digne, to name but a few, making the move to the blue half of Merseyside.
Ultimately, the substantial fee paid to Watford for Richarlison is as a result of the outstanding start he made to life in the Premier League last season, what with the winger netting five goals and laying on five assists in his first 17 league games for the Hornets, incidentally under the stewardship of Silva.
And at the tender age of 21, the Brazilian star has been brought to Everton as both a player for the present and indeed the future, but it was pretty clear that the centre back ranks were in dire need of strengthening at Goodison Park following the summer departures of Ashley Williams and Ramiro Funes Mori – hence Mina could prove to be the bigger signing.
The 23-year-old only made the move to Barcelona back in January but only mustered six senior appearances for the Catalans, although his lack of football didn’t appear to affect him at the World Cup, as the centre back shone for Colombia.
Mina netted three times in just three games for his country, including a last-minute equaliser against England, to help Colombia reach the last 16, thus underlining his aerial prowess in the opposition box, but what is more significant is that while he was on the pitch, his side only conceded once.
So while he clearly has great pedigree attacking set plays and proving a handful to defend against, he also played his part in a Colombia backline that was solid and well-organised – the sort of traits Everton are crying out for.
Michael Keane and Phil Jagielka are the only fit centre backs at the club at present given the injury to Mason Holgate during pre-season, which made it even more imperative that they got a deal done for Mina, who looks to be both the present and indeed the future answer to their defensive woes.
Thus, while the 23-year-old cost less than Richarlison and may not excite Everton fans as much as the ex-Watford man, the defender could prove to be the biggest signing of a great summer at Goodison Park.
Everton fans… what do you think? Let us know!