Everton supporters have been pretty despondent in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side bow out of the FA Cup last weekend courtesy of a 2-1 defeat to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby at Anfield.
Sam Allardyce’s men went into their clash with the Reds following a run of no win in four Premier League games, and they were unable to get back to winning ways across the city to advance in the world’s oldest cup competition. Goals from James Milner and Virgil van Dijk either side of Gylfi Sigurdsson’s equaliser was enough to secure a last 32 berth for Jurgen Klopp’s side, thus condemning the Toffees to a second third round exit in the last three years.
Consequently, there have been many deflated Evertonians in the Tavern this week, several of whom are hoping that their side can significantly improve over the coming weeks, with incomings seemingly needed in a bid to challenge for the European places once again.
And one man who reportedly could be on his way to Goodison Park is Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, what with the 28-year-old struggling for first team football under Arsene Wenger this season, but ultimately knowing that the summer could represent his last chance to feature at a World Cup with England.
And while the forward would be a decent addition, the Toffees should forget about a move for Walcott and instead show genuine ambition by luring Wilfried Zaha away from Crystal Palace.
The 25-year-old has been in outstanding form for the Eagles in the last few years and played a key part in keeping them up last season, incidentally under the guidance of now-Everton boss Allardyce.
And the former England chief will know first-hand exactly how good and influential the Ivory Coast international can be, knowing that he can be a match-winner on any given day.
And with the Toffees somewhat uninspiring for much of the first half of the campaign, they need someone quick and tricky down the flanks to really get at teams, much in the same way Zaha did under Allardyce at Palace, and continues to do under Roy Hodgson – Zaha has created 27 chances this term, only Wayne Rooney (28) has created more in the Everton ranks.
Yannick Bolasie, formerly a teammate of the 25-year-old at Selhurst Park, is beginning to come back from injury yet is unlikely to hit top form for a while yet, but imagine a side consisting of Zaha down one flank and Bolasie down the other – it’s a frightening prospect for any Premier League defence.
And if Everton are serious about knocking on the door of the top six, thus trying to get in amongst them and secure European football, it’s the sort of move they have to target and indeed pull off.
Yes, Walcott would be a good addition, be it as the quick forward they have cried out for this term or the centre forward they desperately need, but landing Zaha would be a serious statement of intent to the Premier League big boys.
The Toffees spent over £100 million in the summer on quality players, Sigurdsson, Michael Keane, and Jordan Pickford notably, as they seek to break into that top six – they have to continue with that level of investment this month, and in transfer windows to come.
With a new stadium to come in the not-too-distant future, and investment already underway, the future appears bright at Everton, so they should forget a move for 28-year-old Walcott and instead seek out £22.5 million-rated Zaha (as per Transfermarkt).
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