The Everton fans have been rather disappointed with their side’s campaign so far, and they are hoping that improvements to the current squad this summer will enable the club to push for a place in the top-six next season.
The resident Toffees have been bemoaning the clubs performances in recent weeks and labelled Sam Allardyce’s tactics as regressive and an obvious obstacle to long-term progress. As such, plenty of the supporters have called for another change in leadership at the club next summer, and considering his relative unpopularity, it seems plausible that their wish will be granted at the end of the season.
However, if the club want to bounce back from their disappointment this season by challenging for European football during the next campaign, they will need to make changes to the personnel in their squad as well as leadership. With that being said, Everton would be wise to keep a close eye on the relegation battle and monitor the performances of a handful of players who could become available next summer.
One player who The Toffees should be keeping a particularly close eye on is Stoke City’s crown jewel, Xherdan Shaqiri (valued at £16.2 million by Transfermarkt), who has been in red-hot hot form for The Potters in recent weeks. Stoke’s move to bring Shaqiri to the club from Inter Milan in 2015 represented something of a coup, but the club have failed to progress by landing players of a similar calibre nearly 3 years on from his arrival.
The lack of progression at Stoke is bound to frustrate Shaqiri who has an impressive CV with experience playing for FC Basel, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in the past. Although there is still a long way to go in the Premier League this season, it appears that Stoke City could be set to return to the second tier of English football for the first time since 2008. If that happens, there is simply no way Shaqiri will remain at the Bet365 Stadium.
A player of Shaqiri’s quality should be playing his trade for a Premier League side with genuine ambitions to qualify for the Europa League at the very least, so Goodison Park would be an ideal destination for the Swiss international next season. Everton currently lack the presence of a player who possesses the ability to make something happen out of nothing, but the signing of Shaqiri would change that next summer and boost the clubs ambitions of qualifying for the Europa League.
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