Everton may have invested in plenty of new attacking players in the past three transfer windows, including the likes of Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Theo Walcott, but, if they want to compete for a place in the top-six, they should be targeting another game-changing addition.
With a talented squad of players residing within the squad and Marco Silva at the helm, the Toffees can boast genuine ambitions of finally breaching the top-six places.
It’s a daunting challenge on paper as the established top-six have the mentality, infrastructure and financial resources to justify their place amongst the Premier League elite.
But things can change very quickly in football and Everton represent the biggest threat to the established order, so the club must press on with their ambitious recruitment drive indefinitely.
With that being said, Marcel Brands should be on high alert to a recent report from ESPN (via Bild). According to the report, a source close to Leon Bailey has revealed that the 21-year-old prodigy has become frustrated by his lack of first-team starts so far this season, and he is targeting a January move as a consequence.
Bailey is a player who Everton fans might be familiar with; he was touted as a potential shock candidate for the England World Cup squad earlier this year despite having never previously appeared for the Three Lions.
But there was no place for the uncapped wing-wizard on the back of a season in which he took the Bundesliga by storm with his dazzling and direct approach.
A record of 9 goals and 6 assists from 30 league fixtures tells you all you need to know about Bailey, but he has failed to build on that record with any conviction so far this season.
Bailey (valued at £40.5 million by Transfermarkt) has just 1 goal from 9 appearances and he now finds himself fighting for a starting berth after sitting on the substitutes bench in Leverkusen’s last four fixtures.
It’s a rather peculiar scenario for a player who has widely been hailed as one of the world’s most promising talents, but his reported discontent could play into Everton’s hands.
Bailey’s craving for first-team opportunities would almost certainly be satisfied at Goodison Park on either wing, with Richarlison moving into centre-forward or Theo Walcott dropping to the bench to accommodate him.
If Brands can convince Bailey to move to Goodison Park with genuine assurances regarding first-team opportunities, it would be his finest masterstroke yet.
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