Everton have experienced a mixed opening to the season under Marco Silva as the early feeling of optimism has been swiftly replaced by a familiar feeling of discontent and frustration.
Marco Silva has been held in high esteem by the British media ever since he took charge of Hull City in 2017, but the commonly held belief that the Portuguese manager’s aesthetically appealing philosophy breeds positive results has come under fire in recent weeks.
With just one win on the board from his opening 6 fixtures as Everton boss it’s no surprise that questions are being asked and problems dissected.
Indeed, BBC pundit Phil Neville has weighed in on the Toffees opening to the season by claiming: ‘they are close to being a strong team – but the reason they have been so near yet so far for the past few months is because they lack a really ruthless centre-forward.’
That much is true as both Cenk Tosun and Dominic Calvert-Lewin in particular have struggled to convince whilst spearheading the attack, with the latter’s lack of experience and physical presence proving a notable detriment to the quality of his performances thus far.
At this stage in the season it would be foolish for Everton to give up on Tosun less than a year after they forked out £27 million to secure his signature, but whilst both he and the team are struggling for form he would be wise to think outside the box – just a little at least.
With that being said, Silva could resolve the problem at centre-forward by moving Richarlison into a central role and trusting Ademola Lookman on the left-side of a front-three with Walcott operating down the right-wing; alternatively, Walcott could slot into a central role with Lookman filling in on the right-wing.
Either way it’s clear that Silva has the option of mixing up his front-three to find a formula which boosts Everton’s potency in the final-third, rather than forking out millions of pounds to sign a new striker before Tosun has been given a sufficient length of time to prove himself.
Although Everton have more than just their centre-forward problem to deal with, there’s no doubt that Neville is right to identify it as one of the most restrictive to their development right now but, with Richarlison, Lookman and Walcott all versatile enough to adapt to different roles across the front-three, Silva can have no excuse for failing to find a winning formula in the coming weeks.
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