Everton fans in the Transfer Tavern remain far from satisfied with their side after seeing the Toffees labour to a 1-1 draw at Brighton on Sunday, leaving the Merseyside outfit 16th in the Premier League and just two points clear of the bottom three.
Ronald Koeman’s men went into their clash with the Seagulls off the back of just two wins in seven league matches, and they looked set to suffer a fourth successive away defeat of the campaign when Anthony Knockaert gave Chris Hughton’s side the lead with just eight minutes of the game left. However, defender Bruno elbowed Dominic Calvert-Lewin to give Wayne Rooney the chance to level from the penalty spot in the 90th minute, and the striker did just that to secure a much-needed point for the Toffees, and give our resident Evertonians at least something to cheer about.
However, it was another uninspiring and lacklustre performance from Koeman’s side and again calls into question the Dutchman’s capabilities in turning things around at Goodison Park, what with the Toffees also winless in their Europa League group stage campaign.
Clearly, reinforcements in several areas of the squad are needed in January, and one area that does appear to need strengthening is the central midfield department, which is why it’s hardly surprising to see Everton recently linked with a move for Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho.
The 25-year-old was set to move to West Ham during the summer only for no deal to materialise, for one reason or another, yet the Toffees are reportedly hoping to go one better than that and seal a move for the Portugal Euro 2016 winner in the New Year.
And it’s a deal Koeman and the Everton hierarchy must look to get done, as the £22.5 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) would give him another excellent option in the middle of park, and provide stiff competition to the current duo of Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin, neither of whom have made a great start to the season.
France international Schneiderlin made the move to Goodison Park back in January of this year and did reasonably well in the second half of last season, but this season has yet to bring his best form to the field, which came to a head as his indecision led to Brighton’s goal on Sunday.
The 27-year-old hasn’t quite looked the part in the centre of midfield yet this term, although he has made more interceptions (23) than teammate Gueye, who has in the last few seasons featured in the top ten of that list, as well as most tackles made charts.
And given he is nine behind Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi on that list as well, the Senegal international isn’t quite having the best of times either, but they continue to get a starting role given Koeman’s lack of alternatives at present.
And that is why a move for Carvalho is so important for Everton in January, as the 25-year-old would give both Gueye and Schneiderlin the sort of competition needed at Premier League level, and it may just be what they need to reach their best level once again.
Also, the Portugal international is an industrious midfielder who can do a job protecting the backline, and thus give the front players greater scope for freedom in the attacking third. And with Everton lacklustre in the final third at times this season, that would certainly be needed.
You look at the current West Ham team at present, and you sense that they are missing that industrious, combative central midfielder to allow the attacking players, of which manager Slaven Bilic has many, to go on and do the business going forward.
Everton could have that player in their ranks, and given they are seriously struggling for form in the final third, he’s a midfielder who would significantly bolster their ranks.
Thus, it’s a deal they have to get done in January.
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