What Everton’s starting XI could look like after £85m+ spending spree

    Despite excelling defensively under boss Sean Dyche during the 2023/24 Premier League campaign, Everton have struggled within the attacking third to produce quality on a regular basis.

    Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucoure both notched up seven goals in the league, but endured droughts throughout the campaign, with the latter failing to score for over four months – a period that saw the club pick up just one win in 15 outings.

    The Toffees only managed a tally of 40 goals in their 38 Premier League matches, with only bottom club Sheffield United producing a total fewer than Dyche’s side.

    They desperately need reinforcements in the final third but will need to act in a sensible manner to prevent breaching the Premier League’s strict PSR rules for a third time in the last 12 months.

    Outgoings will undoubtedly be the focus this summer, but the club should also target players who will add to their defensive solidity and provide an added threat in attacking areas.

    That being said, based upon the recent transfer rumours surrounding the club, here’s a look at Dyche’s dream starting XI for Everton in the 2024/25 season.


    GK – Jordan Pickford


    The England number one has been pivotal in the club’s survival campaign, keeping 13 clean sheets, the second-most of any ‘keeper in the division behind Arsenal’s David Raya.

    Everton forked out £30m for his signature way back in 2017, with the big-money move now looking like a bargain given his recent form for the Toffees and England.


    RB – Yukinari Sugawara

    Yukinara Sugawara

    One of the major priorities this summer will be to acquire a suitable addition at right-back, with both Ashley Young and Seamus Coleman firmly in veteran status, and with Nathan Patterson seemingly out of the picture.

    A potential bargain solution has emerged in the form of AZ Alkmaar sensation, Yukinari Sugawara, with Sky Sports Germany naming the Toffees among the suitors for the 23-year-old – who would be available for just £5m.

    The Japanese international could add a new attacking thrust from right-back, having contributed nine assists last season.


    CB – Jarrad Branthwaite

    Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite

    The 21-year-old has had an excellent campaign for the Toffees, with his brilliant form not going unnoticed, with the former Carlisle United youngster linked with a huge move to Manchester United this summer.

    The centre-back started 35 out of 38 Premier League matches during 2023/24, with the Toffees desperately wanting to keep hold of their young talent ahead of the 2024/25 campaign.


    CB – James Tarkowski


    The second half of Everton’s long-term centre-back partnership is James Tarkowski, with the 31-year-old starting every single league match under Dyche this season.

    Since his free transfer to Goodison Park, Tarkowski has featured 85 times for the Toffees – proving to be one of the club’s best pickups in recent times.


    LB – Vitaliy Mykolenko


    The Ukrainian left-back really settled into life in the Premier League last season, featuring 28 times under Dyche and scoring twice against Brighton and Hove Albion and Crystal Palace.

    He’s become an integral part of the Toffees’ defence, starring alongside Tarkowski and Branthwaite, with the supporters finally beginning to see why the club decided to pay £17m for his signature.


    RM – Yankuba Minteh

    Yankuba Minteh for Feyenoord

    The 19-year-old, who is contracted to Newcastle United, has scored ten goals and provided five assists in his 27 appearances for Arne Slot’s Feyenoord in the Eredivisie, as he looks to gain experience ahead of a potential first-team spot in the Premier League.

    Dyche’s side have recently been credited with an interest in the Gambian, with the Magpies potentially looking to make a quick profit on the winger after his impressive loan spell away from St James’ Park.

    According to The Telegraph, the youngster could command a fee of around £40m.


    CM – James Garner

    Everton midfielder James Garner.

    The former Manchester United youngster has made 61 appearances since his switch to Goodison in the summer of 2022 from Manchester United, scoring twice including a stunner in the Carabao Cup tie against Aston Villa at Villa Park.

    With Garner only being 23, he has a huge future ahead of him at Goodison Park, with the versatile talent for sure in line to receive a senior England call-up in the near future should he receive consistent minutes next season.


    CM – Khephren Thuram


    The 23-year-old Frenchman, who has previously attracted interest from Merseyside rivals Liverpool, has enjoyed a brilliant campaign in Ligue 1, featuring 27 times for Nice, leading to a call-up to the French side to feature at this summer’s Olympic Games.

    A report by Tutto Juve claims both Everton and Napoli are ready to offer €25m (£21m) – a potential bargain for a player of his calibre and an ideal replacement for Amadou Onana who could be on his way out at Goodison, amid the Toffees desire to sell for a fee of around £60m.


    LM – Dwight McNeil


    Despite scoring between December and April, winger Dwight McNeil demonstrated his quality towards the tail end of the campaign, scoring and assisting in victories against Nottingham Forest and Liverpool.

    The £20m wideman has racked up 82 appearances for the Toffees since his big-money move back in the summer of 2022, being the perfect player for Dyche in wide areas, with his ability going forward and work rate defensively, two qualities that have seen him thrive at Goodison Park.


    CAM – Abdoulaye Doucoure

    Everton midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure

    After finishing the season as the club’s joint top-scorer alongside Dominic Calvert-Lewin, it would be hard not to include the Malian in the starting lineup for next season.

    The 31-year-old, who joined the club for £20m back in 2020, is entering the final year of his current deal next season, with the former Watford man needing to stake his claim for an extension if he is to stay on Merseyside beyond 2025.


    ST – Armando Broja

    Armando Broja celebrating a goal for Chelsea.

    Goals have been a huge problem for the Toffees in 2023/24, with the club potentially dipping into the market to improve their tally in the Premier League next season.

    The Albanian forward made 21 appearances in the Premier League for Chelsea and Fulham, scoring just once in the 2-0 win for the Blues against the side he spent the second half of the season on loan at.

    The Chelsea forward could be available to leave Stamford Bridge for around £20m this summer, with the youngster having the potential for a fresh start after suffering an ACL injury in 2022 that has set him back drastically in his development.

    Dream Everton XI in full: GK – Pickford, RB – Sugawara, CB – Tarkowksi, CB – Branthwaite, LB – Mykolenko; RM – Minteh, CM – Garner, CM – Thuram, LM – McNeil; CAM – Doucoure, ST – Broja


    Everton battling PL rivals for “high-level” Onana replacement

    He’s enjoyed an excellent breakthrough season in 2023/24.

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