Due to not being comfortable playing out from the back, Everton tended to play the more direct ball forward to their striker, utilising their striker's physical presence. Calvert-Lewin averaged the league's most aerial duels per 90. In their 3-4-3, their wing-backs overlapped the wingers, allowing both attacking wingers to move in centrally and play in central areas. They also look to get bodies in the box when the ball is out to their wing-backs. This was a strength, getting crosses in from deeper areas into the box.
Everton also look to break at speed but not by overcommitting players. On counter-attacks, Everton's attackers look to take on defenders by dribbling. Everton are among the highest in the Premier League for 1v1 dribbling per 90 minutes, averaging the fourth most with 26.84 per 90.
In the 3-4-3, Everton's midfielders tended to overcommit, leaving little protection in front of their backline. Especially because Lampard wants to be on the front foot, they apply a counter-press when they lose the ball in the attacking areas. But when the press got broken, their defence was exposed. This was a concern and an area Everton may look to fix in the summer.
There's no doubt that Everton will not be spending big this summer. They'll need to recruit smartly, get rid of deadwood and also sell a star player to raise cash for Lampard's rebuild. Whom should he look to sell and sign?
Donny van de Beek - Loan Expired - £120,000 Anwar El Ghazi - Loan Expired - £30,962 Jonjoe Kenny - Confirmed to depart - £15,000
Richarlison - Look to sell (Possibly to Tottenham Hotspur) - £90,000
Jean-Philippe Gbamin - Look to sell - £65,000
Andre Gomes - Look to sell - £112,212 Yerry Mina or Michael Keane - Look to sell - £120,000
Tom Davies - Look to sell - £25,000
Salomon Rondon - Look to sell - ?
= £427,212 in weekly wages POTENTIALLY saved
Everton after departures
After removing the players whom I believe Everton will or should get rid of, this (the image on the left) is what the squad could now look like. The positions with "?" are the areas I believe Everton should be looking to strengthen this summer. Admittedly, signing six players could be an unrealistic task.
I've done this in a 4-3-3 formation believing Lampard will change from the back 3, but in case he sticks with the 3-4-3, the squad picture is also in that shape. The player profiles needed remains the same.
Time for the players I have identified. Firstly, I have looked at the positions of Central Defence, Left-Back, Central Defensive-Midfielder, Creative Central-Midfielder, Left (or right) Winger & Striker. Importantly we must take note of Everton's financial situation who are looking to avoid any penalty for breaching the Premier League's Financial Fair Play rules after posting huge losses for three years in a row. I have mostly searched for affordable deals, and by doing so, I searched for players with 0-2 years left on their contracts.
In central defence, Everton are rumoured to be in advanced talks with James Tarkowski, and he's available on a free transfer which would be their first piece of "smart" business. Everton can look to cash in on Yerry Mina, who started just 29% of the games last season, and Tarkowski would be complementary for Ben Godfrey. So this one looks sorted already. Though, in an ideal situation, Igor from Fiorentina could've been an interesting defender to look at, as well as Moussa Niakhaté (Mainz 05) Both Igor and Niakhaté are more ball-playing central defenders with both also being left-footed.
James Tarkowski was superb in the air last season for Burnley winning 68.7% of his aerial duels, putting in a high number of blocks per 90 with 2.67 (1.79 being the EPL average) and also good in 1v1 situations against dribblers, winning 56% of those duels. He's Premier League experienced and certainly "Premier League quality". This move makes sense.
Left-back isn't an area Everton need first-team quality but will certainly want another option or backup in case Vitaliy Mykolenko gets injured/suspended. Tactically, Everton's wing-backs like to put in deep crosses, and this was something I looked for when searching for a backup full-back. But also the positions they take up on the pitch in possession as Lampard wants his wide defenders to overlap. Being defensively solid in a back four will also be key.
Gerardo Arteaga - Genk - £3.60m - Jun 30, 2023 - Age: 23
Gerardo Arteaga is a pacey full-back who currently plays in Belgium's top-flight for Genk and has been capped 14 times for Mexico. He has one year left on his contract, with his market value at just £3.60m (www.transfermarkt.co.uk). Like both of the full-backs on this list, Arteaga completes a very respectable number of deep crosses per 90 (1.07). Mykolenko managed 0.8 for Everton. He wins 56% of his defensive duels, which is less than Mykolenko's 68% in the Premier League. Going forward, Arteaga has four assists to his name and similarly to Mykolenko, he's accurate with his passes into the penalty area, completing 64% of those passes (equal to Mykolenko), attempting just 0.1 more.
Rhys Norrington-Davies - Sheff Utd - £1.35m - Jun 30, 2024 - Age: 23
Norrington-Davies plays his football for Sheffield United in the Championship. This may come with little concern about whether he'll be able to adapt. Norrington-Davies completed 1.04 deep crosses per 90, Mykolenko managed 0.8 for Everton and was solid defensively, winning 67% of his defensive duels. Though he was not as accurate with his passes into the penalty areas as Arteaga and Mykolenko, he did attempt at least one more of those passes than the full-backs whilst also completing slightly higher key passes than the two.
My pick is Rhys Norrington-Davies as I feel there is less risk when it comes to players adapting
Everton struggled to play out from the back under Lampard, and one reason being is not having a pivot player technical enough to be able to do so effectively. But this is also an area Everton should look to strengthen for defensive reasons, protection in front of the back four (or three), recovering the ball for Everton and setting the tempo. Lampard may not look to completely control games through possession but certainly wants to take the proactive approach.
Harry Winks - Tottenham - £15.30m - Jun 30, 2024 - Age: 26
Harry Winks has been strongly linked with Everton, and I believe this would be an ideal addition. It's unlikely Everton will look to sign Harry Winks with a transfer fee, but with Richarlison seemingly on his way to Spurs, Harry Winks could be used in the deal where Everton gets the central-midfielder on loan.
He fits the profile of a midfielder being technically gifted enough to play a defensive-midfielder role for Everton, picks up good positions to receive the ball and is also solid defensively. 10-time capped England midfielder is a player capable of playing whilst under pressure. He likes to receive the ball and play progressive passes setting the tempo for his side. Compared to Central-Midfielders in the Premier League, the number of progressive passes completed by Winks is impressive. The average is 3.96, and Winks completes 6.71 (97% percentile).
Josh Cullen - Anderlecht - £4.50m - Jun 30, 2023 - Age: 26
Josh Cullen had an impressive season at RSC Anderlecht under Vincent Kompany, playing in a two-man midfield which could be the case in a 3-4-3 at Everton. Cullen is a reliable midfielder who makes little mistakes and has played nearly every single minute for Anderlecht. He operates in deeper areas and is the player between the defence and the attack. He has great passing statistics and strong defensive ones too. His contract also has just one year remaining.
Cullen has the second-highest number of passes completed and the second-highest number of forward passes in the Belgian top flight. He likes to play the ball forward, and this compliments proactive systems. 18.92 forward passes per 90, with 77.9% of those being accurate. Defensively Cullen is strong too. He's averaged 6.55 defensive duels per 90, with a success rate of 64.5%. He also has only managed to accumulate four yellow cards this season, showing he does not have rash decision-making either when it comes to making tackles on opposition players. Whether it is dictating play with his passing ability or protecting the back four with his defensive capabilities and willingness to challenge for the ball, Josh Cullen is crucial to what Anderlecht do as a side under Vincent Kompany.
Following the rumours, Everton have also been linked with a creative midfielder, most notably Conor Gallagher. This is another transfer I doubt Everton will be able to afford, and Thomas Tuchel may give Gallagher his chance at Chelsea. Everton lacks creativity in the middle,; this is another area Everton can look to improve. As mentioned earlier, Everton like to get bodies into the box when crossing in wider areas, and a runner from deep will be handy. They also like players capable of progressing with the ball at feet, which are areas that I focussed on, as well as making sure they are creating chances for their side.
Joe Aribo - Rangers - £9.00m - Jun 30, 2023 - Age: 25
The 25-year-old Nigerian midfielder has become a key figure at Rangers in progressing the ball forward. Usually playing as the left-sided central-midfielder in Rangers 4-3-3, he excels in progressing with the ball, completing 2.69 progressive runs per 90 (2nd most in Scottish top-flight compared to other central midfielders). He makes 6.16 dribbles per 90, with a 57% success rate. This would be a huge welcome to Everton's midfield. He also loves to get inside the box, as his 4.29 touches inside the box per 90 suggest.
Joe Aribo ended the season with four assists and nine league goals.
Alexis Mac Allister - Brighton - £9.00m - Jun 30, 2023 - Age: 23
Mac Allister is another midfielder who poses a goal threat. His contract expires in a year, so will Brighton look to cash in? The Argentine scored four league goals for Brighton whilst only managing to get the one assists. He's another forward-thinking midfielder who likes to progress with the ball at a successful rate, play forward passes, and get inside the box. Interestingly, compared to other central midfielders in the Premier League, Mac Allister is ranked 3rd with shots taken per 90 (2.25). Working under Frank Lampard may increase his goal and creativity output with his touches inside the box and progressive movements, making this an intriguing option.
Branco van den Boomen - Toulouse - £5.40m - Jun 30, 2023 - Age: 26
Another midfielder with just one year left on their contract, van den Boomen had a SUPERB season for Toulouse in the French Ligue 2. He is contributing to 33 goals scoring 12 (7 being non-penalty goals) with an impressive 18 assists! He also has a bigger presence inside his own half than Mac Allister and Joe Aribo, operating more as a box-to-box than attacking midfielder. Most of his creativity either comes from set-pieces or in deeper areas, where he attempts 3.68 Passes to the penalty area per 90 (4th best in Ligue 2 compared to other central midfielders) and also completes the most through passes per 90 (2.8) with a respectable 36% success rate.
He also completes the most long passes per 90 (compared to other Ligue 2 central midfielders) with 11.1 and an impressive 63% success rate - this can benefit Everton's more direct passing style of play.
Replacing Richarlison may be a difficult task for Everton, but not one that's impossible. After Richarlisons departure, Everton will or could be looking at bringing in at least two attacking players, one being a winger and the other being a striker. On the flanks, Everton will be looking at a winger who is impressive with dribbling but, importantly, one who can contribute to goals. Everton's wide players tend to invert, and given Andros Townsend is left-footed, I've looked for a direct Richarlison replacement, a left-winger who can cut inside.
Noah Okafor - RB Salzburg - £16.20m - Jun 30, 2024 - Age: 22
It's unlikely Everton will spend big. Even looking to replace Richarlison and bring Noah Okafor can be pricey, but maybe Everton wouldn't be priced out. The 22-year-old pacey winger managed nine goals and nine assists in the Austrian top-flight and has huge potential. He has excellent dribbling ability, with 7.6 dribbles attempted per 90, with a 55.