Team Preview: Everton

General Overview

  • Expected formation: 4-3-3
  • Expected team line-up: Pickford; Martina (Until Coleman is back from injury), Keane, Williams, Baines; Klaassen, Schneiderlin, Gueye; Sandro, Rooney, Mirallas
  • Penalties: Rooney, Baines, Mirallas
  • Direct free kicks: Rooney, Barkley, Mirallas
  • Indirect free kicks: Rooney, Mirallas, Barkley, Baines
  • Corners: Rooney, Mirallas, Barkley
  • Opening fixtures: STO (H), Mci (A), Che (A), TOT (H), Mnu (A), BOU (H), BUR (H), Bha (A), ARS (H), Lei (A)

One talisman goes, another returns. Romelu Lukaku’s big summer move to Manchester United paved the way for Wayne Rooney’s headline return to his boyhood club, in a busy transfer window for the Toffees, that can be described as ‘shrewd’ and ‘productive’. Rooney may well be in the latter stages of his illustrious career, but I think he still has much to offer Everton on and off the pitch before he makes his final decision.

Pickford, Keane, Martina, Klaassen, Sandro and Rooney all come in for Everton, so the question is; how many of these new players should we be considering for our FPL squads and do they promote the selection of any of the current crop of players at Everton?

Lets have a look.

Wayne Rooney (£7.5m)

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No messing around, we start with the main man himself.

With the majority of the set-pieces, as well as either playing up front or on the wing of the 3 forwards in the 4-3-3 system, Rooney at £7.5m could be fantastic value. However, even with a full pre-season under his belt, it still might take Rooney a little time to get back to 100% full match sharpness due to his bit-part role last season for Manchester United.

Once he gets back into the swing of things though, I expect him to provide the best value at that price in the forward category and to feature in a lot of our teams at some point during the season.

Davy Klaassen (£7.5m) 

Another one that could provide great value, this time being in the midfield category. He appears to have the roaming playmaker role in Koeman’s 4-3-3 formation, which was the same system he played in at Ajax, so there should be no issues with him adapting to it. With the protection of Gueye and Schneiderlin behind him, the goalscoring midfielder will be given the freedom to break forward at every available opportunity and will get goals no question, as well as having the eye to pick a pass for the likes of Rooney, Sandro and Mirallas.

We covered Klaassen extensively when the signing of him was announced. If you want to know more about him, then click the link provided > ‘Insight Into Everton’s New Signing Davy Klaassen‘.

Jordan Pickford (£5.0m)

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Last season was a great year for Pickford. He really came into his own and his reward, is 1st choice keeper at Everton – well deserved. Giving him the game time last year was probably the best thing David Moyes did at Sunderland as, at least with Pickford in goal, they kept the scoring down to a respectable level.

Pickford made 135 saves last year, just 7 short of Heaton’s massive total of 142! With his clear excellent shot-stopping ability and much more defensively organised players in front of him, Pickford could be a good choice for those that don’t like to rotate two 1st choice keepers from (with respect) lower sides.

The Defence

The signing of Michael Keane (£5.5m) from Burnley for an estimated £31m after add-ons sounds expensive, but in this market, is good business. Strong, composed and young, he has all the components that make a good centre back and will add even more stability to Everton’s backline. Standing at 6 ft 3 in, he could well be the man they now target for set-pieces now Jagielka is being phased out and if Jagielka can pass on his knowledge to the young man, he could be a real threat in the box, as big Phil certainly knew where the net was.

Ashley Williams (£5.5m) for the same price also poses a threat from set-pieces and does well with the BPS system, down to a lot of CBIs.

Leighton Baines (£6.0m) – the former defensive heavyweight. A shadow of his former self. Likely now to be off penalties and any set-pieces he may have been on now Rooney is back. Nearly everything that comes from Leighton will have to be from open play unless of course, Rooney isn’t playing for whatever reason and they get a penalty – not particularly appealing. He doesn’t get as far forward as he used to and with no obvious target man to aim for in the middle, now Lukaku has gone, his quality of cross might not be as well utilised as it was before.

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Seamus Coleman (£6.5m) would always be my preferred choice of the Everton backline, as he is a renegade getting up and down that right and bombs into the penalty area on a regular basis, getting him plenty of goalmouth action. Of course, with the horrendous broken leg he suffered after the shocking tackle by Neil Taylor, he will miss the majority of the first half of the season, which promotes budget-friendly options like Martina (£4.5m) if he gets the nod ahead of Holgate (£4.5m) – one to keep an eye on.

Conclusion

The problem with any of these assets, is Everton having such a difficult start. I really can’t see many goals or clean sheets for them in the first 5 games. From GW6 however, is another story. It goes from dark, raging thunderstorms, to immediate glorious sunshine in the form of Bournemouth, Burnley and Brighton. I would advise holding back on any Everton asset until then.

From that point onwards, Rooney looks the best bet, as well as whoever gets the RB spot between Martina and Holgate. It looks like Martina at the moment, but at least the poor opening fixtures they have give us a chance to see who Koeman chooses, although they’re both cheap enough to have sitting on the bench ready for GW6.

The other player I’d be looking to invest in at some point, is technician and new boy Klaassen. Again, the poor opening fixtures give us a chance to see how he adapts to the rigours of the Premier League, then we can make a more informed decision on him when the fixtures turn, but he looks to have the potential to be a good FPL asset.

Last but not least we have Sandro Ramirez (£7.5m). Likely to feature either up front or on the wing of Koeman’s 4-3-3, he’s another, like Klaassen that has the potential to do well, but again, I would wait and see with him. Everton have some fantastic young talent in Lookman and Calvert-lewin, who I can see rotating with Sandro over the course of the season.

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