It’s not been the start to the season that many Everton fans anticipated. Ronald Koeman’s side find themselves in the relegation zone after five matches and have netted just twice. The Toffees invested heavily in the summer but still appear light in the striking department and many fans have been left wondering who will fill the void left by the departed Romelu Lukaku.
It’s been a while since Everton last found the net. A 1-1 draw against Hajduk Split was the last time the Toffees were able to celebrate as Gylfi Sigurdsson netted a memorable goal from distance to book Everton’s place in this season’s UEFA Europa League. The Icelandic midfielder scored nine times for Swansea last season and is likely to be a threat from set-pieces this campaign but he will need some support in the final third.
Fellow new recruit Wayne Rooney has netted both of the clubs two Premier League goals so far but the ageing striker hasn’t hit double figures since the 2014-15 season and his influence on the team may diminish as the season progresses.
Koeman snapped up Malaga striker Sandro Ramirez in the summer and the Dutchman has urged fans to be patient with the 22-year-old who netted 14 times in the Spanish top flight last season. Ramirez showed a natural finishing ability after breaking into the Malaga’s starting eleven and has plenty of pace too. Some fans believe that he hasn’t been given a fair crack of the whip.
He played a disappointing 45 minutes against Spurs and was given a further 21 against Manchester United but he may find fortune against weaker clubs as he continues to find his feet at this level. He has been working hard in training but the fans expect an instant impact from the £5million signing and so far they’ve been left underwhelmed.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted just once last season and the 20-year-old will need time to adapt but regular game time will surely help the pacey forward. The Toffees have been better with Calvert-Lewin in the side with the Sheffield-born striker playing 90 minutes against Stoke and Manchester City. Everton came away with points from both of those games but have failed to kick on since.
Fans were hoping to see their side break into the top six this season and there was plenty of pre-season optimism on Merseyside at the beginning of August. Everton have drifted out to 7/1 for a top-six finish in the Premier League betting markets and, with easier-looking games against Burnley and Brighton to come, the Toffees should be able to add to their four points. They’ve played four of last season’s top six already and Everton should not be written off just yet.
Replacing Romelu Lukaku’s 25 goals was always going to be difficult and Everton are still adapting to life without the powerful Belgian. Ross Barkley was the club’s second top scorer last year but the young midfielder has been sidelined so far. Firepower is in short supply at the moment and it’s an issue which must be addressed in January however in the meantime Dominic Calvert-Lewin must be given regular game time whilst Sandro Ramirez is likely to slowly get up to speed over the next couple of months and should eventually get off the mark.