After the turmoil last season when Ronald Koeman was sacked and Sam Allardyce was appointed until the end of the campaign, along with a record year of transfer spending, Everton managed to finish 8th in the Premier League.
Although spending was a little more conservative by comparison ahead of the 2018-19 season starting, following the arrival of Marco Silva as manager, in addition to several important additions to the team, expectations at Everton were undoubtedly for the team to keep improving and push amongst the leading teams in the Premier League.
Beyond the top five teams and the gap in points distancing them from everyone else, the latest outright football betting odds for the Premier League top six would suggest that Everton are a serious contender, aiming to jostle their way there and secure a spot in the Europa League, at the very least.
— Everton (@Everton) December 18, 2018
Image Source: @Everton via Twitter
Nevertheless, while a couple of wins in the coming games could push the Toffees into such a position, a series of defeats could just as easily see the team plunge into the bottom half of the table. Such is the fierceness of competition amongst the Premier League chasing pack.
On the whole, Marco Silva appears to be pleased with his Everton squad, content there’s enough strength and depth in all areas to meet his requirements. However, that doesn’t shake the sensation that Everton could be set to make a couple of signings in January.
While the scoring record of Richarlison has been praiseworthy since his arrival, netting 8 goals in 15 Premier League appearances ahead of the traditionally hectic festive period of fixtures, few fans would argue that the team could do with another proven goal-getter to help resolve tight games.
— Fantasy Premier League (@OfficialFPL) December 10, 2018
Image Source: @OfficialFPL via Twitter
This has led to speculation that Everton are already paving the way to sign Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa – or ‘Gabigol’, as he’s aptly known – amidst reports he is already applying for a work permit and has strong ambitions of playing in the Premier League.
Despite failing to make an impression at Inter Milan, who are apparently ready to sell the 22-year-old, he has continued to shine back at Santos on loan in Brazil, scoring 27 goals in 53 appearances in all competitions.
Given that his loan spell at Santos ends in January, numerous clubs in both South America and Europe have been on alert. Italian transfer gossip site Calciomercato.com claim Gabigol will be available, after Inter Milan’s sporting director confirmed there’s no place in their side for him.
— CalcioMercato (En) (@CmdotCom_En) December 18, 2018
Image Source: @CmdotCom_en via Twitter
Should the speculation that Everton are pursuing his signature hold any water, it remains to be seen whether they would splash out on a transfer signing, or perhaps take the slightly less risky option of loaning the Brazilian with an option to buy at the end of the season.
Such a move would certainly suit all concerned in any negotiations, while Marco Silva would seem to be the right man to get Gabigol scoring regularly in European football, having been so prolific in South America. The player too could view such a move as being highly beneficial for developing his game.
After all, the Portuguese coach has achieved great results working with Richarlison, who was relatively unknown before his time at Watford, and subsequent arrival at Goodison Park. His impact in the Premier League is one that Gabigol would certainly relish emulating.