HomeFootball NewsCan Everton escape a relegation battle for a third season running?

Can Everton escape a relegation battle for a third season running?

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For Everton’s faithful supporters, the last two seasons have been nothing short of miserable. Since the summer of 2012 the Toffees have had three full-time managers in Rafa Benitez, Frank Lampard, and now Sean Dyche.
In the 2021-22 season, they flirted with the drop and finished in 16th place, four points off relegation. Then the season just gone saw Everton go backward with a 17th-place finish and only surviving on the last day.

A lack of stability off the pitch, and countless changes on the pitch have seen the Merseyside team fall into patterns of seriously poor form. For the upcoming campaign, something must be different if they wish to avoid being dragged into another relegation fight. But what exactly needs to be improved this time around for them to have a much more positive season?

Key players staying fit
For the last two campaigns, Everton’s game-changers haven’t been able to play all season due to injuries. One player that this applies to, in particular, is Dominic Calvert-Lewin. After Richarlison left for Spurs last season, it left a huge hole in the team’s attacking options. More than ever Everton needed Calvert-Lewin to be reliable and score a high number of goals.

Unfortunately, his injuries over the last two years have seen the England international only score seven goals in a combined 34 Premier League appearances through the last two seasons. This was a huge problem as last season Everton were the lowest scorers in the league. Highlighting the need for a fit Calvert-Lewin is the fact that when he was the last available for a full season, the 6’2 striker score 16 goals in 33 Premier League games.
Another huge loss that Everton suffered at the beginning of last season was Ben Godfrey at the back. The former Norwich defender is very versatile and can cover all positions across the backline.

After suffering a fibula fracture on the opening weekend last August, Godfrey was only able to return to full availability at the beginning of March. To combat this issue, Everton must dive into the transfer market for better options as their defence needs vast improvement.

New signings
As of right now, Everton are yet to complete any new signings this summer. Last summer their transfer activity clearly didn’t bring enough quality after such a poor season. This will be Dyche’s first full transfer window with the club and Everton need to make it count.

On the attacking front the likes of Wilfried Gnonto from Leeds, Arnaut Danjuma who was very close to joining the Blues on loan in January, and Iliman Ndiaye, who’s just been promoted with Sheffield, are possible signings for Everton.

This would add firepower but none of them are proven Premier League players. Signings are needed from defence to attack and until real quality is brought in Everton could be in for another long season.

Trust in Sean Dyche
In the last eight years, Everton have had a total of seven first-team managers. When there is so much change in the managerial department, it only leads to a lack of clear ideas and a team that is not settled. Since Dyche’s arrival in January, the fans seem to have warmed to his idea of hard work and playing for the badge.

The target of survival was reached and now the former Burnley manager needs to be backed. Even on low funds, Dyche was able to guide the Clarets to European football with a seventh-place finish in the 2017-18 season.

Everton clearly aspire to more than another season looking downwards to the lower end of the table after every game. If looking up the table is going to happen then they need their key players to stay fit, a busy transfer window for ins and outs, and trust in their manager even if the start of the season is tough.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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