06 July 2017

Wayne Rooney up front, Michael Keane in defence and Jordon Pickford in goal… how Everton will line up next season

EVERTON have been by far the most active Premier League club in the transfer window so far, bringing in five new players at a combined cost in excess of £80million.
As SunSport exclusively revealed, the Toffees are also closing in on the signing of Wayne Rooney, who is set to return to Goodison Park after leaving as an 18-year-old in 2004.

Wayne Rooney is set to return to Everton by the end of this week
PA:Press Association
Jordan Pickford signed for Evertin in a £30million deal
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With so much transfer activity on the blue half of Merseyside this summer, our friends at Football Whispers have taken a look at how Ronald Koeman could line his Everton side up in 2017/18.

GK – Jordan Pickford

Signed from Sunderland for a fee of £25million, which could rise to £30million with conditional add-ons, Pickford will take Joel Robles’ place between the sticks at Goodison park.

A phenomenal shot stopper with accurate and efficient distribution, the 23-year-old goalkeeper was the bright spark of an otherwise dismal campaign for the Black Cats last season.

Seen as the eventual heir to Joe Hart for England, Pickford is ready for the step up that his Everton move represents.

LB – Leighton Baines

Leighton Baines has been solid at left-back for Everton over the last few years
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At 32, Baines’ peak is perhaps behind him but the former Wigan Athletic full-back remains one of the best players in his position in the Premier League.

Effective in defence and threatening when going forward, Baines is as steady and well-rounded as they come. His experience will prove key to Everton’s hopes of cracking the top six next term.

CB – Michael Keane

Michael Keane was a £25million buy from Premier League rivals Burnley
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Brought in from Burnley for a fee which could rise to £30million, securing Keane has been seen as somewhat of a coup for the Toffees given that he was thought to be a Manchester United transfer target.

The 24-year-old England international is strong in the air, uncompromising on the deck and distributes the ball simply and accurately. He will likely take captain Phil Jagielka’s place in the starting XI.

CB – Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams will have a new partner at centre-back
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A 2016 summer signing from Swansea City, Welsh international Williams will be the experienced head at the centre of the Everton backline next term. His composure and knowhow will perfectly compliment Keane.

An aerial threat in both penalty areas and able to snuff out opposition attacks through sound anticipation, the 32-year-old is a fine centre-half.

RB – Seamus Coleman

Seamus Coleman is still recovering from a broken leg sustained on international duty
PA:Press Association

A broken leg suffered on international duty with the Republic of Ireland will probably keep Coleman out of action until 2018, and the Toffees’ right-back’s absence will be felt.

Providing he makes a full recovery, the 28-year-old defender will be like a new signing for Everton when he returns.

Energetic and tenacious, Coleman has become one of the best full-backs in the division over the last few years.

CM – Idrissa Gueye

Idrissa Gueye was one of Everton’s top performers last season
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Signed from relegated Aston Villa for £7million a year ago, Everton’s capture of defensive midfielder Gueye proved to be one of the most astute deals of last summer.

The 27-year-old Senegal star’s average of 4.1 tackles per game was the best in the Premier League last season, while he also completed an impressive 86.3 per cent of his passes.

Shielding the back four, Gueye provides a platform for the Toffees to build their attacking play from.

LCM – Davy Klaassen

Davy Klaassen will be in the centre of midfield
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Having captained Ajax on their run to the Europa League final last season, Klaassen, a full Dutch international, arrived at Goodison Park this summer for £24million.

Capable of playing as a No.10 or as the anchorman in front of the back four, the 24-year-old is best in a box-to-box role, using his intelligent passing to construct attacking moves and timing runs into the penalty area to score.

The signing of Klaassen, who netted 20 goals for Ajax last term, appears to signal that Koeman will use a 4-3-3 formation predominantly in the coming season.

RCM – Morgan Schneiderlin

Morgan Schneiderlin performed well after joining Everton last season
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Everton star Morgan Schneiderlin enjoys romantic paddle-boarding session with beautiful wife Camille on holiday

An able defensive midfielder, Schneiderlin, who was signed from Manchester United in January, is perhaps at his best, like Klaassen, in more of a box-to-box role, having produced some of his finest performances for Southampton from such a position.

The Frenchman impressed upon joining the Toffees midway through last season and will benefit from a full pre-season with his team-mates ahead of 2017/18.

LW – Ross Barkley

Ross Barkley looks set to stay at Everton despite interest from Tottenham

There remains some speculation over Barkley’s Everton future, with the England international reportedly a Tottenham Hotspur transfer target.
However, it is unlikely that Spurs will meet the Merseysiders’ £50million valuation of the creative midfielder. Barkley, a natural No.10, could slot into the left-wing berth in Koeman’s side from where he could cut inside onto his stronger right foot.

RW – Yannick Bolasie

Yannick Bolasie is hopeful of coming back from injury by December
PA:Press Association

Limited to just 13 Premier League appearances in his first campaign as injury ended his season in December, Bolasie is hopeful of returning to action before Christmas.

The £25million former Crystal Palace man will be itching to pull on a blue shirt again. With his unique blend of pace, trickery and end product, Bolasie will be an asset for Koeman.

ST – Wayne Rooney/Sandro Ramirez

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Romelu Lukaku is widely expected to leave Everton this summer after refusing to discuss a contract extension. Still on the club’s books at present, the powerful Belgian is expected to join Chelsea in a deal which could be worth up to £100m.

Everton have wasted no time in seeking alternative options to Lukaku, with promising 21-year-old Malaga striker Sandro coming in for just £5.2million and they are now also closing in on bringing Rooney back from Manchester United.

With Sandro’s youthful energy and Rooney’s vast experience, the pair could alternate at the point of Everton’s attack.

Best buddies Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku make seriously cool poolside video in LA
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