It has been a tough season for Everton. It is clear to everyone watching that the squad is filled with an incredible amount of talent, but it has been another year where they have failed to capitalise on that talent, and Roberto Martinez has paid the price for their 12th place finish. Now with the extra money that the club has available to it thanks to further investment, they must spend big on a new striker if they want to finally fulfil their potential.
It is common opinion among fans and pundits that Everton underachieved this season. With talented youngsters such as Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and John Stones at their disposal, the Toffees have a squad that should be doing much better than 12th place.
It feels like this could be a big summer for the Merseyside club. With billionaire Farhad Moshiri taking a controlling stake in the club, coupled with the need for a new manager after Martinez’s sacking, means that there is likely to be big changes at Goodison Park, both on and off the field.
It seems that Lukaku will not be part of this new era however, after he appeared to claim that he was looking to leave the club in the summer. In an interview with the Daily Mail, the Belgian said ‘I’m at a point where I have to make a good career choice. We have a new investor at Everton and out of courtesy I will listen to what he has to say. But I have my own ideas in mind. I want to win titles. I have had a very good season, but it is time for me to write myself a CV. That is why I play football.”
If Lukaku leaves, Everton will lose their only striker who seems to remotely close to being world class. The £14 million signing of Oumar Niasse from Lokomotiv Moscow hasn’t worked out, with the Senegalese forward appearing just five times for the Toffees, failing to find the net. If Lukaku is to leave the club, he clearly isn’t good enough to step up in his place yet.
There are certainly a number of top strikers around Europe who Everton now have the financial power to buy, so they will be able to replace Lukaku. But if the Belgian is to leave the club, it will be even more of a reason for them to go big in the transfer market on a new centre forward.