Everton’s end of season run in the Premier League will have given both the fans, and the club itself, major hope for a top six finish next season.
Victories over Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United, as well as draws with Liverpool and Tottenham in the final months, have shown that the current squad has plenty of quality within that just needed coaxing out.
With Marco Silva likely to be given a war chest to spend on fresh talent this summer, plenty of change is expected on Merseyside, although many players will hopefully remain at Goodison Park.
With the season now over for the Toffees, we’ve taken a look at ten burning questions that will need to be addressed and answered by the Everton hierarchy this summer, as the club gear up for what hopes to be a much improved second campaign under the stewardship of Marcel Brands and Marco Silva.
Where do the futures of Gomes and Zouma lie?
This will likely be first up on the docket for the Everton hierarchy, who have already been on record saying that the permanent signings of both Kurt Zouma and Andre Gomes are high priority.
Hopefully the duo will commit to the club in the not-so-distant future, so the club can then turn their attention to new targets.
What to do with returning loanees?
Everton have a plethora of players currently out on loan, and many will return in the summer, such as Yannick Bolasie, Kevin Mirallas, Muhamed Besic and Sandro.
Silva and Co. need to quickly evaluate these players, and make decisions for the benefit of both their respective careers, and for Everton.
Where can the squad be cut?
Silva has also been on record saying that he wants to trim the squad for next season, and with incomings a certainty, that means there have to be outgoings – separate from the returning loanees.
Cenk Tosun, James McCarthy and Theo Walcott have all been linked with departures, and Silva should hopefully already have an idea who he wants rid of. With luck, we should see those plans put into action soon.
Where will Idrissa Gueye be playing?
Idrissa Gueye made clear in January his intention to sign for Paris Saint-Germain, who reportedly made several bids to sign the Senegal international.
Since then, he has maintained his impressive form for the Toffees, but may still seek to leave the club if another opportunity arises.
Gana still has three years on his current deal, so Silva could demand he stay. So it will be up to the Portuguese coach to decide whether he stays or goes.
Who needs loan experience?
Several of Everton’s younger players haven’t enjoyed as much game time as they would have liked this summer, and as such, players such as Jonjoe Kenny and Tom Davies have been linked with short-term loan spells.
If Silva does want to keep them long-term, but cannot see the path to the first-team being clear right now, he will need to sort out a situation which can benefit those players and get them playing now, to better benefit Everton in the future.
Who will be club captain?
As of right now, we don’t know what the future holds for club captain Phil Jagielka. His contract expires this summer, and although he could yet remain, many assume he will depart the club this summer after a 12-year stay.
If he does go, the club need to appoint a new club captain, and Silva will need to choose the right man to lead the club onward.
How do we approach a trophy run?
Marco Silva has seemingly had the right approach in domestic cup competitions this season, despite falling painfully short.
Silva has fielded fairly strong sides, as opposed to running out with a B-string set-up. Hopefully, Silva can continue to pick competitive teams to maybe finally end Everton’s long absence of silverware this coming season.
Who will lead the line next season?
I’ve said it time and time again, but it’s no shock to hear that Everton crave a new striker.
The club are desperate for fire-power up top, and the options at our disposal this season haven’t been up to scratch ultimately.
The club will need to ensure they recruit the right man to hopefully fire Everton into the European spots by the end of the campaign
What to do with Ademola Lookman?
For the third transfer window in a row, Ademola Lookman has been linked away from the club. Having only started three Premier League games this season, the England youth international could potentially be open to leaving for more minutes.
But he is undoubtedly talented, and it would be a shame to see him leave, so Silva needs to address this situation with the club’s best interests in mind.