Moving on to another part of my analysis of the Everton team, position by position, I’m now looking at the Blues central midfield.
This part of the Everton side, has been a problem, (what part of the team hasn’t though!), for a while now.
The current options in the middle for the park for the Toffees, do not prompt a great deal of confidence. There are too many players, like Tom Davies, Morgan Schniederlin and Gylfi Sigurdsson who lack either pace, energy, or enough creativity.
Schniederlin and Sigurdsson are both players who prefer to sit and either defend in-depth or play the ball from static positions. While Davies is certainly energetic, he isn’t a truly creative player and can sometimes run around a little like a headless chicken, although that’s in part because he is sometime being asked to play out of position. ‘
Others like Andre Gomes do offer that extra quality and the ability to change the pace and tempo of Everton’s play, But he has struggled to find an effective partner, especially since Idrissa Gueye left in the summer.
So too often, the Toffees midfield can lack the ability to get a grip on a game and establish any template for the team, thereby enabling Everton to create enough chances and goals.
The dreadful defeat at Chelsea just before the current shutdown, was a stark example of the failings of the Toffees midfield. The one-paced nature of the Blues side and lack of necessary energy and bite gave Chelsea almost a free ride in midfield to dominate and control the game.
Ancelotti’s commitment to playing a 4-4-2 formation places greater pressure on those playing in central midfield as the system means there are only two players competing often against a team playing three in the centre of the pitch.
As we’ve mentioned on many occasions, the absence through injury for virtually the entire season, of new signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin, has also severely limited the options available to both Marco Silva and now Carlo Ancelotti.
So of course there have been many rumours about new players that the Blues might try to sign to sort out the weaknesses in midfield.
A veritable smorgasbord of midfielders have been linked to moves to Goodison Park. Some of those players are obviously not very likely to be playing for Everton next season.
Others might be more realistic, and seem more relevant to what the Ancelotti, actually wants. It’s certainly the case that the Blues boss is committed to strengthening this part of his side as a major priority come the summer window.
He wants more energy and creativity in the middle and further options to choose from, so its does seem likely that he will definitely want to sign players to solve this problem.
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If Gbamin isn’t the answer or doesn’t ever fully recover from the seemingly endless injury problems he has suffered, then what type of player might be the best alternative?
To some extent it depends whether Ancelotti wants a straight replacement for Gueye or someone who can offer more constructive qualities in attack.
It seems clear that Ancelotti is looking for a player who can offer creativity as well as more defensive resilience. We’ve mentioned several of these individuals before so I won’t go back over all those players again.
Whoever does join in the summer it’s crucial this recruitment is correct and effective and gives the Blues enough variety to consistently enable Everton to compete properly in midfield.