When are Everton going to solve their striker issues as new season begins

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Neal Maupay of Everton in action during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Fulham FC at Goodison Park on August 12, 2023 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Neal Maupay of Everton in action during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Fulham FC at Goodison Park on August 12, 2023 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images) /

Yesterday afternoon Everton fell to a 1-0 opening day defeat to Fulham despite often dominating the match and creating plenty of chances that they failed to convert.

It was made brutally clear yet again at Goodison Park that what this team desperately needs more than anything else is a reliable goalscorer to lead the line. Everyone knows this, except it seems the club’s powers that be.

This record has been playing over and over again for two seasons now and yet still Everton haven’t got a centre-forward in their team who is able to put the ball in the back of the net.

Of course, the Blues do have a player in their squad who can in theory do that, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but only when he is fit and that seems to be a very rare occurance these days.

Yesterday, Sean Dyche decided not to even include him in the squad let alone play him, despite the fact he had trained all week and had featured in two pre-season games without any obvious problems. I don’t understand what is going on?!

Instead the manager went with Neal Maupay up front on his own again.

And predictably, it was a total failure with the ex-Brighton player wasting at least four good chances to score. Had he taken any one of those chances it is more than probable the Toffees would have won the match.

I’m sorry but a professional footballer who is primarily paid to score goals simply cannot be that poor. Maupay has had chance after chance to show he can do the job and he has failed time after time.

Dyche knows this himself and dropped the Frenchman last season after experimenting with him as a lone striker early in his rein!

Why then is he going back to that formula? And, if he felt he had no choice but to start with Maupay, why not have Calvert-Lewin available at least and bring him or even Tom Cannon on later?

The defeat to Fulham was a totally self-inflicted one, the result of chronic and incredibly frustrating failure in the transfer market for over a year now.

Two transfer windows, last summer and January, have come and gone with Maupay being the only senior attacking addition brought in, almost it seemed as a panic buy.

In this current window the Toffees have signed forwards Arnaut Danjuma and Youssef Chermiti.

However, Danjuma is not primarily a central striker and anyway predictably picked up an injury in pre-season training, while Chermiti is 19, hugely inexperienced and very unlikely to be able to come into the team and start contributing straight away.

We have been told by Director of Football Kevin Thelwell that the club are still seeking deals in the transfer market and Dyche has also reiterated that Everton don’t need to sell in order to fund incomings.

So, why have the Blues started another Premier League campaign without a decent and reliable strikforce?!

This summer has seen the usual constant rumours and links to this forward and that but almost nothing concrete happens.

There are plenty of affordable options in the market. For example, although he is obviously not top drawer, why haven’t the Toffees gone to Southampton and put £10-15 million on the table for Che Adams?

He is an experienced Premier League centre-forward who has scored goals in the top flight and could do a job leading the line while Calvert-Lewin gets fully fit to the satisfaction of his manager. Surely Adams couldn’t be any worse than Maupay!

The Blues have spent roughly that amount of money on Chermiti. And, while the young Portuguese might well become a top player he is almost certainly very much a long-term project.

Hello Everton? This club doesn’t have a long time to spend waiting for a teenager to be ready to come in and score goals. This side needs that now or the Toffees will go down at the end of this season.

Up next in a strange replication of last season, is a trip to Aston Villa. A year ago Everton hosted and lost 1-0 to a West London team on opening day and then travelled to Villa for the second fixture, where they were beaten again.

While I would not call it a must-win game this early in the campaign, a defeat in the Midlands – especially if there has still been no incoming new striker by then – would be very damaging to morale and leave the team with a real uphill battle this early in the season.

The task is clear then, the club have to get this sorted out and surely they must act to solve the problem this week. We cannot wait much longer.