Demarai Gray (att) Bayer Leverkusen; Andros Townsend (att) Crystal Palace; Asmir Begovic (gk) Bournemouth; Moise Kean (att) PSG – end of loan; Cenk Tosun (att) Besiktas – end of loan; Jonjoe Kenny (def) Celtic – end of loan
Bernard (att) Sharjah FC; Theo Walcott (att) – released; Matthew Pennington (def) – released; Joshua King (att) – released; Beni Baningime (mid) Hearts; Muhamed Besic (mid) – released; Yannick Bolasie (att) – released; Robin Olsen (gk) Roma – end of loan
The expectations bar was set too high last season for Everton, but Carlo Ancelotti’s side didn’t manage to deliver. Following an impressive start to the season, with seven registered victories in the same number of games in all competitions, the Toffees were inconsistent in 2021 despite sitting second in the table after 15 games on Boxing Day.
Everton grabbed just three wins in their last 12 games and narrowly missed out on European qualification, with their fans being dealt another huge blow with Ancelotti’s departure to Real Madrid. The club signed experienced tactician Rafa Benitez to replace the Italian, but his appointment has sparked controversy due to his Liverpool past.
There have been no big outgoings for the time being and Everton are confident that they can retain the services of star players Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, both of whom were outstanding last season, and turned the team’s attack into their main strength.
Jordan Pickford was solid in goal in 2020/21 and impressed in the Euro for England, but Everton need to strengthen their defence, as Keane, Godfrey and Holgate are fine defenders but none of them can lead the team’s backline. Meanwhile, with James Rodriguez’s future up in the air, Everton should also look to bring in another forward to link up with Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison upfront.
No European football means that Everton should focus on the Premier League and aim for a top-six finish this season. Benitez has the know-how to build a solid team and it remains to be seen whether he can cope with the extra pressure of having to convince Everton fans that he’s the right man for the job.