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Everton have been the most active Premier League club in the transfer window this summer. The Toffees, who finished 7th in the English top-flight last time out, have been going about with great ruthlessness in the transfer market, getting deals done one after the other in what could be considered as a clear statement of intent from the club to challenge for a top-four place next season.
The Merseysiders have already locked up deals for goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from Sunderland, Davy Klaassen from AFC Ajax, Henry Onyekuru from KAS Eupen and more recently, they completed transfers of striker Sandro Ramirez from Malaga and defender Michael Keane from Burnley.
And if reports are to be believed, more deals are on the cards, with former Evertonian and current Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney close to returning to his boyhood club. He and may well be followed by Olivier Giroud (The Sun).
Despite concerns surrounding the futures of stars Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku, manager Ronald Koeman is building a strong side at Everton and even if they end up selling their two most important players in recent years, they will still be in a formidable position to challenge England’s big four and Tottenham Hotspur for a place in the UEFA Champions League spots.
Here’s how Everton’s attacking half of the playing XI may look like if they manage to capture Giroud’s signature in the coming weeks.
The manager may choose to switch to a 4-2-3-1 that he had favoured during his Southampton days, with Morgan Schneiderlin and Idrissa Gueye occupying the two pivots in deep midfield.
The 21-year old had an excellent season with Malaga, finishing with 16 goals and 5 assists after having made a move from Barcelona. His ability to play on the right flank will provide Koeman with an option to field him out wide ahead of Kevin Mirallas, who had a below-par campaign last time around.
The Dutchman has what it takes to become a huge superstar at Everton. His ability to score goals and create them in huge numbers is well-known from his days at Ajax. Last season, the 24-year old scored 20 goals and set up 12 more. If he manages to carry that form to England, he could turn this Everton attack into a fearsome one. Even if the Toffees manage to sign Rooney, it is likely that the Englishman will be playing second-fiddle to Klaassen.
While Koeman would have ideally liked Yannick Bolasie to complete his trident behind the striker, the Congolese winger is unlikely to be available until the end of the year. This would mean a longer run in the starting line-up for either Ademola Lookman or even Dominic Calvert-Lewin, both of whom were impressive last season and had a decent U-21 European Championships with England.
With Lukaku refusing a contract extension, Everton will need a new spearhead to their attack and Giroud can be that man. Despite not being a regular for Arsenal last season, he managed an impressive tally of 16 goals and 7 assists in all competitions. Someone who can get 15-20 goals every season, with the amount of experience that he has gathered in the Premier League, the Frenchman will thrive playing with the likes of Klaassen and Ramirez.