COMMENT by Harvey Byrne
Everton are set for a busy 11 days as they prepare for their Premier League opener against Tottenham on the 13th of August.
The Toffees have confirmed the signature of Idrissa Gueye on Tuesday with the former Aston Villa midfielder signing a four-year contract with the Merseysiders after they triggered the £7.1million release clause in his Villa contract.
The Goodison Park club aren’t stopping there either and Wales Online have reported on Monday night that Ashley Williams is set to complete a £10million move to Goodison Park within 48 hours.
Ronald Koeman could also be presented with another addition to his starting eleven with The Telegraph reporting that Chelsea could offer Loic Remy to Everton as part of the deal to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge.
Koeman will make his competitive debut in charge of the side against Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs side, but questions remain over who will be in the starting lineup.
The Dutch manager has only added one senior player other than Gueye to the squad this summer in goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, but who else will join the squad before the season kicks off?
The former Southampton boss is likely to use his 4-2-3-1 formation, as he only uses his 3-5-2 formation when his team will face two strikers, which is unlikely to happen against Tottenham.
Two noticeable omissions from the side would be star duo John Stones and Lukaku, but with the pair wanting to move away Koeman may be reluctant to start either and it is believed that the powerful striker would have to leave for Remy to be in the team.
Although initially considered a backup goalkeeper, Stekelenburg could be set to start on the opening day with the Toffees not seemingly making any ground on the purchase of a new goalkeeper.
Koeman also knows the former Dutch international well from their time at Southampton together last season as well as a spell at Ajax, so the manager is aware of his capabilities.
Gueye is expected to replace the ageing Gareth Barry in midfield and lineup alongside the solid James McCarthy where the two will link the defence to attack as well as providing a shield for their defensive line.
Long-serving full-backs Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines could also retain their positions in the side’s defence alongside captain Phil Jagielka and new-signing Williams.
The front attacking three of Gerard Deulofeu, Ross Barkley and Kevin Mirallas also add a lot of attacking flair to the Toffees side and it is one that will be expected to create a lot of chances and excite fans of the Goodison Park club.
Koeman will be keen to build a starting eleven that can improve on their eleventh placed finish last season and providing the squad doesn’t pick up too many injuries the starting eleven above could prove to be a force in the Premier League.