23-year-old goes missing: Three things we learned about Everton in defeat v Chelsea
By Dominic Toner
Everton suffered a 3-0 defeat at home to Chelsea on Sunday and look set for a seventh-placed finish this season.
Chelsea managed three second-half goals through Pedro, Gary Cahill and Willian to take them a step closer to the Premier League title.
Here, Football Insider analyses three talking points from Everton’s second home defeat of the season.
Barkley goes missing
Everton midfielder Ross Barkley struggled to assert his game against Chelsea and proved why he frustrates fans so much. The 23-year-old wasn’t able to compete against the powerful Blues midfield and he is guilty of going missing against the big teams. He was sloppy in possession on Sunday and failed to link-up play with the attackers. Barkley played a more disciplined role due to the absence of Morgan Schneiderlin, but it proved he is far more effective going forward. Barkley is often spoken about as being a top player in the Premier League, but is a long way off that with inconsistent displays.
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Everton need a top goalkeeper
Ronald Koeman needs to prioritise a new goalkeeper in the summer as that area has let them down this season. He has switched between Joel Robles and Maarten Stekelenburg throughout the campaign, with the latter poor in the defeat to Chelsea. The 34-year-old looked nervy during the match and made a terrible error from an Eden Hazard free-kick, which fell straight into the path of Cahill to score. The Merseyside club want to compete at the top-end of the table with the big sides and need a consistent goalkeeper if they are to achieve it, with the likes of Joe Hart, Jordan Pickford or Jack Butland the sort of players they should be looking at.
Davies can be a superstar
Everton midfielder Tom Davies once again delivered a performance well beyond his years and was his side’s best player against Chelsea. The 18-year-old has made a huge impact on the first team since graduating through the club’s academy this season. He was playing for the Toffees Under-23s at the beginning of this season, but is now an ever-present in Ronald Koeman’s side. The Toffees have a good crop of young players emerging in their squad and Davies is the best of the group. The box-to-box midfielder showed the defensive qualities while battling against Chelsea’s midfielders and also attempted to support the attack.
In other Everton news, they have ben installed as favourites to sign a proven Premier League performer.