COMMENT By Abigail Withey
Ronald Koeman must completely change up his squad ahead of Everton’s Europa League clash against Italian outfit Atalanta on Thursday night.
The Toffees boss must bring back captain Phil Jagielka and dismiss his current favoured centre-back Ashley Williams as the Englishman’s leadership will be crucial to the squad’s confidence in the competition.
Jagielka was left out of the squad which faced Tottenham at the weekend, and his absence was noted during the heavy 3-0 defeat.
Alongside the skipper, Koeman should place Mason Holgate at right-back over Cuco Martina in order to strengthen his side in order to succeed in the European competition.
The midfield must be completely switched up, and the Dutch boss should bring in Tom Davies over Morgan Schneiderlin in order to rest the Frenchman for their Manchester United showdown on Sunday.
Muhamed Besic should also replace Idrissa Gueye as he will display good partnership with Davies.
Koeman must keep Glyfi Sigurdsson on the left and it’s imperative that Davy Klaassen remains in the squad as he captained Ajax to the Europa League final last season and his experience will be invaluable.
Finally, it’s important that the Toffees boss brings back Ademola Lookman back to the squad after his impressive goal against Tottenham during last week’s Under-23s 4-1 win over the London youth side.
Wayne Rooney has proven that his fitness levels are as strong as ever over his opening matches with the Blues, and Koeman must make use of this by playing him instead of Sandro Ramirez as he’s more likely to net goals.
Leighton Baines captained the Toffees squad last weekend during their 3-0 defeat, and despite the score he proved himself as a strong leader in Jagielka’s absence and therefore must remain on the backline.
Michael Keane would be an ideal candidate for the starting XI alongside Baines, Jagielka and Holgate and provides the strength at centre-half.
England’s record goalkeeper signing Jordan Pickford must also be chosen to remain in goal for the club despite letting in five goals over the last two Premier League games.
The youngster has proven himself during the Europa League qualifiers and will no doubt step up during the group stages.
In other Everton team news, Football Insider has revealed the Toffees’ expected line-up to face Atalanta on Thursday.