By Richard Parks
Thierry Henry has claimed in the Sun that Everton must persist with manager Ronald Koeman.
The Dutchman’s position at Goodison Park is under the microscope after a wretched start to the season has left them marooned in 17th place in the Premier League and just two points above the relegation zone.
Everton spent huge sums in the transfer market in the summer, although they sold star striker Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United for £75million rising to £90million.
Arsenal legend and high profile pundit Henry is convinced that Koeman deserves the chance to turn around the team’s wretched run after a fine debut campaign in which they finished seventh with 61 points.
“Koeman has been at Everton for a little while but it’s still the beginning of the season and he’s had a summer of change,” Henry wrote in his weekly Sun column.
“Let’s not forget his achievements. He’s led both Everton and Southampton to the Europa League. That deserves credit and should surely buy him time. Also, Everton have played four of the top six already and three away.
“That’s a brutal run. Yes, Burnley have been to Spurs, Liverpool and Chelsea and they are sixth — not 16th.
“But Everton’s games have been back to back. I also think Everton were unlucky to lose against United.
“And they are the only team to take points off City.
“Koeman has turned around bad runs before and I think he can do it again — given time.”
Henry has also claimed that Everton already have the ideal Lukaku replacement at the club in striker Sandro Ramirez.
Spain Under-21 international Ramirez, 22, was hailed as a potential bargain when he was signed from Malaga for just £5.4million in July but he is yet to score in 10 Everton matches and has been strongly criticised by fans.
But Henry believes the goals scored by Lukaku during his four seasons at Goodison Park must now be shared between Ramirez and his other attack-minded summer arrivals.
“They picked up £75million— but it shows players as good as Lukaku are not easy to replace no matter how much cash changed hands,” Henry told the Sun. “People say Everton didn’t sign a replacement striker — but they did!
“They bought forward Sandro Ramirez from Malaga where he scored 14 goals in 30 La Liga games last season.
“They also have Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson. Maybe this season they have to share the goals around a bit. If one man isn’t going to get 30, three have to get ten.”