Ronaldo Koeman’s arrival last summer was exactly what was needed for Everton after Roberton Martinez’s poor performances in 2015/16.
A respectable seventh place finish was a just reward for the Dutch manager and so far this summer, the former Barcelona legend has been active in the transfer market.
There’ve been arrival of new players at Goodison Park and have fans believing that they may finally be able to challenge for the coveted top four in the Premier League once again.
One deal that could be completed in some few days is Wayne Rooney, with the Manchester United all-time top scorer set to rejoin his boyhood club where he made his name as a 16-year-old.
However, if Rooney were to make his glorious return to Merseyside, would he walk straight into Everton’s starting lineup? Well, here’s a guess from Football Weeks at what the Toffees starting lineup could become August 12 when they welcome Stoke City.
GOALKEEPER: JORDAN PICKFORD
The £25m arrival from Sunderland will no doubt be Koeman’s first choice for Everton between the sticks. Pickford excelled for the Blkc Cats last season and enjoyed a stellar U21 European Championships with England, meaning Joel Robles’ days are numbered.
RIGHT-BACK: MASON HOLGATE
The horrifying injury than banjaxed Seamus Coleman while on international duty early in 2017 will keep the Irishman out for much of the year meaning Holgate will be given another chance to play for the Everton in the backline.
CENTRE-BACK: ASHLEY WILLIAMS
Williams has been impressive since his move to the Goodison Park and found his place in Everton’s lineup for the 2016/17 season Koeman will no doubt continue to place his faith in the Welshman next season.
CENTRE-BACK: MICHAEL KEANE
The new £30m signing from Burnley should replace the ageing Phil Jagielka and will operate as a more natural replacement for John Stones, who left the Old Trafford club last summer.
LEFT-BACK: LEIGHTON BAINES
Baines is Everton’s reliable full-back and had enjoyed something of a renaissance in form last season under Koeman’s leadership, reviving his past days of contributing heavily to the attack and looking astute in defence.
CENTRE MID: IDRISSA GUEYE
One of the bargains from last season, Idrissa Gueye has become an integral of Everton’s squad and Koeman’s main task for the summer was finding a suitable partner for him.
CENTRE MID: DAVY KLAASSEN
The Dutch manager may have found the perfect man to fill the void in his countryman, with Klaaseen likely to replace Tom Davies next season. Highly great on the ball, fantastic passing ability and an eye for goal – he bagged 14 goals for in Eredivisie for Ajax last season – make him the complete midfield package.
LEFT-MID: KEVIN MIRALLAS
A frustrating player at times, but the Toffees look noticeably more threatening when the Belgian forward is on the pitch. Lighting quick and a great finisher, Koeman will be eager to get the best out of one of his finest natural talents.
NUMBER 10: WAYNE ROONEY
Ross Barkley’s future looks hugely uncertain, meaning the England man could get his wish of first-team football in his favoured role. If the Toffees’ boss can tailor his team to suit his needs, the Englishman may just flourish once again.
RIGHT MID: SANDRO RAMIREZ
Gerard Deulofeu has left and Yannick Bolasie is still out for a while, so summer signing Sandro may have to deputies out wide. The arrival from Malaga is lightning quick with great ball control and is not bad in front of goal, scoring 14 times in La Liga last season.
STRIKER: OLIVIER GIROUD
After Alexandre Lacazette’s arrival, Giroud looks set to leave Arsenal and would be an excellent replacement for the departing Romelu Lukaku. A brilliant target man, and the Frenchman’s link-up play could bring the best out of those around him.