After barely staying in the Premier League last season, Everton are bracing themselves for a busy summer to avoid another scary campaign.
Frank Lampard, who masterminded the Toffees’ top-flight survival, is now keen to put his stamp on the squad he inherited from Rafael Benitez in January.
While some underperforming stars could soon find themselves on their way out of Goodison Park, some high-performing domestic and foreign players could move in.
Everton conceded a staggering 66 Premier League goals last term, with only Southampton (67) shipping more amongst sides that avoided relegation.
Then it is unsurprising that Lampard wants to upgrade his current defensive options.
Michael Kean and Ben Godfrey performed in patches in 2021/22, which is why the ex-Chelsea boss hopes to land a high-profile centre-back to increase competition for places.
Who could strengthen Everton’s backline?
Following Burnley’s relegation to the Championship, several first-team stars could exit Turf Moor in the summer, including James Tarkowski.
The Clarets captain has been an omnipresent figure at the club over the past six years, but his career in Lancashire could soon come to a halt.
Widely considered one of the most dependable defenders in English football, Tarkowski, 29, still has plenty to offer in the Premier League.
But Newcastle United and some other top-flight clubs are also on his tail, forcing Lampard to consider other options.
One of the players that ended up on Everton’s shopping list is Udinese’s Rodrigo Becao.
While enjoying a rise to stardom at Dacia Arena, the 26-year-old has earned a reputation as one of the best-performing Serie A defenders.
According to the Liverpool ECHO, Lampard is giving serious thought to the prospect of launching a summer assault on the Brazilian.
Becao’s numbers in Serie A suggest he could be a massive coup for Everton.
Only Virgil van Dijk averages fewer ball losses in his own half (0.44) than Becao (0.54).
Considering Lampard’s preference to play from the back, Becao’s composure on the ball makes him a perfect fit.
What could happen up top?
Star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has recently been linked with a move away from Goodison, with Arsenal among the clubs interested in acquiring his services.
The Englishman’s potential departure would leave a huge gap in the attacking department.
Even though he endured an injury-riddled season in 2021/22, Calvert-Lewin remains Everton’s most consistent goal-getter.
Therefore, Lampard is already on his heels, scouring the market for a potential replacement.
As reported by the Daily Mail, the Toffees’ hopes of landing Chelsea loanee Armando Broja have suffered a massive hit.
The 20-year-old, who enjoyed a stellar season-long loan at Southampton, has a host of admirers across Europe, including Newcastle, West Ham United and Inter Milan.
Since he is likely to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer, either on loan or permanently, the Albanian could be headlining the list of the most exciting Premier League transfers.
Everton bigwig Farhad Moshiri must dig into his pockets to ensure Lampard is not caught short next season.
Broja has ample space for improvement and has already proved he is able to perform at the highest level this past season.
Broja could be Calvert-Lewin’s perfect heir if Everton can get a deal done for him in the coming months.
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