Currently sitting fifth on the Premier League table, Everton have the Champions League in mind this season and the talent on the squad to pull off the feat. Sure, clubs like Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool might have something to say about that, but the Toffees are a team to be reckoned with.
But what must Everton do before the end of the transfer window to ensure the team can compete for that last Champions League spot? Where could the team still use reinforcements and how will any new signings fit in?
Let's break down Everton's squad as the transfer window draws to a close.
The goalie position is in the capable hands of Tim Howard, so I'd be surprised to see any last-minute moves at this position.
The midfield is set as well, at least for this season, with FC Twente stud Leroy Fer on his way to Everton. Yes, he's the eventual replacement for Marouane Fellaini, but he'll provide another intriguing option in the center of Everton's midfield.
Defensively, you wonder if the team will target any full-backs. Phil Neville isn't exactly a young man, and I would be surprised if Leighton Baines is with the team after this summer. He's also the subject of rumors and Everton might bring in a healthy chunk of change selling him.
Adding some depth at the full-back position would be wise.
You could say the same at striker, where Nikica Jelavic and Victor Anichebe are alone at the position. Everton have a healthy number of attacking midfielders—Steven Naismith, Steven Pienaar, Kevin Mirallas, Fellaini, etc.—but adding another goalscorer would make sense for the Toffees.
Not surprisingly, a number of attacking options have been linked to Everton of late. For starters, Warren Haughton of talkSPORT has reported that Everton and QPR will compete to land South Korean striker Kim Shin-Wook:
Everton are already monitoring the 6ft 5in Ulsan Hyundai striker, who has scored 33 goals in four seasons in the K-League and has been dubbed the 'Korean Peter Crouch'.
But the Blues will have to move quickly to land the 24-year-old, with QPR now lining up a move.
As for the full-back position, Dominic King of the Daily Mail has two names to keep in mind:
Everton boss [David] Moyes may yet add to his squad before the transfer window closes on Thursday night.
He needs cover at right back and is looking at Sam Byram of Leeds and Barnsley's John Stones.
Here's more on Stones, via Alan Nixon of the Mirror:
Everton boss David Moyes wants to snap up Barnsley defender John Stones—if he can do a bargain £2million deal, writes the Sunday People.
The Toffees boss has little cash to spend but fancies a gamble on the England youth star, who is being chased by a handful of top-flight clubs.
The Goodison gaffer is worried about his right-back position – highlighted by Seamus Coleman's injury—and the fact that Stones could also develop into a centre-half makes him very attractive.
It looks like Everton might have more business to attend to in the next 48 hours. Stay tuned, the Toffees have a Champions League campaign to go out and win, and now is the time to stock up to do just that.
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