Everton travel to Stamford Bridge this weekend for their final game of the Premier League season.
While the match itself is of little relevance to the Toffees—who are guaranteed to finish sixth in the table regardless of the outcome—the final whistle will signal the end of David Moyes' 11-year spell as manager.
From then, the club will be looking to appoint the right individual to take them forward, with a wide array of names already linked to the position.
One of the more heavily tipped candidates to succeed Moyes is Wigan's FA Cup-hoisting, yet also relegated, Roberto Martinez—according to The Independent. But how would the Toffees' current squad shape up under his tutelage?
The Spaniard is renowned for his often unorthodox approach, frequently favouring three at the back in some especially creative lineups—a trait that makes him a fashionable choice for many supporters.
Moyes' formation has predominantly been a regimented 4-4-1-1 during his time in charge, although the Toffees did dabble with a back three against Stoke at one point this season.
Blending that system together with Martinez's preferred schemes, here's a look at a potential Everton starting XI under the Wigan manager next season.
Of course, there are a couple of different names in that formation. Any new manager at a club would be keen to stamp his own personality on the dressing room, and Wigan possess a number of individuals that could be valuable additions at Goodison Park.
Everton could do with some youth in midfield, which James McCarthy would certainly provide. Former Everton academy player, Callum McManaman, would also add an extra attacking threat from out wide and keep Steven Pienaar on his toes. In this article from The Mirror, both players have been linked to the club already, and the rumours would only increase should Martinez join the Toffees.
Covering the costs would, of course, be a major obstacle for the Toffees to overcome, although many, including the Daily Mail, expect Marouane Fellaini to move on this summer, which would at least free up some substantial funds.
In terms of style, Martinez preaches a possession-absorbing, pass-heavy approach—meaning the metronomic McCarthy would be an especially savvy purchase to help instil that philosophy.
The Latics also play with similar emphasis on width as the Toffees, favouring their left side and Jean Beausejour just as much as Moyes does with Leighton Baines. This season both teams have attacked down their left flank 42 percent of the time, which is a Premier League high.
The major issue at Wigan has been their consistent frailty in defence. In Martinez's time at the club his side have shipped a staggering 273 Premier League goals in just four years, at an average of over 1.8 goals per game.
Therefore, should Martinez be Everton's man, he may well opt to temporarily shelve his three-at-the-back system and revert to a more durable back four, as the Toffees are better accustomed to.
Here's a look at another possible setup, with some other potential transfer targets included in the XI.
Again, this lineup features a couple of additional names on certain transfer lists. John Heitinga's patchy form and Sylvain Distin's age make centre-back another position in need of attention this summer, and The Metro predict Joleon Lescott possibly making a return to the club.
Elsewhere, the Toffees' struggles up front have been well-documented this year, almost certainly costing them a European berth. Alvaro Negredo was supposedly close to a move in January, according to BBC Sport, and if the funds can be raised, a new forward is a high priority for whoever takes over from Moyes.
Initially, this summer may prove to be one of the more uncertain periods in the Toffees' recent history. Supporters have become so familiar with the methods of Moyes that there will be an air of curiosity and anxiety over whoever comes in.
Given the continuity the club have experienced this past decade, the new manager will have to find the right balance between enforcing his own approach and upsetting the many well-laid foundations.
Martinez seems a decent enough pick, and he would certainly revamp the Toffees' style, although that defensive record at Wigan would sound some early alarm bells.
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