5 Summer Transfer Targets to Renew Everton Enthusiasm Post-David Moyes
It's fair to say Everton's summer hasn't exactly begun in the most positive manner.
The club have recently become embroiled in a bitter saga with their fans due to a controversially re-branded badge. Supporters were so enraged with the lack of transparency and fan input on the matter that a petition was launched, fetching 22,000 signatures in a matter of days.
As a result, the Toffees announced their new design will only be in place for this coming season alone before a different badge will be created next year, with far greater involvement from fans.
Alongside all of this, supporters have had to watch David Moyes take charge of Manchester United while the Toffees continue on without a manager in place.
As The Guardian reported, recent news of Roberto Martinez's departure from Wigan may well hasten Everton's quest for a manager. However, until they appoint one, transfer plans cannot be fashioned out or pursued.
In an effort to erase some of this current despondency, here's a look at five transfer targets that would instantly raise spirits should they be signed.
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Yes, Chelsea would be utterly mad to sell their Belgian starlet, but there are two potential scenarios that could possibly land Romelu Lukaku at Everton's feet.
The Toffees are not going to be able to pry him away with a simple bid. However, a season-long loan is certainly not out of the question.
He impressed at West Brom with 17 Premier League goals, and Chelsea may prefer to give him another season away to further hone his game.
Failing that, Marouane Fellaini is widely expected to leave the Toffees this summer. As the Daily Mail reports here, Chelsea are often linked as a potential destination for Lukaku's international colleague, which could perhaps tie him into a deal.
Perhaps there's a way a loan move or possibly even a permanent transfer can be hatched into any Fellaini-to-Chelsea arrangement.
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For Everton to improve on this season's sixth-placed finish, up front is where they need improving most.
Should their current squad be maintained, a top-quality striker would greatly enhance their chances of European football next season. Another option here could perhaps be Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo.
On paper, this is another ambitious move, yet the Spanish club are currently stricken by financial issues and may well have to listen to offers for their leading players.
Negredo bagged 21 La Liga goals this season, finishing as the division's fifth-leading scorer. His pace and power would surely make him an instant hit in the Premier League and his energy and work-rate are assets Evertonians crave in their strikers.
The Toffees supposedly registered their interest in January, according to BBC Sport, and should Negredo once again be on the Toffees' radar this summer, he would be a signing sure to delight supporters.
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Attacking flair is one of the most exciting sights for football fans. Pace, skill and an unerring desire to take on and expose your opposite man are often traits that make a player a fan favourite.
After a lengthy time in the wilderness, having been released from Everton as a 16-year-old, Callum McManaman has began demonstrating this ability on a regular basis at Wigan. His performance in the FA Cup final was especially captivating.
With Roberto Martinez one of the favourites to take charge of the Toffees over the coming days, perhaps he could negotiate a suitable deal with his former club to bring McManaman back to Merseyside.
His explosive qualities would certainly add depth to Everton's roster and the sight of an academy graduate flourishing, despite the fact he was initially released, is something all fans relish.
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Keisuke Honda is a name many clubs are sure to be keeping tabs on due to his rapidly expiring contract.
The Japanese international is free to leave CSKA Moscow come the end of the year, meaning his current value would be extremely appealing to many sides.
While McManaman would add pace and trickery, Honda would bring guile, poise and intricate creative ability to the Toffees's final third.
Everton would clearly be up against a number of other clubs in trying to land such a high-calibre player, but his signature would certainly create a wave of enthusiasm should it be acquired.
He has already been tentatively linked with the club in the Liverpool Echo, and fans will hope to see more rumours over the coming months.
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Regardless of whether or not Roberto Martinez becomes Everton's manager, it would make considerable sense for the club to be monitoring James McCarthy's availability this summer.
Leon Osman and Darron Gibson have been the Toffees' primary midfield options this season. While both have performed well, Gibson's patchy injury record and Osman's age make it necessary to add a youthful presence in the middle of the park.
McCarthy is a metronomic passer with an excellent touch and intrinsic vision who Everton's new manager could build his midfield around for several years.
He was already one of Wigan's leading talents, and the fact his current side are now destined for Championship football next season is a fate he may not want to share.