The final week of this summer’s transfer window has seen Everton bidding for Crystal Palace star man, Wilfried Zaha, and Watford’s midfield powerhouse, Abdoulaye Doucoure. Make sure to check out the Toffee TV YouTube channel for more transfer news:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVfrGdFynHU

On paper, Everton’s starting line-up seems pretty good, particularly following the recent signings of Moise Kean and Jean-Philippe Gbamin. Despite this, Everton continue to target top players in the remaining days of the transfer window. Such players include Wilfried Zaha and Abdoulaye Doucoure, both of whom would be expensive and fairly ambitious signings.

Crystal Palace understandably appear to remain reluctant to sell star player, Zaha, and seem to be holding out for an extortionate fee. Recent reports suggest that the club have turned down a £65m bid for the Ivorian attacker. Likewise, Watford also seem very reluctant to sell Doucoure, and would likely only accept for a huge transfer fee. Watford reportedly rejected a £36m bid from Everton for the player.

DOUCOURE

With the expected current Everton midfield of Gbamin, Gomes, and Sigurdsson, the potential signing of Doucoure may appear to make little sense, however he would provide the side with different options, and would contribute to greater squad depth. Furthermore, it’s apparent that Marco Silva is very keen on Doucoure, and it’s expected that Everton will make improved bids for the player.

Stylistically he’s most similar to Andre Gomes out of the current midfield, and although most fans view Gomes as being the better player of the two, Doucoure was more impressive statistically last season. He excelled particularly in terms of creativity; creativity that the Everton midfield sometimes lacks. Doucoure managed 6 assists in the league last season to Gomes’s 1, and 8 big chances created to Gomes’s 1. The Watford man also made more forward passes and through balls than Gomes, as well a 20% better shooting accuracy, and over 1.3km more distance covered per game. These stats point to Doucoure being more a more creative, mobile, and attacking option to Gomes.

Having competition for Gomes may be a good idea, as the Portuguese playmaker looked fatigued at times last season, and during these periods he was surprisingly poor. Furthermore, Silva seemed reluctant to rotate the squad during the Christmas period. This indicates a lack of trust in some squad players, and so having better squad depth would allow for more rotation.

If not directly competing with Gomes, other formations such as an offensive 4-3-3, with Gomes, Sigurdsson, and Doucoure as the midfield three could be deployed. This could be a good option when chasing a goal. Likewise, a fairly defensive 4-3-3 with Gbamin, Doucoure, and Gomes may be suitable when defending a lead. Alternatively, Gbamin may be included in a back three, whilst Gomes, Doucoure, and Sigurdsson operate in the midfield. This could be used occasionally, but it seems Marco Silva prefers either a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1.

ZAHA

Everton are currently negotiating an ambitious move for 26-year-old Crystal Palace star man, Wilfried Zaha. The club reportedly had a bid of around £52 million rejected for the Ivorian winger, and since seemingly withdrew their interest. However Everton are reportedly still interested in the player, and will continue to bid for Zaha.

The club have reportedly been after wingers all summer, with the likes of Malcom, Bertrand Traore, and David Neres all being heavily linked with a move to Merseyside. However, Zaha appears to be the target for Silva and Brands.

A fast, tricky player like Zaha would provide Everton with a more dynamic approach going forward. His directness and positivity could also contribute to better creativity through the space he creates by committing opposition players.

Although Everton aren’t crying out for a new winger (Bernard and Richarlison are already impressing out wide), Zaha would be a great addition, and it’s likely that his potential arrival would push a great player (someone like Bernard) out of the starting 11. This competition, and increased squad depth would certainly improve the side.

Zaha scored 10 goals and had 5 assists in the league last season, however those numbers would be probably improve if playing in an Everton side which possesses better quality than that of Crystal Palace.

The price demanded by Crystal Palace is likely to put off Everton, and Everton fans alike as Palace would probably hold out for upwards of £65 million. This may make the transfer quite unlikely, and Everton may settle on a cheaper winger elsewhere.

The fans are beginning to trust the work of Director of Football, Marcel Brands, and they’ll be hoping he can bring in even more great signings during the remaining hours of the transfer window.

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BILLY MINSHALL (@billyminshall_)

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