Last season was not one that Evertonians will remember fondly. The club went through three managers – including David Unsworth’s torrid stint as caretaker – before an eighth-placed finish which belied their early struggles.
But under new boss Marco Silva, it’s likely to be a much happier story. Here’s why we think the Toffees could land a top-six Premier League finish in 2018-19…
They’ve mastered the transfer window
Whether or not Everton’s ongoing pursuit of Yerry Mina succeeds or fails, there’s no doubting the Toffees have had a better transfer window than some of their rivals.
Tottenham Hotspur are yet to sign a single player. Meanwhile, Chelsea have failed to secure a replacement for last season’s striking flop Alvaro Morata.
Arsenal are on the other end of the spectrum. They’ve brought in a lorry load of new players, but with so much change, things might not gel immediately under Unai Emery.
The Toffees seem to have struck a happy medium. The backbone of the side has remained, but necessary improvements have been made.
As well as reuniting with twinkle-toed winger Richarlison, the Everton boss has brought in creative left-back Lucas Digne from Barcelona. In goal, Joao Virginia offers added back-up.
Young guns are growing in stature
The new boss has already struck lucky at Goodison. The club’s conveyor belt of young talent – as well as their scouting system – has seen a flurry of up-and-coming players start to blossom.
With experience under their belt, the new class of Toffees are beginning to look a pretty sweet addition to the Everton first-team.
Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford will be more confident than ever following his World Cup heroics for England.
Meanwhile, the likes of Tom Davies and Mason Holgate will head into this season more experienced, following a combined 48 Prem outings last term.
Tenacious centre-back Matthew Pennington returns having proved himself in the rough-and-tumble of the Championship with Leeds United. Meanwhile, Everton’s summer signings could help get the best out of Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Silva knows how to transform a team’s fortunes
It’s been four years since the blue half of Merseyside saw a top-six finish. But in Silva, they have a boss who has transformed the fate of clubs in dramatic fashion.
As boss of Portuguese side Estoril, he led the unfancied second-tier side to promotion in his first season.
Silva then produced an even more eye-catching feat, leading the side to a top-five finish in the Primeira Liga – thus ensuring a first ever European campaign for Canarinhos, in 2013-14.
After winning major honours at Sporting Lisbon and Olympiacos, his Prem performance has been stop-start by comparison. But it’s been more bad than good.
The 41-year-old nearly saved a dismal Hull City squad from relegation. And at Watford, his side racked up 15 points in their first eight games. So it would be no surprise to see the Toffees hit the ground running.
The campaign begins with a visit to Wolverhampton Wanderers, which Everton are 9/4 to win.
Click here for the latest Premier League odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing