Despite the bad press Everton have received following the deadline day transfer activities, things didn’t look as bad as first seemed for Everton.
Losing Mikel Arteta was obviously a big blow and losing two strikers in Yakubu and Jermaine Beckford has weakened the attacking force, but Yakubu managed just one goal last season and if Beckford wants to move to the Championship, he’s obviously not good enough for Everton.
Bringing in Royston Drenthe and Denis Stracqualursi on season-long loans has helped the squad on a minimal budget and if Stracqualursi can repeat his return of 21 goals in 38 appearances for Tigre last season, Beckford won’t be missed.
However today’s news that Leighton Baines has suffered a hamstring strain will not enhance the mood around Goodison Park and Baines is a key player of this Everton squad.
The left-back scored five goals last season and is one of the first two names on David Moyes’ team sheet, and the Everton faithful will be hoping the injury to Baines is not serious.
The current Everton squad is broken down in to two goalkeepers, nine defenders, 10 midfielders and seven attackers – although of those seven attackers only three are aged 22 or older.
Baines joins Seamus Coleman on the sidelines leaving Everton with just seven fit defenders, five if you take out the two teenagers Shkodran Mustafi and Shane Duffy, and the Everton squad is looking thin at the moment.
Louis Saha continues to struggle with his fitness and so the emphasis has been on Victor Anichebe to lead the line this season and there will be plenty of pressure on Stracqualursi to find the back of the net immediately.
Tim Chahill, Marouane Fellaini and Phil Neville will all have important roles to play this season and Everton will need to take a leaf out of Fulham’s book if they are to impress the fans this season.