Can this new-look Everton match the heights of their 2004-05 heroes?
There’s no two-ways about it. Everton mean serious business this season. But can the Toffees reach new heights in the Premier League?
Ronald Koeman has welcomed several new faces to Goodison Park, spending over £70m in the process.
And for now, Romelu Lukaku is an Everton player.
Even if the Toffees do sell the Belgian, then they’ll have another £75m to play with before the end of August.
All the signs point then, to the Goodison Park side making a major assault on the top six, and perhaps, they could even better their best Premier League result of fourth in 2004-05.
Yes, we know the Toffees picked up 11 points more in 2013-14, but 12 years ago was the sole time to date they bagged that heralded top-four spot.
So, how does this new-look Everton shape up against those heroes of 12 years ago?
Klaassen can pick up Cahill’s mantle
Back then Tim Cahill was running the show for David Moyes’ men.
Storming into the box unmarked before that memorable celebration by the corner flag, Cahill is a cult hero on certain parts of Merseyside.
Today, Davy Klaassen will be hoping to emulate the Aussie, and all the signs so far suggest he can do just that, after 14 goals and 10 assists for Ajax in the Eredivisie last term.
Young gun can overshadow Martyn
In goal, Nigel Martyn was stopping the shots between the sticks at Goodison in 04-05.
But the former Leeds United ace was 39-years-old and nearing the end of his career.
This term, Everton are putting their faith in Jordan Pickford. He may not have Martyn’s experience, yet, but by all accounts he’s got the ability.
Keane is the future
For defensive stalwarts Alan Stubbs and David Weir you can now read Michael Keane.
The big-money arrival from Burnley will bring youth to the side and provide competition to Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka.
And Everton fans needn’t worry too much about losing Lukaku.
Back in 04-05, their frontline consisted of Marcus Bent, Duncan Ferguson, James Beattie and James MacFadden, none of whom scored more than seven times.
Goal threat won’t diminish should Lukaku go
Sandro Ramirez looks the part after his 15-goal campaign with Malaga last time out, while Ademola Lookman and Dominic Calvert-Lewis are set to continue their rapid rise.
And don’t be surprised to see another striker arrive, should Lukaku move on in the coming weeks.
So all told, we reckon this new look Everton side boasts their best chance in over a decade of returning to the top four, and Champions League football.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing