When Yannick Bolasie suffered a season-ending injury against Manchester United, we expected Gerard Deulofeu to play a huge role out wide for Ronald Koeman’s Everton.
Looks like we got that one wrong…
The former Barcelona man was this weekend unveiled as an AC Milan player, after the Serie A outfit announced they’d be taking the forward on loan for the remainder of the season.
But having already spent £21m in this transfer window on Morgan Schneidlerlin, and a further £10m on Ademola Lookman, it looks as though Koeman will settle for what he’s currently got in his ranks as we approach the business end of the campaign.
So who does that leave him with?
Ladbrokes News takes a look at three names who can have a Wayne Rooney-esque impact at Goodison Park this year, and we begin with the most recent arrival.
Plenty expected Everton’s January signing to be sent immediately back to his former club, Charlton Athletic, on loan for the rest of the season – but Koeman had other plans.
Arriving on Merseyside on January 5, the forward was thrown straight into the deep end, making his debut 10 days later against Manchester City.
And after just four minutes in a Toffees shirt, the young prospect netted his first goal.
Offering both versatility and frightening confidence for a player of his age, Lookman can expect to find himself in a starting XI very soon.
But while Ademola is very much one for the future, 18-year-old Tom Davies is very much the name on everyone’s lips right now.
Already with eight Premier League appearances to his name this season, Davies has the ability to play in a central attacking-midfield role and out on the right, despite spending much of his youth career playing in a deeper role.
And it’s that kind of versatility which Koeman will welcome at Goodison Park, as it gives the Dutch boss the chance to mix things up if needed.
Though his goal against the Citizens in last week’s 4-0 win has been his most memorable moment so far, it’s worth noting that Davies also has two top-flight assists to his name.
He may be yet to make a real statement in the Premier League, but there’s no doubting Calvert-Lewin’s talent.
Arriving from Sheffield United back in the summer for a fee of £1.5m, the 19-year-old has spent much of his short Everton career in and around the first-team.
An impressive stint with the U23 side saw the 19-year-old net three goals and provide two assists in eight appearances between September and November.
And that was seemingly enough to catch Koeman’s eye, with the former Southampton boss using the forward on four occasions – one of which he started against the Saints.
In keeping with a running theme amongst Koeman’s younger stars, Calvert-Lewin boasts the ability to comfortably play in a range of positions, but tends to enjoy playing either alongside or just off Romelu Lukaku.
With seemingly very little to play for this season at Goodison Park, there’s arguably never been a better time for Everton to experiment with youth.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing