By Alex Fisher
Last Updated: 22nd July 2019
Everton narrowly missed out on European football last season, and Marco Silva appears intent on upgrading his squad to push them to the next level.
Silva’s first full season at Goodison Park offered genuine progress, with Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurðsson thriving under his guidance.
But, ultimately, Everton finished eighth, as Wolves edged them out of the Europa League places.
With the likes of Wolves, Leicester and Watford improving, Everton cannot afford to stand still, and Silva seems particularly keen on strengthening his attacking options.
Lille striker Nicolas Pépé would be a huge coup for Silva, while a return to England for Diego Costa has also been mooted at 9/2.
Only Richarlison and Sigurðsson made it into double figures for the Toffees in 2018/19, so it is no surprise to see Silva on the hunt for goal-scorers.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun all chipped in, but their inconsistency could see them play supporting roles next season.
Pépé has been linked with Europe’s top clubs after his 22 goals for Lille helped them finish second to Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1.
If Everton could lure Pépé to Merseyside it would be a massive coup. But they are likely to be outbid by clubs with deeper pockets and the offer of Champions League football.
That brings ex-Chelsea striker Costa into the picture, his no-nonsense style having earned him two Premier League titles with the blues.
Juventus youngster Moise Kean has also been linked with Everton. But, given the player’s status as one of Europe’s hottest prospects, the Old Lady would surely only be open to a loan deal.
Silva drafted in André Gomes last term and the midfielder has made the move from Barcelona permanent for 2019/20. His creativity and vision make Everton a much stronger side, and capturing his signature will have delighted the club’s fans.
Gomes played particularly well alongside Idrissa Gueye. But the Senegalese may not be his team-mate for long, with PSG again said to be interested.
Should Gueye leave, Everton already have a ready-made replacement after signing Fabian Delph. The lure of regular first-team football persuaded him to leave Manchester City, even though it is likely to restrict his chances of silverware.