Everton season predictions: Deulofeu to shine but key assets must be kept

Everton Goodison

Without the distraction of the Europa League next season, do our writers think the Toffees can improve upon a disappointing 11th place finish last term?

Predicted position: 7th

Fewer games and solid acquisitions in Tom Cleverley and Gerard Deulofeu should lead to a higher finish for Everton - provided their key men remain.

Damien Lucas: Without the burden of European football, Everton boss Roberto Martinez starts to get the best out of his side with Romeleu Lukaku top scoring to reward them, rather ironically with another place in the Europa League but finishing behind their Merseyside rivals.

Chris Linnell: Europe proved an unwelcome distraction last term and, with domestic football the only focus this this time round, I expect to see a significant league improvement for the Toffees.

Olly Dawes: A disappointing season last term, but the Toffees should bounce back this year. The return of Gerard Deulofeu is a boost, whilst Romelu Lukaku showed his class in the second half of last season.

Matthew Nash: The Toffees will surely improve on last season and Romelu Lukaku is one to watch this campaign.

Che Thomas: I don’t expect them to struggle like they did last season, where they were unusually poor until the last third of the season, and the signing of Gerard Deulofeu is a great piece of business. Lukaku will be better this year, Cleverley is a decent buy too, but Howard, Jagielka and Barry are all getting older.

Stephen Pickering: Roberto Martinez will be right up against it this season and will feel the pressure from day one. The Toffees needed to do more transfer business than they have done so far this summer and look unprepared heading into the coming season. They have the quality to keep their head above water, but fans may be disappointed with the finish. Key player: John Stones

Tim Poole: Roberto Martinez’s side should do well again but the Spaniard really needs to address his team’s defending.

Lewis Doe: Roberto Martinez will be determined his side his improve from last season. It’s vital they keep their best players.

Freddie Shires: A return to the top half but the likes of Gerard Deulofeu and Romelu Lukaku won’t be able to fire them back into Europe.

Michael Stevenson: The Toffees have been able to retain their key assets so far this summer and Tom Cleverly and Gerard Deulofeu are astute signings. Squad depth remains an issue however, so mid-table mediocrity beckons once again.

Billy Hawkins: Continued defensive issues plague their season, as Roberto Martinez continues his attacking philosophy

Our writers were asked to predict the outcome of next season's Premier League campaign. We accumulated their rankings (20 points for first place, 1 for 20th, etc), and created a predicted 2015-16 league table.

And here it is:

Chelsea

Arsenal

Manchester United

Manchester City

Liverpool

Tottenham

Everton

Southampton

West Ham United

Crystal Palace

Swansea City

Stoke City

Newcastle United

West Bromwich Albion

Aston Villa

Sunderland

Bournemouth

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Watford

Norwich City

Leicester City

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