Paul Merson predicts where Everton will finish this season, claims it depends on Lukaku and Stones

Paul Merson - All Stars XI

Paul Merson thinks Everton will finish eighth - but it depends on Romelu Lukaku and John Stones.

Paul Merson - All Stars XIPundit Paul Merson

Pundit Paul Merson has told Sky Sports that he thinks Everton will finish in eighth place this season - but could drop to 12th depending on the futures of Romelu Lukaku and John Stones.

The Toffees made a big call at the end of last season, sacking Roberto Martinez as their manager after two successive bottom-half finishes in the Premier League.

Everton manager Ronald KoemanEverton manager Ronald Koeman

New investor Farhad Moshiri has sparked an ambitious new era at Goodison Park, and he marked that by bringing in Ronald Koeman from Southampton as Martinez's replacement - something of a shock given that he finished above Everton in both of his seasons as Saints boss.

Koeman hasn't been too active in the transfer market so far, having only landed goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and midfielder Idrissa Gueye from Fulham and Aston Villa respectively.

Everton's John StonesEverton's John Stones

Still, with over three weeks to go until the transfer deadline, Everton are expected to be busy - and will be hoping to start the new season with a win over Tottenham on Saturday afternoon.

Ahead of the big kick off, pundit Paul Merson has spoken to Sky Sports about his predictions for the season, and stated that he thinks Everton will finish in eighth place this season - but could drop into the bottom half again depending on the futures of John Stones and Romelu Lukaku.

Everton's Romelu LukakuEverton's Romelu Lukaku

Both Stones and Lukaku have been heavily linked with moves away from Goodison Park this summer, with Sky Sports reporting that Everton are demanding £50m from Manchester City for centre back Stones, whilst the Toffees have told Chelsea to pay £75m for striker Lukaku according to the Daily Mail.

With that in mind, Merson stated that losing both players and failing to replace them adequately would drop them down to 12th in his predicted table, but did admit that he is a big fan of manager Koeman.

"I like Ronald Koeman a lot, but if Everton let Romelu Lukaku and John Stones leave without replacing them they would drop from eighth to 12th in my predicted table," said Merson.

Where do you think Everton will finish in the Premier League table this season?

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