Everton’s insipid performance in their 2-0 loss at Chelsea on Sunday afternoon was as bad as their tigerish display in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Monday was good.
Full of bite at the Etihad Stadium, the Toffees were toothless at Stamford Bridge, waiting until only a few minutes from the end to test home goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with a speculative effort from Idrissa Gana Gueye that was probably destined for the stands anyway.
Although it was the performance of Spanish striker Sandro Ramirez that may worry manager Ronald Koeman most. Quick, direct and clinical at Malaga last season, the Spain under-21 star looked anything but as he struggled to lead the line against the champions.
And while Dominic Calvert-Lewin was simply outstanding against City, setting up Wayne Rooney’s opener while terrorising the home defence with boundless running and intelligent movement, he has still scored just two goals for the club. For all his potential, it is far too soon to expect Calvert-Lewin to score the goals required to spearhead a top four charge.
Final piece in the jigsaw
Therefore, an ambitious £40 million move for Leicester City talisman Jamie Vardy makes perfect sense. The Mirror claims that The Toffees believe the 29-year-old is open to a new challenge after avoiding relegation, winning the Premier League and progressing deep into the Champions League with Leicester.
And, on the evidence of Sunday’s disappointing showing at Stamford Bridge, Vardy may be the final piece in Everton’s jigsaw. They were screaming out for a player to stretch Chelsea’s back line and Vardy is renowned for exactly that.
He has the pace, work rate and directness of Calvert-Lewin though allied with proven Premier League pedigree. A case in point: Vardy surely would have dragged Everton back into the game a few minutes after half-time against Chelsea.
Instead, Sandro connected with a perfectly weighted Wayne Rooney through ball before scuffing a weak finish into David Luiz.
£40 million is a hefty outlay but it could be the difference between no points and one; between top six and seventh.