Wayne Rooney believes Everton can qualify for the Champions League this season but Carlo Ancelotti needs to add a striker and a midfielder to his squad in the January transfer window, talking to The Times.
While recruitment hasn’t exactly been Everton’s strong point during the Farhad Moshiri era, something certainly changed this summer.
Boosted by Ancelotti’s extensive contact book, a number of inspired signings have transformed the Premier League’s perennial underachievers in the early weeks of 2020/21.
In James Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan, the Merseyside giants brought in three players who have strolled into Ancelotti’s starting XI and made a massive difference.
According to club legend Rooney, however, extra depth is required if Everton are to bounce back from Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Southampton and establish themselves as genuine contenders for a top-four place.
“The top four is do-able. If they can get to January still in the frame and let Ancelotti bring in another couple of players, they will have a great chance,” says the Derby County talisman.
“Their biggest issue is squad depth.
“In Gylfi Sigurdsson and Bernard, they have a couple of players who can come off the bench to provide something different but they need one or two more – players who don’t have to be world-beaters but who can slot straight into the team without a major drop in quality if there are injuries.
“They need a real back-up for Allan and another striking option for games where the opposition is equipped to deal with (Dominic) Calvert-Lewin’s threat.”
It speaks volumes that, with Calvert-Lewin marked out of the game at St Mary’s on Sunday, Ancelotti didn’t have a single number nine to bring off the bench.
In fact, £27 million forgotten man Cenk Tosun is the only other centre-forward in Everton’s squad. Not ideal for a club that has such lofty ambitions.