However, it looks like things could change on that front.
Napoli star Allan is getting closer to a move to Goodison Park after a breakthrough in negotiations between the two clubs over the weekend.
The Serie A club president admitted on Monday that the 29-year-old was set to confirm his move to Goodison Park to reconnect with Carlo Ancelotti, which certainly increased the excitement of Everton fans.
And that was before rumors surrounding James Rodriguez’s future also seemed to be gathering pace, with suggestions the Blues had made progress in talks with Real Madrid over the Colombia international.
Reports from tonight indicate Rodriguez was cleared not to train today as he wants to make Merseyside his next move.
Of course, this got fans dreaming of how their squad could form if both players arrived this summer which would very clearly improve the squad.
But it could give the manager a little more space to develop his ideas too.
Take the last trimester, for example. Following the dismissal of Marco Silva, Duncan Ferguson was introduced temporarily and he wanted to change things.
His idea was to go back to basics, introducing a 4-4-2 system that he said would be easy to adopt defensively while still making the most of Everton’s pair of strikes.
It was effective, and Ancelotti embraced it in a way when he took over permanently at the end of December 2019.
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However, after an initial upturn in results, during the final stages of the campaign in June and July, things looked a bit more flawed across the line-up.
Of course, there are a multitude of reasons for this. Much of the current squad did not fit into the system, there was obvious fatigue after lockdown and it was clear Everton needed additions to the central midfielder, at least in the transfer market. .
Towards the end of last season, the manager tried to turn things around on several occasions – putting his 4-4-2 aside in search of a system that would suit the players at his disposal.
In March, Ancelotti told The Telegraph: “There is more than one way to play football. I like all styles. There is no winning system. If I have different players, I could play with a different system.
“There are managers who organize the teams for themselves, not for the players, so people can say, ‘Look how he organizes the team’.
“A team with a clear identity is a limited team. This means that they can only play one way. But you have to choose the right style considering the quality and weakness of the opponent and the tradition of your club.
“If you become the manager of Madrid or Milan, they have a story that says playing a particular style. Here there is the feeling that you can move fast and fight for the long ball, why not?
“They like the ball a long time and then fight. It is important. I said this to the players before the Man United game: ‘Put on long balls to fight, get the crowd involved’. If you do this in Camp Nou? No, not possible. Here is different. ”
The boss’s idea is then clear. He will have a preferred way of playing, but the team must also be able to adapt to the new methods. This is the next step in the evolution of the Blues.
In the later stages of 2019/20 a five-full-back attempt was made, along with a five-man midfielder who paid dividends against Sheffield United away from home.
In this last game in particular, Everton looked much more comfortable in midfield, with Andre Gomes looking to regain his rhythm.
Interestingly, in the club’s first preseason game of the summer, again there was no sign of a 4-4-2 – although this could have been due to a lack of staff. with Richarlison and Bernard being unavailable in an offensive sense.
Of course, we all know how that game went, but that leaves Ancelotti with food for thought with some new signings potentially on the horizon.
The likes of Allan and his compatriot Abdoulaye Doucoure would certainly improve the midfield options available to the coach and at first glance they would suit each other in a 4-4-2 formation.
But that would leave Gomes on the bench in this case, with Jean-Philippe Gbamin facing a fight to earn his place in the roster when he’s in good shape too.
Then we come to Rodriguez, who could then fill the right midfielder position if Ancelotti were to stick to a 4-4-2.
A left-footed player drifting off the right flank and supporting the attack could be crucial for Everton’s play going forward and could be the key link between the midfielder and the attack that too many times missed the last season.
On the other hand, this opens up more options for the manager to experiment if they wish.
All three of these potential signings are adaptable enough to fit into multiple systems if needed, with Rodriguez able to play center or wing depending on what Ancelotti prefers.
Instantly, that makes Everton a different prospect to play against in the Premier League next season.
They would no longer have square pegs in round holes, but would have players suited to an idea the manager had been keen to introduce since his time at Goodison.
The Blues might have a preferred lineup for the next term, but they wouldn’t necessarily be locked into it for the entire campaign.
The three mentioned players, if they each confirmed their move to Merseyside, would immediately bolster Ancelotti’s tool in the search for an evolution in Everton’s style.
Of course, deals should be done first – so fans will have to at least wait and see for now.
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