Everton won their final game of pre-season against Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv thanks to goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and debutant Dwight McNeil who got two after coming on.
It concluded an pre-season which didn’t start great for Everton as they lost to Arsenal in the opening game of their US tour but it then went from bad to worse in America when they played Minnesota United as they emphatically lost to Adrian Heath’s side 4-0.
Things looked better though after a 4-2 win against Blackpool with Dele Alli at the double then a convincing victory in front of a loud Goodison Park to conclude their preparations have given supporters reason to be optimistic going into the new season.
The Blues face Frank Lampard’s old club Chelsea on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, in the fixture last season Everton managed to get a vital three points thanks to a Richarlison goal which massively helped them maintain their Premier League status.
Chelsea have struggled with acquiring some transfer targets this summer with Barcelona swooping in and taking Raphinha and Jules Kounde from under their noses.
However the two-time European Champions have brought in Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli and Raheem Sterling from Manchester City so their side will still be packed with world class talent which will undoubtedly make it tough for The Toffees.
Speaking after the Kyiv game about whether he is feeling optimistic going into the opening game Lampard said: “Well it’s not optimistic or not it is what it is, it is a huge and difficult game for us.
“As a starting point we are here at Goodison to prepare all week and play with better defensive organisation than we did tonight, some of our pressing was slightly off, some problems that Chelsea will definitely give us that we may not have dealt with so good tonight that is good to show the players, so we’ve got a long week going into it.”
Under Thomas Tuchel Chelsea have been renowned for their strong defensive structure hence why it was a such a huge scalp for Everton at the back end of last season however there will of course be no Richarlison this time round due to his £60 million move to Spurs.
When asked if he will look for a replacement for the Brazilian in the remainder of the transfer window Lampard said: “We’ll see, we’ll see, you don’t replace exactly like-for-like especially with a player like Richarlison because of his type, a player who can play in multiple positions with a certain style so I don’t think it is about looking at it exactly in that way but we do need to consider the season.
“The endurance test of the Premier League, the fact that you have nine subs and five you can bring on, that’s a clear bonus for probably teams who have really full squads of talent and benches, and we need to do our best to get our version of that.”
Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be missing for the opening month of the season due to a problem with his knee whilst Salomon Rondon is still suspended after being shown a straight red card against Brentford last season.
So, unless someone is brought in and is match-fit in the next few days it will likely be Alli leading the line for Everton which is certainly not ideal going into a brand new season.
Chelsea strikers Michy Batshuayi and Armando Broja are two frontmen who Everton have been reportedly looking at whilst Billy Gilmour and Idrissa Gana Gueye look increasingly likely to join Everton before the end of the window.