There was a time when there used to be a big-four in Premier League, but this status quo has morphed into big-six in the last few years.
As things stand, there is a big gulf between the top six sides and the rest of the league. Hence, teams outside the big six normally have only one Europa League spot to fight for in the Premier League.
Everton are one of the multiple clubs who are looking to change the established order in Premier League this season. This is not unfamiliar territory for the Merseyside side as they have found themselves in the same position on multiple occasions before.
The eras under David Moyes, Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman all brought promise with them, only to fizzle out in the end.
However, the Merseyside club are once again hopeful of making their way into English elites. Backed by the money from a billionaire owner, Everton are working on a long-term plan, both on and off the pitch.
Money hasn’t been a problem at Everton in recent years as they have brought in a whole lot of players in the last few windows. However, most of the players signed during Koeman and Allardyce eras have turned out to be bad investments.
Last season, Everton brought in Marco Silva in the hot seat to guide the club into their new era. Undoubtedly, it’s a slow and long-term process for Everton, but significant progress has been made in last season.
Improved transfer policy and a new stadium
First and foremost, the club has achieved a massive breakthrough in their plans for a new stadium.
Secondly, Everton’s transfer policy has significantly improved since Silva’s arrival last summer. Director of football Marcel Brands has also had a positive impact on Everton’s transfer business.
Last summer, Everton brought in the likes of Richarlison, Lucas Digne, Bernard and Yarri Mina on permanent deals while Andre Gomes and Kurt Zouma joined on loans.
Besides Mina, all new arrivals provided significant contributions as Everton finished eighth in the league table. This summer, Everton has carried on in the same form in the transfer window. Most importantly, they have turned Gomes’ loan into a permanent deal. Everton have also signed Fabian Delph in a £8.5m deal from Manchester City. The 29-year-old is an experienced player and he is also capable of playing in multiple positions. At this price, this is a very shrewd acquisition from the Toffees.
Undoubtedly, Idrissa Gueye’s departure to PSG is a big blow, but Everton got a decent fee for him and they should be able to replace him properly.
The Toffees are also close to completing a deal for Juventus talent Moise Kean. This transfer would be a statement from the Merseyside club.
But, what about results on the pitch?
Silva’s players suffered from a mid-season blip last season which almost cost him his job. However, their form towards the end of the last season was a cause for optimism for the times ahead.
Everton won five of their last eight games of the season, and this run included wins over Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. Their 4-0 home win over United was undoubtedly the high point of their season.
The expectation would be to further improve this season and grab a European spot.