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Everton face crucial summer after securing Premier League survival

After what can only be described as a roller-coaster campaign, Everton will once again be plying their trade in the Premier League next season.

Controversial points deductions made the task more difficult than it needed to be, but the Toffees ultimately secured safety with something to spare.

However, the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the club’s ownership could dash Everton’s hopes of enjoying a more productive campaign in 2024/25.

A potential takeover by 777 Partners is yet to be completed, with the Miami-based firm currently blighted by lawsuits and financial issues.

Current owner Farhad Moshiri has given 777 until the end of the month to complete the takeover and will look at ‘alternative scenarios’ if the deal collapses.

Dyche delighted after a difficult season

Despite the off-field shenanigans, manager Sean Dyche was understandably pleased with his team’s efforts during a troubled campaign.

A 2-1 defeat on the final day at Arsenal left Everton 15th in the standings. They would have finished in mid-table but for the points deductions.

“I’m really pleased by how the mentality has grown and improved as the season has gone on,” Dyche told Sky Sports. “We’ve had many knocks this season and I’m pleased the way the team and the staff have seen through the challenges and delivered.

“Even coming here today, it’s not an easy thing. Players can relax a little bit, but you can’t at places like this, and I don’t think there was even a hint of that.

“I thought we went about the game properly and effectively for our reasons, as part of Everton Football Club. Our fans saw the team give their lot to try and win the game.”

While Dyche’s style of football is not everyone’s cup of tea, he undoubtedly deserves plenty of credit for steering Everton to safety this season.

The former Burnley manager is the right man for the club at the moment and should be allowed to take things forward under the new ownership.

His pragmatic style attracts criticism, yet there is a suspicion that he would be willing to implement a more expansive approach if given the tools to work with.

However, speculating about the club’s summer transfer activity is currently futile, as the ownership situation has yet to be resolved.

Deals for veterans paint a worrying picture

The club appears to be preparing for the worst-case scenario, with veteran full-backs Ashley Young and Seamus Coleman both offered deals to extend their stay at Goodison Park.

While no one can question their contribution to the club, resigning players with a combined age of 73 is short-term thinking at its finest.

If 777’s takeover of the club collapses, Everton will likely be forced to cash in on their most saleable playing assets this summer.

Jordan Pickford, Jarrad Branthwaite and Amadou Onana have all been linked with moves elsewhere and would generate significant income for the club.

In an ideal world Everton would build their squad around this trio, but circumstances may dictate they will need to be sold during the summer transfer window.

This would not necessarily be a bad thing if the club used a significant portion of the income to strengthen the squad.

Director of football Kevin Thelwell recently confirmed that players ‘will be sold’ this summer, contradicting what Dyche said earlier in the month.

“The reality is, given the regulations in place and the club’s current financial position, we have to trade well,” Thelwell said. “Working within such tight financial parameters makes the job extremely difficult.

“Whilst we want to ensure that the team is as competitive as possible, we cannot lose sight of our central objective to protect the long-term stability of the club.

“That does mean that players will be sold and also that every tool at our disposal will be used to secure new additions to the squad, including utilisation of the loan market.”

Everton could improve with strong recruitment

If Thelwell and his recruitment team identify the right targets, there is no reason why Everton cannot emerge from the summer with a stronger squad.

This could happen regardless of the club’s ownership situation, although it is obviously in everyone’s best interests if this is satisfactorily resolved.

The reality for Everton fans is the club is likely to have its back against the wall again next season, but they should have enough about them to avoid a relegation battle.

The Merseyside club would have finished 12th without the points deductions this season and are capable of at least matching that feat if they make the right moves this summer.


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