In FPL terms Everton were a one man team last season, with Romelu Lukaku scoring the lion's share of their points, but of course that will all change in 2017/18 after his £75m transfer to Man United. Will the transfer comings and goings at Goodison Park prove positive for the FPL prospects of their players?
After the loss of Lukaku to Man United there is only one choice for Everton's FPL star man: the prodigal son, Wayne Rooney. England and United's highest ever goal-scorer has decided to not end his career with a whimper on the Man United subs bench, he intends to go out with a bang at the club he has support his whole life. He is unlikely to score as many goals as he did in his prime and is likely to be given a slightly deeper role, but we still expect him to score 10-15 goals and possibly provide a similar number of assists. Once a blue, always a blue.
Leighton Baines has had a couple of quiet FPL seasons compared with his previous high standards, but this is only a good thing for those Fantasy Premier League managers who intend to keep faith with him in 2017/18. Everton had the third best home defence last season and kept 13 clean sheets, add to that the left back's propensity for providing assists not to mention a few goals (often from free kicks and penalties) and he has the potential to be a good source of points overlooked by many FPL managers.
Based on those solid defensive statistics, our Budget Pick for Everton also comes from their defence in the form of club captain Phil Jagielka. The Everton centre back is not one to catch the eye, but that doesn't mean he won't pick up a good rate of FPL points per £, he even scored 3 times last season. If he can stay injury free then he is likely to be the mainstay of the Toffee's defence. A defence that has only improved with the summer acquisitions of Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane. Everton are already looking likely to improve on their 7th place last season and are likely to splash out even more before the transfer window closes.
Everton had the 6th best defence in the league last season (home & away) and conceded a paltry 16 goals at Goodison Park, a total only bettered by Man United and Spurs. With plenty of recent investment in the blue side of Liverpool, Ronald Koeman has been quick to improve the quality of his squad spending nearly a combined £50m on his defence alone in Jordan Pickford from Sunderland and Michael Keane from Burnley.
We cannot start the discussion about Everton's attack without addressing the loss of Romelu Lukaku, the big Belgian played in all but the first league game of last season and contributed 25 league goals so will be greatly missed. But Everton are unlikely to let the £75m they earnt from his sale just sit it the bank - they will be investing it in new players as soon as the right opportunites arise. Straight off the back of Lukaku's sale, Koeman was able to announce the signing of Wayne Rooney. That is in addition to the purchases of attacking midfielder Davy Klaassen from Ajax and possible stars of the future Henry Onyekuru and Sandro Ramirez (aged 20 & 21 respectively).
With the transfer window wide open for many weeks to come it is too early to make a definitive judgement on on Koeman's Everton, but they do have plenty of finance behind them. They appear to be moving in the right direction and if they can suitably replace Lukaku then expect them to challenge for a European place next season and, dare we say it, perhaps even a Champions League spot.