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What players are still available for Everton to sign on deadline day?

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Ronald Koeman still has at least two positions of need.

Everton v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

It’s no major secret that the two positions that Everton still need to fill as this transfer window closes are striker and depth defender. I say “depth defender”, because ideally the Blues need someone who can play on the left and offer some cover centrally, too.

There are also lingering questions about Ross Barkley and whether he’ll stick around for at least the first half of the year, but we’ve covered this extensively. Here are some options for filling those last two needs on the pitch.


Striker

Diego Costa

This is the name everyone wants. Costa is a big name, big production player, and he is absolutely not going to play for Antonio Conte again. He has to go somewhere, because it’s a World Cup year and his biggest competition for a Spain spot just took his job at Chelsea.

This deal could happen one of two ways. Either Atletico Madrid could buy Costa and then look to loan him somewhere until their transfer ban ends, or Costa could simply be sent to Everton on loan from Stamford Bridge with the hopes that he would wreak havoc on Chelsea’s top six foes.

Either way, banking on this one would be an unhealthy risk for Everton, and any work to get this done would need to take a back seat to actually owning a competent goalscorer outright.

Raúl Jiménez

Learn the name, because this is probably who Everton are going to get. No, that should not make you happy, excited, or even particularly optimistic.

Jiménez scored seven goals in about 775 minutes for Benfica last term. He’s not going to end up here because he’s some up and coming force in the Portuguese league. Jimenez will likely land at Everton because at this stage, he’s the only deal the Blues can manage to swing.

He’s 26 years old, hasn’t been called up for Mexico since 2015, and the last time he was in a top five league he utterly washed out at Atletico Madrid.

Not pretty. Not good, and not the type of player Everton wanted to pair with Gylfi Sigurdsson. Frankly, Sandro Ramirez, already on the roster, is a better player, and would probably end up the starter if this purchase gets over the line.

Stefano Okaka

I’m sorry that these are the names I’m typing. I really am.

At 28 years old, Okaka has never scored more than five league goals anywhere in his life. It’s unclear how the Italian still gets jobs. You read that right - there are strikers in the world who have scored as many goals in one top flight game as Okaka’s best season as a professional.

If Everton are going to sign Okaka, they might as well keep Oumar Niasse around and trot him out there. This is a warm body, depth signing - if it happens.

Islam Slimani

The team most in the hunt for Slimani is Watford, which is understandable because they currently have Stefano Okaka on the roster. Frankly, pulling Landon Donovan out of retirement might be preferable to Okaka right now.

Leicester City want £30m for the Algerian, which makes sense because I’d also love it if someone offered me five times what something I owned was worth. Slimani’s a decent player, but for that price tag, it’s just not a good buy.

Summary

The bottom line here is that a combination of Sandro and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are probably Everton’s starting number nine for the first half of the season. Learn to love them, Toffees.


Defenders

Mauricio Lemos

Lemos, still just 21, has been linked to Everton for some time. He remains at Las Palmas, but is in and out of the Spanish club’s first team plans. A promising player, it wouldn’t be totally out of the question for the Blues’ future first team defense to include the Uruguayan and Michael Keane.

Lemos’ fee would likely be in the region of £20 million.

Marc-Oliver Kempf

The German youth international is perhaps the most recent addition to Ronald Koeman’s wish list, but also might be the most sensible. Kempf is young, versatile, talented, and cheap.

If Freiburg are willing to cut a deal, Marc-Oliver Kempf might be one we see in royal blue before tomorrow is out.

SV Darmstadt 98 v SC Freiburg - Bundesliga Photo by Simon Hofmann/Bongarts/Getty Images

Florentin Pogba

Now we’re starting to get desperate. Pogba, 27, is indeed Paul’s big brother, but that’s where the comparisons end. The older sibling plays center back and left back for St. Etienne in Ligue 1.

Pogba has been linked with Everton before, and acquitted himself fairly well at fullback in last season’s Europa League. If the clock starts ticking down, Steve Walsh may have to make this phone call.

Out Of Favor Player From A Top Six Side

As always, there are several big money squads in the Premier League looking to trim their wage bills by cutting talented but squeezed out players.

One such individual is Manchester United’s Chris Smalling, who has lost his place to...well, a horde of Red Devils. When healthy, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, and Victor Lindelof are all preferred, but the towering Englishman still retains some skill and a load of top flight and international experience.

Smalling, unfortunately, can’t play fullback. Arsenal’s Calum Chambers can, though, and is another talented player who finds himself on the fringes of Arsene Wenger’s rotation.

Once a highly coveted Southampton prospect, Chambers spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough. Chambers wouldn’t challenge Ashley Williams or Phil Jagielka for playing time next to Keane, but could develop into a very nice defensive piece down the road, while covering at fullback this season.

Summary

Leighton Baines’ shoes are very hard to fill. Williams and Jagielka are old. The left side of Everton’s defense is hanging on by a thread, and while the transfer sagas aren’t as flashy as the striker chase, the Blues have to find someone in this position - today.


So, there you have it - eight-plus players who have been of interest to Everton this summer and remain available to varying degrees. There are others out there, of course, and if we missed one of your preferences, just let us know in the comments.