It was quite a busy summer overall for Everton as they went about rebuilding the squad more in the mold of what manager Ronald Koeman and Director of Football Steve Walsh have for their vision of the club.
While the Toffees made some puzzling omissions leading to some frustration on Deadline Day, overall the quality of the side looks to be better than this time last year.
The crew at Royal Blue Mersey put their heads together to comment on how they thought Everton’s summer went.
All in all I think we had a very smart window. We left a bit too much to do for deadline day itself, but I think we can fix those mistakes in January. I think our level of net spend was mostly intentional, which should be a message that we won't be spending like Manchester United any time soon, but we bought good players and made the team a lot better, especially in the back.
On the whole I think the window has to go down as a 6/10. We've certainly improved in key areas as well as signing up some genuinely talented youngsters. Creativity is no issue now with Wayne Rooney, Davy Klaassen and Gylfi Sigurdsson in the squad. The biggest failure this window however is the fact we have signed no one for them to set up.
The club has been aware Romelu Lukaku was departing for months and his replacement was arguably the most important deal but for whatever reason we have failed to address that over the course of the window.
I'm happy with who we have brought in but to put it bluntly, it's not enough and we will struggle to break down teams, especially away from home without a strong presence up top and limited pace.
I am bummed that we didn't get Jamie Vardy or Olivier Giroud. Nikola Vlasic seems mature beyond his 19 years and eager to prove himself in the Premier League. As for the squad overhaul, I'm happy we still have Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka! I'm looking forward to Yannick Bolassie and Seamus Coleman returning to the lineup.
Put your disappointment about deadline and the failure to sign a striker to one side, Everton had an excellent window. They improved in key areas, added quality in others and all of the signings, bar Wayne Rooney, are long term players. Add in the fact most of the deadwood was removed and it's all positive. The work done building on the Under-23s was also impressive.
Overall a mixed bag. Not signing better replacements for Romelu Lukaku is criminal, especially given how long they had to prepare. The team still lacks creativity (6 years and counting) and now pace as well. On the bright side I really like the spine of the squad (Jordan Pickford / Michael Keane / Idrissa Gueye / Morgan Schneiderlin). I think the team is in a position to be fairly solid defensively but they will struggle for goals, which will be frustrating.
While Everton have set themselves up excellently for the future, the window ending in a whimper may prevent Ronald Koeman from achieving his goals this season.
Without a veteran striker, the purchase of Gylfi Sigurdsson becomes rather muted. There's still no cover for Leighton Baines, and when the Blues elect to play a back 5, there's hardly any defensive cover at all.
Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford look set to be two of the best players in the league for many years. Henry Onyekuru and Nikola Vlasic choosing to join up could solidify Everton's attack in 2020.
Otherwise, this transfer window seemed like two steps forward, one step back.
Losing Romelu Lukaku and failing on deadline day to nab another striker feels like a huge loss, but this club did good business. The additions of Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen and Gylfi Sigurdsson are all upgrades in the spine of the team. Wayne Rooney, despite off field problems, looks to be a needed leader and teacher for some of the youngsters. And Sandro Ramirez is the wild card. He won’t be at the level of Romelu Lukaku, but no one could.
Ronald Koeman always seemed to want to spread the goals and come at defenses with more options. He has certainly been set up to do that. I would have liked to see more depth signings, but perhaps that shows the confidence the club has in their U23s, who they invested in heavily this summer.
Everton's first team options at goalkeeper, left-back, center-back, central midfield, and winger (provided Yannick Bolasie truly is back in October) are quite good, and that's largely a testament to Koeman's work in the transfer market over the last two years. Right-back should be well and truly sorted once Seamus Coleman returns as well. Even the team's depth at wing, central midfield, and striker are in good shape as well, which will be important as the club balances the Premier League and Europa League.
But the inability to add depth in defense could be costly if Michael Keane or Leighton Baines go down -- knock on wood. And all of the hard work on the rest of the squad will surely go to waste if the team cannot score goals, a real danger given the lack of a clear first-team striker in the squad. Maybe Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Sandro Ramirez will develop into a clear-cut top striker -- maybe Wayne Rooney still has some magic left after all -- maybe there's some other solution we've not even considered yet. But those are all grasping at straws, which simply isn't good enough given the club's current aspirations.
Genuinely surprised that after all that talk of a lead striker and a left-sided defender from Ronald Koeman, Everton still left both needs vacant at the conclusion of deadline day.
While some of the issues going forward can be resolved with team chemistry - that will take some time with so many new faces - pace will continue to be a problem in this lumbering squad, with only some youngsters providing any kind of quick transition going forward.