Everton Director of Football Marcel Brands had indicated right at the time of his hiring that he wanted to pare down the bloated squad down to a manageable number, between 25-30 he had indicated.
Even after the appointment of Marco Silva, that goal did not change, and in a weekend interview with the Echo, the new manager indicated what his optimal squad size was going into the season. Note this was before the signing of Richarlison was confirmed.
“We have 27 players, three or four more in Liverpool (injured or ill), you are talking about almost 30.
“We want to do, we have to do, some signings as well – four, five, maybe one more – and of course we need to make some space in our squad to get new signings in our squad.
“I would like to work with 22 players and three goalkeepers.”
Everton currently have three goalkeepers on the senior roster: Jordan Pickford, Maarten Stekelenburg and Mateusz Hewelt following the departure of Joel Robles. Hewelt played with the Under-23s last season, but showed little that would suggest he’s ready to be a regular backup at the Premier League level.
Currently, the U23 squad list shows Hewelt along with Chris Renshaw and Joe Hilton on the books, both of whom have contracts expiring at the end of this season.
While Stekelenburg is an able deputy, he only started three games for the Blues last season in the Europa League and the EFL Cup. The last Premier League game he featured in was at the end of the 2016-17 season. The Dutchman is signed through till the end of this season as well.
“Ok, if you stay with 24 (outfield players) then you are talking one or two more young players and that is fantastic for us, it is not a problem and sometimes it is important for the young players to be with us, work with us everyday even if they don’t get a lot of minutes to play, but they stay with us and fighting for their position because you never know when they have the chance to play.
”I would like 22 players with three goalkeepers but if it’s 23 or 24 then that means we are talking about young players.”
The Blues haven’t been linked with any goalies during this summer transfer window, but if Everton do not sign a young goalkeeper to groom this summer window, at the very least they will be signing a veteran backup with some Premier League level experience in the age 25-30 range.