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Everton 2023/24 Season Preview: Strikers

Do we dare hope for a successful year for Calvert-Lewin, and who will be the Plan B?

Everton FC v Manchester United - Premier League
Neal Maupay and Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton


Sean Dyche likes a few things as it concerns the offensive game. He likes counterattacking football, he likes a bit of skill where it doesn't interfere with effective defensive play, and he likes large players where possible.

He has mostly lined the side up in a 4-5-1, but also likes the 4-4-2, and has also played a back three as well at times. Hence, for some players, their size - in conjunction with the preferred systems - is an advantage that the smaller individuals will have difficulty overcoming to various degrees, in combination with their other attributes and understandings. But for others, the talent could be - at times - simply too much to overlook, even if the player isn’t in the Dominic Calvert-Lewin mold.

Either way, Everton will be launching the ball long down the field, utilizing counterattacking speed for most of their attacks, and then will rely on aerial superiority to supplement the goal totals from setpieces.

Current Players

Everton v Sporting Lisbon - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, when healthy, is a problem for most backlines across the Premier League. The problem is, of course, his health. Should the Everton number nine return to fitness and form this year, many other things will go much easier for the rest of the side; should he fall injured again, believe it or not, this Blues side is likely better equipped than last year’s lot was to handle it.

When last he was healthy, Everton were challenging for a spot on the top end of the table. European play was truly a consideration - I know it’s difficult to remember that far back, but it’s true.

Since then, the team has struggled as he has struggled to remain healthy. While still on the right side of 30, he has a good chance to get his career back on track and help Everton make real strides at the same time.

Everton v Sporting Lisbon - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Neal Maupay

Neal Maupay is another wildcard, for if he stays, he could very well add another option and something different to the side. It hasn’t quite come together for him as yet, and might never will either given his struggles at a Brighton side as well.

His contributions to the side come in other ways. As a smaller, quicker, eternally annoying player always putting his foot somewhere, he is always disturbing the game in some manner.

This, on the surface, sounds like a Sean Dyche player. Hell, it even sounds like Sean Dyche. But last year, Everton did not get that player. They got one who failed to make an impact even while Everton’s lead striker was nearly always hurt.

There has been talk about his departing, but with even Tom Cannon’s loan exit not being sanctioned for now until reinforcements are brought in, it’s hard to see it happening.

Everton Pre-Season Training SEssion Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

State of the Position

The situation remains dire. With Youssef Chermiti still not official, Maupay is the only striker the Blues have signed in a whole year. A promise to bring in a striker in January foundered and almost sunk Everton last season and yet here we are with the back-up plan being possibly Arnaut Danjuma being applied upfront.

Ellis Simms has been sold off and Cannon’s future remains uncertain even as a host of Championship sides circle. A handful of other youngsters are all getting more playing time in the youth ranks, but no one else is close to the first team.

A number of transfer rumours continue to circulate, with Hugo Ekitike and Patson Daka the latest names from a host of others mentioned in the last few weeks. The Blues need goals, and the interim Everton Board are going to have to find a way to buy or loan those goals if the Toffees are to continue their tenure in the top flight.