Everton are Heading in the Right Direction - But Reinforcements are Required for Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti
Everton are heading in the right direction | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Everton continued their fine form since the restart as they picked up all three points against Leicester - although they were made to work for it.

The Toffees came into the game having not lost since play got back underway, while they were also yet to concede a goal. While they weren't able to keep another clean sheet, they did pick up the win to move level on points with Sheffield United.

It may have been something of a gamble by Carlo Ancelotti to name a starting lineup that included Andre Gomes and Gylfi Sigurðsson, while Tom Davies - a more defensive-minded player - sat on the bench, especially as they were taking on a side sat third in the league. Equally, Ancelotti put his faith in young Anthony Gordon again, rather than Bernard, while Alex Iwobi started on the right.

But the team were cohesive and looked sharp as a unit, with each player knowing their role. It was clear to see the game plan as they soaked up Leicester pressure before hitting them on the counter-attack - and this is exactly what they did.

As well as being resolute at the back and limiting their opponents to very few chances in the first half, they were menacing in attack each time they went forward.

Michael Keane
Michael Keane was impressive at the back for Everton | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The signs are good for Everton. But there is still plenty of work to do in the transfer market, and this was made perfectly evident when Leicester began to pick up the tempo in the second half. Ancelotti is currently stuck with the dilemma of selecting a midfielder such as Sigurdsson, who thrives when operating further up the field, or Davies, who doesn't contribute much going forward.

In an attempt to address the issues in the second half, Ancelotti brought on Davies for Richarlison, and changed to a 4-5-1 formation - which provided his side the solidity they needed to see out the remainder of the game. But it did limit their ability to get forward, and they didn't appear as dangerous in attack.

Prior to the game, Ancelotti claimed that he hopes Everton can challenge for the Premier League 'soon'. And while this may be a bit of a stretch in the near future, should the Toffees wish to be competitive in European competitions, reinforcements are required.

Carlo Ancelotti
Ancelotti made a key tactical switch to help his side control the game | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

A midfielder with an eye for goal who is also capable of doing the dirty work is required in the centre of the park for Ancelotti. Additionally, while Gordon had an excellent game, Everton further need a proven winger (or two) who can supply Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin regularly.

Squad depth is crucial - and the fact that Ancelotti was forced to name two goalkeepers on his substitutes bench highlights the problem at hand.

Iwobi has failed to pose much of a threat in front of goal this season, his two goals and one assist back this up. These kinds of statistics simply aren't enough to take Everton to the next level. Of course, he has his qualities, but the fact there are so few players to challenge him for a starting role reaffirms the need for strengthening in the wide areas.

A source confirmed to 90min in March that Everton were among the sides keeping an eye on now free agent Ryan Fraser. Considering the current challenges clubs are encountering as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, this should be a deal the Toffees board look to do as he would suit the style of play.

Make no mistake about it, Everton are heading in the right direction. But Ancelotti needs the backing of the board if he is to take the club to the next level.

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