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Everton 2022-23 season preview - prediction, summer signings, star player

:Headline: Everton 2022-23 season preview - prediction, summer signings, star player:
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look ahead to Everton's 2022-23 campaign, including predictions, summer signings and their star player.
Sports Mole

Everton will be looking to improve on what was a hugely difficult 2021-22 campaign in the coming season, and the club's supporters will certainly be expecting a huge change in 2022-23.

The Toffees finished 16th in the Premier League table last season, just four points above the relegation zone, as they faced the serious prospect of dropping out of England's top flight.

Only Watford (27) and Norwich City (26), who finished 19th and 20th respectively, lost more Premier League games than Everton last term, with the Merseyside giants suffering 21 defeats from their 38 matches, which is extraordinary for a team of their ilk.

Rafael Benitez and Duncan Ferguson had spells in charge of the team last season, but Frank Lampard has been at the helm since the end of January, and it is also a huge upcoming campaign on a personal note for the 44-year-old, who still has plenty of doubters.

Everton are a football club that should never be flirting with relegation, and with that in mind, Sports Mole looks ahead to their upcoming campaign, which begins on August 6 against Chelsea.


FIXTURES

Everton will start their 2022-23 Premier League season at home to Chelsea on August 6, while their first away match of the season will see them travel to Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa side on August 13.

The first Merseyside derby of the season will take place at Goodison Park in early September, while they will welcome Manchester United and travel to Tottenham Hotspur in back-to-back games in October.

Everton's final game ahead of the break for the 2022 World Cup will be against Bournemouth on November 12, while they will not be back in action until the clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Boxing Day.

Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium will be the team's final game of the year, while they will travel to Anfield to face Merseyside rivals Liverpool on February 11.

Everton's final three matches of the Premier League season will see them welcome Manchester City and Bournemouth either side of a trip to Molineux to take on Wolves.

> Click here to see all of Everton's 2022-23 fixtures


SUMMER SIGNINGS

In
James Tarkowski (free, Burnley)
Ruben Vinagre (loan, Sporting Lisbon)
Dwight McNeil (£20m, Burnley)

Out
Jonjoe Kenny (free, Hertha Berlin)
Fabian Delph (released)
Lewis Gibson (released)
Andy Lonergan (released)
Cenk Tosun (released)
Gylfi Sigurdsson (released)
Richarlison (£60m, Tottenham Hotspur)
Joao Virginia (loan, Cambuur)
Ryan Astley (loan, Accrington Stanley)
Jarrad Branthwaite (loan, PSV Eindhoven)
Tyler Onyango (loan, Burton Albion)
Ellis Simms (loan, Sunderland)

Everton total spent to date: £20m
Everton total received to date: £60m

Everton net transfer balance: £40m


SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Asmir Begovic, Andy Lonergan

Defenders: James Tarkowski, Nathan Patterson, Mason Holgate, Michael Keane, Yerry Mina, Niels Nkounkou, Vitalii Mykolenko, Ben Godfrey, Seamus Coleman, Ruben Vinagre

Midfielders: Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Andre Gomes, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Tom Davies, Dele Alli

Forwards: Dwight McNeil, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Anthony Gordon, Demarai Gray, Andros Townsend, Alex Iwobi, Salomon Rondon


STRONGEST XI


STAR PLAYER - Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Dominic Calvert-Lewin struck 21 goals in all competitions during the 2020-21 campaign, with 16 of those coming in the Premier League, but it proved to be a tough 2021-22 season for the Englishman.

The 25-year-old only managed five goals and two assists in 18 matches for the Toffees last term, with a fractured toe causing him to miss a lot of football in the first half of the season.

Calvert-Lewin came back into a struggling side in the second half of last term, which made it difficult for him, but he certainly has the capabilities to star for the Toffees next season.

Lampard will surely be building a plan which focuses on playing to the forward's strengths, as he was on the radar of Man United and Arsenal due to his excellent performance level in 2020-21.


MANAGER - Frank Lampard

Lampard was appointed head coach of Everton at the end of January, and he took charge of 21 matches in the second half of last season, boasting a record of eight wins, two draws and 11 defeats.

The legendary midfielder performed impressively at Derby County in his first managerial job, which convinced Chelsea to appoint him as head coach in July 2019.

However, Lampard found it difficult to make his mark at Stamford Bridge in a coaching capacity, ultimately leaving in January 2021 with a win percentage of only 52.4% from 84 matches.

The 44-year-old's credentials continue to be called into question, and there will certainly be pressure on the former England international if Everton struggle in the early stages of the season.

Lampard managed to keep the Toffees in the Premier League, though, and he has now had a full pre-season with the players, who will also be keen to put a difficult season behind them.


LAST SEASON - 16th

Everton remain one of six English clubs to have never been relegated from the Premier League, but the Toffees came close to dropping out of the top tier in 2021-22.

Many predicted that the club could challenge for a European finish last season due to the quality in their squad, but it never transpired, with Benitez losing his job in January after an encouraging start to the campaign turned sour due to a run of poor results.

Ferguson was in charge on an interim basis between January 18 and January 31, before Lampard was confirmed as the new manager on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

The 2021-22 campaign ended with a 5-1 defeat at Arsenal, but Lampard had managed to steer the club to safety, finishing 16th in the Premier League table on 39 points, boasting a record of 11 wins, six draws and 21 defeats from 38 matches.

Everton were also disappointingly eliminated in the third round of the EFL Cup by Queens Park Rangers, but they did make the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, beating Hull City, Brentford and Boreham Wood before suffering a 4-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in the final eight.

Richarlison was Everton's star player last season, finishing the campaign with 11 goals and five assists in 33 appearances, but he has joined Tottenham Hotspur in a big-money deal this summer.


PREDICTION

Everton have managed to boost their squad this summer with the arrivals of Tarkowski, McNeil and Vinagre - three players that should certainly help them next season.

However, there is still a worrying lack of firepower in the squad, and it is difficult to see where the goals will come from if Calvert-Lewin struggles to get going once again.

More incomings are expected before the end of the transfer window, but the Toffees are shopping in a difficult market this summer, and they will not be able to pluck a proven goalscorer out of thin air.

There should be an improvement at Goodison Park this season, but we are finding it tough to predict the club making a push for the top half of the division.

There should not be any serious relegation fears for the Toffees this term; that said, we are only predicting a narrow improvement on last term, backing the team to finish 15th in the table, which will hardly be deemed a success by the club's demanding supporters.

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