Everton have spent big to break into the top six but it will take more than money to do so
In a summer transfer window that’s seen big moves across Europe, Everton have been keeping pace with the best of them.
Seven new players have arrived as close to £100 million has been spent on improving the team that finished seventh in the Premier League last season.
It’s not a summer that’s over either, with Ronald Koeman targeting three more additions to his squad before the transfer window slams shut at the end of the month.
It’s been the sort of transfer window that has sparked wild optimism among the Toffees fan base, who have happily welcomed the change in mentality from a club that often left their deals until the end of the window.
It’s also been the sort of transfer window that has made others stand up and take notice of what’s happening at the club. That includes the mainstream media.
Everton have been the subject of many a column inch and podcast minute this summer and rightly so. The clubs efforts so far have deserved that level of attention.
This newfound attention from the media has seen several season previews including Everton on their cover pages, in there for the first time alongside the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
In one case, Liverpool found themselves ejected from the cover page in favour of their rivals from across Stanley Park.
The top six has become the top seven proclaimed more than one person when they saw these cover pages, Everton have broken the monopoly declared others.
Except, that’s not nearly true. Sure, the Blues have made everyone stand up and take notice but it will take more than spending big amounts of cash to break into that top six and beyond.
Those in there, the so-called ‘bigger’ clubs, were given a scare when Leicester City won the Premier League two seasons ago. It is not something they want to see repeated again and thus their grip on those top six places is as tight as ever.
Just take a look at the money they have spent this summer to ensure they remain at the top of the pile. Even Arsene Wenger has consented and bought Alexandre Lacazette.
It means that Everton are as far away as they have ever been, even after spending big this summer. Finishing sixth would be an achievement as thing stand.
Money is not enough to break into the group, it will take hard work and big performances to achieve that and not just against those above them in the table.
No longer can Everton afford to drop points to the likes of Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Swansea City and Watford like they did last season. They simply can’t afford to.
After all, it’s exactly what Leicester did. The Foxes title success was not built on their big wins but the manner in which they ground out wins against the other 13 teams in the league.
Luckily Ronald Koeman is a pragmatist, he will know that money alone cannot get his team into that upper tier and it will be something he has made abundantly clear to his squad.
Talk of there being a top seven these days is premature in the extreme, the media may have sat up and taken notice of Everton but it will take more than that before the top six becomes the top seven.Watch pre-season soccer matches with bet365's live streaming service. VIEW THE SCHEDULE on your desktop or log in if you're on a mobile.