As the youngest member of one of football’s best-known father-son duos, and surely the most illustrious to share the same name, Frank Lampard had better solve Everton’s midfield woes by regenerating himself. However, short of a time machine that can turn back the clock a couple of decades, the blues boss, who celebrated his 44th birthday earlier this week, must look to others to try to emulate the kind of role he he delivered with such vigor during his own playing days.
Given that Lampard moved from West Ham United to Chelsea for £11m in 2001, at a time when Everton’s record transfer fee was just over half that amount, in truth, the Blues probably never could have afforded it. in his pomp. At Stamford Bridge, Lampard would go on to become the most prolific midfielder in Premier League history and is currently sixth in the competition’s all-time goalscoring list with 177 goals, remaining the only non-striker among the 19 first.
While Everton, like all clubs, would welcome someone with that much power, they would probably settle for someone who can offer them a bit more run and bite. When it comes to ECHO player ratings for last season, Fabian Delph enjoyed his highest average score among team members who had appeared more than once, but given that he only featured in 11 matches, it was no surprise. that he was not offered a new deal with his contract due to expire at the end of this month.
READ MORE: Everton announce major new stadium milestone as next step to start at Bramley-Moore Dock
READ MORE: Defiant Baltimore decided to put on a show for Everton after ‘bitterness’ of World Cup shock
The likes of Allan and Andre Gomes often found themselves outmatched last term and while Abdoulaye Doucoure may cover more ground, a couple of injuries saw his impressive early season form fade. So who does Lampard turn to to beef things up in the engine room?
Ultimately, a lot may depend on a combination of who will be available in the coming weeks and how much Everton could recoup in a major player sale. Richarlison appears to be the most likely candidate on that front at the moment, as his comments in late May cast doubt on his future. But the Blues must realize that they are going to have to hold out for much more than the figure of just over £50m that has been mentioned in speculation, which would barely cover their outlay on him once wages and a release clause are settled. sale. to Watford are taken into consideration.
Chelsea are the latest team offering Champions League football to consider a move for the 25-year-old, but given that he is a proven Premier League player who regularly leads the line for Brazil, any would-be suitors must offer the Goodison Park heads a significant benefit to its talisman that seems irreplaceable, certainly in terms of any kind of similar alternative. The amount of funds generated could be reinvested in the team, but apart from the pranksters (as pranksters, not partners of footballers, Gareth Southgate tells us the term is disrespectful now), who have called for the team number 40, there has been a distinctly disappointing reaction among many among Everton’s long-suffering fanbase to the ECHO revealing that the club have been in talks with Tottenham Hotspur about signing Harry Winks.
Although neat and tidy in possession, as you would expect from a Spurs midfielder, questions have been raised about what else Winks could offer. Lampard spoke on arrival of wanting his players to “enjoy the ball”, but when the demands of a relegation dogfight required a more pragmatic approach, he found more success in allowing opponents to dominate possession while maintaining a form. disciplined to eliminate them. .
Perhaps Winks could facilitate a switch to the type of game that best suits the manager’s ‘football philosophy’, but is it really enough to be able to choose a teammate? In terms of goalscoring production, Winks, who hasn’t found the net in the Premier League since a late strike at Fulham in January 2019, is something of the antithesis of Lampard given that he has only recorded two goals in 128 top . flight matches
A look at Winks’ stats from last season using Comparisonator showed that while he outperformed Allan in all of his offensive and passing categories, the Brazilian outperformed him in all defensive parameters. Against Doucoure it was more of a mixed bag and based on these figures, while potentially offering Everton a different dimension in midfield, it remains to be seen whether such returns are seen as enough to change the way they play and improve the team.
Another Blues-linked player is Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko, who offers an alternative to Winks. Although all of his Premier League outings for last season’s champions were at left-back, a move to Goodison Park could allow him not only to get the more regular football he wants, but also a chance to play in his favorite boxing role. -to. -box midfielder as he usually does for his country. The preference for the Ukrainian, certainly when he goes toe-to-toe with Winks, seems almost universal among Everton residents, who have also been receptive to the idea of Conor Gallagher being involved in a partial swap if Chelsea act on their wish. interest in Richarlison.
As loyal supporters, some stated that they would, of course, respect the manager’s judgment and back Winks if he came on. But if the online comments are any measure of the mood of the Goodison Park faithful, then there seems to be very little appetite. for such a recruit. Of course, football clubs cannot be fully guided in their recruitment policy by those in the stands and it would be disrespectful to dismiss the professional views of Lampard and director of football Kevin Thelwell, who will understand the nuances of what that is required to succeed in the Premier League. much better than you or me (both this correspondent and his colleague Adam Jones raised concerns about Winks’ suitability in a recent episode of the Royal Blue podcast).
However, it would also be wise for the pair not to ignore the widespread concern of those who are the life and soul of Everton, most of whom have been watching the team for many years and will be there after both are gone. They’ve been painful witnesses to transfers that seem eerily familiar to Winks in the past and don’t want to go through another potentially expensive and frustrating Groundhog Day.
It’s no accident that Tottenham owner Daniel Levy has a reputation for being one of the shrewdest negotiators in football, and the Blues are still expecting a lot of return from the highly structured deal they signed with Dele Alli the day Lampard arrived with the midfielder having only started one game – the 5-1 thrashing at Arsenal after the team’s status in the Premier League had been secured. Other ball-playing midfielders have ventured north of Spurs in recent decades, such as Simon Davies and Vinny Samways, and withered away on Merseyside, looking like a shadow of their former selves when they were at White Hart Lane and that seems to be the main fear here.