Carlo Ancelotti’s January transfer plans may depend on a wait-and-see policy.
The weekend trip to Burnley begins a series of at least 13 games before the end of the winter window.
If Everton advances in the Carabao Cup and the Confederation Cup, that number increases to 15.
Fifteen games in eight weeks, an average of one match every three days. Ancelotti enjoys playing once every three days, but what about his team? Can they handle that? Would the pressure of such a run, with no winter break to recover, force him into the winter window?
A solid start – but what about Ancelotti’s options?
The Everton coach believes that with a squad fully in shape, the Blues can tackle the top six this season, but having fired the same starting line-up in four of the season’s five opening league matches (three wins and a draw with Liverpool) has changed him since.
The suspensions, but also injuries, forced Ancelotti to cut and change. Everton scored in the league since the draw with Liverpool? He lost four, won one.
The Italian won’t be able to name the favorite and strongest starting lineup for quite some time yet as Lucas Dini began his recovery after he underwent surgery on his ankle on Monday.
Digne is expected to return sometime between February and March. Against Leeds, Ancelotti started with Alex Iwobi as a left back but ended the match with Fabian Delph in the defensive line. Niels Nkunku was not in the match day squad.
“I think we have the strength and the quality to adapt to the fact that Lucas is not going to play. If we don’t have the strength, we have to find the strength.
“I think we have the possibility because the team is big and we can support Denny’s loss for two or three months,” the Everton coach said.
- Participated in the Everton transfer poll Here
Everton Test Series matches in December and January
Sure the team is big but does it have enough strength at the rear? Especially to deal with the next two months?
The Everton players have lost nearly 50 games due to injury so far this season, and it looks set to add the December and January schedule to that.
Ancelotti is expected to rotate the team at the end of December when the Blues face Manchester United (December 23), Sheffield United (Boxing Day) and Manchester City (December 28).
“Playing from Sunday to Wednesday will be good. Playing from Monday to Wednesday will be really difficult for everyone. It’s only once a year,” he said.
“It was our best period in the beginning, when we had matches every three days, so we welcome the match every three days. We are trying to adapt. If we are going to be in Europe next season, we have to adapt a little, so it will be good.”
After the Transfer Period closes, Everton You have 17 league matches before the end of May, plus any FA Cup matches, plus access to the Carabao Cup Final.
Most likely, the perfectly fit squad will be able to handle this series of matches, so it looks like Ancelotti’s thoughts on the January window could hinge on the fitness of his players at the start of the month.
In what positions is the blues light located?
In Denny’s absence, left-back is a headache for Ancelotti, but the signing of a new left-back next month, simply to cover his time on the sidelines, will be at odds with how Everton has approached the January window in the past two years.
At right-back, Seamus Coleman has suffered a hamstring injury over the past two months. Worryingly, Ancelotti said it should be a weekly appraisal with the club captain, who has been doing individual coaching.
Junjoy Kenny, seen as his support early in the season, was not “100%” heading into last weekend but there are doubts about how confident the coach is in him.
Get the latest feedback on the match, Carlo Ancelotti’s next move and more.
We’ll have the latest updates before the January transfers window, as well as comment and analysis straight to your inbox every day with our free email newsletter.
Alex Iwobi and Tom Davies have played right-back ahead of him in their last two games, and while Everton is understandably targeting the young right-back to come to the club to pressure Coleman, it seems unlikely that they will make a move into the January window.
Spence’s grandfather, in Middlesbrough, has been widely discovered but it is not clear if Everton will care more.
Ancelotti, especially with Jean-Philippe Gebamin’s comeback later this month, has options in midfield but his front line will welcome new momentum.
He has sent conflicting messages about Real Madrid’s Isco, a player he trained at at the Bernabéu, while he is still linked to a number of his former players at Napoli.
Of course, Ancelotti’s ability to add new players next month, even on loan, will depend on Everton’s ability to eliminate unwanted team members first.
- What positions does Everton need in January? Let us know on Comments below.
“Extreme organizer. Problem solver. Passionate web buff. Internet expert. Devoted travel nerd. Professional troublemaker.”