It’s been a hectic summer at Goodison Park, with Rafael Benitez replacing Carlo Ancelotti in the manager’s seat. Will the former Liverpool boss be able to settle in the blue half of Merseyside?

• Manager: Rafael Benitez

• Stadium: Goodison Park

• Last Season: 10th

Nobody expected Ancelotti to leave Everton during the off-season, but Real Madrid came calling. Still, performances dipped under the Italian’s watch towards the end of the previous campaign.

🎓 | “I am a coach and a professional teacher. You try to create an atmosphere where they are keen to learn.”@rafabenitezweb explains his coaching philosophy. 🔵

— Everton (@Everton) August 1, 2021

It’s safe to say that Benitez has a massive job on his hands. If he doesn’t get off to a good start, the fans will be on his back quicker than Ancelotti headed for the exit!

• What Happened Last Season?

2020/21 was another disappointing season for Everton, who ended the campaign in tenth place – level with ninth-place Leeds on 59 points and two points shy of eighth-place Arsenal.

A lot was expected of the Toffees under Ancelotti, but the veteran Italian coach never managed to get his team playing consistent football.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was a bright spot, though, netting 21 goals in 39 appearances across all competitions. The England striker will be expected to kick on this year.

Players In

  • Demarai Gray – Bayer Leverkusen (£1.80m)
  • Andros Townsend – Everton (Free)
  • Asmir Begovic – Bournemouth (Free)

Everton have made three low-key signings this summer, picking up Andros Townsend and Asmir Begovic on free transfers.

Ex-Leicester winger Demarai Gray could prove to be a steal at just £1.80m if he can break into the team and find some consistency.

Players Out

  • Bernard – Sharjah (£0.90m)
  • Theo Walcott – Southampton (Free)
  • Matthew Pennington – Shrewsbury (Free)
  • Joshua King – Watford (Free)
  • Muhamed Besic – Released
  • Yannick Bolasie – Released

Things never quite worked out for Bernard at Everton, did they? The Brazilian has left Merseyside to team up with UAE outfit Sharjah following an uneventful spell on Merseyside.

The Toffees have lost a further five players, with Theo Walcott joining Southampton on a free. Muhamed Besic and Yannick Bolasie have both been released.

• Everton’s Key Player

Richarlison – When Richarlison is at his best, Everton are a real threat. Granted, the Brazilian is a bit hit-and-miss. But when he’s firing on all cylinders, he can be unstoppable.

Players like Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Lucas Digne are important for the Toffees, but Richarlison is arguably their most dangerous player.

• What Can Everton Achieve in 2021/22?

This season could go one of two ways for Everton. If they hit the ground running, the supporters will get behind Benitez. But if they make a poor start, Benitez will be walking on thin ice.

🤍 Third kit debut

💪 More minutes and fitness

✅ Another pre-season win

💙 Playing in front of our US Toffees

The perfect end to our time at the @Florida_Cup! 🇺🇸

— Everton (@Everton) July 30, 2021

Although the Toffees boast the squad to challenge for a European spot, they could find themselves registering another mid-table finish in 2021/22.