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Rafa Benitez on his targets in January and overall aim

What was said?

In the pre-match press conference ahead of the game against [team 236], Rafa spoke on planning about the January transfer window and he said, “We have had a conversation about different targets. The point here is that – and I think the fans understand the situation – because of the Premier League rules, we cannot sign what we want. We can sign what we can.

He further added, “We will try to do the best we possibly can. We know we have to try to change the competition between players and improve the squad.

When I came here I knew everyone was talking about some positions (Everton needed to strengthen). We were trying to improve these areas and we did it without spending money. I am really, really pleased with that but you cannot expect that, by not spending money, to be much better than the teams around you that spend a lot. We need to be clever enough to find the players we will use in the right way.”

Rafa was also asked about the type of players he would like to bring to Everton. The manager replied, “We need to bring players that want to be here. We need players that show commitment. If we have that, we can get the best from them. I want to be sure, if we bring players, even if they are not the first or second on the list, that they are ready to give everything, then I will be happy with that.

We have seen too many problems in the past…the fans have been talking about commitment sometimes. This group of players showed this commitment for a long time at the beginning of the season. We have to continue in the same way. If we cannot with some players, then try to bring someone that will give us what we are expecting.”

What do Everton need in January?

[team 13] have had a mixed season so far. They started the season on fire, but the dip in form started a while ago, and they haven’t yet recovered from that. New signing [player 1572] has been an excellent addition to the team along with [player 1249]. These two were Everton’s best players during their great form. Gray’s pace and Townsend’s experience and creativity were key for [player 455387] to get a strong start.

However, it’s been a while since Everton have won a League game. The absence of [player 5141] is being felt more as time passes by. [league 8] teams have worked out to play against this Everton side without their main striker, and hence, the downfall started.

[player 1651] has played some minutes this season but hasn’t convinced his manager. As a result, constant changes to the frontline’s shape is taking place. With all this said, it’s clear that they need to get a centre forward in January. A striker that not only will score goals but will also bring others into play as Calvert-Lewin did consistently for them.

Along with a striker, they should also need cover in full-back areas. [player 95368] and [player 764] are two of the most consistent full-backs in the Premier League. However, when one of them is out, Everton lack depth in those positions. [player 7958] is an excellent young defender and versatile as well. He does well in these positions but has limitations as he is a centre back.

Everton have a talented squad, but in some key positions, they lack strength in depth. If they manage to get a proven Premier League striker and at least one full-back capable of playing on both sides, it would be a progressive window considering that January is not a window where we see much business.

Author: Devashish Akolekar

With the last few results not going their way, Rafa would clearly like to reinforce the squad in January.

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