Marco Silva’s first season as Everton boss has been somewhat of a mixed bag, perhaps best characterised by a three-week period in April where a 2-0 loss to Fulham was sandwiched between victories over Arsenal and Manchester United.
However, convincing performances against the big boys has brought a palpable feeling of optimism about the squad, especially when compared to Sam Allardyce’s ill-fated reign.
RealSport looks at who could improve or decline on FIFA 20 next season.
Jordan Pickford (OVR 83 - 83)
After establishing himself as England’s first-choice keeper and subsequently starring in their run to the World Cup semi-finals, Jordan Pickford’s end to the 2017-2018 season could hardly have gone much better. He did, however, suffer somewhat of a World Cup hangover, making a string of errors, most notably in the dying seconds at Anfield. However, a strong end to the season, in which he kept eight clean sheets in the final eleven games, should ensure that his 83 rating will remain unchanged.
Seamus Coleman (OVR 80 - 79)
Country: Republic of Ireland
Seamus Coleman is still Everton’s ‘Mr Reliable.’ As he approaches the latter years of his career, we may see less bursting runs forward from Coleman, although goals against Brighton and Burnley prove that he can still produce moments of magic. After a slightly shaky start to last season, he may suffer a slight ratings drop, although that was perhaps to be expected as he continued to recover from such a horror injury.
Michael Keane (OVR 79 - 81)
Michael Keane was one of several underperforming signings in the summer of 2017 that eventually led to Ronald Koeman’s sacking. He has, however, markedly improved throughout the 2018-2019 season, benefitting from a solid partnership with loanee Kurt Zouma. A recall to Gareth Southgate’s England squad will do Keane’s rating no harm, and he should be boosted to 81 or possibly 82.
Yerry Mina (OVR 78 - 77)
Realistically, by the time the transfer window closes, Yerry Mina will not be a part of Everton’s first choice centre-back pairing. But, as Everton have failed so far to re-sign Kurt Zouma, Mina is first choice for now. Considering he signed for Barcelona merely 18 months ago, Mina’s star has fallen rapidly - he lasted six months in Catalonia, before an underwhelming first season in Everton colours. They will surely invest in a different partner for Keane, whether it be by re-signing Zouma or looking elsewhere.
Lucas Digne (OVR 81 - 82)
A tremendous debut campaign saw Lucas Digne crowned Everton Player of the Season. In Digne, they have found a player more than capable of filling Leighton Baines’s boots; he is solid on both sides of the ball and his long throws offer Everton another attacking dimension. Having enjoyed a three-point rating increase in January, Digne should see his FIFA 20 rating boosted to 82.
Morgan Schneiderlin (OVR 79 - 79)
The departure of Gueye has allowed for Schneiderlin to return to the starting 11. His lack of playing time has affected him as a player and he is no longer the player he once was back at Southampton. With the arrival of new players, he may feel refreshed and help push the toffees for a top 7 finish.
Andre Gomes (OVR 80 - 82)
Position: CM, CDM
It was hardly a surprise that Everton made securing a permanent deal for Andre Gomes their priority this summer. Not only is the £22 million fee a bargain, but the fact that they’ve completed the deal, despite interest from the likes of Tottenham, marks a real coup. You can expect to see a two-point increase in Gomes’s rating, as he continues to establish himself as a mainstay in the Toffees midfield.
Bernard (OVR 80 - 80)
Position: LM, RM
Bernard has probably not done enough over the course of the season to earn an increase in his FIFA rating. Everton fans have every reason to be optimistic, however, as Bernard showed flashes of brilliance towards the end of last season. If he can carry those moments into the upcoming season, acquiring Bernard on a free transfer will prove to be a very good deal indeed.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (OVR 82 - 83)
The 2017-2018 season was a slightly disappointing season for Gylfi Sigurdsson, as he didn’t quite live up to his £45 million price tag, a club record at the time. Last season, the attacking midfielder was much closer to his brilliant best, which should result in a one point rating increase. He was Everton’s joint top scorer in the Premier League with 13 goals and remains one of the most dangerous set-piece takers in the league.
Richarlison (OVR 80 - 82)
Position: ST, LM, RM
Richarlison started last season with a rating of 77 and ended it by scoring the penalty that confirmed Brazil’s Copa America triumph. Initially, he appeared to be a risky purchase, costing £50 million despite a six-month goal drought at the end of his final season at Watford. Few players in last season's Premier League have seen their stock rise as quickly, however. He was Everton’s joint-top scorer in the league with 13 goals and will be expected to be his side’s star turn in the upcoming season. His heavy involvement with the Selecao will hardly hurt his ratings, which should be at least 82.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (OVR 74 - 77)
Position: ST, LM
Despite only finding the net eight times in all competitions last season, there is still a good deal of optimism that Dominic Calvert-Lewin can develop into a striker capable of filling the hole that Romelu Lukaku left when he joined Manchester United in 2017. Calvert-Lewin has brought plenty of pace and energy to the Everton side, but will need to prove that he has both the physicality to play as a lone striker and the consistency to hit the net more frequently before he's given a rating higher than 77.
On the bench
Everton have signed Jonas Lossl (OVR 75-75) on a free transfer from Huddersfield, who will deputise for Jordan Pickford.
After Phil Jagielka’s return to Sheffield United, Everton will likely need to add one or two centre-backs to the squad, although they will have Mason Holgate (OVR 76-77) returning from a six-month loan at West Brom. Jonjoe Kenny’s loan to Schalke could mean that Cuco Martina (OVR 71-71) stays on to provide full back cover, alongside Leighton Baines (OVR 79-78). Djibril Sidibe (OVR 80 - 80) the successor of Seamus Coleman, may need to win over fans and the manager if he wants to replace the club captain
Everton can still rely on Morgan Schneiderlin (OVR 79-78) to provide reliable cover in central midfield. One thing to monitor is whether they give more game time to exciting young midfielder Tom Davies (OVR 75-76), or whether they loan him out, as they have done with Kenny. Alex Iwobi (76 - 78) just arrived in Merseyside for £35million from Arsenal, a price tag that hefty is likely to give him some play time even with competition from Richarlison. Jean-Philippe Gbamin (OVR 79 - 79) the Ivorian youngster may take time to settle so is likely to stay on the bench until ready to replace Schneiderlin.
Everton fans will be hoping that Theo Walcott (OVR 79-78) can provide a more consistent contribution in front of goal, especially considering he is their highest-paid player. They also have striker Cenk Tosun (OVR 80-76) who has largely disappointed since his £27 million move in 2018. Moise Kean (OVR 72 - 76) will take his time adapting to Merseyside but we are sure he will thrive in the future.