Former manager Alex McLeish has predicted that Everton will lose a key player to a Champions League giant in 2022.
The Toffees are known to be a big team in the Premier League, although they have failed to add to their trophy cabinet since the 1990s. Their last major honour was the 1995 FA Cup, with Paul Rideout scoring the winner against Manchester United in the final.
It’s no surprise therefore that Everton players are often targeted by bigger clubs. Such teams can lure them away with the offer of guaranteed European football and often league titles.
Romelu Lukaku is one recent example. The Belgian striker left Goodison Park for Old Trafford in July 2017 as United paid £75million for his services. Lukaku now represents Chelsea after the Blues made him their club-record signing this summer.
Another example is Manchester City defender John Stones. The centre-back started his career at Barnsley before being snapped up by Everton in 2013. Three years later, City parted with £47.5m to take him to the Etihad.
Current Everton ace Dominic Calvert-Lewin could follow in their footsteps. Italian outlet Calciomercato report that Real Madrid want to sign the England striker next year.
Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is leading the charm offensive. He worked with Calvert-Lewin at Everton between December 2019 and June of this year.
“Everton fans will be saying, ‘he can’t leave us because we’re the best’,” he told online source Football Insider.
“But when you think about it and you’re getting a call from Real Madrid or Barcelona…
“It’s not all rosy these days over there, losing the amount of revenue that normally you take for granted.
“But there’s still a magnificent lure for any footballer in the world to be saying, ‘well, I’ve got a chance to go to Real Madrid.’
“You may leave Everton, you may leave Aberdeen. I’m sure a lot of the clubs are huge in the fans’ eyes but Real Madrid is quite something.”
It’s thought that Real are looking for Karim Benzema’s long-term successor up front. The Frenchman is in the form of his life but at 33 he has now entered the twilight years of his career.
Everton star opens up on summer switch
In-form Everton man Andros Townsend has revealed what convinced him to join the Toffees.
The winger was confirmed as an Everton player on July 20 after becoming a free agent. He has since managed an impressive five goals in ten matches.
During an interview with Everton’s official YouTube channel, Townsend said: “I had an offer to go to Turkey, to play in the Champions League in Turkey. I was excited for that, but I knew I had so much more to offer in the Premier League.”
Townsend worked with Rafa Benitez at Newcastle, and the Spaniard immediately made it clear he wanted to sign the 30-year-old for Everton.
“Since then  we’ve kept in brief contact every now and then. We’d talk over text for a bit. But when he got the Everton job my agent was saying, ‘Rafa’s interested’. I thought, ‘Alright Marlon, next joke’!
“It came to a point where a club gave me 48 hours to accept or reject their offer. I spoke to the manager, he wasn’t confident, and then thankfully on my birthday my phone was pinging off and it was the manager saying he had the green light.”