Everton currently sit five points off the all-important fourth-place position, with Carlo Ancelotti’s men continuing to assemble a genuine push to attain Champions League football for next season.

As ever, expectations were typically high in the Blue half of Merseyside ahead of the 2020/21 Premier League season, with Evertonians hopeful of something more than the mid-table mediocrity seen in recent years. And rightly so.

The ultimate and unanimous objective at the start of the Premier League season was securing a Champions League place, but a challenge in both domestic cups was also high up on the priority list.

And, it is fair to say that these objectives are still intact, with the club still sniffing around the top four and have earned a place in the Quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

The possibility of earning a much-desired Champions League position opened up last weekend, breaking their torrid run at Anfield by beating the Reds at their home ground for the first time since 1999.

Despite being a position below, the 2-0 win meant that they now sit on the same points as Liverpool and possess a game in hand on their Merseyside rivals.

Victory at the weekend also meant that they are just five points shy of fourth place, a position currently occupied by high-flyers West Ham United, with the Toffees also having a game in hand on them.

However, this is not just a rare good season, it is a symbol of better times to come for the club, who have upped a gear since Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival in December 2019. The Italian arrived with a job on his hands, with the Toffees were floating dangerously above the relegation zone in 16th.

In what remained of the season, Ancelotti guided Everton to a 12th-placed finish, securing an additional 29 points to comfortably avoid a relegation scrap.

However, the real magic came in the summer. The transfer window provided the 61-year-old with an excellent opportunity to build his own squad. A combination of the club’s inclination to spend and Ancelotti’s stature in world football, enabled the club to make four marquee signings, in a window that most certainly excited the Everton faithful.

Perhaps the standout acquisition during the summer was James Rodriguez – a player who Ancelotti knew very well from his time at both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. It was a signing that demonstrated Everton’s intent, but there were questions asked about whether he would be able to cope with the rigours of Premier League football.

Those critics got their answer within five Premier League games, as the Colombian midfielder scored three goals and assisted a further three in an explosive start to life in English football. But, his progress has since been halted by a couple of injuries.

Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure completed a new-look midfield three in the early part of the season, but similar to James, the Brazilian midfielder has struggled with a persistent muscular injury.


Although the initial anticipation lied in Everton’s arriving midfield trio, the addition of young centre-back Ben Godfrey has arguably been the greatest signing of them all. The versatility of the young defender has enabled the 23-year-old to become a regular starter for the Toffees.

He made his debut in an unfamiliar right-back position, and whilst playing a few games in his preferred centre-back role, he has most often been used as a left-back. He is a player who is growing in confidence and has proven to be a more competent option in Lucas Digne’s absence.

Looking ahead to what remains of this Premier League season, Everton will certainly be confident in achieving their top four ambitions.

Only Liverpool and Leicester City have a more favourable run-in than the Toffees, meaning it is now time to kick on if they are to secure Champions League football next season.

It is vital that the club’s home record improves over the next few weeks and it is equally important that they try to secure a top four spot ahead of the final game of the season. The Toffees travel to Manchester City on the concluding day of the Premier League season, and in the form that the runaway leaders are currently in, Ancelotti’s side will not want to be relying upon an upset.