Deadline day was the best day in a long time if you’re an Everton fan, as they completed two big signings and announced a new manager.
After a two week search with plenty of rumours and fan protests, the club finally settled on Frank Lampard as their new manager with the official announcement coming on Monday lunchtime.
Quickly followed was confirmation that Manchester United midfielder Donny Van de Beek has completed a loan move until the end of the season, before the surprising news that Dele Alli had joined on a permanent move from Tottenham
It’s no surprise that Lampard played a big part in both players making the move to Goodison Park, considering both play in a fairly similar way to the way he did during his playing career.
As part of a midfield three or the most advanced in a two, Lampard made a career of arriving late in the box and scoring goals. He racked up striker numbers, and to this day is still the all-time top scorer in Chelsea history as well as the highest scoring midfielder in Premier League history.
Both Van de Beek and Dele have garnered a reputation as goalscoring midfielders, but are both young enough to develop their game and become even more complete. They believe Lampard can help them with that, but can he?
Most importantly for both players is the promise of regular game time, having been starved of football in recent years at their previous clubs.
There is the chance that he could field a 4-3-3 with both fielded as a number eight, but that leaves the defensive midfielder that he selects likely on an island on their own.
Stylistically there is an issue for Lampard to overcome, but there is a big potential that he will be able to unlock the best of both players to help drag Everton out of their relegation battle.
There is the opportunity to change the way the team plays football, emphasising possession and an attacking style rather than defensive structure like Rafa Benitez did.
If anyone can get them both firing it’s Lampard, but he’s proven to be tactically naive in the past with both Derby and Chelsea at times.
If he is to prove he has made bold improvements and strides forward as a manager in his year out of the game, he needs to get them both playing well together and save Everton from the drop.
The pressure is on, but he’s been backed by the board since day one so he has no excuses.