Premier League team guide: Everton in the spotlight
Everton will be looking for significant improvement in Frank Lampard's first full season in charge after narrowly avoiding relegation in 2021-22.
Having lost star player Richarlison this summer, the Toffees will pin their hopes on England international Dominic Calvert-Lewin rediscovering his form and staying fit.
With an edgy fanbase and after achieving the bare minimum last season, Lampard must find the winning formula — and quickly.
Last season: 16th
Former Liverpool favourite Rafa Benitez started 2021-22 as Everton boss and things began well with four wins from their first six games.
But that gave way to a winless run of eight matches and Benitez was sacked after a defeat at relegation rivals Norwich in mid-January.
Lampard did not have quite the impact the Merseysiders were hoping for, managing just one triumph in his first six.
But the former Chelsea and Derby coach turned things around with four wins in their final nine, securing Everton's Premier League status in the penultimate game against Crystal Palace.
There have been two new arrivals at Goodison Park this summer, with the loan signing of Ruben Vinagre from Sporting following the free capture of James Tarkowski.
Tarkowski, 29, signed a four-year deal after his Clarets contract expired and will add some much-needed quality to a porous backline.
Portuguese defender Vinagre, 23, will compete with Vitaliy Mykolenko for a starting berth at left-back in Lampard's XI.
Further additions are required, though — particularly with Richarlison departing for Tottenham in a £50million deal.
3-4-3: Pickford; Godfrey, Tarkowski, Mina; Patterson, Allan, Doucoure, Mykolenko; Gray, Gordon; Calvert-Lewin.
With only one signing through the door, Everton's likely starting XI looks remarkably similar to last season.
Jordan Pickford gets the nod in goal with Ben Godfrey, new signing Tarkowski and Yerry Mina ahead of him — assuming the latter can stay fit.
January signing Nathan Patterson might finally overtake veteran Seamus Coleman at right wing-back while Vitalii Mykolenko starts on the opposite flank.
In the middle, it is the workmanlike Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure with youngster Anthony Gordon and Demarai Gray in support of the fit-again Calvert-Lewin.
Star man: Jordan Pickford
It is a damning indictment of Everton's squad strength that their most important player is considered to be goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
The former Sunderland star has come in for plenty of criticism in recent years. Yet no one has ousted the 28-year-old for club or country and he remains England No1 in a World Cup year.
In fact, Pickford has missed only 10 Premier League games in his first five seasons on Merseyside.
Last season, he underlined his importance to the Toffees once more by making the sixth-most saves in the Premier League (114).
Without Pickford, relegation might have been unavoidable.
Up-and-comer: Nathan Broadhead
With Richarlison gone and Calvert-Lewin coming off an injury-plagued season, the centre-forward position needs reinforcement — which could benefit Nathan Broadhead.
Signed from Wrexham as a 10-year-old, the striker announced himself with a goal against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals for loan club Sunderland last term.
Broadhead, 24, played 27 games on loan at the Black Cats, scoring 13 times in all competitions as they won promotion back to the Championship.
Rewarded for his form with a first senior Wales call-up in May, injury forced Broadhead to pull out. This might be a make-or-break season for his Toffees career.
The boss: Frank Lampard
After waiting patiently for the right opportunity to return to management, Lampard's decision to plump for Everton almost backfired spectacularly.
The former midfielder had been out of work since being sacked from Chelsea in January 2021 before taking the reins at Goodison Park exactly 12 months later.
Lampard, 44, saw his reputation enhanced at Stamford Bridge after steering the West Londoners through a registration ban while promoting homegrown prospects Mason Mount and Reece James.
But with Chelsea sitting in ninth place, having failed to get the most from big-money signings Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech, he was replaced by Thomas Tuchel.
An upturn in Everton's form at the end of last season finally saw off the threat of relegation — but much more will be expected this term.