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New Plans, New Stadium, New Optimism For The Blues

At last Everton fans have something to celebrate, and they can look ahead with optimism, not just to the 2019/20 season, but for many years ahead. Times appear to be changing, both on and off the field, for one of English football's most famous clubs. Not only have they made some big signings during the close season, but plans for a brand new stadium have also taken a few leaps forward, following the recent unveiling of the design for the £500m arena, just over a mile from their current home.

The spectacular new construction, which could take three years to build, may be ready for football action by 2023 if given planning permission during the next few months. The planned new stadium, which would overlook the River Mersey at Bramley Moore Dock, would have a 52,000-capacity, with 13,000 of these sitting in a steeply pitched home end.

If the club are able to fill the arena on a regular basis then there is scope to extend this figure by 10,000, which would bring the capacity up to 62,000.

Up until the early 1990s, they were always looked upon as one of England's big six clubs but in recent decades have fallen behind the other three north-west giants of Manchester United, Manchester City and local rivals Liverpool. But prospects are looking up and during the summer of 2019 the club have brought in Fabian Delph from Manchester City, Jean-Philippe Gbamin from Mainz and Moise Kean from Juventus.

Delph arrives from the Etihad Stadium where he often struggled to force his way into their star-studded starting XI, although he was a useful squad player due to his versatility. Delph turns 30 this autumn but should be an asset for Everton, with fans hoping that the injury he sustained in a pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen is not serious. He certainly has the ability to hold down a starting place and his confidence on the ball should help the team retain possession and play through the opposition.

As for Gbamin, he is another midfield signing who, at 23, is viewed as a long-term prospect for the holding midfielder role as a replacement for Idrissa Gueye. They have also invested in 19-year-old Kean who is full of potential and has a very high talent ceiling due to his ability to play across the forward line, as well as his confidence when coming up against defenders and prowess in front of goal.

The Toffees have taken him on a five-year deal, hoping the striker will become a goal machine over the next few seasons - and is probably the club's most inspiring purchase of 2019. They had to invest heavily with it being reported that he cost £27.5 million, which could rise to over £36 million, however, that could prove to be a bargain in a few years time. It's also been reported that there is no buy-back clause, which makes this an excellent piece of business.

These signings have certainly boosted their chances of improving on last year's eighth-place finish in the Premier League table. According to Premier League betting for 2019/20, Everton and Wolves are expected to contest seventh and eighth place in the table, just ahead of Leicester with the bookies not convinced they have enough to break through into the top six.

Everton's last five finishing positions in the Premier League have been 11th-11th-7th-8th-8th and, while it is highly unlikely that they possess the strength in depth to break up the monopoly of 'The Big Six' just yet, confidence and optimism must be greater than normal for the Toffees

Thanks to manager Marco Silva, and his new summer additions to the squad, along with the news regarding the Bramley Moore Dock stadium plans, the garden is starting look a little rosier at Everton.

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