Everton appear to be doing things differently this summer.
Having spent big for several years, the Toffees have so far brought into two free transfers - Andros Townsend and Asmir Begovic - and Demarai Gray for £1.5m as they look to battle the restrictions of Financial Fair Play.
After watching a number of costly players fail to impress at Goodison Park, Blues fans have at times suggested repeating a David Moyes trick which brought recruitment success in the late noughties.
That trick was to sign hungry players from the Championship, eager to make the step up.
Tim Cahill, Joleon Lescott and Andrew Johnson all joined from the second tier, while Phil Jagielka spent the first seven years of his career at that level and was rescued from Sheffield United following the Blades Premier League relegation in 2007.
Jermaine Beckford, meanwhile, arrived at Everton on the back of scoring 72 league goals for Leeds in the third tier and netting winners against Sunderland and Chelsea while also scoring in a Merseyside derby draw at Anfield.
More recently, Ben Godfrey signed from Norwich after three seasons in the Championship and a single top-flight campaign.
So, with Everton enjoying plenty of transfer joy in the Football League, here the ECHO takes a speculative look at seven Championship names the Toffees could look to sign this summer.
Name: Callum Styles
In March 2017, the ECHO reported Everton were keeping tabs on Bury wonderkid Callum Styles.
Four years on, the talented left-footer, helped Barnsley reach the Championship play-offs last season.
Styles by name, stylish by nature, the midfielder has been deployed at wing back and shined for the Tykes.
Full of running and confident in possession, he is adept at carrying the ball and is capable of scoring rockets with his left foot. It’s a wand.
Last season, Styles scored three goals in nine appearances. Could he follow John Stones and Mason Holgate from Oakwell to Goodison Park?
After John Stones and Mason Holgate, the Tykes have another young player Everton have monitored in the past.
Name: Jason Knight
Club: Derby County
Playing for Wayne Rooney’s Rams, Knight has received high praise from his legendary coach and, despite only being 19 at the time, took the captain’s armband for the former Everton star’s first game in charge at Pride Park.
“He’s a manager’s dream,” Rooney said of the youngster. “He gives everything. He’s great for the younger and older lads to take note of… he deserves the armband, whether he’s 19 or 30.”
Playing 43 matches last season, Knight, a dynamic and all-action midfielder, helped keep Derby up following a testing campaign and already has seven caps for the Republic of Ireland.
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Name: Adam Armstrong
Club: Blackburn Rovers
The Rovers frontman scored 28 goals in 40 Championship matches last season and Everton sent scouts to watch Armstrong in April, according to Football Insider.
West Ham are said to be long-term admirers of the striker who needs just seven more strikes to make it a century of career goals before the age of 25. Southampton were also said to have bid for his services this month.
Starting his career with Newcastle, Armstrong showed he knew where the net was during loan spells with Coventry and Barnsley and is now thriving after moving to Ewood Park permanently in 2018.
With Dominic Calvert-Lewin the main attacker at Everton and Moise Kean potentially set to exit this summer, free-scoring Armstrong could be an able deputy and useful weapon from the bench.
Name: Arnaut Danjuma
The Cherries signed the skilful wideman for a fee of £13.7m from Brugge in August 2019.
Since then, Danjuma stuck with the club following relegation and scored 15 goals in 33 Championship appearances last season.
He was named Bournemouth’s Player of the Year, narrowly piping Everton new boy Asmir Begovic in the fan vote.
In 2018, during his time in Belgium, he played in the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid, firing home a thunderbolt from distance and into the top corner against the latter at the Wanda Metropolitano.
LaLiga outfit Villarreal have already seen a bid rejected this summer.
Name: Matheus Pereira
Club: West Brom
The Brazilian scored at Goodison Park in the Baggies’ 5-2 loss at Everton early last season.
Now a Championship player following West Brom’s relegation, it is unlikely the midfielder will actually kick a ball in the second tier.
Pereira, who has not featured in pre-season so far, has been linked with West Ham and Leicester this summer.
James Rodriguez, meanwhile, could move away from Merseyside, and so the former Sporting man could be utilised by Rafa Benitez to boost creativity in the Everton team.
Last season, Pereira created eleven big chances, the same number as James, though he did make ten more appearances than the Colombian. Scoring eleven goals and recording six assists, he has proved he belongs in the Premier League.
Name: Kenny Tete
The Dutchman fits the bill immediately because he would fix Everton’s need for a new right-back.
Another plus point is Tete has Champions League experience after featuring for Lyon as the French giants defeated Juventus and Manchester City to reach the semi-finals in 2020.
Like Pereira, the Fulham defender played in the Premier League last season but was relegated and is now being managed by former Toffees boss Marco Silva at Craven Cottage.
Tete, who has 14 caps for his country, was mentioned internally at Everton last summer, footmercato reported at the time.
Name: Lewis Leigh
Leigh is yet to make his first-team debut and currently plays for North End’s under-18s.
However, Premier League clubs are already circling, football.london reported on Friday, with Arsenal, West Ham and Leicester joined by the Toffees in monitoring the youngster’s progress.
Released by Liverpool before joining the Lilywhites at under-14 level, Leigh is one for the future.
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