Ronald Koeman will oversee a number of departures as he looks to shape Everton's squad into his own image, according to former Toffees defender Michael Ball. Koeman is expected to be backed heavily by majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri this summer and is keen to improve most positions in his side, but the Dutchman will also trim the fat at Goodison Park as he bids to build a team capable of qualifying for the Champions League.
Ball, like many Evertonians, is expecting a flurry of arrivals and departures at the end of the campaign and believes there may be some exits that could startle some supporters. The former PSV Eindhoven and Rangers left-back believes the likes of veteran Gareth Barry may see fit to leave the club in order to receive regular game-time, but stressed the importance for the Everton hierarchy to improve the squad depth in order to challenge both domestically and in the Europa League.
"There promises to be a revolving door at Goodison Park this summer," Ball wrote in his column for The Liverpool Echo. "But as well as the expected glut of incomings there could also be a series of exits. And I wouldn't rule out there being some surprise departures either.
"Everton will need a squad big enough to be able to handle the added demands of Europa League football but Ronald Koeman has made it clear that having too many players creates too many problems.
"The manager has already confirmed that Arouna Kone will leave, Tom Cleverley has agreed to join Watford, Oumar Niasse is expected to go and there will be others. For example, Gareth Barry looks like facing more time on the bench against next season so will he want to stay?
"Of course, Koeman will not be releasing players unless he knows they are replaceable but all the signs, so far at least, point to Everton really attacking the transfer window in the hope of assembling a squad good enough to challenge the top four next season."
Everton secured Europa League qualification a couple of weeks ago and are now currently stuck in seventh place limbo. The Blues have lost their last two matches against Chelsea and Swansea City and have little to play for in truth, but Koeman will hope his players can motivate themselves to put on a stirring display in their final home match of the season against Watford on Friday (12 May).