Former Everton forward Tony Cottee has urged his former side to sign Swansea City defender Alfie Mawson as well as a proven striker to provide adequate competition to new forward Cenk Tosun during the January transfer window.
The troubled Merseysiders did sign Michael Keane from Burnley in a deal that could rise to £31m in the summer transfer window but have been linked with a £25m move for Mawson as they seek long-term replacements for captain Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams, who have both entered the final knockings of their respective careers.
Cottee, who scored 99 goals for the Toffees during his six-year spell on Merseyside, thinks Sam Allardyce's side need to recruit a long-term partner for Keane, who like many of Everton's summer signings has failed to impress this season, and also bring in a striker with pedigree to challenge Tosun for his place in the starting line-up at Goodison Park; Allardyce is confident of pushing through a deal for Arsenal's Theo Walcott, which could be completed by the end of the week.
"I think Everton badly need a new central defender to replace Jagielka and Williams and to build a relationship with Michael Keane. I think Alfie Mawson could be a good signing for Everton," Cottee wrote in his column for SportingBet.
"The club should also look for a proven striker who would be happy in a squad role, competing with Calvert-Lewin as back up for Cenk Tosun."
Tosun made his debut for Everton in their 4-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (13 January). The Turkey international was starved of service before being taken off on the hour mark, but he did show flashes of quality on the ball.
Cottee, who knows about the pressures of performing for Everton, is impressed by the 26-year-old's experience and exploits in the Champions League, but admits it's tough to know whether he will prove to be a success at Goodison Park.
"I'm looking forward to seeing Cenk Tosun play. £27m is a lot of money for Everton to spend on a striker so Tosun will be under pressure to hit the ground running and score goals from the start.
"He's got Champions League and international experience, scoring a lot of goals for Besiktas so I've got high hopes he will deliver for Everton.
"It's hard to predict because a lot of players have come into the Premier League with similar pedigree and flopped, so it's a case of fingers crossed."