The Toffees only just escaped relegation last term, but a former club stalwart is tipping them to end the season with a trophy win
Ex-Everton forward Yakubu Aiyegbeni has hailed Carlo Ancelotti’s men as the best Everton side in recent years and is convinced his former club has the potential to gate-crash the Premier League top six.
Aiyegbeni starred for Everton between 2007 and 2011 when manager David Moyes held sway, contributing 45 goals (33 goals and 12 assists) in 107 games across all competitions.
‘The Yak’ helped the Toffees finished in the EPL top six in two of his three full seasons at Goodison Park (he spent a year on loan at Leicester City), but he has watched the club wobble in recent times.
Everton finished 13th last term, having spent a large chunk of the campaign hovering around the relegation zone.
The Merseyside side has not made it into the top six since the 2013/14 season, but Aiyegbeni expects to buck that trend under their current Italian manager.
“This is the best Everton team they have had in years,” Yakubu told the Mirror.
“Top four will be difficult, but top six or get into Europe and win a trophy. They can definitely do that this season.
“The club is massive, the passion of the fans is there, and they have been suffering for too long. David Moyes did a great job, but they didn’t have too much money back then, and now Carlo is a top manager, and they are backing him.”
Aiyegbeni has fond memories of playing alongside countryman Joseph Yobo at Everton, and he has kind words for Arsenal’s manager Mikel Arteta.
“Everton was such a good time for me – Phil Neville, Tim Cahill, Mikel Arteta, Joseph Yobo, we almost had too many leaders in the team! Phil Neville has done well, I think Tim Cahill will become a top, top manager like Mikel.”
Super Eagles star Alex Iwobi has continued the tradition of a Nigerian international playing for the Toffees, which also previously had the iconic Daniel Amokachi on their payroll.