3 Ways Carlo Ancelotti Could Fit New Midfield Trio Into His Everton Lineup

09 September 2020 10:50

Carlo Ancelotti's presence is already being felt at Everton, with the club signing three midfielders this summer.two of whom have played under the Italian in the last few years.

Abdoulaye Doucoure is the odd one out, joining from Watford, while Allan has made the switch from Napoli to be reunited with Ancelotti after less than a year apart.

The one that caught many by surprise, though, was the signing of James Rodriguez from Real Madrid. Despite struggling in recent seasons, the Colombian still has the skillset to be one of the world's best attacking midfielders, and was keen to be managed again by the man who brought him to Madrid.

Will all three new signings play together? Which systems fit them all in? Here's a look at ways Ancelotti can get his new signings into the same lineup.

1. Allan - Doucoure - James [4-3-3]

This is perhaps the most basic system at Ancelotti's disposal to fit all three midfield signings into the same starting lineup.

During his time in the Premier League as a Watford player, Doucoure has shown he can be a powerful presence in midfield. The Frenchman can play either as a defensive, central or attacking midfielder due to his strong defensive and offensive traits.

This is similar to Allan, who is also well-suited to playing in a middle trio due to his ability to win and progress possession. This means either he or Doucoure could play as a typical 'anchor' who will primarily look to protect the defence.

That would allow the other midfielder to occupy a typical 'central midfielder' position and, due to their versatility, this is a role which would also suit either man.

That leaves James to slot into the midfield trio and offer his creativity for the likes of Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin to feed off.

Although the Colombian typically is a more advanced player, utilising his ability to create chances for others from deeper positions could be just as effective.

2. Allan - Doucoure (James Attacking Midfielder) [4-2-3-1]

This is perhaps the most likely scenario of the three. Playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation would see a midfield duo of Doucoure and Allan, which, on paper, could be pretty exciting.

Whilst both players have similar attributes, their defensive and attacking work-rates could see a strong partnership form between the pair. Doucoure has already proven himself in the Premier League, so his presence will give Allan some protection in a midfield duo.

As for James, a 4-2-3-1 formation allows him to occupy space behind the striker, in a more advanced position than he would be if playing in a midfield trio.

Ancelotti would want his best players in the most threatening positions, and there's no doubting James is a star name in the Everton squad.

If the Colombian can replicate the goalscoring form he found when he first moved to Spain under Ancelotti, playing behind a striker would see him get similar opportunities in front of goal. Perhaps even more effective though? His balls into strikers when roaming between the lines.

3. Gbamin - Doucoure - Allan - James [4-1-2-1-2]

This is definitely the most ambitious option, but one for Ancelotti if he's feeling a little adventurous.

Everton's 2019 summer signing, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, has suffered from two big injuries during his first season in England.

The midfielder missed 26 games last season due to a hamstring injury, and ruptured an achilles tendon in May.

When Gbamin is available for selection, playing him at the base of a diamond could offer exciting opportunities. Doucoure and Allan can offer protection by playing slightly ahead of him, with James playing at the tip of the diamond behind two strikers.

That being said, Gbamin's most likely out until 2021. So.wait and see?

Source: 90min