Currently just five points away from a Champions League spot with a game in hand on fourth-placed West Ham, Everton's progression since Carlo Ancelotti took charge at the tail-end of 2019 has been as steady as it has impressive.
Regardless of how the Toffees finish the season, barring a complete capitulation of results, there will be plenty of interest in how the Goodison Park club look to take their squad to another level for 2021/22 during the next transfer window.
And it seems some plans are already in place, with Sky Sports reporting that Everton are very interested in signing Norwich City defender Max Aarons - viewing him as a protégé for the ageing Seamus Coleman.
The 21-year-old seems destined to ply his trade at a higher level: joint-majority shareholder Delia Smith has already admitted as much and in addition to Everton's interest, Sky Sports mention Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Roma as admirers.
They also claim Barcelona made a January bid for the right-back, who the Canaries value at between £30m-£35m.
GIVEMESPORT's Christy Malyan says...
For a couple of key reasons, Aarons looks like an ideal signing for Everton.
First and foremost, it addresses one of the glaring deficiencies in Ancelotti's squad - the limited quality and depth in the No.2 position.
Coleman has struggled for both fitness and form this season, on-loan Jonjoe Kenny isn't in the first-team picture whatsoever and despite making a combined 10 appearances at right-back, Mason Holgate and Ben Godfrey are fundamentally centre-halves.
It's not hard to envisage Aarons moving to Merseyside and by the end of his debut season establishing himself as Everton's first choice right-back.
Secondly, it's crucial that Everton maintain a balance to their transfer policy and don't simply continue to recruit big names like James Rodriguez, Lucas Digne and Yerry Mina who are ultimately taking a step down in moving to Goodison.
Just as they did last summer with Abdoulaye Doucoure and Godfrey, they need to offset the high-profile additions with players who'll have to bring their individual games to a higher level to be a success at Everton.
Aarons falls into that category and at 21 years of age, even a £35m fee could be a sound long-term investment.News Now - Sport News