Sam Allardyce: We know where we need to strengthen in January, just not who

Sam Allardyce says Everton know just where they need to sign players in the January transfer window but just not who, yet.

The new Blues boss wants to sign players who could make a “real impact” on the rest of the season, with defensive reinforcements at the top of his list and a new striker not too far down the line.

Allardyce said it’s “about getting the right players” and making sure when the first player the club signs during the January window is “critical.”

The Blues’ timing when it comes to timing has been suspect for a number of years, often signing targets just too late when they could have had a more immediate impact if signed sooner.

Former boss Ronald Koeman expressed his displeasure last year when Everton seemed to stumble over agreeing terms with Manchester United for Morgan Schneiderlin.

That kept going into the summer where the club acted quickly to sign top targets such as Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane but they reverted to type later in the window.

The 63-year-old boss is keen to show his recruitment prowess with his first January signing as it shows the fans that is club is “going in the right direction” when it comes to recruitment.

Signing the right players is “absolutely critical” because if not, then “the fans don't trust” the manager and neither does the board and at the point, according to Allardyce, a manager is “knackered then.”

Finding a left-back

The new Blues boss will hold talks with Everton Director of Football Steve Walsh and chief scout Martyn Glover about who to sign over the next few weeks, with a backup left-back expected to be the key target.

Finding depth behind Leighton Baines has been an issue for the Toffees for a number of years and it seems as if Allardyce wants to set that straight with his first move as Everton boss.

Cuco Martina has filled when Baines has been out with injury but is limited in what he can offer down the left-hand side. Luke Garbutt, now 24, was not registered for the Premier League squad list by Koeman.

Crystal Palace left-back Patrick Van Aanholt, an Allardyce favourite from his time with the Eagles and Sunderland, is likely to be touted as a possible target.