Things can only get Beto?

Everton expert view banner
Everton expert view banner

Shamoon Hafez, BBC Sport

On paper, it looked like a comfortable start to the season for Everton - home games against Fulham and Wolves, plus trips to Aston Villa and newly promoted Sheffield United.

But a desperately poor opening period has seen Sean Dyche's side pick up only one point and score just the solitary goal in those four games.

Now it does not get any easier, hosting title-chasing Arsenal on Sunday.

But the Toffees can take some comfort knowing they beat the Gunners 1-0 in Dyche's first game in charge in February.

There are also green shoots of optimism following the performances of summer signing Beto, who joined for £25m from Udinese.

The 6ft 4in Portuguese frontman scored on his debut in the victory at Doncaster Rovers in the Carabao Cup, and followed that up with another impressive showing at Bramall Lane.

Everton now have a striker who they can play the ball into his feet, as well as using his pace to run into the channels.

Such was his impact, the 25-year-old completed six dribbles against the Blades, more than any other Premier League player has managed this season.

Dyche told BBC Sport after the game: “Yes he is raw, but he wants to do it and he has demands on himself. He wants to get fitter and sharper in the sense of the Premier League, because all European leagues are different.

"He has come in with a smile on his face and wants to work."

With a takeover by Miami-based investment firm 777 Partners also close, are things starting to look up for Everton?