Thursday, February 2, 2023

Everton Close To Signing This Stoke Midfielder: A Good Move From Ronald Koeman?

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Sourav Bhakat
An ardent sports lover who loves to sleep, eat and watch Manchester City play. In that order.

After the solid and thoroughly unspectacular lengthy reign of David Moyes (which had its own charm and achievements) the who’s who over at Goodison Park decided to go with the articulate and perennially underachieving Spaniard Roberto Martinez. The Spaniard, who is known for his attractive style of football going forward, could never really build a team and employ a setup without the defensive loopholes that yielded entertainment for the neutrals but not so much for the club’s supporters.

Having admitted the otherwise low-profile advocate of tiki-taka did not work out for them, Everton with new Iranian billionaire Farhad Moshiri at the helm swiftly moved to announce Ronald Koeman as the man to take them to new heights.

Koeman has been widely appreciated for the work he has put in at Southampton. The mid-table club was in danger of losing its identity after Pochettino left for Spurs but the Dutchman managed to hold the fort at St. Mary’s. Evertonians will be looking at something similar as he looks to bring about a change in mindset and his attractive footballing philosophy to the Goodison Park.

With reports of Farhad Moshiri sanctioning a £100m transfer kitty, there were expected to be a raft of changes immediately. But while all the talk has been of Stones and Lukaku being linked with other clubs, few players have been reported to be heading the other way.

arnautovic 1 getty

But Everton have finally swung into action with a deal said to be close for Austrian international Marko Arnautovic. The Stoke attacker has a year left on his contract and according to reports, talks between the player and the club have broken down leaving the door ajar for an exit.

The stylish attacking midfielder’s playing style has been likened to that of Ibrahimović early on, but he has managed to carve out an identity after consistently impressing in the Premier League. At times, he has carried the attacking responsibilities single-handedly on his shoulders. He predominantly plays on the left wing and likes to cut inside. His partnership with Leighton Baines down the left will be particularly interesting to watch with the captain looking to have an injury free season.

Arnautovic has scored 19 times and further assisted 26 goals in his time at Stoke City, after having made the move from Werder Bremen.  His attacking flair will come as welcome respite to Everton, who have been solely reliant on Lukaku to provide them goals, with the likes of Barkley and Deulofeu failing to provide any semblance of consistency.

At a quoted release clause of £12.5m, the Stoke man who impressed at the Euros looks to be a steal and Everton will look to kick-start their transfer activity with this canny piece of business.

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