Everton are set to embark upon a fresh chapter under the managerial tutelage of Ronald Koeman backed by the financial muscle of Iranian billionaire Farhad Moshiri. Despite the admission of Moshiri that huge investments would be injected into the club, the Toffees haven’t really had the luxury of notable incomings. Maarten Stekelenburg, bought for a paltry sum, was the only instance when the fans had the opportunity to clap their hands but without offering a lip service.
After linked to a dozen of players, is the impending marquee singing finally around the corner? If the reports are to be believed, Everton are leading the race to sign Zenit St Petersburg’s renowned midfielder Alex Witsel for a fee that is rumoured to be in the vicinity of £25 million. The 27-year-old is a prized asset at Zenit and to lure him to the Goodison Park, Everton are ready to splash the cash needed to make him the highest earner at the Merseyside. But does he fit the bill and deserves the hype that is garnered around him?
The Belgian international had a decent Euro, creating seven chances, bagging a goal and was instrumental in carrying the ball up the field with his immaculate passes doing a fair bit of damage to the opposition. He was one of the top performers in the Russian Premier League last season and it is not surprising to see top clubs across Europe to queue up for him. Witsel is a central midfielder of top quality attributes including knocking opponents off their movements, doesn’t refrain from putting on a tough physical fight, rarely loses the ball, distributes the ball around and more than anything else, he is a leader on the pitch; something Koeman desperately needs at Everton.
Moreover, he comes with a wealth of experience from his tenure at the leagues in Belgium, Portugal and Russia and works exceptionally hard in the side to turn the tides in favour of the side he plies his trade for. He is a proven material and with the accolades he has won in the various league, the winning mentality is what he will instil at Everton. Frankly, his tough attitude won’t make the animosity of Premier League too difficult for him.
Acquisition of Witsel can very well be the signal of intent from the Everton camp after a disastrous spell under Roberto Martinez. Owing to the fact that the league is getting stauncher with every passing day, Everton need an impetus to build a formidable side and Witsel can be the foundation for the same. If the Toffees pull this deal, it would be a galvanising move for good for a side that desperately needs to get back on track.
(Statistics Credits: Squawka)