Everton have been a busy club in the summer transfer window, like other clubs in the league, trying to acquire all the additions they can to improve the squad after successfully luring Ronald Koeman from the St Mary’s in the summer. However, they were dealt a big blow when Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City managed to acquire the services of John Stones, a star for the Merseyside outfit in the previous season for a hefty price this summer.
The former Southampton manager is not new to losing good players to bigger and richer sides in the league and has already started re-building his team ahead of the next season. He has acquired the services of Swansea midfielder Ashley Williams but is still looking at additions to strengthen his back line. And it is now reported that the manager is looking at Sunderland’s Lamine Kone to add to his squad.
The 27-year old centre-back started his career in France and played for a host of teams before moving to the Premier League in the January transfer window. He was impressive in his performance late in the season under Sam Allardyce who helped the Black Cats out of relegation and played a big role for the side in the game against Manchester City on Saturday in the first game of the new season.
He was solid against the likes of Sergio Aguero and David Silva dominating in the air and commanding his penalty area. He is a strong centre-half who is not afraid of the physical aspect of the game and is also a more than decent dribbler. His passing is also commendable for a defender while his threat from set-pieces was demonstrated in Sunderland’s victory over Manchester United in February.
He will fit into Koeman’s style of play and will add depth to the defense for the Blues who will be hoping to challenge for a place in Europe this year. Ronald Koeman played a 3-5-2 system in the game against Tottenham Hotspur and managed to keep the likes of Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen at bay for most of the game. The manager used Phil Jagielka in the middle of his back three with Funes Mori on one side and young Mason Holgate on the other, who were both impressive. But the manager wants enough depth in his squad going into the next season to cover all contingencies. They will want a player who can cement a place in the starting XI and command the back line and Kone is a candidate who will fill all the categories.
The only problem for Everton has been Sunderland’s hard balling as new manager David Moyes is not ready to let the 27-year old leave unless he finds a replacement. It is reported that the former Manchester United boss is now demanding close to £20m to secure his signing. It is understood that Everton are still interested in their man but spending on another center back with the likes of Williams already waiting in the squad has raised some eyebrows.
The inflation in the current transfer market along with the amount of time the player has in his contract has pushed the price up. But if the manager wants to regularly use a three-at-the-back system, he will definitely need to sign another centre-back going into the next season. Kone’s experience in the game and in his time in the Premier League in the second half of the last season may help him turn into a top class defender for Everton and because he has such a potential, even at his price, especially in today’s market, he is a decent acquisition. Do you think Everton should pay such a high price for Lamine Kone this summer?