Friday, January 27, 2023

Everton Closing In On Ligue 1 Dazzler: Why It Could Be A Brilliant Move

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

Everton’s start to the Ronald Koeman era has been pretty decent but there is a significant room for improvement. However, the Dutch manager is still new at Goodison Park and it is not an overnight process to transform a team who finished in the bottom half in the last couple of seasons to a top six side in English football.

The Toffees look much improved when compared to the last two campaigns which clearly states that they are on the right track.

The summer transfer window was quite a letdown for Everton. With billionaire owner Farhad Moshiri’s financial backing and Koeman’s stewardship, we expected the Merseyside Blues to make a big statement with their signings this summer but it was not the most exciting in terms of marquee signings. However, that only means that an eventful winter transfer window can be expected.

A player who was on the radar of Everton throughout the summer was Rachid Ghezzal and reports claim that the Toffees are still monitoring the situation of the Lyon winger. The Algerian winger is on the last year of his contract with the French giants and is not being played regularly.

Keeping that in mind, there is very little chance that the 24-year-old will renew his contract at Olympique Lyonnais and Everton could very well take an advantage of the situation and grab his signature on a bargain this winter.

Lyon's French Algerian midfielder Rachid Ghezzal (L) vies with Saint-Etienne's French defender Kevin Malcuit (R) during the French L1 football match Olympique Lyonnais against AS Saint-Etienne on October 2, 2016, at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Decines-Charpieu near Lyon, southeastern France. / AFP / PHILIPPE DESMAZES (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)

Ghezzal is much different to the current set of Everton wingers. Bolasie and Mirallas are right now the first-choice at Goodison Park and Ghezzal, technically, is much superior to both of them.

The likes of Lennon and Deulofeu are already struggling for opportunities under Koeman which is a case of quality rather than the performance of the first team starters and that means Everton will try everything in their power to get more quality out wide and Ghezzal is certainly one who can provide that.

Ghezzal is not like modern day wingers who only cuts in from wider areas and tends to shoot. He is a brilliant crosser from either flank and can create a deadly partnership with Romelu Lukaku who excels in the air.

Even though Ghezzal has only started two games this season and made five appearances from the bench, he has attempted 1.3 crosses every game while playing 1.6 key passes. His figures are highly impressive despite having minimal time on the pitch.

A product of the youth academy of Lyon, Ghezzal boasts plenty of experience of playing for a major club which will be beneficial for the Toffees. With his contract expiring next summer, Lyon are likely to see him depart on a lesser amount. Everton must use this opportunity of getting a player of Ghezzal’s calibre on a bargain.

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