Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Some Quality Needed: Why Everton Are Right In Their Pursuit Of This All-Round Defender

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

Everton have shifted to 3rd gear in their overhaul under Ronald Koeman and with the signing of Morgan Schneiderlin kick starting their January business, it is quite apparent that the gaffer is looking to substantially overhaul the squad.

The squad he inherited from Roberto Martinez and players from under David Moyes have failed to form a uniform group which can consistently churn out wins. They have looked promising at times but have been pedestrian in most parts, which has stopped them from realising their actual potential.

The likes of Barkley and Mirallas have threatened to go to the next level but have been embroiled in levels of mediocrity season after season and the growing level of frustration amongst fans is palpable. Koeman is here to change all that and more and his start to life at the Goodison Park has shown that there is a good chance that he can be a success.

The likes of Barry, Jagielka, McCarthy and Gibson will be moving on in the near future along with a couple of more players in the coming summer window. He has already brought in Schneiderlin who is likely to form a long-term partnership with Idrissa Gueye in midfield. Cleverly has moved out on loan and is likely to be a permanent departure in the months to come

Southampton v Swansea City - Premier League

After a subtle change in his midfield, Koeman is now looking to bolster his defence and according to reports, Southampton centre-back Virgil Van Dijk is high on his wishlist. The manager wants to reunite with his countryman and it is a deal which has got Everton fans all worked up in excitement and anticipation.

They currently have Jagielka, Funes Mori and Williams as their recognised centre-backs. Jagielka, 34, is almost certain to move on this summer and with Funes Mori not convincingly wholly, a move for the highly-rated Van Dijk makes sense.

Van Dijk has been a rock at the back for the Saints and is reportedly on the radar of clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City. The supposed interest from such clubs makes it clear about the lad’s potential and his towering presence along with his impeccable tackling and positional sense makes him an enticing prospect for them.

Koeman has already celebrated a reunion with Schneiderlin and if bookmakers are to be believed, a move for Van Dijk is also looking likely. The transfer fee of £50m which has been doing the round will certainly be a hindrance but if the likes of Chelsea and City back out and concentrate on other targets, Koeman’s relation with Van Dijk will be an important factor in this transfer saga.

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