Thursday, September 29, 2022

Everton Still Keen On Barcelona’s Belgian Defender: Why He Could Be Their Saviour?

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Anirban Sarkar
Anirban Sarkar is a former columnist of The 4th Official. A huge East Bengal fan and has travelled over 1000 miles to see his team in action.

This season was supposed to be the breakthrough season for Everton but instead, it has been an immense headache for Ronald Koeman. The Toffees boss oversaw a squad overhaul as they welcomed a number of top-class players like of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Michael Keane and Davy Klaassen but results aren’t shaping the right way.

The Toffees are currently sitting in 16th position and as it seems, they will have to fight a very stringent battle. Koeman has to use the January transfer window and according to reports, the Merseyside club are one of the favourites to land Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen.

The 31-year-old had a torrid time at the Camp Nou as he battled with injuries during his entire stint in Sapin. The defence has caused a lot of problems for Koeman and despite the arrival of Keane, the gaffer has been looking for reinforcements.

Keane didn’t have the expected start and has been struggling to fit in. Phil Jagielka has passed his prime while Ashley Williams has been pretty poor with his decision making. So looking at the current scenario, Vermaelen is looking the perfect player for the Toffees. The Belgian has a contract till 2019 but it is very unlikely he will be at the club that long.

He was known for his no-nonsense defending during his time with Arsenal and his performances convinced the Barcelona hierarchy to go for him.

Barring his injury aspect, he seems to have the fighting spirit in him still and his experience in the Premier League could prove to be handy. Koeman is short of options in defence and bringing the Belgian international would be of much help for him. The Big Belgian is currently not in the contention at the Nou Camp and has gone frustrated over his lack of playing time. With World Cup coming ahead, he needs to carry on playing.

The defender was at Roma on loan last season but returned to the Nou Camp this season. He recently made his point clear he wanted to leave the club as soon as possible.

“The club told me I couldn’t leave, I had to stay despite the future of various clubs.

“Now I am not playing, so I am in a difficult situation. I can’t play with Barça B, where I could get some form because the Spanish legislation doesn’t allow it. It’s a regrettable situation.”

Everton might come with a better offer for the defender in January to lure him away from the Spanish giants. but can he solve their problems?

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