Saturday, November 26, 2022

Everton In Pole Position To Land Serie A Winger This Summer: What Will He Add To Ancelotti’s Team?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Calciomercato, Everton are in the driver’s seat in the race to secure the signature of AS Roma wide player Cengiz Under but will face competition from Napoli and AC Milan in pursuit of the player this summer. The same source has also mentioned that the Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti is a big admirer of the Turkish winger whose €40m price-tag will have to be lowered by Roma in this off-season. It is believed that the Serie A club are also exploring the possibility of exchanging their prized asset for Everton flop Moise Kean (via Calciomercato).

Under’s Inconsistent Spell At The Italian Capital This Season

The 22-year-old has endured a frustrating season in the Serie A after failing to hit the heights of his performances from the previous campaign. He has participated in 20 matches for the Italian giants this term, finding the back of the net on three occasions across multiple competitions. Under has had his fair share of struggles to finish off decent goal-scoring opportunities in the final third, which explains why he has such a low goal-tally to show for his efforts.

The former Basaksehir playmaker has averaged 1.7 shots, 1.6 key passes and 1.9 dribbles in every 90 minutes of top-flight football this season (stats via whoscored). However, most of his good build-up work has not translated into any assists, which is a big worry for any of his potential suitors. So a summer switch to England could provide the Turkish starlet with a chance to rediscover his goal-scoring and creative touch in the opposition half. Under has also found it challenging to recover from a severe muscle injury which has hampered his progress in Italian football. The season coming to an unexpected halt as a result of the recent COVID-19 pandemic has also not helped his cause in making a successful return from injury.

To his credit, the ex-Altinordu youth player has a decent record at the international level after earning 20 senior caps for the Turkish national team while scoring six goals for his country in the process. As long as the Roma rising star can stay injury-free, he should have a decent shot to be named in Şenol Güneş’s squad for the UEFA European Championship finals which has been rescheduled to take place at the end of next season.

Cengiz Under of AS Roma kicks the ball during the Serie A match between AS Roma and SS Lazio at Stadio Olimpico on January 26, 2020, in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

What Will The Turkish Wing Wizard Add To Ancelotti’s Side?

Under can put his quickness and agility to good use when making runs in behind the opposition backline but is in dire need of being a bit more decisive in the final third of the pitch. He has a low centre of gravity that allows him to make clever turns and possesses excellent ball-control, which makes him a potent threat out on the wide areas. The Turkish international can also whip in some inviting balls into the opposition penalty box and is also not shy of unleashing a powerful shot from long range.

Under has all the makings to be a consistent goal-scorer and assist-maker in European football but for that to happen, he needs to build his confidence back up following a tough run with injuries this season. He will be a decent signing for the Toffees if they end up winning the chase to land him before the start of the new season. The Turkish speedster will not only add more pace and trickery to the Everton attack but also increase competition for places within their squad.

Ancelotti has currently got Theo Walcott, Bernard and Alex Iwobi as his wing options at the Merseyside club so he can benefit a lot by adding another wide player to his ranks this summer. Except for Richarlison, who has often been deployed as a secondary striker up top, none of the other playmakers at Ancelotti’s disposal has found any consistency as far as their productivity is concerned in the attacking half.

Under might not serve as the best option for the Goodison outfit at the moment as he is not reliable enough to produce the goods week in week out. But at least he still has age on his side and has the ceiling to become a household name in European football someday.

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