Sunday, December 4, 2022

Everton Inching Closer Towards Sealing Summer Move For French Defender: Right Fit For Ancelotti?

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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 Sport, Everton are close to agreeing on a €20m fee which could rise to €25m (based on add-ons) for Barcelona centre-back Jean Clair Todibo, who is currently playing on loan at Schalke. It is believed that the Bundesliga side has the option to sign the player permanently for €25m (via Sport). However, the same source has also mentioned that the financial impact of the recent COVID-19 pandemic will prevent the German side from paying such a fee for the talented Frenchman, which could open the door for the Toffees to seal a move for him this summer.

Todibo’s Slow But Steady Rise In European Football

The 20-year-old has struggled to hit the ground running at the Nou Camp since joining the Catalan outfit from Toulouse at the start of 2019. He went on to make five senior appearances for Barca before they decided to ship him out on a six-month loan to Schalke back in January.

The France Under-20 international has featured in seven matches for the German outfit this term across all competitions. He has averaged 2.0 tackles, 2.2 interceptions and 4.2 clearances per game in the five Bundesliga matches he has been a part of this season, which highlights his growing influence at the heart of David Wagner’s defence (stats via whoscored).

Todibo has also represented France at the U-20 level but is still waiting to secure his first cap for Didier Deschamps’ senior side. So making a switch to the Premier League could provide him with a bigger platform to showcase his talents and catch the attention of the Les Bleus boss in the coming years.

Bayern Munich’s Dutch forward Joshua Zirkzee (R) and Schalke’s French defender Jean-Clair Todibo vie for the ball during the German Cup (DFB Pokal) quarter-final football match Schalke 04 v FC Bayern Munich in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany on March 3, 2020. (Photo by SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

What Are The French Youngster’s Best Attributes?

Todibo can use his pace and power to make some important recovering runs inside his own half and is not shy of getting stuck in with a few tackles to win the ball back for his team. He can read the danger quickly that allows him to make some vital last-gasp clearances when his side is left exposed at the back. The French starlet can also dominate his own penalty area using his upper-body strength to outmuscle the opposition in the air.

Is Todibo The Right Fit For The Toffees?

Todibo’s ceiling is sky-high and so Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti could be the perfect manager to get the best out of him in the coming seasons. The Toffees need to add more depth to their squad if they are to build a strong team capable of competing with the Premier League’s big spenders over the next few years. Therefore, it makes sense for them to recruit a defender of Todibo’s potential as he will not only add more bite and steel to Ancelotti’s backline but also increase competition for the likes of Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate at Goodison Park.

The French youngster is far from a finished product, but he could do a job for the Toffees in the cup competitions which will help the club challenge for multiple trophies in the years to come. With all things considered, Todibo will be a decent fit for the Merseyside outfit if Ancelotti can find a way to bring him to the north-west of England in this off-season.

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