Monday, December 5, 2022

Everton Face Stiff Competition In Pursuit Of ‘Low Priority’ Target: Should Ancelotti Step Up His Efforts?

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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 Goal.com, Everton will face fierce competition from AS Roma, Napoli and Brighton & Hove Albion in pursuit of Sassuolo wing wizard Jeremie Boga this summer. However, the same source has also reported that the Ivorian wide player, who is likely to part ways with the Italian club this summer, is a ‘low priority’ target for the Toffees at the moment. It is understood that Chelsea also hold a €15m buy-back option which could further scupper Carlo Ancelotti’s chances of landing Boga during the summer transfer window (via Goal.com).

Boga’s Impressive Season In The Italian First Division

Boga has enjoyed a fantastic season at the MAPEI Stadium after establishing himself as a regular feature in Roberto De Zerbi’s first-team. He has appeared in 25 matches for the Italian outfit this term, scoring eight goals and grabbing four assists in all competitions which sheds light on just how much he has matured as a winger over the past nine months.

The 23-year-old has found a level of consistency with his performances as well after averaging 1.9 shots, 1.0 key passes and 4.4 dribbles in every 90 minutes of football in the Serie A this season (stats via whoscored). His incredible contributions have made him a favourite among the Sassuolo fans and also explains why so many top clubs, including the Toffees are showing interest in recruiting him this summer.

Boga has represented the France Under-19 team in seven matches but has decided to play for Ivory Coast at the senior level. He made his debut for his country back in 2017 when he came off the bench to feature against Guinea in a crucial African Cup of Nations qualifier. If the talented playmaker can continue to perform at such a high level, then he will stand a good chance of being selected in the Ivory Coast squad for next year’s African Cup of Nations after the competition got delayed because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeremie Boga of Sassuolo celebrates after scoring his team’s fourth goal during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and AS Roma at Mapei Stadium – Città del Tricolore on February 01, 2020 in Reggio nell’Emilia, Italy. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

What Does The Ivorian Wing Wizard Offer On The Pitch?

Boga boasts decent pace and is agile enough to complete some lung-bursting dribbles down the left flank. He also packs a lot of venom with his shots and has established himself as a consistent performer in the Serie A. The Ivorian has scored and created his fair share of goals this season and is only getting better with each year. He hardly gives away the ball after completing 86.1% of his attempted passes in the Italian top tier this term (stats via whoscored).

Should The Toffees Step Up Their Efforts To Land Boga This Summer?

The Merseyside outfit are in dire need of adding more depth to their squad if they are to compete with the Premier League’s big spenders in the coming seasons. Boga has all the attributes required to be a success story at Goodison Park if Ancelotti can find a way to lure him to the north-west of England ahead of the new season. He will not only add more goals and creativity to the Toffees frontline but also increase competition for places within their squad.

The Ivorian star will provide some healthy competition for the likes of Richarlison, Bernard, Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi in the race to secure a regular starting berth at Merseyside. Plus, he will also offer Ancelotti the freedom to tweak his formations, team sheets and tactics more often, which is a bonus that could help Everton cope with fixture congestion better in the years to come. With all things considered, the Toffees should step up their pursuit of Boga this summer as he has the potential to become a future star under Ancelotti’s expert stewardship.

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