Colombian radio station Caracol has recently revealed that Everton are set to launch a move for Atletico Madrid full-back Santiago Arias this summer. It is understood that the Medellin-born defender ‘seems destined’ to make a switch to the Premier League, but the Toffees will have to face fierce competition from Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers in pursuit of the player during this summer transfer period (via Caracol).
Arias’ Mounting Frustrations At The Spanish Capital
The 28-year-old experienced a lacklustre season at the Wanda Metropolitano and missed a few games over the past 12 months due to a groin injury. He was mostly a frustrated figure in Diego Simeone’s squad after picking up just one assist in 18 matches for the Spanish outfit in the previous campaign across all fronts.
At least, Arias found some consistency with his all-round contributions on the right side of the Atletico Madrid backline as he averaged 2.6 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 1.1 clearances and 0.8 key passes per game in La Liga last season. The Colombian sensation also completed 78.2% of his attempted passes in the top tier of Spain which goes to show how well he can distribute possession out from the back (stats via whoscored).
The former PSV Eindhoven right-back is in dire need of more first-team opportunities in the coming seasons. Carlo Ancelotti has the luxury to guarantee him a lot of playing minutes at Goodison Park which could tip the scales in Everton’s favour in the race to land Arias before the transfer window slams shut in October.
What Will The Colombian Full-Back Bring To Merseyside?
Arias has got sufficient pace in his locker to make some driving runs with the ball down the right flank. He is not afraid to turn on the afterburners when trying to beat the opposition out on the wide areas but has struggled to give a good account of himself in the Spanish top-flight last season.
The 53-time Colombian international is a strong defender at the back as he possesses the tenacity and hunger to win the ball back for his team. Arias can read the game well that allows him to ideally position himself so that he can make a few vital clearances inside his half.
When playing with confidence, the Atletico outcast can be a solid right-back because he is a tireless worker and doesn’t give up too easily even when he is outnumbered by the opponent on the defensive end of the field. However, his inability to secure regular game time at Madrid last season will be a significant cause for concern for Ancelotti as the player might struggle to adapt to his style of play at Goodison Park next season.
Even then, the Toffees should consider taking a calculated risk on Arias as they desperately need to strengthen their defensive department right now. Séamus Coleman is the only natural right-back in Ancelotti’s squad at the moment, which makes the Colombian’s acquisition a necessary one for the Merseyside outfit this summer.
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