Monday, August 8, 2022

Roma Identify This Everton Winger As A Priority Target: Should Ancelotti Retain His Services?

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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.

In a recent print edition, Il Tempo has stated that AS Roma have identified Everton winger Bernard as a priority target this month. However, it has been reported that the Toffees are reluctant to do business involving Bernard unless Robin Olsen is included in the deal following his impressive loan spell at Goodison Park thus far (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).

Bernard’s Increasing Struggles At Merseyside This Season

It has been a season of frustrations for the Brazilian playmaker as he has struggled to earn regular game time under Carlo Ancelotti’s stewardship. Bernard has been involved in ten matches for the Toffees this term, netting two goals and earning one assist on all fronts.

The 28-year-old has often found himself behind Richarlison, James Rodriguez and Alex Iwobi in the Everton pecking order. Hence, his all-round contributions have suffered because of his lack of game time this season. Bernard is averaging 0.8 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 0.7 clearances, 0.7 shots, 1.0 key passes and 1.0 dribbles per game in the Premier League. He has distributed possession relatively well in the opposition half after making 85.2% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

The Brazilian international is currently a sporadic feature in Ancelotti’s squad. Hence, he should seek a move elsewhere in search of more game time either on loan or permanently before the transfer window slams shut at the start of February.

Roma identify Everton's Bernard as a priority target (Bernard is seen in the picture)
Everton’s Brazilian striker Bernard celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north-west England on November 7, 2020. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP)

What Does The Brazilian Wing Wizard Bring To The Table?

Bernard can use his quickness and agility to make a few quick sprints out on the wide areas. He is always willing to take on the opposition defenders and beat them off the dribble using his trickery with the ball.

The Brazilian wide player can also be a tidy finisher inside the opponent’s penalty area and has got the eye to pick out a killer pass in the final third. He is primarily a left-winger but can also fill in on the right flank or play as an attacking midfielder in the number ten position. At 28, Bernard has still got plenty of football left in his locker to play at a high level.

Should The Toffees Retain Bernard’s Services Beyond This Month?

If Ancelotti is hoping that his players will go on a long run in the FA Cup, then he should think about retaining Bernard’s services until the end of this campaign as he has proven himself to be a valuable asset in his squad recently. However, if the Merseyside club receives a suitable offer from Roma (including Robin Olsen), then it might be too tempting for them to turn down. Either way, the Toffees would be better off keeping Bernard at Merseyside for the time being before deciding on his future next summer.

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