If a recent report from Gazzetta dello Sport (as cited by Tuttomercatoweb) is believed to be true, Everton want Takehiro Tomiyasu to bolster their backline. But they are not alone in the hunt for the Japanese defender with Bayer Leverkusen also keeping close tabs on his progress at Bologna.
The 22-year-old youngster was roped in from Sint-Truidense a couple of summers ago. The Serie A side paid €9m to secure his services and have set a valuation of €20m for his potential suitors. A bid of around €15m from Inter Milan got rejected previously and the Emilia-Romagna outfit have every reason to demand the quoted figure prior to the upcoming campaign.
Predominantly a centre-half, Tomiyasu is equally comfortable as a right fullback. He fired in a couple of goals while featuring from the right and the flexibility he offers would provide more depth as well as quality in the Toffees’ backline.
Crisis At The Back
The persistent injury problem of skipper Lucas Digne is a worrying sign, whereas Jonjoe Kenny (currently on loan to Celtic) seems not to be in the manager’s plan with his contract set to expire next year. Mason Holgate has done well as a makeshift right-back, but the form and fitness woes of Yerry Mina often leaves the gaffer with Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey as the only available central defensive options.
Why Everton Must Secure A Deal
Everton want Takehiro Tomiyasu to resolve this crisis as they are expecting more games next term with European football knocking at the door. Although the current form is a bit alarming, a final push might even see them securing a ‘top four’ finish. While the team is working on attaining their season goals, the management is identifying summer targets to close the gap further with the traditional ‘big six’ of the league.
The Japan international has made 28 appearances this season across competitions (stats via Transfermarket) and impressed overall with his aerial supremacy (3.1 duels won per game, as claimed by Whoscored) along with blocking, timely tackles and interceptions. He loves to dribble and make overlapping runs while operating from the wide, however, his crossing and passing game must improve to meet the demand of English football.
Having said that, Tomiyasu has shown enough traits already to flourish in the forthcoming future and the careful guidance of Ancelotti would make him a better player overall if a transfer takes place during the summer window.