Friday, January 28, 2022

Everton Keeping Tabs On This Championship Defender: What Will He Add To Rafa’s Side?

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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 report, Football Scotland revealed that Everton are keeping tabs on Stoke City defender Harry Souttar. It has been revealed that both the Toffees and Spurs are monitoring the Australian centre-back’s progress at the bet365 Stadium.

Souttar’s Excellent Form In The Championship This Season

Souttar has been a standout performer in the EFL Championship this season as he has been responsible for producing several dominant displays at the centre of Stoke’s backline. The 22-year-old has made 11 appearances for the Potters so far in this campaign, scoring one goal in the process across multiple competitions.

The Aberdeen-born talent has been a rock at the back for Michael O’Neill’s side after he averaged 1.8 tackles, 2.1 interceptions and 6.0 clearances per 90 minutes in the EFL Championship. He has even been excellent when distributing possession from the back, based on his pass success rate of 83.8% in the English second division (stats via whoscored).

Souttar’s current deal at the bet365 Stadium runs out in the summer of 2025, so Everton will have to make a big offer if they are to convince the Potters to sell their prized asset this January or next summer.

Everton (Harry Souttar)
ICHIHARA, JAPAN – JULY 12: Harry Souttar of Australia looks on during the U-24 international friendly match between Australia and New Zealand at ZA Oripri Stadium on July 12, 2021 in Ichihara, Chiba, Japan. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/)
Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

What Will The Australian Defensive Ace Add To Rafael Benitez’s Side?

Souttar can use his robust 1.98m frame to overpower the opposition and win some important 50-50 aerial duels for his team. He can command his penalty area with authority and conviction. The Aberdeen-born sensation can time his challenges well to secure the ball back on the defensive end of the field. He doesn’t mind clearing his lines when in danger of being exposed at the back.

The Australian talent is an accurate passer of the ball as well which makes him a good fit for Rafael Benitez’s brand of football at Goodison Park. At 22, Souttar is only going to get better with each season, so the Toffees would be wise to make a move to lure him to the blue half of Merseyside in the future.

There is no doubt that the Stoke City star will bring some healthy competition for Yerry Mina, Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate at Everton over the next few years. He will also add some bite and steel to Rafael Benitez‘s backline as long as he can make a smooth transition to life in Premier League football.

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