Assessing Toffee Transfer Targets Benítez is Already Eyeing

Here we take a look at some of the players that Everton have already been linked with this summer and run the rule over which ones would be the best additions to an already tasty squad.

Gary McCarty 20/07/2021 0comments  |  Jump to last

When Rafa Benítez was announced as the Everton boss, it came as a surprise to many, with Liverpool and Everton fans not used to one of their own crossing the divide to play for or manage their rivals. This seems not to have bothered Benítez, though, who has simply stated that he loves the city and intends to do right by the Toffees.

Now, of course, the honorary scouser is after a group of players he can call his own and so there is more transfer speculation hovering around Goodison than there usually would be during a transfer window. Here we take a look at some of the players that Everton have already been linked with this summer and run the rule over which ones would be the best additions to an already tasty squad.

Lots of players should be drawn to Goodison Road by the arrival of a manager as experienced as Rafa Benítez

A Change of Direction

Before we sift through all the potential signings that Everton could make, it is important to first of all assess the direction that Benítez wishes to take the club as this will inform us about the sort of player he wants to work with.

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The biggest hint he has given so far is the cold shoulder that has been offered to James Rodriguez, a Colombian international who could be seen as a divisive, luxury player. It would seem that Benítez wants to do away with the days of the Toffees signing big name players who then go missing when things get tough, and Rodriguez has never truly settled at Goodison.

With Rodriguez’s days at Everton seemingly numbered, it is unlikely that expensive, budget-busting, big names will be on the menu when Rafa enters the transfer market.

Kalidou Koulibaly

He is a player who has been constantly linked with Everton, long before Benítez arrived on the scene, but it seems that someone at Everton is still desperate to see the Senegal midfield enforcer come to Goodison. Koulibaly certainly fits the Rafa model, having established himself as an essential cog in a Napoli team that will be hoping to rise up the Serie A betting lines this season.

Unfortunately for betting punters on Merseyside a deal for Koulibaly is still some way off, even though the player has a good relationship with Benítez after the Spaniard gave him his first big break when taking him from Genk to Napoli in 2014. That is because Napoli are keen to hang onto one of their most prized assets, with Everton unlikely to be able to muster the sort of cash it would take to prise him from Naples.

If Benítez somehow does pull off the transfer, and build the defence around Koulibaly, then Everton would quickly start being tipped as genuine betting contenders for the Champions League qualification spots.

Photo | Everton fans are already debating like crazy about which players would be best suited to life on the blue half of Merseyside

Denzel Dumfries

Everton have always been a club that has prided itself on having some of the best full backs in the world. Denzel Dumfries was one of the standout performers at Euro 2020, in a Dutch defence that otherwise looked woefully inept without the calming guidance of Virgil van Dijk.

With it only costing in the region of £13M to sign the PSV player, it seems like Benítez could be onto a winner with Dumfries.

Moise Kean

We know that strictly speaking this would not be a new signing for the Toffees but, seeing as Moise Kean has spent more time on loan than at Goodison during his stint at the club, his arrival back on Merseyside soil could be seen as something of a bonus signing.

It speaks volumes that PSG have been desperate to acquire his services in the long-term, despite the Parisians already having made a raft of signings this summer. It should be an exciting prospect to see Kean and Calvert-Lewin working in tandem, or at least competing to lead the Everton line.

Patrik Schick

Whenever a player scores the sort of goal that Patrik Schick did against Scotland at the Euros, club scouts and managers tend to sit up and take note. Everton’s head honchos are no different with the Czech forward having impressed while leading the line for a Czech team who were not exactly putting chances on a plate for him.

It would be hard to see exactly how he would slot into the current squad but would certainly add depth to a team that perennially struggles to maintain its form for the entirety of a Premier League campaign.

Andros Townsend

Picking up talented and experienced players on free transfers is the hallmark of any savvy manager, and the new gaffer appears to have carried off something of a coup in signing Andros Townsend on a free from Crystal Palace.

He was a constant thorn in the side of opposing teams last season and brings undoubted quality whether it is from his marauding runs down the wing or his deadly set-pieces. Certainly, the likes of Calvert-Lewin and Moise Keane will be licking their lips at the prospect of Townsend supplying them with deadly crosses and freekicks.

Clement Lenglet

As the financial plight of many topflight clubs around Europe continues to worsen, there are deals to be had in unexpected places. One such place is the Nou Camp, where Joan Laporta is balancing the books by slashing Messi’s salary as well as offloading players whose wage demands are too high.

One of those players is French centre back Clement Lenglet, whose experience at the highest levels of the game could come in handy for Benítez as he goes in search of a partner for Michael Keane. It is thought that Barcelona would be appeased with a bid of around £20M, which is not small change unless you are Man City or PSG.

It may well be that Benítez foregoes signing Lenglet as the purse strings continue to tighten at Goodison, especially if his wage demands do not come down substantially. That said, the player could be a significantly cheaper option than Koulibaly. 

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