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Having finished 6th in the Premier League last season, Ronald Koeman’s blue army will be looking to make further strides in the following season. Having achieved Europa League qualification already, the next big target Everton will be focusing on is achieving Champions League football. But the task will be quite difficult to achieve with the kind of defence that the Toffees currently have in hand.
Ronald Koeman has done an admirable job with the Everton squad he acquired from previous manager, Roberto Martinez, but there are plenty of loopholes in the Everton backline that need to be sorted. Last season, Everton had the 6th best defence in the Premier League ahead of local rivals Liverpool and kept 13 clean sheets, conceding 44 goals in total.
Everton acquired the services of former Swansea City captain Ashley Williams last season to strengthen the defence, along with defensive midfielder Idrissa Gueye who was one of the standout players for the club last season. But with the addition of Europa League and the task of acquiring Champions League football next season, Everton need a lot more players in the backline to improve squad strength. Let’s take a look 3 defensive players Everton should look to sign this summer.
The 27-year-old Manchester United fullback enjoyed regular game time under Jose Mourinho, playing at left-back for the Red Devils last season. With 21 starts under his belt, Darmian showed good defensive and offensive quality on a consistent basis. The Italian is hardworking, dynamic and intelligent. His ability to play both as a full-back and a centre-back makes him an added bonus for Koeman. Most importantly, his professionalism and tactical awareness make him an attractive option for the Toffees.
The 22-year-old French defender suffered a massive blow last season when he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury against Manchester United. But the French international managed to recover from the horrific injury and made a couple of appearances for Chelsea towards the end of the season. Seeing that he is just 22 years old, Zouma has plenty of potential in him to become a top class centre-back going into the future. Chelsea are likely to consider a loan move for the Frenchman to gain regular game time. It’s a win-win situation for both clubs.
Plenty was expected from the 21-year-old when Manchester United signed him but after three seasons at Old Trafford, the England international has only managed 47 appearances across all competitions due to long term injuries he has suffered. But the young left-back has recovered well and is once again showing what he is worthy of. His decision-making ability and lightning quick speed make him a nightmare for the opposition; something which Everton badly need as the club’s senior left-back isn’t getting any faster.
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