Why Everton should move for Ricardo Rodriguez as cover for Lucas Digne
According to claims from Swiss newspaper Blick, as cited by Liverpool Echo, Everton have been linked with a move for Swiss international left-back Ricardo Rodriguez, who is currently out of favour at AC Milan.
The 27-year-old has been forced to play second-fiddle to big-money summer arrival from Real Madrid, Theo Hernandez, and with the report claiming that his days at the San Siro are numbered, Everton have emerged as one of the potential suitors for the experienced left-back. (h/t Liverpool Echo)
Milan have pulled the trigger on Marco Giampaolo after 3 wins and 4 losses in their first 7 Serie A games but Rodriguez’s situation is unlikely to improve following the appointment of new manager Stefano Pioli, with Hernandez clearly the first-choice in that position.
Rodriguez carved out a massive reputation for himself as one of the best offensive-minded full-backs in the German Bundesliga over the course of his stay at Wolfsburg.
The Swiss international came through the door at San Siro in 2017 with an eye-watering record of 22 goals and 28 assists in 184 appearances for the German outfit but he hasn’t really lived up to the hype over the past couple of seasons.
Meanwhile, Everton are expected to dip into the transfer market during the mid-season trading period to bolster their defensive options, with the departure of Phil Jagielka and Kurt Zouma in the summer leaving a gaping hole at the back.
Everton’s defensive woes have been well-documented in what has been a poor start to the season for the Toffees under Marco Silva, who is currently the odds-on bookmaker’s favourite to face the sack at Goodison Park.
With the centre-back pairing of Yerry Mina and Michael Keane struggling for form in the opening quarter of the campaign and young Mason Holgate the only feasible back-up, it is not difficult to see as to why Silva has failed to put forward a formidable defensive unit.
To that end, a new centre-back continues to be a top priority for Silva, or whoever is in charge, but adding a new left-back to the ranks in January would also make a lot of sense for the Toffees.
Lucas Digne has proven himself to be an inspired addition to the squad following his move from Barcelona last summer but with Leighton Baines in the twilight of his career, Everton might as well start looking for a replacement sooner rather than later.
To put things into perspective, Everton completing a swoop for Ricardo Rodriguez who definitely be a massive coup and a step that clearly underlines their top-six ambitions moving forward.
The 27-year-old is still very much in his prime and it will be interesting to see him compete with Digne for the first-choice role at Goodison Park.
An accomplished defender in Europe with plenty of experience under his belt, the 68-cap Swiss international is not only a robust presence at the back but he is also well-known for his ability to deliver accurate crosses with his magical left foot.
Rodriguez is more than capable of making a big impact on both ends of the pitch and he certainly has the CV to come through the door at Goodison Park as a marquee signing.
The Swiss stalwart has plied his trade in the Bundesliga and the Serie A and it shouldn’t be a big problem for him to make the jump to the Premier League at the ripe age of 27.
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The 27-year-old’s arrival could put a question mark on the future of Digne but Everton need to ensure tough competition for places in all departments if they are really serious about pushing on and breaking the top-six lock.
With that in mind, Everton should go all out in their pursuit of Ricardo Rodriguez if Milan do put him up for sale in January.