Why Faouzi Ghoulam would be a smart signing for Everton
Back in 2013, a report from the Express claimed Everton had scouted left-back Faouzi Ghoulam, who was then plying his trade for Saint-Etienne.
Faouzi Ghoulam, 28, joined Napoli from Saint-Etienne in 2014 and has played over 180 times for the Serie A outfit. The French-born Algerian defender hasn’t played much in the last two campaigns following a fractured knee cap he had suffered during the 2017/18.
A key player in Napoli’s rise as one of the top teams in Italian in recent years, Ghoulam is now fully fit and has played five times so far this season. That being said, Everton must rekindle their interest in the 28-year-old left-back when the transfer window reopens in a couple of months’ time.
Everton might have one of, if not the, best left-backs in the Premier League right now with Lucas Digne making the position his own since arriving at Goodison Park last summer following a frustrating two years on the Barcelona bench. Digne’s only real competition is Leighton Baines, who signed a one-year extension before the start of this season.
Once an England international, Baines is coming to the end of his career and will turn 35 in December. His contract will expire next summer, meaning that Everton are likely to find themselves short of cover at left-back ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
That will almost certainly mean that the Merseysiders need a defensive reinforcement on the left-hand side. Faouzi Ghoulam could be the ideal backup for Digne. The pair share a similar style of play and he has a very good track record as well, so snapping him up would be a smart piece of business for the Toffees.
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Blessed with good pace and power, Ghoulam is a tenacious tackler and excels with his sense of positioning and awareness at the back.
The Algerian international is a calm and composed defender, who also has the ability to contribute to the attack with his intelligent overlapping runs, link-up play and well-rounded passing and crossing attributes. He is a full-back who has the required attributes to thrive in the Premier League.
Ghoulam’s arrival would see Everton land a quality player with solid European experience. At 28, he is operating at the peak of his powers and he would fit in nicely at Goodison Park. All in all, the Algerian would definitely improve the Toffees’ defensive ranks.