Everton have their eye on Swansea City and Wales National Team defender Ashley Williams but have yet to make a bid, according to multiple reports.
Yesterday, The Mirror reported that Everton and Swansea had agreed to a £10 million deal. Today, The Liverpool Echo have confirmed the Blues interest in the center back, but say that no agreement is in place. Adding to that, The Daily Star are saying that the Merseyside club may face competition from Arsenal for Williams’ signature. So, this seems to be far from finished.
The signing of Swansea’s skipper would be significant for Everton, who look poised to lose John Stones to Manchester City any day now. Williams is a proven Premier League quality defender who would command respect in a locker room that, at times, seems to lack discipline. Not to mention the number of young Blues who could learn from him, including the likes of Brendon Galloway, Matthew Pennington and Jonjoe Kenny.
As you can see from the statistics above, Williams is more of hard-nosed, no nonsense defender. His number of clearances dwarfs that of Stones and he also goes in for more tackles than the young England man. If this rumor comes to fruition, fans would be hard-pressed to view the move as negative. It is an affordable and safe, albeit remarkably un-flashy signing.
That said, it does not seem that bringing in Williams would stop Everton from getting a younger and more expensive center back like the oft-rumored Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli. Williams and Phil Jagielka will turn 32 and 34 years old, respectively, in August. The only other senior center back the team has is Ramiro Funes Mori if Stones leaves. Mo Besic and Gareth Barry could both do a job back there, but in reality, the Toffees would need at least one more central defender to give them sufficient depth heading into the season.