Croatia has many talented footballers. In fact, they have some of the very best in the world. Names like Modric, Kovacic, Mandzukic, and Rakitic come to mind. Everton even has their own Croatian sensation in Nikola “Pickles” Vlasic. But now they have been linked with another Croatian player and this one is a very bad idea.
Domagoj Vida (first of all, never buy a Croatian player whose name doesn’t end in ‘ic”, just ask Liverpool about Dejan Lovren) is a defender on the Croatian national team and also for Dynamo Kyiv in the Ukrainian Premier League. Extreme Bayer Leverkusen enthusiasts may remember his one substitute appearance back in 2011.
He’s 28 years old and frankly he has found his level. His level is clearly not the English Premier League (nor Serie A, for that matter) but the Croatian news source 24Sata is reporting interest shown by Everton and AC Milan.
In four Europa League contests this season, Vida has completed 76% of his tackles, and is a strong passer completing 80% of his passes and 92% of his long balls attempted (in somewhat limited attempts). He’s not a bad defender at all, but he’s a bad fit for Everton for two primary reasons.
First, as a 28 year old with no experience in a top four league, it’s inconceivable that this is a switch he’s going to be able to make fluidly. Second, he has basically no experience playing left back, and if we’re going to take a flyer on a defender who is going to be a reserve anyway, he really ought to be able to provide cover for Leighton Baines.
Some rumors are intriguing but unlikely, others are bizarre and a terrible idea, and this notion falls in the latter.