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Everton chasing star La Liga defender

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The Blues continue their search for a new starting center back.

Villarreal CF v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Everton are experiencing a harsh lesson in the squad depth required to compete at the Premier League level. Given the long term injuries to Seamus Coleman and Ramiro Funes Mori, Ronald Koeman finds himself having to give extended time to Mason Holgate, Matthew Pennington, and potentially even Jonjoe Kenny.

The search for defensive cover has been ongoing, with names like Michael Keane, Virgil van Dijk and Harry Maguire previously at the forefront. This time, the Blues are rumored to be after Villarreal’s leading center back Mateo Musacchio.

Musacchio, 26, is valued around €15 million, or about €3 million more than Everton paid for Funes Mori. The two are teammates on the national team, but it would have to be said that Musacchio comes with a significantly better domestic résumé.

Villarreal currently sit a surprise 5th in the La Liga table, having allowed just 23 goals on the season. That number is equal to Atletico Madrid's vaunted defense, in addition to being better than Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Sevilla. Musacchio has played in 25 of their matches, and proved an integral piece in the Yellow Submarine's good season.

There is the complicated matter of acquiring a work permit in England, though. Due to an injury, the Argentinian has missed out on quite a few caps for his national side, and may not qualify under the parameters set for South American players to ply their trade in England. However, if push came to shove, Everton could take the case to the compensation committee, akin to what Liverpool did to secure the eligibility of Marko Grujic.

It remains likely that Everton would prefer Keane given his age and homegrown status, but Musacchio may be an excellent plan B. An accomplished player, the Argentine would likely slot immediately into the lineup next to Ashley Williams, with Funes Mori being the first option off the bench.

Poll

Which of these defenders should Everton buy?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Michael Keane
    (145 votes)
  • 17%
    Mateo Musacchio
    (33 votes)
  • 4%
    Harry Maguire
    (9 votes)
187 votes total Vote Now