It’s been in the rumor mill for some time, and it looks like the Cuco Martina to Everton deal is nearing the finish line. The 27-year-old Curacao native represents a definite upgrade on Mason Holgate at right back, particularly in terms of getting forward down the flank and providing service to Everton’s forwards.
The Independent are reporting that a contract is nearly complete, so we can probably expect the player to be announced in the coming days, much like Bernardo Silva and Pablo Zabaleta were announced early by Manchester City and West Ham, respectively.
It remains unclear when Seamus Coleman will be fit enough to resume first team action. Martina will likely be expected to step into a starting role right away given his familiarity with Ronald Koeman, under whom he played at Southampton during the 2015-16 season.
The move will hopefully allow Holgate to resume playing at center back, where he is more comfortable, which in turn will open up first team opportunities for U23 player of the season Jonjoe Kenny, who is likely the long term successor to Coleman on the right side of Koeman’s defense.
Martina played youth football for Feyenoord in the Netherlands, and enjoyed a good spell at FC Twente prior to moving to St. Mary’s in 2015. In addition to right back, he can deputise at center back and center midfield in an emergency. He has experience in both the Premier League and Europa League.
While not the flashy kind of signing most fans will have hoped for to open the summer window, Cuco Martina is the type of depth player who will allow Everton to be more competitive across all four competitions they’ll be participating in next season.