UPDATE: 6:10am EST / 11:10am BST
Paul Joyce confirms Martina will be joining Everton this weekend.
Cuco Martina to arrive at Everton this weekend. Cover across defence. Free transfer from Southampton.— paul joyce (@_pauljoyce) July 12, 2017
Cuco Martina has left Curaçao's Gold Cup team to fly to Merseyside and likely complete his transfer to Everton, as reported by Edson Evertsz who writes for Deporte Awe in Curaçao. The player captained his side to a 2-0 loss against Jamaica on Sunday night in the United States.
Football site The Football Faithful had earlier claimed that Martina flew in from the Netherlands in late May to hold talks with Everton about signing on. The Curacao international is currently out of contract and would be a free transfer.
Everton had apparently made a bid for the player back in August 2016, but Southampton rejected the £1.25m offer as they wanted to hold on to the player for backup. He went on to feature in twenty games last season for the Saints, including five Europa League games.
British media had linked the Blues with a move for Martina then, with the Toffees lack of depth in the right-back position exposed by Seamus Coleman’s leg break. Mason Holgate failed to impress being played out of position, and youngster Jonjoe Kenny, who is away with the England Under-20 World Cup team, not getting enough chances to play.
Koeman had initially signed the player from Dutch club Jong Twente during his time at Southampton. Bringing Martina in to cover for Kenny right now makes sense. The youngster is not ready to be playing Premier League, domestic cup football and European football all in one season. Not in his first year in the senior team.
Signing Martina will help to mitigate that by giving Koeman much needed back up at right back and the option to rotate in the position as required. It will also give Kenny competition for his place, something all youngsters need if they are to thrive in the first team setup.