Part of being a big club is being linked with everyone of consequence being hunted on the transfer market. Everton is now experiencing this sensation as they’ve been linked at one time or another with want-aways at clubs ranging from West Ham United to Juventus. For some players, they are portrayed as the great escape from a small club who can’t get to Europe; for others, they are the resurrection of a career or the stepping out from behind a shadow cast at larger clubs.
Occasionally, it’s a club of similar stature with fewer resources, and moneyed places like Everton are able to trigger release clauses and increase wages, and that’s the case with Iñigo Martínez. Real Sociedad is a fine club from the Basque region of Spain, they’ve played in Europe and battled against some of the best teams on the continent. But the defender’s release clause is only about €30m Euros which would mark a record departure for Sociedad. It’s a lot of money for a team that’s never paid more than €12m for anyone.
An unnamed English club is willing to trigger Real Sociedad defender Iñigo Martínez's €30m (£26.9m) release clause. (AS) pic.twitter.com/xHQKf2zfre— Transfer Swoop (@SwoopTransfer) July 31, 2017
Martinez is a wonderful defender, he really checks all the boxes, and as the top end of the Premier League swirls around him Everton will inevitably be linked. But I would encourage Toffee fans to not fall in love here. We’ve already paid out big money for a centerback this summer, Inigo wouldn’t solve the issue of cover for Leighton Baines, and Ashley Williams is still a starting caliber defender.
The 26-year-old signed a new five year contract at the beginning of last season, and has picked up fifteen goals and five assists in 193 La Liga games. Martinez also had 20 youth international appearances, and four senior caps too.
Things for Everton still need to be sorted in the front, with creators and finishers being the main aim. While Martinez going to a rival would be less than ideal, buying another center half is just too low on the priority list for as large a sum as this would be.