Everton have a glaring need at the left back position, and it’s visible to everyone. Incumbent Leighton Baines has been out for weeks now with a calf injury while backup right back Cuco Martina has stood in in a limited role in that time. In an area of need even before the beginning of this dastardly season, Brendan Galloway and Luke Garbutt appear to be the only other options.
Galloway has failed to make the match squad for weeks now at Sunderland, who sit right at the bottom of the Championship. Garbutt for his part has played a dozen games for the Everton Under-23s, but wasn’t deemed worthy of a squad number at the beginning of the season.
Meanwhile, in comments made a few days ago, manager Sam Allardyce appeared to say that the Blues would not be making any more signings with the targeted left backs all bearing very hefty price tags.
Odd statement indeed especially if we are trying to seal up that spot for the next few years and there is no JonJoe Kenny type player ready to step up from the youth squad.
Now bear in mind that this report is from the Mirror, not necessarily the bastion of accuracy with transfer rumours, but the same two clubs who were linked with Bristol City’s sensational left back Joe Bryan back in December are being mentioned again.
Everton are battling Newcastle and Brighton to sign Bristol City's highly-rated left-back Joe Bryan for £7million. Sam Allardyce very keen to sign a left-back this month. Newcastle also keen and are preparing a bid.— David Anderson (@MirrorAnderson) January 21, 2018
Just to remind you again, the 24-year-old Bristol-born Bryan has been with the Robins for nearly seven years, and has been a key part of their astounding run to the Carabao Cup semi finals having eliminated Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Stoke City and Watford FC on the way to their two-legged date with Manchester City.
Equally comfortable as both a left back and a wing back, Bryan has come into his own scoring four goals this season. With Bristol pushing for promotion to the Premier League, it is unlikely that they will let him go for just £7million, especially if Lee Johnson will look to bolster his side for the Premier League.
However, in Everton’s favour is the fact that the player’s contract expires at the end of next season and that could give the Blues some leverage in negotiations.