Everton have been getting precious little positive play from the wings lately for a team that relies so heavily on them, so it’s no surprise at all that the Blues continue to get linked with wide players as the January transfer window approaches.
While the source is as dubious as they come, Italian outlet CalcioMercato is reporting that Broussia Moenchengladbach forward Thorgan Hazard is being keenly watched by Everton and that the player might be interested as well.
There’s a lot to unpack there. Thorgan is the brother of Chelsea star Eden Hazard, and used to belong to the Stamford Bridge side until they sold him to Gladbach in 2015. His current deal expires in 2020. Rumours of a buyback clause for Chelsea appear to be unfounded, and Thorgan has stated clearly that he wouldn’t like to be club teammates with his brother Eden either.
The Toffees have enjoyed some good luck and relationships in the past with Belgian players, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas and Marouance Fellaini having all played at Goodison Park in the past. The Blues have also enjoyed the fruits of Chelsea’s profligate mismanagement of youth players, having plucked Lukaku from their ranks and shooting him into the ranks of the top strikers in the world.
Thorgan Hazard, Gladbach 17-18 pic.twitter.com/XOyuzyR657— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) February 8, 2018
The younger Hazard is comfortable playing on either wing but is at his best on the left. His radar (from the first half of last season) shows an attacking talent that matches what Richarlison has done for the Blues, with the player comfortable with the ball and showing an eye for goal as well.
He featured in 37 games last season for Gladbach, scoring 11 times and picking up 9 assists and that led to a World Cup call-up for the player. He has 19 senior caps with 3 goals for the national side, along with over 16 goals in over 50 youth internationals.
Thorgan has been on fire this season, already matching his goalscoring total from last season in just 14 games, and driving Gladbach up to second in the Bundesliga four points behind Borussia Dortmund.
Speaking of Richarlison, and taking into consideration that the Bundesliga is ‘easier’ than the Premier League, a stats comparison shows Thorgan doing quite well in his role.
With Theo Walcott fading fast and Bernard showing that he is best used in a limited role, Thorgan Hazard could be a potentially lethal addition to Marco Silva’s Everton.
PS - A previous version of this article stated that Everton sold Davy Klaassen to Borussia Moenchengladbach, not Werder Bremen. This error has now been corrected.