It appears Everton are very close to signing a new Director of Football to replace Steve Walsh.
The Mirror have been right on top of the news linking PSV Eindhoven sporting director Marcel Brands to the position at Everton from the outset, and now it appears the move is coming close to fruition.
As posted by Everton fan @Barry1878 on Twitter, the excerpt in the Sunday Mirror (April 22nd edition, Page 64) quotes Brands as saying he is ready to move on. Following PSV’s third Eredivisie title win during his tenure last weekend, Brands had initially stated that it would be difficult for him to leave, but it appears now that the switch is ready to happen.
“Saying goodbye to the people at this club will be the hardest thing for me.
“But it is correct. The first contact with Everton goes back to 2016.
“I have said no to beautiful clubs in Germany and I am with the best club in the Netherlands.
“Phillip has developed as a manager, But it is better for PSV that he is still the manager ere next season.”
The latter reference there to Phillip Cocu is interesting since he had been mentioned this week as a possible replacement for Sam Allardyce.
What will be of interest to Everton fans in that piece are the references to two players that have been previously linked with the Blues as well.
Hirving Lozano was a key member of PSV’s title-winning squad, and has been linked to the Blues as recently as earlier this season. The Mexico international plays as a wide forward and had a scintillating season out on the left scoring 18 goals and picking up 11 assists in 32 games.
The 22-year-old would be an automatic starter out on the left in a 4-3-3 formation, especially given Yannick Bolasie’s struggles since returning from over a year out with a knee injury.
Hirving Lozano, PSV 17-18. Has made a huge impact in Eredivisie since moving from Mexico. pic.twitter.com/im0zOtjzem— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) December 29, 2017
The other name mentioned in the piece is one that was discussed earlier this week - arguably the best player in the Eredivisie this season, Ajax Amsterdam’s Hakim Ziyech. The 25-year-old Moroccan playmaker will also be going to the World Cup like Lozano above, and has sparkled for most of the Dutch season as Ajax’ chief creator, doing his best work in the half spaces.
He appears to occupy the same area as Gylfi Sigurdsson in the middle, but possesses similar creativity and would require some imagination on the part of a manager to see how the two could play together in the middle of the park for the Blues.
If all mentioned in the report is true, then we could be in for a tumultuous few weeks to close out what has been an utterly frustrating and ultimately futile season.