Big international tournament reaction buys happen to every big club. Sometimes, you get Toni Kroos, sometimes you get Renato Sanches. Everton have been linked by multiple outlets in Spain to Russian World Cup star Denis Cheryshev.
Cheryshev is a youth product of Real Madrid’s La Fabrica but unfortunately first gained notoriety because noted Liverpool associate Rafa Benitez was stupid enough to field him ineligibly and thereby see Los Blancos go out of the Copa del Rey to tiny Cadiz. It was a humiliating moment for Real and a perfect example of why hiring former Reds is bad.
When the World Cup started, Cheryshev was not a starter for Russia. I’ll repeat that: he did not begin the tournament as a starter for Russia. Russia had a good run in the tournament but they weren’t exactly loaded in midfield, so this is disconcerting. He was not a regular starter for Villarreal last season, despite having pretty good predictive numbers when he was on the pitch.
Glancing at these radars, the bold performance from the World Cup (in black) seems to be the result of running hot in a small sample size, while his La Liga radar isn’t terrible, and particularly highlights an attacking player who is efficient with the opportunities given to him, which is exactly what you want from a substitute.
The trouble here is that the numbers being tossed around for Cheryshev is about £18m. Villareal is a good team, and Cheryshev is a talented player, but Villareal doesn’t have a single backup worth £18m. He’s a hard working player and having him as depth wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world but the price has to come down for this to be a good idea.