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Who is this young midfielder Everton are being linked with?

Blues close to sealing the deal for Argentine youngster

Estudiantes v River Plate - Superliga 2018/19 Photo by Gustavo Garello/Jam Media/Getty Images

There has been chatter over the last few weeks that Everton have been watching young Argentine midfielder Santiago Sosa, with those rumours now heating up that the Blues have come to an agreement with River Plate over a transfer fee.

Argentinian outlet Olé are reporting that the deal is completed for the 20-year-old, with just a work permit to sort out now for the youngster, with a transfer fee of £13 million being mentioned.

Sosa plays the defensive midfield position for River Plate, but is blessed with good vision and constantly seeks to advance the ball whenever in possesion, and helps the defence out by making himself available to receive the ball whenever he can. For a more detailed scouting report, check out the excellent El Pivote blog for more on the starlet.

His reading of the game is excellent as he positions himself to intercept the ball at a high rate. Wins a good proportion of his tackles, Sosa has excellent timing and awareness in that regard.

Noted football analyst Tim Vickery, who lives in Brazil as the BBC’s South American football correspondent had this to say about the player.

“He’s playing at the moment for Argentina in the U20 World Cup in Poland. Sosa is a holding midfielder, better at picking a pass than the defensive side of his game.

”He’s got a little bit of old-fashioned swagger. In the old days in Argentina, that No 5 was the boss of the team, the man who played the vital first pass out of defence.

”But the thing with him is it’s so early. He’s only played a handful of games for River Plate, when they’ve fielded an under-strength side, so if Everton buy him now, to go straight into the first team would be a massive step up.

”He’s one for the long term and looks promising. He would worry me a little bit with his lack of pace for the defensive side of his duties, but he’s certainly an interesting player with the ball at his feet.”

As Everton have previously discovered with Henry Onyekuru, obtaining a work permit is not the easiest of matters and will likely face the same challenges as they did with the Nigerian forward.

The Blues tried using the “exceptional talent” argument to try and convince the authorities to grant Onyekuru a Governing Body Endorsement and failed, and likely will have to do the same again for Sosa.

The current work permit application rules state that a player must score four points or more from a set of strict criteria, all of which can be found below.

Now a player who scores points for one of the aspects listed in Part A cannot score for the same in Part B, for example on transfer fees, so with a transfer fee of £13m and weekly wages of £50,000, the best case is that he’d still get just two points.

Sosa only has four appearances with the River Plate senior side in the Primera Division, and though he has played nine times for the Argentine Under-20 side, he has not featured in the senior squad either.

The player was reportedly scouted by Everton Director of Football Marcel Brands during the U-20 Copa America earlier in the year, a tournament that Richarlison used some years ago to make his arrival known.

The Toffees plans for Sosa will not be known until June 11th when the FIFA Transfer Matching System goes live and international transfers can be ratified by the game’s governing body.