Everton’s need for a right winger continues to turn up all kinds of names, from young potential stars to failed players who’ve missed their opportunity at the big time. The latest name the rumour mill has spit out unfortunately is one of the latter with Sky Sports yesterday linking the Toffees with Belgian international Yannick Carrasco.
The enduring memory I have of Carrasco is him running back post with James Rodriguez (I believe) marking him in the Madrid Derby Champions League Final of 2016 to score a crucial equalizer. He had arrived from AS Monaco on a pretty sizable fee and had produced a... let’s say middling, first season at the club, with five goals and five assists in 43 appearances. In that moment it felt like he was finally going to break through and produce. He had a very solid campaign the next year (14 goals, 5 assists, 53 games) but then the wheels came off and by 2018 he found himself playing in the Chinese Super League for Dalian Yifang under Rafael Benitez.
Now, far be it from me to be overly critical of leagues heavily influenced by oppressive Communist regimes, but I don’t think very highly of the the quality of play in that particular league at this time. The 24 goals and 12 assists the player has logged in two years there are not enough to turn my head and make me think that he is an outstanding game changer that we absolutely need. But let’s analyze the ideal scenario for Carrasco were he to come to Everton.
The image above is a basic statistical profile of his best season at Atleti. As you can see, he’s not really a creator but there may be a decent finisher in there somewhere. He’s not particularly involved in buildup play, though it is worth noting he is an incredibly active dribbler, and the season in question he averaged 5.8 attempts per90 though he completed less than half of them. For those who watch a lot of Premier League football, think 2016-2017 Theo Walcott at Arsenal with about twice as much dribbling. If that doesn’t excite you then neither should Yannick Carrasco.
Keep in mind this is Carrasco at his best. He was significantly worse the next season at Atletico and he’s been playing in a low talent league since. I get that he played out wide in a 4-4-2 and if Carlo Ancelotti is going to run that system here we need talent for those wide areas, but I just don’t think a 26 year old who hasn’t been at his best in three years is the right way to go on that front.
He has been a bit of a utility player for Roberto Martinez at international level, with six goals and nine assists in 41 appearances (27 starts) for Belgium since making his debut in 2015. The majority of those games have been out on the left though he is comfortable on the ball with both feet and would fit the need for the Blues on the right.