Everton have two serviceable right backs on the squad, but it’s increasingly looking like the Blues will sell Jonjoe Kenny if they find a buyer with the right valuation while veteran club captain Seamus Coleman remains on the roster for at least another season when his contract will expire.
The Blues had Djibril Sidibe in on loan last season while Kenny was away at Schalke 04, but passed on the opportunity to make that permanent. Now with the new season under a month away, Everton are being linked with Atlético Madrid right back Santiago Arias, a name that should be familiar by now for Blues.
The Daily Mail reported earlier today that Everton were in advanced talks to sign Arias who has been pushed to a backup role after Kieran Trippier joined Diego Simeone’s side last summer. Atleti have another talented right back on the books too in Sime Vrsaljko but the Croatia international has struggled to shake off serious injuries missing most of the calendar year 2019 with a knee surgery and then picking up another knock in June 2019 that saw him miss out the end of the season.
The Colombian fullback was actually signed by Everton’s Director of Football Marcel Brands in his previous role at PSV Eindhoven, and is very familiar with the player who appeared in 172 games in five years for PSV and went on to become the Eredivisie’s Player of the Year for the 2017-18 season. Arias featured in 18 games last season, picking up just the one assist while Trippier got the bulk of the starts playing in 33 games with five assists.
Arias at 28 is not a spring chicken, but with the Blues’ limited transfer kitty this summer, he could come at a reasonable cost for Everton. A limited term contract with fair wages much like was proposed for midfielder Allan might be the best way to go.
However, that is where the positives stop, unfortunately. Arias provides little upside over Coleman in either half of the pitch, and is certainly less of an attacking threat than Sidibe, who is the same age as him.
If the Blues needed someone to eat up minutes on the right playing decent defence while providing some offensive upside, then Sidibe appears to have been the better choice, and the Frenchman can play wide right midfielder as required too.
Everton’s search for a long term right back continues, but Arias appears to be a stop-gap option until the Blues have the transfer funds to find that player.