Everton have been linked off-and-on this summer with adding a right back, casting further doubt on the future of Jonjoe Kenny on Merseyside. Club captain Seamus Coleman is on his last legs and despite Kenny’s encouraging performances out on loan last season at Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga, it appears the powers that be at the Blues remain unconvinced that he is the fullback of the future they covet on the right.
While last season’s loan replacement Djibril Sidibe was adequate in defence and much more effective than Coleman in attack, even deputizing as right-sided midfielder on more than one occasion, the Blues chose not to make his transfer permanent over the summer, instead letting a reasonable £13 million buyout clause expire and allowing the 28-year-old France international to return to AS Monaco.
Last summer Everton had been rumoured to be watching Santiago Arias, the Colombian who Marcel Brands had signed while at PSV Eindhoven, from Atletico Madrid, but the move for Sidibe made that pointless. This summer again Arias has been linked with making the switch to the Premier League, but at 28 he’s no spring chicken either and at best remains a stopgap option.
However, out of nowhere yesterday Spanish media outlet Mundo Deportivo reported that the Blues had made a loan offer for Brazilian fullback Emerson Royal that had been declined by Barcelona. The 21-year-old - not to be confused with Chelsea’s 25-year-old also Brazilian left back Emerson - is on loan at Real Betis in La Liga until the summer of 2021, but is actually owned by Barcelona.
Betis had signed the player last summer from Atlético Mineiro with the aid of Barcelona who own his transfer rights - in a convoluted, somewhat-shady deal, the Catalan side paid €12 million for the fullback, and then were paid €6m by the Andalusians to loan him for two seasons. However, Barcelona retain the option to recall Emerson any time for their first team, or to sell him on should they see fit.
Barca are going through a major rebuild at this time and could use whatever cash they can get for their expensive band of misfits while Ronald Koeman tries to clear house, but it appears Everton’s ask of a two-year loan with a mandatory buyout clause at the end of the term for €20m was not adequate.
The Brazilian is said to be upset with the situation with Barcelona asking for €30m and the only other interest in the player coming from AC Milan, but the Italian side are not willing to pay that steep a price either, even though Emerson would prefer to go to the club that is in European competition.
Emerson recently made his Brazilian senior team debut last November, and remains much of an unproven quantity at this time, though he did put together a decent body of work last season with Betis scoring thrice and picking up six assists in 34 appearances. The lanky fullback is a raw talent still, and looks to be a long-term prospect that will need some work which could suit Everton just fine as Coleman still has two years on his current deal.
More to come on this one, we feel.