After a slow start to the summer transfer window, things have taken off over the last fortnight or so at Everton. First Allan came through the door last week, then superstar James Rodriguez was announced last night, with Abdoulaye Doucoure expected to be unveiled at some point today.
However, the Everton side that finished in a lowly 12th spot last season still has more weaknesses to address and the Toffees are expected to continue being players in the transfer market even as Maarcel Brands attempts to offload a number of overpaid underperformers over the next month.
Right back and right wing remain areas of concern, while a veteran striker and a fourth centrehalf are also needs for the Blues, and to that end another name that has been linked with the Blues previously has popped up again.
Kurt Zouma of Chelsea had a good season at Goodison Park on loan in the 2018-19, but with the upheaval at his parent club last season, then new manager Frank Lampard chose to keep him in his squad as the Stamford Bridge side faced a transfer suspension that would not allow him to strengthen his squad. At the time, Chelsea Academy product Fikayo Tomori had been linked with a loan to Everton, but the powers that be chose to hang on to all their youngsters instead.
Everton have three established senior centre backs in Mason Holgate, Yerry Mina and Michael Keane but with accounting for injuries and what is promising to be a gruelling fixture schedule right off the bat in September, Carlo Ancelotti cannot be blamed for looking for more help.
Jarrad Branthwaite was a welcome surprise late last season and though he played well enough when pushed into first team duty, he still has a lot to learn and it would be to the Blues’ benefit to ensure he plays as many games as possible, likely on loan to a Championship side.
Similarly, Lewis Gibson has been widely considered as the best defending prospect for the Toffees and shined on loan at Fleetwood Town for the second half of last season, but needs to get more playing time under his belt before being considered ready to start at the Premier League level.
Canadian-born Tomori is just 22 and on contract with Chelsea until 2024, and has shown enough that they will be loath to sell him. Just on the basis of 2019-20 Premier League data and despite the smaller sample size, Tomori’s underlying numbers are quite impressive - in fact, he surpasses Mason Holgate who had a breakthrough season for the Blues last campaign. Granted the Everton player’s stats have been downgraded a bit by the horrendous lack of midfield cover in front of him last season, the point to remember here is that Tomori is a massive upgrade over Branthwaite and Gibson, by far.
Tomori had nearly 1,900 minutes last season for Chelsea in 22 appearances, scoring twice and even featured in four Champions League games as well as playing in the UEFA Super Cup and making his senior England debut as well in November. Chelsea have been loading up on weapons this summer mostly on the attacking front, but if they feel they want to send Tomori out on loan, Everton will certainly benefit from having a skilled, athletic backup to their somewhat fragile centerhalf corps.