Everton’s defence has been creaky for some time now, with a combination of older players somehow preserving the Blues’ Premier League status over the last couple of seasons. Now with Conor Coady gone back from his loan and the oft-injured Yerry Mina in Serie A, the Blues didn’t really address the centre-half position during the summer transfer window.
James Tarkowski played every minute of every season last season, but he’s not quite endowed with pace and with age catching up to him, he looked more than a bit mortal in the defeat against Wolves yesterday. Michael Keane started the first two games of the season, but after his horror show at Villa Park, he was benched yesterday for young prospect Jarrad Branthwaite who was possibly the Toffees’ best player in the loss to Wolves.
Mason Holgate has been sent to Southampton on loan and Ben Godfrey is the only back-up available at the centre-half position, which does not inspire confidence for what looks like it will be another relegation dogfight right until the last weekend again.
However, reports from Italy seem to indicate that the Blues are looking to insert themselves into the conversation between Wolves and Borussia Moenchengladbach for Switzerland international defender Nico Elvedi. The 26-year-old has been with Borussia since 2015 and is currently in the final year of his contract, though there is a performance-based option to extend built in.
A product of the FC Zurich youth system, he moved to the Bundesliga in the summer of 2015 for a paltry €4 million and has been a mainstay for the German side, featuring in 270 games for them, picking up a respectable 14 goals and 9 assists along the way.
Capped 47 times for the Swiss international teams, Elvedi has been linked with Sevilla and AS Roma earlier this summer, though Wolves are expected to make a move for him this week with funds to be made available to Gary O’Neill from the expected sale of Matheus Nunes to Manchester City before the transfer deadline.
Elvedi is a right-footed centrehalf who is comfortable on the ball and rarely ever commits needless fouls, picking up only six yellow cards over the last three seasons for Borussia.
The Blues haven’t been linked with too many defensive improvements this summer. but this is certainly what should be the first of those rumours as the transfer deadline approaches.