Jamie Carragher: Everton must strengthen this area in January
By Dominic Toner
Jamie Carragher believes that Everton need to improve their defensive options in January.
Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka are the club’s first-choice centre-backs and have formed a decent partnership this season.
The Toffees have conceded 15 goals in 13 Premier League games and are currently seventh-placed in the Premier League.
Maarten Stekelenburg has emerged as their number one goalkeeper and has kept three clean sheets in 14 appearances across all competitions
Ex-Liverpool defender Carragher believes that Everton need to add some younger options to their defence, with all three players aged over 30.
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“Maarten Stekelenburg, their goalkeeper, is not good enough for the top of the Premier League,” Carragher wrote in the Mail. “Then there is the central defensive partnership of Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams, two men who have had superb careers in the top flight.
“But, trust me, if you are over 30 as a central defender you do not want your partner to be over 30 as well. You want a younger man alongside to help with the running and provide pace. This issue must be addressed in January or next summer.”
Williams, 32, moved to Goodison Park in the summer from Swansea to replace John Stones, who completed a £47.5million move to Manchester City.
The Wales captain has settled well at Everton and is trying to replicate his impressive form from the European Championships.
Defender Jagielka remains a regular in the starting XI and has made 335 appearances for the club.
The 34-year-old remains a dedicated player on the pitch, but has lost a crucial yard of pace.
Stekelenburg, 34, has emerged as the club’s regular goalkeeper this season and has edged out team-mate Joel Robles.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman is expected to guide the club to a European place this season after his summer move from Southampton and may need to address his defensive issue in the next transfer window.
In other Everton news, a Sky Sports pundit has delivered a scathing verdict on the club.