COMMENT By Matt Farr
Everton’s defence has been reduced to the bare bones in recent weeks, after losing Seamus Coleman and Ramiro Funes Mori to long-term injuries.
Coleman suffered a horrific double leg-break whilst playing for Republic of Ireland during the international break, while Funes Mori picked up a knee injury with Argentina.
The club’s depleted resources has forced manager Ronald Koeman to recall veteran Phil Jagielka to the starting line up, as well as youngsters Matthew Pennington and Mason Holgate.
However, even before their devastating injury setback, Everton should have been readying themselves to enter the transfer market for a new defender in the summer window. There’ll be no doubt about that now, though.
A perfect target could be Manchester United outcast Daley Blind. The 27-year-old has fallen out-of-favour at Old Trafford this season, and could be permitted to leave the club as part of a major squad overhaul.
Perhaps the biggest attraction towards Blind is his versatility. He can play as a left full-back, a central defender or as a defensive-midfielder, which would be perfect for their current injury predicament.
Meanwhile, defensive trio Jagielka, Leighton Baines and Ashley Williams are all over the age of 30, so Blind could also inherit a role in either position as a long-term successor, not just as injury cover.
The same goes for veteran Gareth Barry in the midfield.
Blind is also a regular Holland international, which should also be to the liking of Everton’s Dutch boss. He has made 44 senior appearances, and was a starring figure during the 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil.
The former Ajax man could be available this summer for a reasonable price, as he will have just one year left to run on his current deal in Manchester at the end of the season.
But money is not likely to be any object for Koeman and Everton this summer, though a bargain deal would be a bonus.
In other Everton transfer news, ex-Toffees manager Roberto Martinez has revealed the club broke established rules to sign this player.