Another source has named Everton as a possible destination for Barcelona centre-back Clement Lenglet this summer.
Spanish media outlet Sport claimed (via Sport Witness) that the Toffees are in the frame for the Frenchman’s signature.
Transfer journalist Ekrem Konur reported earlier in July that Everton and West Ham were ‘in talks’ over a loan deal for the defender.
Lenglet started 29 La Liga matches for Barcelona last season, averaging 1.8 successful aerial duels, two clearances, 1.1 tackles and one interception per match (via WhoScored).
Perhaps the 26-year-old’s biggest strength is his passing. In 2020/21, he completed 69.7 passes per game at an accuracy of 92.1%. For context, that beats every Everton player who started a Premier League game last season.
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has been asked about the criticism Lenglet has received and urged him not to take it ‘too personally’. The Dutchman insists that the Frenchman is a ‘very serious-minded player’ and an ‘excellent professional’.
Sport identified Everton and West Ham as prospective suitors but added that Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma are also in the frame [via Sport Witness].
Regarding the type of deal which would be struck, it’s said that ‘everything is open’. Lenglet could leave the Camp Nou permanently or just on loan.
The player’s preference is to stay put in Catalunya, but if he were to leave, he would favour the Premier League.
Everton ought to avoid this deal. They are right to look for a top centre-back who could improve their defence, but despite his impressing passing metrics, Lenglet doesn’t fit that bill. Instead, he could probably benefit from playing alongside one.
The 26-year-old’s seasonal WhoScored rating of 6.59 for 2020/21 was inferior to Everton defenders Michael Keane, Yerry Mina, Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate, so it’s difficult to feel that the Barcelona man would be an upgrade on what Rafael Benitez already has at Finch Farm.
But why take the risk? Kalidou Koulibaly could be available for around £35m, and that looks a far more sensible solution, albeit a short-term one. Everton may have to sell players first, but that’s what may be needed if they are to bring in the targets who would genuinely strengthen their playing personnel.
In other news, these Everton fans fumed as a midfield target emerged.
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