Reported Everton transfer target Kalidou Koulibaly would be an ‘invaluable’ asset to the Toffees, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Leeds United, Coventry City and Middlesbrough striker was speaking to Football Insider amid claims from Italian transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano that a move to Merseyside ‘is a possibility’ for the 30-year-old.
90Min reported earlier in July that Rafael Benitez had identified the Senegal international as his primary centre-back target. Indeed, the Spaniard was in charge at the Serie A club when Koulibaly joined back in 2014.
Napoli have apparently slashed their asking price to £35m, having once demanded a fee in the region of £100m for the defender (via 90Min).
Whelan reckons that Koulibaly’s age may actually be a positive rather than a concern and urged the Toffees to make a move for him.
Any deal could be the joint-second-most expensive in the club’s history behind their £44.5m swoop for Gylfi Sigurdsson (via Transfermarkt).
Whelan told Football Insider: “Yes, he is 30 but there is still life in the old dog yet. He would bring so much experience to that backline and the younger players could learn a lot from him. It would be invaluable.
“If they could get that deal done, wow, that would be brilliant addition to their side. He would bring so much.”
Everton may instinctively hesitate to commit so much money to signing a player who may theoretically be nearing the end of his peak years.
However, Koulibaly doesn’t have any particularly serious injuries on his record, which suggests that he will be able to cope with the demands of Premier League football for a good few years yet, while he can provide the calming experience of 417 career club appearances.
Also, as Whelan suggests, bringing in a player of his Champions League-operating calibre could elevate Everton’s entire backline. There could be a certain aura surrounding him – daunting for attackers but reassuring for his team-mates.
In other news, many Everton fans were fuming over this image.
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