Everton could make a move for Brentford centre-back Pontus Jansson in January, according to The Guardian‘s Ed Aarons.
Rafael Benitez is keen to strengthen his defence at the first opportunity after seeing his team concede 28 goals in their first 16 matches. Only Watford, Norwich City and Newcastle United have a poorer defensive record in the Premier League.
Everton already have Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate on their books as centre-back options, but Godfrey has had to move to full-back in recent games after Lucas Digne fell out with the manager, while Mina is struggling with injury.
Jansson’s £25,000-per-week contract is up at the end of the current campaign and his estimated market value has fallen to £4.5m (via Transfermarkt). Intriguingly, the Sweden international has been likened to a Bond ‘villain’ by his manager Thomas Frank, who also noted the 30-year-old’s “swagger and confidence“.
According to Aarons in The Guardian, Jansson is wanted by Everton when the transfer window opens in the new year. He has caught the eye with his ‘outstanding’ performances for the Bees, who are halfway to 40 points after just 16 matches in their first Premier League season.
Leicester City and Newcastle are also admirers of the Swede, and while Jansson’s contract situation theoretically puts Brentford in a weak position, they would most likely ask for a ‘hefty fee’ in January.
Could Jansson help to shore up Everton’s defence? His individual stats are solid but unspectacular, averaging 4.8 clearances and 1.4 interceptions per game while winning 58% of his ground duels and 51% of his aerial battles (via SofaScore). To add some context to those figures, Mina has won 79% of his duels overall.
However, it should also be noted that Jansson is the captain of Brentford, so maybe Benitez would value his leadership in the heart of the backline.
Would this be a smart move? It all depends on the extent to which the Bees intend to play hardball in January. Everton should only look to sign the 30-year-old on a cut-price deal considering his age and his performance stats in relation to current options at the club.
In other news, many Everton fans were buzzing over this news from the club
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