Everton continued to showcase their improvement under Marco Silva this season with a convincing 3-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion which saw Richarlison steal the show once again.
The Brazilian boy wonder has been an absolute revelation since arriving at Goodison Park; in just nine appearances he has already managed to surpass his goal scoring tally from last season with six goals thus far.
It’s a phenomenal opening which has served to justify the Toffees decision to sign him for a whopping £40 million in the summer, and his performances have stolen the headlines in the blue half of Merseyside.
But it’s important to remember that Silva completed a handful of productive deals in the summer for players who have also made a big difference to the club, including Kurt Zouma.
Everton signed Zouma from Chelsea in a season-long loan deal which was hardly dubbed as a masterstroke signing after his struggle with Stoke City, but he has changed perceptions with his glowing start to life at Everton.
Zouma has established himself as a mainstay at the heart of Everton’s back four, but if he continues to perform at the consistently high level he has reached so far there is no doubt Maurizio Sarri will be eager to use him in Chelsea’s first-team next season.
With that in mind, Marcel Brands must begin his scouting mission for a new defender in the coming months in case he is unable or unwilling to secure a permanent deal for Zouma, and one man who should be on his radar is Medhi Benatia.
On paper that is an incredibly ambitious move, but a recent report from Italian media outlet Calciomercato suggests that the Toffees have a slim chance of signing him in the future.
According to the report, Benatia (valued at £20.7 million by Transfermarkt) is becoming frustrated with his lack of first-team opportunities and could be tempted by the prospect of a club who are willing to offer first-team football.
With just 4 starts under his belt this season and competition from the likes of Leonardo Bonucci and veteran Giorgio Chiellini standing in his way, it seems that the 6’3″ centre-back will be forced to contend with more of a bit-part role than he would ideally like with the Old Lady.
But considering his wealth of experience at the top level, suitability to the Premier League and wonderful defensive talent, there is no doubt that he would be one of the first names on the team-sheet at Everton.
The Toffees have already proven that they can attract talented players from prestigious clubs following the arrival of Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes and Bernard, so they should have every chance of securing a deal for Benatia if he remains dissatisfied with his role at Juventus at the end of the season.
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