Everton supporters have been pretty upbeat in the Transfer Tavern during the current international break after seeing their team enter the fortnight’s interruption off the back of just their second away Premier League victory of the season.
Sam Allardyce’s men went into their most recent league clash with Stoke City having won just one of their previous 15 league games on the road, a run which saw them pick up a paltry eight points along the way. Nonetheless, the Toffees finally got that second success away from Goodison Park last weekend as a Cenk Tosun brace either side of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s equaliser sealed all three points for the Merseysiders, thus moving them to the 40-point mark and 12 points clear of the division’s relegation zone.
As such, there have been many thrilled Evertonians in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are sincerely hoping that their club’s win at the bet365 Stadium can instigate a fine run of form to end the season, and thus build some much-needed momentum ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Toffees fans to get their teeth into, not least recent reports linking their team with a move for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling.
And while the England international would be a useful addition at Goodison Park, Allardyce’s side must opt against the 28-year-old, and instead land his club and international teammate Phil Jones instead.
Ultimately, like Smalling, 26-year-old Jones could be headed out of Old Trafford this summer, with reports recently detailing that manager Jose Mourinho is set to axe nine first team stars come the close season, with the England ace one of those potentially in the firing line.
Yet Jones has often performed well for the Red Devils this term when called upon, having started in 21 of their 30 Premier League matches this season, to the point that he was being tipped by many to be a starter for England in the World Cup in Russia this summer.
However, the 26-year-old has appeared in just one of their last five league games to suggest that he is falling down the pecking order at Old Trafford, but he has shown enough during the course of the campaign to suggest that he’d be an ideal signing for Allardyce’s Everton.
Clearly, the Toffees have struggled defensively this season having shipped 50 goals in their 31 league matches, which is higher than the vast majority of sides around them in the table.
And with Ashley Williams struggling for form and Michael Keane just about beginning to find his best football, it’s clear that the centre-back department could do with being bolstered this summer, especially with Williams 33 and club captain Phil Jagielka to turn 36 later this year.
And that’s where Jones comes in.
Arguably, the 26-year-old is a better centre-half than United teammate Smalling, especially with the ball at his feet, with Jones often looking to take the initiative by bringing the ball out of defence and seeking to launch attacks.
But the defensive side of his game is also very strong, and being two years younger than Smalling would provide a more long-term solution to Everton’s backline struggles, especially with it widely regarded that the Toffees defensive ranks are ageing and in need of reinforcements.
So why Smalling would be a useful addition, the Merseysiders should instead seek to lure £16.2 million-rated United teammate Jones (as per Transfermarkt) to Goodison Park this summer.
Everton fans… what do you think? Let us know!