This article forms part of our The Ones That Got Away feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern take a look back at players linked with moves in the past, and see how they would have made an impact had they signed for the interested side.
Marco Silva has stated that Everton will be looking into possible January signings to mend his ailing backline after failing to land a centre-half in the summer (Liverpool Echo), and has since been linked with numerous options, such as Athletic Bilbao’s Unai Nunez (Daily Mail).
A move for Nunez could set the Toffees back as much as £30million and go toe-to-toe with Arsenal, with both sides said to be contemplating moves for the European U21 Championship winner.
The Toffees could have saved themselves from the situation they now face, though, as Silva’s side were said to be tracking Gianluca Mancini ahead of this summer’s Euro U21 Championship (Mirror), after being left impressed by the Italian’s efforts in the Serie A last season.
Mancini featured in 30 league games for Atalanta in 2018/19, as he stepped out of the shadows to cement a role for himself after a bit-part role in the previous campaign (WhoScored), and spark interest from Inter Milan and AS Roma.
Everton ultimately focused their attentions on trying to turn Kurt Zouma’s loan spell from Chelsea into a permanent arrangement (BBC), while Roma snatched Mancini in a deal worth up to £20.7m (Reuters) with the defender moving to the Italian capital on an initial season-long loan deal.
Mancini, capped thrice by Italy’s senior squad, has been a regular of the Rome line-up this season, with six league outings from a possible seven, only sitting out the visit of his former side Atalanta to the Stadio Olimpico in September.
Among his 499 minutes of Italian top-flight action this term, Mancini has penned a higher tackle success rate than he achieved last season, with only one of his eleven attempted tackles failing to snatch possession in his side’s favour.
He is also recording a career-high rate of 3.3 clearances per ninety minutes and 4.4 successful aerial duels from 5.9 battles in the current campaign, as his career continues on an upward trajectory.
Mancini made his Italy debut as a makeshift right-back in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Liechtenstein in March, and was fielded there again against Bosnia & Herzegovina in June, but earned his first outing for Roberto Mancini’s Gil Azzurri in his natural position on Tuesday night in a 5-0 win away to Liechtenstein.
If Mancini’s career continues to thrive in the manner it is, as Roma look to build on their current fifth-place standing in the Serie A, then Everton will rue not making advances to sign the 23-year-old in a deal worth around £20m when they had the chance.
Everton fans, would you have taken Mancini for £20.7m? Let us know in the comments below…
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