Everton have failed in their attempt to complete a shock move for Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien and will now try to beat the transfer clock to sign Blackburn’s Steven N’Zonzi.
David Moyes wants to increase his defensive midfielder options and having been spurned by Chelsea now wants the unsettled French U21 who is also being targetted by Fulham, Stoke and Norwich.
It is thought that the Everton boss is willing to take the defensive midfielder on loan if both parties cannot agree a suitable fee, with Liverpool Echo reporter Greg O’Keefe reporting that Rovers asking price is currently too high.
Despite the departures of Tim Cahill and Jack Rodwell, Moyes has previously not attempted to strengthen the middle of the park. However, with Marouane Fellaini adopting a more advanced position that leaves Darron Gibson as the only defensively minded midfielder, with Phil Neville and Johnny Heitinga in reserve.
While the Essien move seems like a none starter, he would have offered more than N’Zonzi. He is past his brilliant best, but he would still have been a good addition and his big game experience, big club experience and winning mentality would surely have been an asset to Everton.
But if this transfer window has proved anything it’s that Moyes is looking for younger, long term signings. At 23 N’Zonzi is in that mould and while he may not capture the imagination of Everton fans he could be a good edition as a squad player.
The tough tackling Frenchman, one hailed as the new Patrick Viera, would provide the defensive protection that will allow the Toffees attacking talents to prosper. But there is more to his game, he is technically sound and has a good footballing brain.
But for the positives, there is a downside to N’Zonzi’s game. Questions have been raised about the midfielder’s commitment and attitude and if not at his best he is often anonymous. With that in mind, he is not your typical David Moyes player.
But if anyone can change this it is Mr Moyes. N’Zonzi is clearly talented and he could benefit from playing under Moyes. Perhaps he is not a stellar signing but he is capable of doing a job and if the price is right he could prove to be a solid if unspectacular acquisition.