According to a recent report from The Daily Mail, Everton are upping the ante in pursuit of centre back Yerry Mina. The 23-year-old enjoyed an excellent World Cup with Colombia earlier this summer in helping his country reach the last 16 in Russia, this all after a disappointing second half of the season at new club Barcelona in which the defender only appeared six times in all competitions.
And Marco Silva’s Everton, alongside Mark Hughes’ Southampton, have been linked with a move for the 23-year-old, and with the Toffees reportedly upping the ante by flying out to the Spanish city for talks, the Saints must respond in pursuit of Mina, who appears to be an ideal long-term replacement for Virgil van Dijk.
Ultimately, the South Coast outfit suffered a huge blow back in January when Dutchman van Dijk sealed a big money move to Liverpool, thus leaving the Saints somewhat short in the centre back department.
And while the likes of Maya Yoshida, Wesley Hoedt, and Jack Stephens did reasonably well to help guide Southampton to safety, one senses that more is needed in that department to re-establish the club in the top ten – Jannik Vestergaard’s arrival is a start.
Yet 23-year-old Mina would without doubt be an outstanding addition and go some way to filling the shoes of Liverpool’s van Dijk, that’s if his World Cup exploits are anything to go by.
The Colombian netted three goals in just three games for his country to help them reach the knockout stages in Russia, but what was more significant was that, while Mina was on the pitch, Colombia only conceded once (and that was a penalty from Harry Kane).
Thus, not only does the centre back have a genuine aerial presence at set pieces in the opposition box, but he is hugely adept at the other end as well having struck up an outstanding partnership with Tottenham’s Davinson Sanchez at the heart of the Colombia backline.
Ultimately, one does not sign for Barcelona if one is not a quality player, and given Mina is only 23 and without doubt will improve as time goes by, his ability in the present suggests that he could go on to become a top-quality defender, a la van Dijk.
Silva’s Everton have reportedly intensified their interest by flying to Barcelona for talks, and with the financial power the Toffees seemingly have having spent £50 million on Richarlison earlier this week, Mina could well be tempted by a move to Goodison Park.
And with the defensive ranks at the Merseyside club far from convincing, having shipped 58 goals in their 38 Premier League games last term, they could also do with an influential figure like Mina in their backline to help Silva take the club forward this term.
Yet Everton’s interest simply must force Hughes’ Southampton to respond by making their own move for Mina, who looks for all the world like the ideal long-term replacement for van Dijk at St Mary’s.
Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!