Good defenders are hard to come by nowadays but both Everton and Southampton dipped into the transfer market to find one.
Following a disappointing season last year, Everton spent heavily over the summer to give Marco Silva a squad that could potentially compete for a top six spot. In total, the club spent just shy of £90 million in the hope of breaking into Europe.
Southampton also spent heavily in the transfer market in the hope of not being involved in another relegation battle. For a club that has become a reliable mainstay in the league, Mark Hughes has to get them back to competing for a top-half finish.
This summer Everton signed Barcelona defender Yerry Mina while Southampton brought in former Borussia Monchengladbach defender, Jannik Vestergaard. With both being defenders, let’s compare them…
Signed for £18 from Monchengladbach, the Danish international has instantly become a starter for Hughes this season.
A typical central defender in terms of build, Vestergaard isn’t the quickest of players and has to rely on his reading of the game. With the ball at his feet, he may also not be his best but that’s not why Hughes signed him. The 26-year-old giant is going to be dominant in the air and is a much more imposing option than Yoshida, albeit the Japan international had an ok season last year.
During his time in Germany, Vestergaard developed into one of the better defenders not playing for Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Entering his prime in the league, he has already played three games for Southampton, conceding only one goal.
His pace might be exploited in the league but if given the protection, the big Dane could be a rock at the back.
TT Grade: B
Signed by Barcelona in January, Mina announced himself to the world with his performances in the World Cup, especially against England.
Much like Vestergaard, Mina is a big and physical centreback but unlike the Dane, he also possesses enough recovery pace to get back into position.
Signed for £27 million, if Mina can replicate his form from the World Cup, Everton potentially have one of the most talented defenders in the world. He’s yet to make a start for the club due to injury but the Columbian defender could be a figurehead of Marco Silva’s revolution at Everton.
Physically imposing, Mina is also great with the ball which is ideally to modern day football. At 23, Mina still has to work on his ability to read the game and although he only managed five appearances in the league for Barcelona before being sold, the potential of Mina is massive.
TT Grade: A-
The two clubs have much different levels of financial backing and goals and in this case, it shows.
While Vestergaard may turn out to be one of the better defenders in the league, his lack of pace could be exposed. His reading of the game is probably better than Mina’s and his experience means that he shouldn’t have too many problems bedding into the team.
In Mina, however, Everton could potentially have a top-level defender. His mixture of size and technical ability is much better than Vestergaard’s. If he can improve his reading of the game, Everton could have a star.
For his age and potential, Mina wins this one.