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Keane’s ideal partner: Silva would change Everton’s backline with addition of £10.8m-rated star

At the respective ages of 33 and 35, it’s fair to say Everton central defenders Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka are no longer the players they once were.

And, according to the Daily Mirror, the Toffees will listen to offers for the former. Considering both his age and performances in a blue shirt since moving from Swansea to Goodison Park, ultimately, letting go of Williams would be a good decision.

Williams potential exit would open up a spot in Everton’s squad for a brand new centre-back, which would explain the rumoured interest – reported by The Northern Echo – in Middlesbrough vice-captain Ben Gibson, who is valued at £10m by Transfermarkt. Boro, though, are unlikely to sell the 25-year-old on the cheap.

Nevertheless, Gibson is quality defender and a clear upgrade on the declining Williams and ageing Jagielka; Everton should absolutely make a move for the centre-half. He’d be a good partner for Michael Keane – the Toffees’ best defender despite his struggles this season – and would be ideal for manager Marco Silva and his idea of football.

Structurally, Everton defended well this Premier League campaign under the conservative Sam Allardyce before he was succeeded by Silva. But individually, question marks remain over Everton’s ageing defence.

Along with Williams and Jagielka, left-back Leighton Baines is also in his 30s, while Baines’ right-back counterpart Seamus Coleman will turn 30 this year.

If Silva’s tenure at Everton is to be successful, then he must address a defence in dire state, and Gibson could be the man to help rejuvenate that area of the squad.

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