Why Everton should have signed Josip Ilicic when they had the chance
Everton will be quite pleased with the start that they have made to their Premier League campaign.
They headed into this season full of hope and with 7 points on the board already, they must fancy their chances after getting the better of one of their rivals for those European spots in Wolves before the international break.
However, one thing they shouldn’t become is too excited by the results as the performances as a whole haven’t been great and the results can be a little deceiving. There still seems to be a lack of balance in the midfield and on that right-flank.
Richarlison did an admirable job on the right against Wolves but he’s not the long-term answer. The Brazilian had to play in that role out of necessity and Everton should move for someone with more quality on that side and one man they were linked with in the past is Atalanta’s Josip Ilicic.
One of the main reasons for the Italian sides’ rise in the last couple of seasons has been due to the Slovenian international, who has been playing various roles from the right-wing to the number 10 position, and even as a centre-forward.
The 31-year-old attacker has been one of the most underrated players in Europe during his time at Atalanta and is finally getting the credit.
Cutting in with his left-foot, Ilicic is a fantastic dribbler, has a great final ball and can chip in with goals as well.
In 78 appearances for Atalanta, he has scored 28 goals and chipped in with 19 assists, which is more than a goal contribution in every 2 games. These are remarkable numbers and it is odd that Everton haven’t considered solving this area of the pitch in so long.
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They have a lot of players, who can play in the centre-forward positions and on the right-wing and have added to that but look slightly off-balanced on the opposite wing.
Ilicic’s versatility and experience would also be a great asset to Silva’s men as he’s constantly used in different areas of the pitch to great effect without a real reduction in output.
The Toffees have had results which flattered them and have yet to really solve their defence, midfield and right-wing in a convincing manner despite getting some additions in midfield and the centre-forward areas.