Everton Opinion: Toffees should sign Rafael Leao from Lille
According to the Daily Mail, Everton are interested in signing Lille forward Rafael Leao in the summer, with director of football Marcel Brands reportedly keen on adding more young talent to the playing squad.
A regular for Portugal at all youth levels, Leao has won a total of 41 caps for his nation and his stellar run of form has put him on the verge of a potential call-up to the senior international squad.
Standing at 6ft.2 inches with a towering frame, Leao is essentially a centre-forward by trade, although he is capable of playing as a supporting striker and out wide on the left.
A fast, agile and technically-gifted centre-forward, Leao boasts of exceptional pace for a player of his stature, which allows him to attack the spaces in the final third. The youngster, though not a finished article just yet, has shown a level of tactical awareness that belies his tender years.
Regarded as an intelligent centre-forward with a good understanding of the game, Leao not only excels with his pace, power and ability to attack the spaces but he is also equally capable of dropping deep into the midfield to link-up with the midfielders.
Leao can be very deceptive with his movement off the ball and the most impressive thing about him is that he knows how to combine the different aspects of his game.
The youngster often excels with his hold up play and vision to find the right pass for his teammates, making him a good playmaker to go along with his goal scoring prowess. Furthermore, he has an excellent right foot and has earned rave reviews for his clinical finishing.
To put things into perspective, Everton should go all out in their pursuit of the Portuguese starlet in the summer as he has already made a prominent mark at the highest level.
Pace, strength, movement, intelligence and finishing- Leao has got all the makings of developing into a world-class centre-forward, and the Toffees might have a real gem in their hands if they manage to strike a deal for the youngster.
It should be a no-brainer even for a layman that Everton need to bring in a good striker in the summer. They need to get the likes of Cenk Tosun and Oumar Niasse off their books as soon as possible, with Marco Silva making it clear with his team selection that neither of the strikers features in his plans.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has enjoyed his most fruitful season at Goodison Park but he is still very young and Everton need to invest in a dynamic centre-forward to avoid playing Richarlison in an unfamiliar position as the spearhead of the attack.
The Brazilian has done a good job up front but he is more dangerous when deployed out wide on the left.
Rafael Leao, though still a youngster, can be a fantastic addition to Everton’s squad. Silva’s attacking and free-flowing philosophy would allow the youngster to exploit the spaces up front, whilst his movement, link-up play and eye for goal can also help the Toffees improve massively in the final third.
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Having failed to post a significant challenge for a top-six finish in their first season under Silva, Everton need to aim for bigger things next term and Rafael Leao has the talent to take the Premier League by storm.