Why Everton should plot a January swoop for Joe Bryan
Everton are quite close to the relegation zone, following a nightmarish start to their campaign. They have already shipped as many as 18 goals, scoring only 13 in 12 league fixtures so far.
The Toffees’ defence has been mightily affected due to the departures of Phil Jagielka and Kurt Zouma in the summer.
With the centre-back pairing of Michael Keane and Yerry Mina struggling to provide any kind of solidity to the backline, Marco Silva must dip into the transfer market for a new defender.
While signing a central defender has to be at the top of Everton’s January priority list, Silva cannot overlook signing a new left-back.
Lucas Digne enjoyed a fantastic debut season in the Premier League the last term. Indeed, the Frenchman’s performances haven’t wavered during Everton’s dip and the left-back continues to be a regular in Silva’s starting XI.
He scored four goals and added five assists in all competitions last season and has already started this campaign with a goal and three assists.
However, Digne needs competition at left-back. Leighton Baines, 34, signed a 12-month contract extension at Goodison Park over the summer but he hasn’t played in the league this season.
The former England international is past his prime that should prompt the Toffees to move on from him at the end of the season.
Back in January 2018, Daily Mirror had claimed that Everton were interested in signing Joe Bryan, who was then plying his trade for Bristol City. However, a deal didn’t materialize and he joined Fulham last summer.
Joe Bryan, 26, didn’t have a great debut season at Craven Cottage as Fulham were relegated from the Premier League at the first time of asking. Currently, in the Championship, he is doing well under the management of Scott Parker.
With Baines coming to the end of his career, the January transfer window would be the right time for Everton to reignite their interest in Bryan.
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Bryan would solve a grave issue in a key area of the pitch for Silva. The 26-year-old, who can also operate in an advanced position down the left, has all the tools to provide cover and compete with Digne.
The Bristol-born man is approaching the peak years of his career and has the quality to make an instant impact at Goodison Park.
With that in mind, Everton should go all out in their pursuit of Bryan in January in a bid to tighten their screws at the back.