Why Everton should go all out for Andrija Zivkovic in January
For the first time during his Everton career so far, Theo Walcott finds his future uncertain.
The 30-year-old joined Everton from Arsenal in January 2018 and started off very well with goals against Southampton and Bournemouth in consecutive weeks. But he faded away soon and has since been inconsistent for the Toffees.
A lot was expected of Walcott during his younger days and it is fair to say that the ex-Arsenal man hasn’t fulfilled his high potential.
So far, he hasn’t justified the £20 million Everton paid Arsenal to sign him last year. His faltering career has also resulted in him completely losing his place in the England setup.
The English winger has lost his place in Marco Silva’s starting XI, with the Everton boss preferring Richarlison, Bernard and Gylfi Sigurdsson ahead of him in the attack. Furthermore, the acquisition of Alex Iwobi from Arsenal has pushed Walcott behind the pecking order.
Truth to be told, Walcott looks past his prime and should be offloaded sooner rather than later. And Silva should replace the former England international with Benfica’s Andrija Zivkovic, who was heavily linked with a move to Goodison Park last summer.
Andrija Zivkovic, 23, managed just 16 league appearances for Benfica last term, managing three assists. In all, he made 30 appearances across all competitions but never really managed to establish himself in Benfica’s starting XI.
The Serbian has 17 caps for his country already and is very highly rated. He might have struggled for games last season but he can add quality and depth to the Everton squad. A right midfielder by trade, the 23-year-old can play on the opposite flank or through the middle.
Blessed with great technique, Zivkovic is just as comfortable dribbling past players with his decent turn of pace as he is crossing the ball into the box. He is not afraid to challenge his marker and beat him using his intelligence and trickery out in the wide areas.
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However, the former Partizan Belgrade man will need to add more end-product to his game in the coming years if he wants to be a world-class player in his position.
Zivkovic is far from being the finished product but has all the potential to grow into a top player. He could become a fantastic player under Silva, whilst being an upgrade on the inconsistent Walcott.