Why Everton should go all out to sign Diego Llorente in January
Back in July, a report from the Daily Mail had claimed that Everton were interested in signing Real Sociedad defender Diego Llorente.
Diego Llorente, 25, was previously on the books of Real Madrid but ended up leaving Los Blancos after failing to break into the first-team. However, he has impressed with Real Sociedad since joining two years ago. He has gone on to make 47 La Liga appearances, scoring three times.
Everton, meanwhile, lost 2-0 to Sheffield United at the weekend, which has heaped the pressure on manager Marco Silva. The Portuguese boss’s side have performed well below expectations this season, and they currently sit in 14th place in the Premier League table.
With just three points clear of the relegation zone, it’s clear that Silva needs to make quick improvements over their next few games or difficult decisions may have to be made by the Everton hierarchy.
If the Portuguese tactician can turn things around at Goodison Park and sustain until January, then he must prioritise signing a new central defender.
The Toffees were keen to bring back Kurt Zouma, who spent last season on loan at Goodison Park, but were unable to convince Chelsea to sell and ultimately failed to add in the position.
That has left Silva with Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate as options at centre back this season, but with the partnership of Mina and Keane underperforming and Holgate good to have as a back-up option, the Merseysiders should revive their interest in Diego Llorente.
Strong in the air and with excellent positioning, Llorente could be just the sort of player Silva needs to tighten his backline.
The Spaniard is equally adept playing in a holding midfield role as he is in central defence, with his versatility appealing to the Everton tactician. Due to his technique and composure on the ball, he can also operate as a defensive midfielder when required.
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Hence, the Toffees can afford to look at Llorente as someone who could possibly provide cover for the likes of Keane and Mina, as well as fill in at defensive midfield, in case of an injury to Morgan Schneiderlin.
Everton are short of quality cover at the back after the departure of Phil Jagielka and Kurt Zouma earlier in the summer and the ex-Real Madrid starlet could be a valuable addition to the squad at an affordable price in January.
With that in mind, Everton should go all out to sign Llorente from Sociedad during the mid-season trading period to solve their defensive woes.