Why Everton should plot a January swoop for Hertha’s Karim Rekik
Everton have looked somewhat vulnerable at the back in the opening stages of the new Premier League campaign.
The Toffees chief Marco Silva has preferred the partnership of Yerry Mina and Michael Keane at the back.
Keane and Mina had helped Everton keep clean sheets in the first two games but they were given a torrid time by Aston Villa and Wolves in the next matches, although the Merseysiders didn’t drop any points against the latter.
Despite the flurry of summer transfer activity, Silva failed to get in his no.1 target—Kurt Zouma. The Frenchman enjoyed a solid season-long loan spell at Goodison Park last campaign, managing to resurrect his career that had gone wayward following the nasty leg break a few seasons ago.
He had formed a strong partnership at the back with Keane and wanted to join the Toffees on a permanent basis this summer.
But Chelsea were reluctant to sell Zouma after being hit by the two-window transfer embargo. So while Zouma stayed put at Stamford Bridge, Everton failed to bring in his replacement over the summer.
Silva has a young, exciting and versatile prospect in Mason Holgate at the club but he is expected to feature heavily in cup competitions.
Silva needs a more experienced defender to cover and compete with the likes of Mina and Keane. With that in mind, the Toffees should plot a move for Hertha Berlin defender Karim Rekik, who was heavily linked with a move to Goodison Park in July.
Karim Rekik, 24, isn’t strange to English conditions having spent his formative years in the youth ranks at Manchester City.
However, he never really managed to break into City’s first-team and after spending time on loan at Blackburn Rovers and Portsmouth in the Championship and PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie, the defender left City permanently for Marseille.
After spending two years with Marseille, the Dutchman joined Hertha in 2017. He has had an injury-hit two seasons in the Bundesliga but Rekik is now fully fit and started his club’s first three games of the new campaign.
Standing at 6ft 1in tall, Rekik is not the most towering of defenders but never shies away from going toe-to-toe with physically robust forwards.
An aggressive defender with great composure on the ball and a decent turn of pace, he is more than capable of keeping the opposition at bay with his bone-chilling tackles and sharp interception skills.
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The four-cap Netherlands international is a threat from set-pieces, while he is adept at playing as a left-back when required. Plus, the 24-year-old’s considerable experience of playing in three of the top five leagues in Europe could come in handy for Everton.
Rekik is only 24 and has his best years ahead of him. He would be heading into his prime and that should make his acquisition a no-brainer for Everton.