Why Everton signing Nunez could resolve their issues at the back
Back in October, a Daily Mail report had claimed that Everton were interested in signing Athletic Bilbao defender Unai Nunez.
Even though a deal did not materialise back then, Everton must reinstate their interest in the 22-year-old centre-back, with their defence clearly in shambles.
The Toffees defence has looked shaky this season, with the team conceding 28 goals in 16 games so far. Their poor displays at the back have seen them enter relegation battle.
With relegation threat looming closely, Everton now face a daunting task of bolstering their defensive options if they wish to stay in the Premier League.
Having said that, it would be immensely beneficial for Everton if they could rope in a defender like Nunez to save themselves from further embarrassment.
Nunez, meanwhile, is a highly-rated rated centre-back and is contemplating a move elsewhere, according to Daily Mail.
Born in the Basque region of Spain, Nunez, like many others before him, joined local club Athletic Bilbao’s academy aged 10 and has been playing for them ever since.
He broke into their B side after impressing with Bilbao’s youth team, making a total of 33 appearances.
His performances in the Segunda Division B earned him a call to main squad during the 2017-18 preseason. He soon made his La Liga debut in August the same year.
Since then, Nunez has played over 50 matches for the Los Leones and scored 1 goal to date. He impressed in his debut season with his boyhood club, appearing in 33 of their 38 league matches.
However, the arrival of seasoned campaigner Inigo Martinez from Real Sociedad has pushed him to fringes, with the youngster making just 13 league appearances last year.
The situation has not changed much this season either, with manager Gaizka Garitano opting to go with experienced centre-backs Martinez and Yeray Alvarez at the heart of their defence.
So far, Nunez has featured in only 4 league games this season. However, there is no denying the young defender’s immense potential, as he won the under-21 European Championship with Spain earlier this year.
His excellent displays during the tournament seems to have attracted clubs such as Everton and Arsenal, according to Daily Mail. Nunez made his debut for the Spanish national side in September, coming off as a substitute against the Faroe Islands.
Everton, meanwhile, have looked sloppy in the defence, with centre-backs Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate all looking unstable at the moment.
All three defenders have so far failed to put up a decent show and if the current trend continues, Everton are sure to face relegation, with the side winning just 5 of their 16 league games until now.
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Hence, it would do the world of good for a struggling Everton if they could spend some cash on the Bilbao centre-back, who has a release clause around £30m, if they are to resolve their issues at the back.
The Toffees currently have just three centre-backs and Nunez’s arrival would offer the Toffees more options in defence.
With the current lot failing to impress, it would be wise if Everton once again pursue their interests in the young defender, who is keen to bag some game time after consistently being snubbed by Bilbao’s boss.