According to reports, Everton are targeting Crystal Palace’s Patrick Van Aanholt to replace veteran Leighton Baines.
Baines is 33 and is entering the twilight of his career. He is expected to leave Everton, with a host of MLS clubs interested in taking him to the United States.
Hence, this is the perfect time for the Toffees to search for a long-term replacement for Baines, particularly after the club’s defensive horror show in the recently concluded campaign.
Everton’s defensive frailties were well on show as the club huffed and puffed before eventually finishing 8th in the Premier League under Sam Allardyce.
While Allardyce has been sacked due to his pragmatic and uninspiring style of football, Everton are in desperate need for reinforcements and a big change of philosophy.
Palace left-back Van Aanholt is reportedly on Everton’s radar and his signing could kick-start the Merseysiders’ engine in the transfer window.
Van Aanholt enjoyed a fine season with the Eagles, scoring 5 goals. He is efficient going forward and is equally adept when it comes to defending. The 27-year-old works with a lot of intensity and pace and due to his influential displays going forward this past season, he has become a goal threat.
The Dutchman loves to maraud forward and contribute to the team’s attack. Van Aanholt is a proven Premier League material and his signing could be a step in the right direction for Everton. The only thing he will need to work on is his positional sense.
He is about to attain his peak and this is the ideal time for the former Sunderland man to iron out his flaws.
Baines is coming to the end of his Everton career and Silva needs to get a reliable left-back to replace the ageing Englishman.
An attacking left-back with plenty of pace and flair is the need of the hour at Goodison Park if Baines decides to quit the club. Even Cuco Martina failed to impress at left-back this season, which clearly points out the need for a new full-back.
In Van Aanholt, Everton would find plenty of pace, agility and direct approach, similar to Seamus Coleman on the opposite flank. The Republic of Ireland is back after a horrendous leg-break and while he will take time to get back to his rhythm, he is a constant livewire on the right.
It remains to be seen whether Everton succeed in signing Van Aanholt from Palace but if they get a deal done, Van Aanholt could be an ideal signing for Everton and the perfect player to replace Baines.