David Moyes’ adoration for Everton’s Leighton Baines is well-known, but more recently another Toffees full-back has been at the centre of a wealth of Manchester United transfer speculation – Republic of Ireland international Seamus Coleman.
The United gaffer snapped up the midfielder-come-defender for just £60k from Sligo Rovers back in 2009, making him arguably the best pound-for-pound signing of the Scot’s decade-long Goodison tenure.
The 25 year-old’s stock has rapidly risen this season, in no small part due to a prolific return of five goals and one assist in 22 Premier League starts, being an eternal figure in an Everton backline that currently dons the second-best defensive record in the division, only bettered by league-leaders Arsenal.
Along the way, Coleman has averaged 2 tackles, 1.6 interceptions, 1 shot, 1.2 key passes and 1.9 successful dribbles per game, with a pass completion ratio of 88%, giving the perfect illustration of his free-roaming tendencies and regular contribution to both ends of the pitch.
The Toffees defender’s hot form this term, with its highest height being a three-goal glut in the space of four appearances, lead to a Twitter trend of angry England fans demanding answers as to why Roy Hodgson had never selected the Ireland international for Three Lions duty.
Painfully dumb, I know. But none the less, it’s a fantastic testament to the progress Coleman has made this season, clearly revelling in the new technical style Roberto Martinez has brought to Merseyside.
He’s now being linked in the tabloids with a move to Old Trafford, with the Mirror speculating two days ago a £15million bid in the pipeline. But Arsenal are also reportedly hot on the Irishman’s heels, who view him as an ideal replacement for Bacary Sagna.
At the same time, Everton are believed to be preparing a contract extension for the defensive ace.