Everton have been linked with plenty of big names since they were taken over by Iranian billionaire Farhad Moshiri.
Unsurprisingly, few have gone through given their lack of progression as a club, despite the huge money invested.
However, one that very nearly materialised was Kalidou Koulibaly, formerly of Napoli.
Back in 2016, following the £47.5m sale of John Stones to Manchester City, Moshiri revealed that he had tried to sign the defender that same summer. He noted: “We tried to buy Koulibaly and they wanted £60m.”
Instead, he opted for Ashley Williams on a £12m deal. He will certainly be left red-faced now, given their respective career paths.
CIES Football Observatory still rates the Chelsea man at €35m (£31m), despite being 31 years old and he has started life in England well, giving credence to the claim that he would have starred had Moshiri forked out the money back in 2016.
Garth Crooks named him in his team of the week just a month ago and claimed he stepped in just as they needed “someone a little bit special” to replace the outbound Antonio Rudiger.
He has averaged 2.0 tackles, 3.0 clearances and 1.4 interceptions per game, whilst also ranking in the top 2% of defenders across Europe’s top five leagues for dribbles completed, outlining his ability to progress the team as well as quell opposition attacks.
Since making the move to England, he has quickly shown the Toffees just what they missed out on.
The fact that he has managed to dominate given his seniority suggests that if Everton had bought him when Moshiri claimed they were interested, he would’ve announced himself as one of the league’s best defenders and likely propelled the Iranian’s club to greater heights. It was certainly a mistake to prefer the cheaper Williams instead.