As Everton star Jordan Pickford dove to his left-hand side during Italy’s second penalty in the Euro 2020 final, there would have only been one thought in the Toffees goalkeeper’s mind – how can I stop this effort?
The attempt towards goal was taken by Andrea Belotti but the Goodison Park gem sprawled across his line to make a fantastic save and give England the advantage in the shootout.
The rest of the story isn’t one we want to repeat but, despite that save, it was Belotti who had the last laugh and left Pickford absolutely heartbroken.
The ‘keeper was a pillar of solidity in the shootout but one thought which would have escaped him was whether Belotti would be an Everton player in 2021/22. That’s because the Toffees were linked with a move for the Italian back in April.
He failed to score during the European Championship, but with the Toffees in need of providing some competition to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, he’d be a fine pick-up by Rafa Benitez and co.
Valued at £31.5m by Transfermarkt, a deal might be particularly pricy to conclude, but that should not deter them. The Torino star has long been one of the most sought-after strikers in Europe, taking the interest of a host of Premier League clubs in the last few years.
“He knows how to move, he basically knows how to do everything. He’s fast, technically skilled and is probably better than Batistuta.”
With those qualities in mind, he’d surely be a superb addition to the Premier League. He is bullish in his approach and most importantly, knows where the back of the net is. The 27-year-old beat the goalkeeper on 13 occasions last term and has a habit of scoring double figures in a season.
His career hasn’t quite lived up to the dizzy heights expected when he bagged 26 in one campaign but he’s still a fabulous striker. That he is now in his prime should also be an attractive selling point.
“It’s hard to compare him to someone else because he’s special. He’s Belotti and that’s it. He has instinct for goals, personality and he’s a team player: he’s always focused on his team and plays hard to help it.”
A hard-working, tenacious striker, he would offer plenty to Benitez’s squad next season, and the Toffees must bring him to Goodison Park.