Michael Ball has offered his thoughts on a potential deal to take Kalidou Koulibaly to Everton.
The former Toffees player Michael Ball has claimed that the 30-year-old potentially arriving at Goodison Park would “raise the bar” in training and help to improve the current players at the club.
Everton are reportedly interested in signing the defender this summer and have already had one bid turned down for his services.
Ball told Football FanCast: “Moving forward, you want to improve year on year and if you bring in the types of Koulibaly into your football club it’s only going to raise the bar in training, competition for places, for the other players, to either reach that level or move on elsewhere and give Rafa Benitez an opportunity to spend money elsewhere in that team.”
Marcel Brands must land Koulibaly this summer to raise the standards at Goodison Park and improve the overall quality of the squad. If Everton are serious about competing for the Europa League and Champions League spots, they will need to bring in the requisite quality to do so.
Signing duds from other clubs in England such as Alex Iwobi, Fabian Delph, Theo Walcott and Morgan Schneiderlin has not had the desired effect in recent years. The club made some great first steps last summer by signing Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez, who all impressed, and now it is time for them to dip into the market to add more proven talent to their squad.
Koulibaly has played 283 games at a high level for Napoli, featuring in the Europa League, Champions League and Serie A for the Azzurri. In that time, he has averaged a fine WhoScored rating of 7.05, which shows that he is able to produce consistently excellent performances week in, week-out. Therefore, he could come in and immediately be an upgrade to Everton’s backline.
Serie A expert Conor Clancy recently called Koulibaly “phenomenal” and said that he is the second-best centre-back in the world behind Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, he said of the Senegal powerhouse: “He improves any team he goes to. He’s phenomenal. I’d say, to be honest, after Virgil van Dijk, he is in the conversation for being the second-best defender in the world.”
This highlights the quality the £195k-per-week colossus has and why he would raise the bar at Everton, as his teammates would see the standards he sets and work hard to match him. This is why Brands must work hard to secure a deal for the defender this summer to bolster Rafa Benitez’s starting XI.