Everton could be set to add further reinforcements to their engine room after being linked with a move for AS Roma midfielder Gonzalo Villar.
New Toffees manager Rafael Benitez secured the signatures of dynamic wingers Andre Gray and Andros Townsend over the summer, but James Rodriguez’s departure has left a sizeable gap in the centre of the pitch.
As a result, the club’s hierarchy are thought to be eyeing up several creative talents ahead of the winter window as they look to replace the Colombia international.
Villar rose through the ranks of boyhood Valencia before joining local rivals Elche in 2018 without making a single appearance for the Bats.
After impressing during his two-year stay at the Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero, the youngster joined Roma last summer in a £3.6m move and made 47 appearances in all competitions for the capital club throughout 2020/21.
However, the arrival of former Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho in the Eternal City has seen Villar’s game time dramatically reduced.
The one-cap Spain international has played just 82 minutes of first-team football this term, having failed to be named in the matchday squad for a number of matches this term.
His only start came in Roma’s 5-1 victory over CSKA Sofia in the UEFA Conference League and even then, he was substituted before the hour mark, highlighting how far down the pecking order Villar has fallen under Mourinho.
However, the 5 ft 9 technician could still be an exciting acquisition for Everton, and a large section of the club’s supporters may be buzzing at the prospect of his arrival at Goodison Park.
Known for his magnificent passing range and dribbling ability, Villar would offer a different skill set to the existing midfield options at Benitez’s disposal and could be the catalyst the Merseysiders require to mount a sustained push for European football.
During his career, he’s averaged 1.3 dribbles per game which is a tally that defeats every Toffees player besides Demarai Gray. His 1.3 tackles per match this term is only behind Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure’s in Everton’s midfield.
Based on that, he’d be a promising signing, one to excite fans at Goodison Park.