Everton have been linked with a move for Real Betis forward Rodrigo Sanchez Rodriguez as new manager Rafael Benitez looks to add further reinforcements to his first-team squad.
According to Spanish outlet Fichajes, the Toffees are one of three Premier League sides interested in securing the 21-year-old’s signature over the coming months, with Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton also listed as potential suitors.
The report states that: “According to the information we handle at Fichajes.net, Rodri Sánchez is in the sights of three Premier League teams that, at this moment, are gradually following his evolution.”
With the Seagulls and the Saints also reportedly tracking Rodriguez’s development, Everton’s director of football, Marcel Brands, may have to move quickly in order to tie down his transfer target’s services.
Rodriguez has only made 26 appearances for Real Betis during his short professional career, but he’s become a key figure for Manuel Pellegrini’s side this season, scoring one goal and providing an assist in seven outings.
His impressive performances for the Green and Whites have caught the eye of several impressed onlookers over the last 18 months, including La Liga and Spanish football writer Andrew Miller.
He tweeted: “One of the real bright spots this season has been the emergence of Rodri in the Betis first team. Such a gifted young player and caps off an incredible effort with his first senior goal. Always brings a real injection of energy into the team”.
Although Rodriguez’s current contract at Betis runs until the summer of 2024, the Spaniard has a market value of just £1.35m, and he’s expected to be available for a reasonable price.
One current Everton player who Rodriguez could offer an upgrade on, should he make the switch to Goodison Park, is struggling winger Alex Iwobi.
Rodriguez also outperformed the Nigerian when it came to dribbles and pass completion, pulling off 1.3 dribbles and finding a teammate 79.8% of time compared to Iwobi’s tallies of one and 79.6%, respectively.
The Betis winger’s shot-creating actions per 90 minutes are also ahead of the Nigeria international’s with 3.47 compared to 3.14. That proves just how more effective the Spaniard is in the final third of the pitch.
Therefore, Brands must sanction a swoop for the youngster, providing Benitez with an upgrade on an underperforming fringe player.