Carlo Ancelotti risks making an unforgivable error by chasing Alex Meret after Carlo Jacomuzzi backed Everton to sign the SSC Napoli goalkeeper.
While speaking with CalcioNapoli24 TV, via Napoli Magazine, the Toffees’ former scout Jacomuzzi has sung Meret’s praises amid rumours of interest in the Italian shot-stopper from Goodison Park.
Gazzetta dello Sport, via Sport Witness, had reported that Ancelotti is an admirer of Meret following their time together in Naples, and may soon be presented with a chance to be reunited.
Meret’s relationship with Napoli is growing increasingly complicated as he refuses to accept another season as David Ospina’s understudy, having been forced to take up a rotational role this term.
The 24-year-old has only started 14 of a possible 29 Serie A fixtures under Gennaro Gattuso so far this season, and is now said to be willing to listen to offers over a move away from the Diego Armanda Maradona Stadium.
Jacomuzzi, who was released from his role as the Toffees’ scout in Italy in late 2020, would support a move by his former employers, as Meret just needs to find the right club to prove himself.
“I would definitely recommend him to the club,” Jacomuzzi said. “He’s young, and can still grow a lot. He needs to play continuously, which has not always happened. He can improve further. There’s a need to give him confidence.”
While Jacomuzzi would clearly back Meret making a successful switch from the Serie A to the Premier League, Ancelotti would risk making an unforgivable mistake by signing the Napoli goalkeeper this summer.
It has been claimed that Meret is being viewed by figures at Goodison Park as a replacement for Jordan Pickford, rather than as the England star’s new back-up amid doubt in the long-term future of AS Roma loanee Robin Olsen.
Ancelotti may also have lauded Meret for being a “great talent” and suggested “he reminds me of the first [Gianluigi] Buffon” during his time in charge of Napoli, but the goalkeeper has not kicked on in the years since and would actually be a downgrade on Pickford.
Over their respective performances per 90 minutes in the Serie A and Premier League this season, Meret has conceded 1.57 goals to Pickford’s 1.29 – Olsen allows 1.5 – while also registering fewer saves (2.64, 64.3%) than the Sunderland product (3.07, 72.2%), per FBref.
Meret has further conceded more often than Pickford despite boasting a superior expected post-shot goals allowed (1.18 to 1.21), showing he allows a higher number of goals where the goalkeeper would have been expected to make a save.
He is also less dominant in a sweeper-keeper role with 0.15 defensive actions outside of the penalty area to 0.49, suggesting Ancelotti would be taking a step back in the development of his Everton side by reuniting with Meret.