Everton have been linked with a move for Mallorca midfielder Iddrisu Baba ahead of the January transfer window as Rafa Benitez looks to bolster his engine room options.
Since then, Baba has signed a new contract at the Son Moix stadium containing a €45m (£38.4m) release clause, a figure that the Toffees are ‘ready to trigger’.
The report also states that Atletico Madrid have identified the box-to-box dynamo as a replacement for his compatriot Thomas Partey, meaning Everton are set to have a fight on their hands if they want to secure his signature.
After rising through the ranks at boyhood club Mallorca, Baba has established himself as one of the standout midfielders in La Liga, making 109 appearances for Luis Garcia’s charges in all competitions.
However, he’s elevated his game to new heights in the current campaign and has been of the best players for Mallorca, according to Garcia.
After Baba scored the equalising goal against Cadiz while on league duties back in October, his manager lauded the Ghana international’s impressive exploits, claiming he is enjoying an ‘incredible season’.
“So far, Baba is being the best of the team,” said Garcia. “He is having an incredible season. He not only cuts balls, scores goals but also helps in attack.
“I have already told him that he has to continue working, but he has earned himself the essential role”.
And if the African makes the switch to Merseyside over the winter window, he could play a pivotal part in Benitez’s struggling Everton side for many years to come.
The likes of Tom Davies, Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin have all struggled to make their mark in the middle of the pitch throughout 2021/22, heavily contributing to the Toffees’ poor form. For context, none of them have achieved an average match rating higher than 6.3, via WhoScored.
Baba, on the other hand, has been excelling. As per FBref.com, the 5 foot 10 gem has made a whopping 4.11 tackles per 90 this term, 1.71 interceptions and 1.55 blocks, while winning 2.40 aerial duels.
It’s clear, therefore, that the Mallorca man could be the answer to Benitez’s midfield woes, and Everton’s hierarchy must carefully consider a move for the defensive-minded star during the January window.