Everton are interested in a deal to bring Joao Palhinha to Goodison Park this summer.
That’s according to a report by Portuguese publication Record (via Sport Witness), who claimed that Everton, along with Tottenham Hotspur, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, are keeping a close eye on the defensive midfielder’s performances for Portugal in Euro 2020 ahead of a potential move in the summer transfer window.
It is reported that Spurs have made contact with Sporting Lisbon regarding the availability of the 25-year-old, with the Liga NOS champions thought to be demanding a fee of around €30m (£26m) in order to part with Palhinha this summer.
Considering that Everton’s £22.5m signing of Mainz midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin back in 2019 has not exactly worked out for the club, with the 25-year-old having made just three appearances for the Toffees due to a series of injuries, defensive midfield certainly appears to be an area of the pitch in which Marcel Brands must look to strengthen this summer.
With Palhinha impressing in Portugal last season, the player whom Ruben Amorim dubbed a “special” talent would certainly appear to be a fantastic candidate for the Everton director of football to bring into the club this summer.
Indeed, over his 32 Liga NOS appearances for Sporting last season, the £9,100-per-week man averaged 1.5 interceptions, 3.3 tackles and 1.2 clearances and won a whopping 9.1 duels per game. The £16.2m-rated midfielder also chipped in for his team going forward, scoring one goal, creating two big chances and averaging 0.4 key passes per league fixture.
These returns saw the 25-year-old earn an average SofaScore match rating of 7.12, ranking him as Ruben Amorim’s sixth-best performer in the Primeira Liga, helping Sporting win their first league title for 19 years.
Palhinha also wowed onlookers in his one appearance at Euro 2020 thus far, winning three tackles and seven duels during a 45-minute stint in Portugal’s 2-2 draw with France. He earned a SofaScore match rating of 7.3 for his efforts, the second-best score of any Portugal player in the match.
As such, we believe that Brands should indeed do all he can to get a deal over the line for the Sporting Lisbon star this summer, as Palhinha very much appears to possess the talent to form the base on which Everton’s new manager can mount a push for a top-four finish in the Premier League next season.