Everton could secure manager Rafa Benitez his next Pablo Aimar after being linked with a transfer move for Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek.
According to ESPN, the Toffees are one of several Premier League clubs keen to secure the signature of the 24-year-old over the coming months, with a loan move touted as the most likely option.
The report states that: “Sources have told ESPN that Van de Beek is keen to explore his options ahead of the January transfer window…
“Everton and Newcastle United are among a host of Premier League clubs interested in signing Van de Beek on loan in January.”
The Netherlands international was first linked with a move to Goodison Park last summer after a hugely underwhelming first 12 months on English shores.
One impressive showing against Istanbul Başakşehir in the Champions League led to BT Sport pundit Owen Hargreaves labelling him “perfect” while Juan Mata even dubbed him “very clever”, but regular game time failed to materialise.
And then, in the previous window, it appeared as though an exit was on the cards as Everton attempted to prize the creative talent away from Old Trafford.
Marcel Brands, the Toffees director of football, openly admitted that the £22.5m-rated Van de Beek was on his list of potential targets before the deal collapsed.
“We had him on our list. At the beginning of the transfer window, we enquired at United, then it was impossible,” he told Dutch outlet NOS.
“At the end of the window, I received a call from Guido Albers, his agent, that he might be rented out after all. But at the last minute, it was cancelled. Stopped again.”
However, it appears as though the Merseyside outfit and Brands are planning to revive their interest in Van de Beek, and his arrival could supply Benitez with the sort of playmaker he previously achieved great success with.
Pablo Aimar was one of the most highly-regarded No.10’s in world football in the 2000’s after claiming two La Liga titles and the UEFA Cup crown under Benitez’s tutelage at Valencia where the current Toffees boss hailed him for being better than Ronaldinho.
While replicating those achievements at Everton may be unrealistic, Van de Beek’s acquisition could be the catalyst that finally inspires the Blues to fulfil their potential, replicating the effect that Aimar had with Benitez in Spain.