Eight months before former Everton midfielder Leon Osman was given his first England call-up at the age of 31 in November 2012, he was handed one of the most glowing reviews of his entire career.
An underappreciated but consistent character for the Toffees, the diminutive maestro was compared to one of the greatest players we’ve ever seen in his position.
After Everton had faced Tottenham, Jack Wilshere took to social media to say: “Osman is a player by the way… plays a bit like Iniesta!”
That might have been pushing things a bit much but it was clear to see why.
His touch was impressive and he weaved past players with minimal effort. Osman kept things simple and was never afraid to do the dirty work either.
Colin Harvey, his youth-team coach in Merseyside, once said: “He has not got great pace but has can turn and work the ball and go past people without pace. He has good trickery and feet movement.”
They’ve had plenty of midfielders since his retirement and they are currently well-stocked in that area.
Rafa Benitez has the likes of Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Tom Davies, Andre Gomes and the returning Jean-Philippe Gbamin at his disposal.
However, they could sign a similar player to Osman in the shape of Rangers gem, Glen Kamara.
He was linked with a move to Goodison Park last month after starring for Finland at the European Championships. Though, in order to sign him, they will have to fend off competition from other Premier League clubs, including West Ham.
An appraisal from Neil McCann, his manager at Dundee United, demonstrates how much he compares to Osman: “He isn’t a big, physical lad but he’s made of iron and really strong. I knew immediately that he could handle the ball under pressure and not give it away, so he was perfect.
McCann concluded: “He’s a special talent. He’s lightning-quick but he doesn’t show it. He’s a player who takes instruction well.”
Osman wasn’t the quickest player out there but his little burst of pace, much like Kamara’s, is an incredibly useful asset to have.
The way the pair gather the ball and move on possession is also alike.
Their tackle rate is also very similar. The current Toffees target produced 1.3 successful challenges per game for his country this summer while their former midfielder managed 1.6 on average in the final stages of his playing days.
Bearing all of that in mind, the Finnish dynamo would surely be a very good piece of business from Benitez and co.