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Everton could find their new Joleon Lescott in Merih Demiral

One of Everton’s primary goals this summer is to sign a central defender.

After Mason Holgate’s inept display against Aston Villa last weekend you can certainly understand why.

He inexplicably turned towards his own goal and then lost it as Ollie Watkins raced towards the area before sticking the ball beyond Jordan Pickford.

It was a wake-up call for Carlo Ancelotti that if the Toffees are to have any chance of being back among Europe’s elite, they need improvement.

Everton have already been linked with Kalidou Koulibaly but another defender based in Italy could be a viable option too; Merih Demiral.

The Juventus centre-back could set Ancelotti and Marcel Brands back €30m (£26m) this summer but he’d add plenty of assurance to their backline.

Should Everton invest in Merih Demiral?

Definitely

Definitely

No chance

No chance

A dominant figure, the centre-half has been recognised as an “absolute beast” by scout Jacek Kulig.

Everton’s defence hasn’t been filled with the most awe-inspiring players in recent years and it feels like a long time since Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott were in charge of proceedings at Goodison Park.

That said, Demiral could evoke memories of Lescott if he pens terms in Merseyside this summer.

First and foremost, they are both superb when it comes to playing out from the back. Calm and composed in possession of the ball, the Turk has registered a pass success rate of 93.2% for Juventus this term.

Lescott may not have reached the same dizzy heights but he was still impressive in this regard, regularly completing over 85% of his passes after his move to Manchester City.

Their reading of the game is also incredibly similar. Demiral has enough pace that it doesn’t cause himself a problem but more often than not, he stops the source of the attack before it’s even occurred.

This is incredibly similar to Lescott, a defender who won 1.9 interceptions per match throughout his career. Everton’s transfer target, meanwhile, has won 1.7 per game during 2020/21.

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What year did Everton wear this home strip?

The former Toffee was a brick wall during the early stages of his career and also used his 6 foot 3 frame and stocky build to bustle opponents to one side.

The ex-England international was aggressive and consistently on the front foot, a style of play that bears great similarity to Demiral; he also stands at 6 foot 3.

If Everton are ever going to qualify for Europe, they need more consistency at the back. Luckily, that’s something the 23-year-old would bring to Goodison.

AND in other news, Exclusive: Everton’s summer transfer priority revealed after behind-the-scenes talks with agents…

Article title: Everton could find their new Joleon Lescott in Merih Demiral

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