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Everton must secure Kalidou Koulibably this summer

Is this the season that Everton finally qualify for the Champions League again?

With a game in hand, a win there could take the Toffees to within three points of an illustrious fourth-placed finish.

What’s the word?

Carlo Ancelotti has worked wonders on Merseyside and it says a lot that he’s now got them on a level playing field with their local rivals.

Of course, that’s somewhat down to the Reds’ wretched campaign but the Toffees have been impressive themselves.

Should they qualify for Europe, it will be interesting to see who they look to secure in the transfer window.

Whoever they pursue, it’s unlikely to be a centre-back. That’s according to Marcus Bent who was speaking to This is Futbol over the weekend.

Do you want Koulibaly at Everton this summer?

No way

No way

Yes please

Yes please

When asked whether they’d sign a central defender, he commented: “I don’t think so. I spoke to someone at the club during the week, and they’re not talking about getting a centre-half.

“They said they’ve got depth in the squad and they’re not going to be buying anyone in the transfer window.”

Koulibaly is a must

It doesn’t matter how much depth you have at centre-back, if a player like Kalidou Koulibaly is on the table, he simply has to be signed.

The Senegalese defender has long been one of the most imperious in Europe, so much so that even city rivals Liverpool have targeted him.

His stock has fallen somewhat over the last year but he’s still incredibly highly rated, valued at around £50m.

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Everton have not played in Europe since the 2017/18 Europa League. But who did they last face in the competition?

News broke last month that Ancelotti’s mission was to bring an elite defender to Goodison Park and in Koulibaly, a player that was linked earlier in April, they’d certainly find that.

In fact, they could secure their very own answer to Virgil van Dijk.

The Dutchman has missed a large portion of this season with injury but he has become imperative for Liverpool, turning into one of the best players in world football and guiding them to a historic Champions League and Premier League win in recent years.

In terms of impact on the field, Koulibaly could have a similar influence on Everton.

Speaking about the defender last year, goalkeeper Pepe Reina said: “The defender who gave me more security? In a moment, Koulibaly was something extraordinary. In the national team [it was] Sergio Ramos.”

To be compared to Ramos says it all. Though, if we evaluate the statistics, you’ll see just how much of a phenomenal defender he really is.

In terms of tackling, the 29-year-old Everton target is streets ahead of Van Dijk, winning two per game last season and 1.3 this term.

In comparison, the giant Dutch defender has only won 0.6 tackles per match in the last two campaigns.

In terms of interceptions, it’s a pretty level playing field with Koulibaly registering 1.2 per outing last season and Van Dijk 1.1. As well as catching the eye with their reading of the play, they are both supreme when it comes to bringing the ball forward and passing out from the back.

In fact, the Napoli defender is actually better in this regard, finding a teammate with 87.6% of his passes throughout his career. The Liverpool centre-back, meanwhile, has completed 86.6%.

At £50m, Koulibaly would certainly be costly, but it could take Everton to a brand new level.

Just imagine what he and Carlo Ancelotti could achieve together in Merseyside.

AND in other news, “That’s why they’re going to offload him” – Exclusive: Ex-Everton star drops Silva signing claim…

Article title: Everton must secure Kalidou Koulibably this summer

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