Everton should ignore Carlo Ancelotti’s concerns over Tariq Lamptey and seal a deal for him after Paddy Kenny urged the Brighton & Hove Albion defender be signed instead of Norwich City’s Max Aarons.
Everton chiefs are working to lower Norwich’s valuation but may struggle to drive a hard bargain after Daniel Farke’s side secured their return to the top-flight, and will rival Watford for the Championship title over the final games.
Lamptey has also been linked with a potential summer switch to Goodison Park with the Blues undeterred by the 20-year-old signing a new £40,000-per-week contract in January, although Ancelotti is thought to have concerns over his height at 5 ft 5.
Yet Kenny insists the Chelsea product would be the better option as Seamus Coleman’s long-term successor, as Aarons could be another miss rather than hit in the transfer market.
“They could be making a mistake,” the former Ireland international said. “He [Aarons] is a Championship player, he’s not Premier League at the moment. It is a lot of money to pay for a player who has just been promoted but has only played one season in the Premier League.
“Lamptey could be the one, he’s a very good player. Everton are hit-and-miss – you don’t know what you’re going to get from them each week. They need to start getting a little bit more consistent. A right-back, you’d think, would be part of that.”
Aarons would appear to be the favourite to occupy a place in Ancelotti’s plans next season with Everton rating the 21-year-old highly, and believing he can deliver a similar impact to that seen from Ben Godfrey since his arrival from Norwich in October.
That’s not to say Lamptey is out of the running entirely, as the Toffees also consider the electric Brighton full-back to be a ‘great talent’, but he most likely is second on the shortlist at best given Ancelotti’s supposed concerns and a similar £30m asking price.
A season-ending hamstring injury has also kept Lamptey out of action since December, to see that his sample size for the 2020/21 campaign is far less than Aarons’ having only played 11 games to the Canaries dynamo’s 44 appearances across all competitions so far.
Yet having more than four times the minutes on the pitch has only resulted in Aarons (3,898 minutes) offering one more assist than Lamptey (890) – who Neal Maupay claims “doesn’t have limits” – while being matched for goals scored with one each.
Lamptey also won 0.5 of his 1.5 aerial duels per Premier League appearance before being consigned to the treatment room, just shy of 5 ft 9 Coleman’s 0.6 from 1.5 over 11 outings, while 5 ft 10 Aarons has won 0.9 of 2.2 in the Championship after winning 0.6 of two in the top-flight last term, per WhoScored.
If Lamptey’s height is the only prevailing concern Ancelotti has, then Everton should ignore his concern and launch a pursuit with Brighton likely to demand as much to sell as Norwich are for Aarons, who Kenny seemingly fears is only a second-tier talent.