Norwich City defender Max Aarons underwhelmed as his Championship side beat Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday, as questions were raised over Everton’s current right-back options.
That’s according to the Liverpool Echo, who claimed that there is a growing concern for Carlo Ancelotti as the weekend’s loss to Burnley exposed an imbalance in his plans.
It is noted that Everton only delivered five accurate crosses during the 2-1 defeat to the Clarets, yet the quality of three of those successful efforts was still questionable.
Alex Iwobi also vastly struggled in a right-wing-back role with zero of his five crosses finding a teammate, and it was not often through a lack of movement in the centre that Everton were poor but rather in the ball being over or under hit to considerable degrees.
Iwobi has been poor all season, in fact, with the Nigerian only finding an Everton player with 14% of his crosses during Premier League fixtures for 0.4 accurate deliveries from 2.6 attempts a game, per WhoScored.
Mason Holgate is not much better when fielded at right-back with the natural centre-half finding a royal blue shirt with 0.3 crossed a game but from 1.6 attempts, for a 16.6% success rate. Seamus Coleman, who has started 10 of 16 league appearances this term, is successful with 0.3 of his 1.2 crosses a game, to register a 22.2% success rate.
On the opposing side of the field, Lucas Digne produces the highest number of accurate crosses a game in the Everton squad with 1.7 and from the most attempts (7.5), to see that the 27-year-old boasts a 22.6% success rate.
Ancelotti could look to address this imbalance in the upcoming summer transfer market with the Toffees boss already weighing up options who could replace Coleman, with the Liverpool Echo citing Norwich’s Aarons and Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey as two options being considered.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has also shared that the Blues are looking into Aarons’ situation, while Manchester United are likewise scouting the 21-year-old but Bayern Munich have brought a halt to their interest after baulking at the Canaries’ £35m valuation.
Former Scotland manager Alex McLeish has claimed Aarons would be an “excellent” replacement for Coleman if Everton were to raid Carrow Road for the second year in a row, after their £20m deal for Ben Godfrey last summer.
Aarons remained with Norwich after their relegation to the Championship while Godfrey and Jamal Lewis both sealed Premier League transfers, and has been a fixture of Daniel Farke’s side that is dominating the second-tier this season.
The London-born full-back has opened all 36 of the Canaries’ league games as they run away with the lead in search of an immediate return to the top-flight, while offering one goal and three assists.
But Sunday’s performance against Sheffield Wednesday may have given Ancelotti reason to doubt the benefits of a £35m move, having not attempted a single cross into the Owls’ box as he earned his joint-worst SofaScore match rating in 12 games at 6.7 out of 10.
Sheffield Wednesday should have been a side Aarons could pick apart with the Owls second-bottom of the table and on a seven-game losing streak, but he could not get anywhere near his average 0.8 accurate crosses (24%) a game that would be a welcome addition at Everton.
He further failed to offer a single successful tackle against Darren Moore’s Hillsborough natives, to ensure that his per game average remained below one an outing at 0.6.
It was also the second successive game that Aarons did not attempt a single cross, having also opted against lifting the ball into the area against Luton Town the previous week, while failing to pick out a teammate with his only delivery against Brentford at the start of the month.
Three underwhelming performances in a row could leave Ancelotti wondering if Aarons is the best option to replace Coleman long-term, given the growing concern that the right-back position is becoming at Goodison Park.