If Everton are to spend big this summer, then it looks as though Marcel Brands and Farhad Moshiri could be throwing the cheque book at a midfielder.
Another midfield brute that Everton have set their sights on is Sheffield United’s Sander Berge.
The Norwegian has a relegation release clause of £35m in his contract which may allow him to leave Bramall Lane more easily in a few months time.
Berge hasn’t had a particularly enthralling season. He suffered a nasty hamstring injury back in December that ruled him out until the beginning of May.
The 23-year-old has only just returned, playing 45 minutes against Tottenham and then lasting an hour in Sheffield United’s 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.
His impact at the Blades may have dwindled but he still has an incredibly high ceiling.
Speaking about his game earlier in the season, Chris Wilder reserved compliments for the midfielder; “Sander has been unique,” the former Blades boss began. “He is the one who has stood out for us. He is a complete midfielder. He can play as 8s and as 6s. He can play in different formations. The wonderful thing about Sander is his attitude.”
What stands out about Berge’s style of play is his ability to sense danger and break up the play. He is composed in possession, bringing the ball forward with authority and a sense of purpose.
This brand of football is incredibly similar to Gareth Barry, a player who not only brought a lot to Everton, but lovingly became one of the most consistent in his position in Premier League history.
The City website describes his style like so: “A reliable, composed and tactically astute midfielder with a knack for sniffing out danger, his understated style of play made him one of the unsung heroes of that title-winning side.”
Their tackling numbers are also pretty similar. During the Everton target’s best campaign, he won 2.3 tackles per game for Genk in the 2016/17 Europa League.
Barry’s average during the final ten years of his career was just ahead at a rate of 2.4 per match.
With all that said, this would be a dazzling capture from Carlo Ancelotti, one that could evoke memories of their former stalwart.