Everton have entered the transfer market under Rafa Benitez with little spending.
It may be somewhat surprising when you consider that the Spanish coach was promised money to splash in the window after arriving at Goodison Park.
One player on whom Everton were hoping to spend big was Ben White. They were ready to usurp Arsenal’s bid of £50m for the former Brighton defender but they ultimately missed out on him.
He did indeed join the Gunners, which has left the Toffees to consider other targets. Juventus centre-half Merih Demiral and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly have both been considered as they look to strengthen their ranks.
Everton’s defence wasn’t exactly a pillar of solidity in 2020/21. Although Ben Godfrey proved to be a valuable addition, playing right across the back four, there were some unconvincing displays from the likes of Seamus Coleman and Mason Holgate at times.
Therefore, if Benitez wants to drag Everton towards Europe once again, they will need to pair Godfrey with someone of a higher calibre.
Another defender on Everton’s radar is Inter Milan’s Stefan de Vrij. The Dutchman was in the Netherlands squad during Euro 2020 and has proven himself to be a fabulous ball-playing centre-back, just like former Toffees target White.
He was also tenacious in the air, proving to be a formidable force when the ball was off the ground. The Inter defender won two aerial duels per game in 2020/21, while winning 2.5 aerial battles a match in the European Championship.
That would put him among the best in the Toffees squad, with only Michael Keane and Yerry Mina winning more headed duels in the Premier League among Benitez’s current centre-back options.
Although the Dutch defender earns a massive £124k-per-week in Italy, those qualities show that he would be a fantastic addition to the Everton squad.
As a review from Former Lazio defender Mauricio tells you, De Vrij would offer plenty to Benitez’s squad. The Brazilian said: “Stefan is a great defender and deserves to be at a big club. He’s very tall, he’s strong and fast, he runs a lot – he’s a monster.
“He also has excellent technique and knows how to play the ball like few others, and that’s the difference between him and other players.”
On that evidence, Marcel Brands could strike gold by securing this deal.