Everton must refrain from making a knee-jerk decision by signing Steven Nzonzi, amid doubt in the AS Roma midfielder’s future with loan side Stade Rennais.
According to Foot Mercato, the Blues have continued to monitor Nzonzi’s situation since he departed the Stadio Olimpico for Roazhon Park on a temporary deal in the last January transfer window.
Rennes fought off Premier League interest in Nzonzi and signed the Frenchman to add depth in their engine room last winter, which proved a wise decision after the £9m-rated brute helped the Ligue 1 outfit to secure qualification to the Champions League last term.
But just months on, discussions between Roma and Nzonzi, about terminating his loan deal ,are now said to be ongoing, even though Rennes had hoped to retain the 32-year-old with the prospect of a two-year contract.
Arsenal and Everton are expected to pay close attention to Nzonzi’s situation having tracked his path previously, as Julien Stephan begins scouting alternatives in case the 20-cap France international decides to quit his side.
Nzonzi has been a key part of Stephan’s plans with starting roles in all 17 of his Ligue 1 appearances this term, while opening five of the Roazhon Park native’s Champions League Group Stage ties.
However, Everton should not be tempted to pursue a deal for Nzonzi this month should the £93,000-per-week enforcer decide to end his first spell back in France since 2009, as the former Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City enforcer will not be an upgrade on those already featuring at Goodison Park.
Nzonzi has hardly taken Ligue 1 by storm this season with the 32-year-old often failing to present a fierce defensive presence, with just 0.9 successful tackles, 0.3 interceptions and 1.7 ground duels won per a game, per SofaScore.
He rarely brings play forward either, with just 0.5 successful dribbles, nor does he really create chances with just 0.4 key balls.
In terms of defensive actions, the only current Everton players Nzonzi’s numbers from this season would eclipse are those of the rarely-seen Fabian Delph and the attack-minded duo Bernard and Gylfi Sigurdsson, who average 0.6, 0.83 and 0.88 successful tackles per Premier League appearance, respectively.
Andre Gomes is also the sole Toffees player to offer fewer interceptions (0.08), but he is seemingly now far from Ancelotti’s plans with no top-flight starts since early November.
Whilst Carlo Ancelotti awaits the return of Allan from a hamstring injury, he should trust his current players to get Everton the wins they desire, as a knee-jerk move for N’Zonzi would simply see them bring in a player whose numbers indicate that he’s not as good as the players in the Blues’ squad.
Allan is expected to return to holding down the defensive role in the Italian tactician’s unit soon, too, making it even less vital that Marcel Brands commits more financial resources on further midfield options, unless Everton anticipate moving on from those currently out of favour.
For now, Ancelotti should manage with what he’s got until Allan returns to full fitness.
AND in other news, Carlo Ancelotti must cash-in on a £6.5m-rated outcast unfit for Everton.