Everton’s summer hasn’t exactly gone according to plan.
They lost Carlo Ancelotti before the window had even opened and then their long hunt for a new manager meant they were left trailing behind in the player market.
In terms of the playing staff, the Toffees could be struck with a few mighty blows.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the subject of interest from both Manchester United and Real Madrid while James Rodriguez could depart after just a year on Merseyside.
Marcel Brands concluded a phenomenal deal for the Colombian a year ago when they welcomed the creative maestro to Goodison Park on a free transfer.
His first campaign in English football was injury-hit but he still contributed to ten goals in the Premier League.
AC Milan are believed to be interested in the attacker with Rodriguez’s agent, Mino Raiola, meeting with the Italian club.
If he does walk through the exit door, it will leave Everton with a lack of quality in the final third.
Everton were linked with a move for Mikkel Damsgaard over the weekend and if he joins the Toffees, he’d be a wonderful replacement for James.
Like Rodriguez, the Danish sensation is capable of playing in central areas but also on the flanks.
Similarly, he has now shone at a major international tournament. The Everton star gained fame for lighting up the 2014 World Cup with Colombia when he finished the competition as the top scorer.
Damsgaard hasn’t found the net as regularly but as Denmark reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020, he was often the beating heart of everything positive they did in the final third.
The Sampdoria forward scored twice, including a wonderful free-kick against England and registered an assist.
Described as “magical” by TV2’s Martin Mikkelsen, the vibrant baby faced Dane has an enormous future in the game.
Crucial in replacing James are creative and technical attributes. Fortunately, the 15-goal Damsgaard has that in abundance.
Damsgaard has the ability to run a defence ragged but also pick up tidy pockets of space right on the edge of the area.
With that in mind, he’d be the ideal replacement for Rodriguez this summer. Rafa Benitez must ensure his side are at the front of the queue for the youngster’s signature.