As Rafa Benitez entered Goodison Park with a wry smile last week after penning terms with Everton, he may well have been muttering ‘Money, Money, Money’ by ABBA under his breath.
The Toffees are far from a superpower but their ability to spend in the transfer window is far greater than Benitez’s previous English team; Newcastle.
The Spaniard has been promised finances to spend by the Everton hierarchy and they’ve already made moves to live up to their word.
They’re considering a £55m bid in various instalments for Brighton defender Ben White but they could also launch a move for Wilfried Zaha.
They have been interested in the Ivorian’s services for a while now, seeing a bid rejected back in 2019 that was worth £70m plus Cenk Tosun and James McCarthy.
“Are Everton any closer to signing Wilfried Zaha? They don’t seem to be. That’s exactly what they’ve put.
“It’s still ongoing, but it’s a slow one. It seems like there is something going on, but whether it happens or not, I don’t know.”
Zaha is the definition of an enigmatic footballer. On his day, he is one of the trickiest attacking players in the entire Premier League.
His close touch ability can get him out of tight areas and he is regularly fouled by the opposition.
Speaking about the winger in 2019/20, Ian Wright labelled Zaha “unstoppable” for the way he goes about his business.
The 28-year-old found the back of the net on 11 occasions last season while completing 1.8 dribbles per match. That tally was down on previous years with the former Manchester United gem completing a whopping 4.3 dribbles per game in 2019/20.
For context, that number is considerably greater than any other player in the Everton squad. Everton’s top dribbler last term was Richarlison who racked up 1.8 successful take-ons.
Coincidentally, Benitez is a manager who has previous with Zaha.
They endured a small war of words back in September 2018. The Palace winger said that he’d have to break his leg before anyone got a red card for fouling him.
Those comments weren’t taken well by the new Everton boss who suggested the FA needed to deal with him.
In the process, however, the 61-year-old found praise for Zaha. “He has the pace, the ability because he is a great player – but I don’t think it will make any difference for our players, and especially for the referee,” he commented.
With James Rodriguez potentially heading out of the exit door this summer then the Toffees will need another winger to bolster their ranks.
Zaha has been touted at £40m which would be a costly investment for someone who can be so inconsistent. That said, he should thrive with a team that enjoys more possession.
Marcel Brands must ensure he’s one of Benitez’s first big-money signings at Goodison.