It’s safe to say that Theo Walcott has been a bit of a flop since joining Everton from Arsenal nearly 18 months ago as well as a massive financial disaster for the club.
Signed for a reported £20 million and penning a contract worth £100,000-a-week by Spotrac, Walcott’s time at the Toffees has seen fans begging the club to search far and wide for a new winger this summer, and with the transfer market now open for business, the wait could soon be over.
Two wide-men recently linked with the club are Roma winger Cengiz Under, who TuttoMercatoWeb report has already been the subject of a €28m (£25m) bid from Everton, which was rejected, and Lyon attacker Bertrand Traore, who Football Insider claim is one of Marco Silva’s attacking targets this summer.
Both players are key starters for their respective clubs, and with Everton seemingly keen to replace Walcott this summer, how do Under and Traore compare with one another after the 2018/19 season?
Aside from both outperforming Walcott fairly easily, it’s fairly obvious to see which winger enjoyed the best season – that being Under, who contributed to 14 goals compared to Traore’s 11 in domestic league and European competitions, and although the Lyon man scored more than the Roma youngster, it’s the number of assists the Turk reached that could make him a more suitable signing.
When it comes to creating assists from the midfield at Everton, Gylfi Sigurdsson remains the key man, creating six goals in the Premier League this season alone as the Icelandic international yet again proved to be the creative heartbeat of the side. If a player like Under was to partner him alongside him, though, it will take some of the playmaking burden off the former Swansea man.
Sigurdsson has shown this season as well in previous campaigns that he is at his best when he is given free attacking reign, and if Under was to join the team, the 29-year-old number 10 could become a real asset for Everton next season in front of goal.
As well as adding more assists to Everton, Under has the advantage over Traore in terms of key passes, a quality that will benefit Sigurdsson more as well as the likes of Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who will easily improve their goal tallies with the Turkish international in the squad.
Traore does boast a higher number of completed dribbles, but the fact those dazzling slaloms have not garnered more assists is telling about the effectiveness of his final ball.
There is no question that Walcott has been unsuccessful at Everton, but in Under, the club will have a winger built perfectly for Silva’s style who will add goals to the side as well as assisting and taking some of the burden from those who need it most.