Everton are absolutely desperate for a new centre back this summer, and a surprising development at Chelsea might open the door for a shock swoop for Kurt Zouma.
According to GOAL.com, Everton have turned their attentions to Marcos Rojo after Barcelona refused to budge from their £35m asking price for Yerry Mina.
Mina has been heavily linked with a switch to Goodison, as the departures of both Ashley Williams and Ramiro Funes Mori has left the Toffees desperately short of defensive options.
Manchester United’s Rojo could be “closing in” on a £30m move to Merseyside according to The Manchester Evening News, but Marco Silva and Marcel Brands should look elsewhere.
According to reports, Zouma has been stripped of his squad number at Chelsea.
The colossal defender, who was excellent on loan with Stoke, has been forced to hand his No 5 shirt to new signing Jorginho, and his future at Stamford Bridge is now in doubt.
The 23 year-old is valued at just £13.5m by Transfermarkt, and it looks like the mega money deal for Jorginho has reaffirmed his status as an outcast at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea’s loss could be Everton’s gain.
Rojo is the most technically gifted defender the Toffees have been linked with this summer, but Zouma is a better out and out defender, which is what Silva really needs right now.
Michael Keane’s poor positional sense and lack of pace will leave the Toffees exposed if they go for Rojo, but Zouma’s pace, power and impressive maturity at such a young age will help Keane blossom.
The 6 ft 3 Frenchman averaged 6.8 clearances per game last season on loan with Stoke, also winning over three aerial duels per game. He made 1.5 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game, so there are really no question marks over his defensive ability.
He is also very versatile, meaning he could fit into any system that Silva deploys. The 23 year-old has performed well in both a Chelsea side that dominated the ball and a Stoke side that sat deep, so he can fit into either style.
While he may not have the passing ability of Rojo, he is tidy in possession, happy to roam out of defence Harry Maguire style. Partnering Rojo with Keane would be a disaster waiting to happen, but Zouma is calmer, better defensively and an absolute beast in the air.
So, Everton fans, which centre back would you rather sign? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…