In Focus: Everton must look elsewhere as Arsenal close in on £20m Evans deal

According to reports in The Telegraph, Everton look set to lose out to Arsenal in the race to sign West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny Evans in a £20m deal this month.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Mirror reported on December 6 that the Toffees had joined the race to sign the Baggies captain during the January transfer window, with the Northern Ireland international unwilling to extend his deal which runs out next summer.

However, The Telegraph now says that Arsenal are confident of completing a £75m double swoop to bring Evans and Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the Emirates, with a deal for the former set to be worth around £20m.

The Merseyside outfit have added to their attacking options already with the additions of Theo Walcott from the Gunners and Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun, but it remains to be seen whether Sam Allardyce will look to boost his backline before the window slams shut next Wednesday.

How has Evans done this season?

He has once again been of West Brom’s most reliable and consistent performers, but he hasn’t been particularly lucky when it comes to being part of a winning side.

The 30-year-old missed the opening three matches of the season as the Baggies took seven points, before playing a part in each of their 19 games without a win before they beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 at the Hawthorns earlier this month.

The captain has shown his defensive qualities and his ability on the ball throughout the campaign however, and according to WhoScored.com he has made 37 interceptions, 84 clearances and won 41 aerial duels, while he has successfully completed all eight of the dribbles he has attempted.

Will Everton be annoyed to miss out?

Allardyce may well have been interested in signing Evans knowing that the Northern Irishman can play either as a left-sided centre-back or left-back – two areas that the Merseyside outfit aren’t really strong in right now.

However, the former England boss may not have felt that the 30-year-old is worth the reported £20m fee even with the experience he would bring to Goodison Park, and Allardyce is likely to look elsewhere for a younger centre-back – either in the last week of this month or in the summer.