Lamine Kone is being linked with a switch to Everton. The centre half joined Sunderland only last season but his performances in helping the Black Cats ward off promotion seem to have been noticed as the Toffees, under Ronald Koeman, look to challenge for Europe once again.
The men from Goodison Park have been out in the Premier League wilderness for a couple of years as, after a fifth place finish in Roberto Martinez’s first season in charge, the wheels came off, culminating in the Spaniard’s dismissal at the end of last season.
As is the case in football though, things have moved on quickly and the Everton fans certainly think their new man could be about to bring some joy back to the club. The Dutch boss has clearly identified defence as an area to improve at the club with Ashley Williams already coming in but with David Moyes reportedly in no rush to get rid of Kone until replacements are found, Koeman’s targets may have to be realigned.
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So in the 7 Of The Best spirit, here are SEVEN Lamine Kone alternatives for Koeman to look at…
Dann has proven over many seasons he is a Premier League level defender and very rarely has a bad game. Similar to Williams in his levels of consistency it’s hard to find a real reason he hasn’t been given a chance at one of the Premier League’s biggest names. He’s in his prime, knows the league inside out and would be a good signing – even if he is a Liverpool fan.
Reid quickly adapted to Premier League life at West Ham to become one of the best defenders outside of the top four. He reads the game well and also has the physical game for the Premier League whilst also carrying a good goal-scoring threat from set pieces. Everton may find it hard to attract him with no European football but with their new financial backing they might still be able to test the Hammers resolve.
The career of Ryan Shawcross is a bit of a mysterious case. When he established himself at Stoke many tipped him to be the future of England’s defensive line but he’s never reached those heights. It’s certainly not because he’s fallen off the rails at any point and so it may just come down to the fact Stoke had a negative reputation for many years. Whether you agree with that or not, Shawcross is still a good defender and that talent is still there so he’d be worth a punt.
Phil Jones gets a bit of a raw deal. He’s been played out of position at Manchester United and the fact he gets a bit of a pasting for some of his on-pitch facial expressions is only going to further ruin his confidence. There’s talent there though, Sir Alex Ferguson wouldn’t have signed him otherwise, but it might just take a fresh start to help him realise that potential properly.
Fonte is the personification of what a solid defender is. He rarely gives the ball away, leads by example at the back and is a very consistent performer. Ronald Koeman will know this only too well from their days together at Southampton and would surely jump at the chance to bring him in. It certainly wouldn’t do him any favours with his former supporters though.
Koeman signed Van Dijk for Southampton from Celtic so he’s obviously a player he rates. Big and strong with good pace, Van Dijk quickly settled into the game this side of the border seeing him catch the eye of many. Like West Ham, Southampton do have the European football card to play but if Koeman comes calling again for the centre half, it’s up for debate whether he’d want to stay put.
Cahill will more than likely play for Chelsea fairly often this season but that shouldn’t put Everton off. The Stamford Bridge club have better defenders in John Terry and the ever-improving Kurt Zouma and may be tempted to offload Cahill now before it’s too late with a decent offer. Chelsea need to build for the future, Everton, especially defensively, need to build for the now and a Gary Cahill transfer would cater for both parties.