The Chalkboard: Who is Everton target Santiago Sosa and where could he fit in?

According to the Liverpool Echo, Everton had been keeping tabs on River Plate midfielder Santiago Sosa, but have no plans to act on their interest as of yet.

However, Argentinian outlet Ole have recently revealed that the move has been completed for a fee of €15m (£13.35m), although a work permit is still required.

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Sosa was spotted by Marcel Brands and Under-23 scout Jamie Hoyland at the South America Under-20 Championships in Chile earlier this year, where the defensive midfielder was named in the Team of the Tournament.

The Argentine’s work permit won’t be easy to sort out, but who is he and where would he fit in at Goodison Park if he did eventually arrive?

Who is he?

Sosa is a tough tackling defensive midfielder who has also been blessed with a good eye for a pass.

BBC South American football correspondent Tim Vickery profiled the player in his report of a number of South American football stars, having this to say on the 20-year-old.

“He’s playing at the moment for Argentina in the U20 World Cup in Poland. Sosa is a holding midfielder, better at picking a pass than the defensive side of his game.

“He’s got a little bit of old-fashioned swagger. In the old days in Argentina, that No 5 was the boss of the team, the man who played the vital first pass out of defence.

“But the thing with him is it’s so early. He’s only played a handful of games for River Plate, when they’ve fielded an under-strength side, so if Everton buy him now, to go straight into the first team would be a massive step up.

“He’s one for the long term and looks promising. He would worry me a little bit with his lack of pace for the defensive side of his duties, but he’s certainly an interesting player with the ball at his feet.”

Where would he fit in?

Given the fact the Morgan Schneiderlin made just 13 appearances for the Toffees last term despite being injury-free, Sosa would assumingly replace him at defensive midfield when the Frenchman eventually leaves the club.

The former Southampton man isn’t a Marco Silva favourite given his lack of appearances, so Sosa may be the man to wait in the wings behind Idrissa Gueye until he is needed – perhaps this is why the Merseysiders have moved to secure a deal without a work permit, as they aren’t planning on using him immediately.

In this system, we see Sosa line up as a No.5 in a defensive midfield position alongside the tenacious Gueye, where they would provide a stern midfield base for Gylfi Sigurdsson to venture forward and continue to get amongst the goals.

He would also be capable of screening the back four alone, allowing Gueye to push on if he wanted to or vice versa – this move would allow Everton to explore a number of different options.