Marco Silva has been brought to Everton primarily to overhaul the club’s playing style and usher in a new era of excitement at Goodison Park.
However, one of his more pressing concerns is an ageing defence, with Phil Jagielka, Ashley Williams and Leighton Baines all in need of phasing out in the not so distant future.
The likes of Michael Keane and Mason Holgate may be able to assist at centre-half, but if Silva is tempted to dip into the transfer market and spend some of Everton’s newly-acquired millions on a long-term replacement for Baines, the World Cup may have provided a major pointer.
Uruguay’s Diego Laxalt enjoyed a quietly impressive tournament and it is little surprise that the Toffees have already been linked with an £18m swoop for the Genoa left-back on the back of that.
Oscar Tabarez’s side boasted one of the most water-tight defences on show out in Russia and Laxalt’s energy was a key part of that, which is why Everton are not the only side reportedly showing an interest.
Manuel Pellegrini is overseeing quite the revolution at West Ham, spending big as he also seeks to move towards a more adventurous style of play.
The Hammers have also been linked with the Uruguay international, although his need is not quite as pressing as he has inherited Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku.
However, both men have looked comfortable away from left-back. Cresswell ably deputised as a left-side centre-half under David Moyes last season and there is an outside chance he could move inside permanently.
Masuaku looks more comfortable operating as a left-winger, and could offer the pace and trickery that Pellegrini needs as he seeks to overhaul Moyes’ dour style.
Laxalt combines the solidity that Tabarez demands of his defenders with the endeavour that modern full-backs have to possess and that makes him an ideal fit for both clubs.