Everton have been almost like Jekyll and Hyde this season. A club best start under new manager Ronald Koeman and Everton fans were getting excited in the Post Martinez era but only 1 win in their last 9 league matches has seen those fans bought back down to Earth with an almighty bump. The low spot of this season has to be the 5-0 demolition job that Chelsea carried out at Stamford Bridge. That result highlighted just how far the club have to go if they are to get close to the title chasing pack of teams above them, this is still very much a work in progress for Koeman and that progress can be pushed on in January with some new additions to the squad. Let’s now look at three midfielders who could be making their way to Goodison Park in Janaury
With Yannick Bolasie set to be ruled out for the rest of the season due to knee ligament damage Everton are once again lacking a creative spark in midfield. It’s all very well having a striker as good as Romelu Lukaku but without the right amount of service there is the danger that he could become ineffectual.
Therefore Everton will likely be in the market for an attacking midfielder and one man that has caught their attention as of late is Alan Dzagoev. The CSKA Moscow midfielder scored the opening goal in his side’s 3-1 defeat to Tottenham at Wembley and now that the Russian club are out of European competition this season there is every chance that Dzagoev could look to move to the Premier League.
Recently Dzagoev was quoted as saying ‘”I like English Premier League. So to play for a serious English club would be great for me,” and those comments have subsequently put English clubs on high alert. A constant goal threat in the Russian Premier League and in Europe he has scored 62 goals in just under 300 games for the Russian giants not only that but Dzagoev would also bring international experience to Goodison Park after accumulating a half century of caps for the Russian national side. With CSKA still in the Russian title race then they will obviously be loathed to sell their star asset but after 8 years at the club the diminutive midfielder may well feel that now is the time to try his luck in one of Europe’s top leagues.
Almost the forgotten man of Old Trafford this season. After making 29 appearances under Louis Van Gaal last season he has been trusted with just 2 under Jose Mourinho this time around. Schneiderlin is arguably the biggest casualty of Paul Pogba’s £89m capture and now sees his route to the first team all but blocked off by the world’s most expensive player. With him out of favour at United could he be offered an escape route and more importantly first team football by former boss Ronald Koeman. They may have only had one season together at St Mary’s but Koeman would undoubtedly love to rekindle that relationship at Goodison Park.
Schneiderlin made 25 league appearances in that solitary season under Koeman in which he found the net on 4 occasions. That form is ultimately what led to a whole host of Premier League sides looking to gain his services and eventually Louis Van Gaal won the race and signed him for £25m back in 2015.
After a solid but not spectacular debut season at Old Trafford, Schneiderlin is growing frustrated at the lack of game time which is currently available to him right now. Should that frustration become too great and he decides to leave then Everton will be at the front of the queue for his signature. Should he sign for The Toffees then the prospect of him and Idrissa Gueye pairing up in the centre of midfield becomes a very exciting prospect.
If Everton don’t fancy paying the £20m for Schneiderlin they could look for a cheaper alternative in the way of compatriot Soualiho Meite. The 22 year old’s registration is owned by Ligue 1 side Lille but Meite is currently on loan Belgian Pro League side Zulte-Waregem where he is attracting a lot of attention from a host of European clubs due to his impressive string of performances this season. Meite has represented France at nearly all youth levels with only France’s Under 21 side the exception but with the way he is playing as of late there’s nothing to stop him bypassing that level and going on to earn full international honours.
With him on loan at present, Lille will only entertain offers of a permanent nature with the bidding set to start at £6m. Everton will certainly have the funds available but they could be in a tug of war with their Merseyside neighbours Liverpool and that’s before we mention the interest from German giants Borussia Dortmund. The ace up Everton’s sleeve is that they would be able to offer Mete a route to first team football whereas if he were to move to a bigger club he may have to make do with warming the bench at an important stage of his career. At his age players need to playing week in week out so as to not hamper their development. There’s no question that Meite will move from Lille but will he make the right choice in terms of his career. Everton could very well be that right choice.