Everton will struggle to sign Zouma long-term

Everton (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) /

News this week mean’s that it is likely Everton will be unable to sign Kurt Zouma on a permanent contract in the summer.

The Chelsea defender who has been on-loan this season at Everton, has had a decent if unspectacular campaign in a royal blue shirt.

Although he has not always been as consistent and reliable as might have been hoped for, Zouma has produced some solid performances for the Blues, especially when he has played with Michael Keane.

I’ve not been totally convinced it would be worth signing him on a permanent deal especially given how much Chelsea would probably ask for, but Marco Silva seems very keen to do so.

However the news this week that Chelsea will in all likelihood face a transfer ban on signing new players, makes it far less likely they will be prepared to let him go to Everton or anywhere else.

With that and another shambolic defensive effort yesterday at Newcastle United, are there any other possible centre-halves the Toffees could look at to strengthen their options in the middle of the defence next season?

Looking at current Premier League players from teams below Everton in the league, one possible option is a player the Toffees were facing this weekend, Newcastle United centre-back Fabian Schar.

The Swiss ranks highly in most areas and is a modern ball-playing type of defender and likes to carry it out of defence. But on the downside he has a poor disciplinary record.

However he does seem to be very consistent all-round defender and has been part of a solid Newcastle defence this season. Although they did let in two Everton goals of course yesterday.

I doubt however Newcastle would be prepared to sell him except for a huge fee or that he would consider a move unless it was to a top six club.

Another player who I think is worth a look at is Brighton’s Republic of Ireland defender Shane Duffy. The Irishman has had another very solid season in the heart of the Seagulls defence.

Duffy is not the most flamboyant perhaps, but he does the basics of defending well and seems a very consistent and reliable performer.

Crucially too he is particularly effective winning the ball in the air and at set-pieces, an area where Everton have been conspicuously weak all season long.

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In many ways though he is quite similar to Keane and that might not necessarily be ideal in the modern game. If you play with a strong ball-winning type you would probably want one centre-back who is genuinely quick alongside him.

But with Phil Jagielka getting on and suffering from almost constant injury problems, having Duffy would give balance and strength in-depth alongside more pacy, ball-playing defenders like Mason Holgate and Yerry Mina.

Duffy might also be a more affordable option than some others, although Brighton would be loath to let him go.