With many conversations taking place about who could and should be leaving Everton at the end of the current season, French full-back Djibril Sidibe is quoted saying he wants to make his loan at Goodison Park permanent.
Whether to sign Sidibe long-term is a difficult question in some respects. On the face of it, his defensive deficiencies would seem to make it an easy one to answer.
He has a lot of difficulties with positioning, often getting caught out because of his attacking instincts and often giving the player he is supposed to be marking far too much space and too often appearing to let him go.
These problems have been especially exposed in recent weeks, culminating in his poor display at Chelsea last Sunday. But of course he wasn’t the only Blues player who failed to turn up at Stamford Bridge.
But on the other hand, Sidibe has some fine attacking qualities as we’ve also seen at times during the season, although even that side of his game has been less effective recently too.
One solution would be to find a right-sided midfielder who can also defend, but Carlo Ancelotti’s primary objective would seem to be to improve the attacking and goal scoring impact from the right hand side of his team. This is obviously important.
As I alluded to in my last article one other solution is to move to a 4-3-3 where you have two midfielders who can screen the full-backs when they overlap, such as how Liverpool play.
A versatile footballer like James Milner has been integral to how they set up and a key reason for their success. Everton used to have a player like him in James McCarthy but he has been sold.
As Ancelotti seems unlikely to adopt this formation, at least for now, perhaps he and the Blues need to look at other, affordable right-backs who might be available.
I’ve already listed a few in past articles but there are others worth mentioning. One is the Borussia Dortmund defender Achraf Hakimi. The Moroccan usually plays on the right hand side and has the right sort of qualities that Everton need.
He’s also young, fitting in with Marcel Brands philosophy but given he’s at Dortmund he might well be out of the Toffees price range, even if the German club would be prepared to sell.
Another perhaps more affordable option, could be the Metz defender Fabien Centonze. The 24-year-old Frenchman is very strong defensively but can also contribute plenty in attack too.
If Sidibe is available at around £12 million, it might be worth a punt. Again, as I’ve said before, I also think that one option to help solve this issue that the Blues should consider, is bringing Jonjo Kenny back after his loan in Germany ends.
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That would give Everton better options perhaps combining the two or picking one or other depending on the opponent and situation..?
The priority though for the club’s transfer business this summer would seem to be midfield and central defence.
Talking of central defence, the Toffees are again being linked with the Brazil centre-back Gabriel. This story refuses to go away and today the Liverpool Echo are claiming bringing him in would help solve an issue with the team; the few left-footed players on the Blues books.
The Lille player would add another left-footed individual who can naturally operate on that side of the central defence. This would help free up Mason Holgate who has often played there although he is naturally more comfortable on the right.