Could two players from relegated Bournemouth represent a good investment for Everton as the Blues search the summer transfer market for quality, affordable midfield reinforcements?
There are two players from the Cherries who could be just what Everton need to strengthen their centre, both of whom would likely be available this summer.
Philip Billing and David Brooks are two talented young midfielders who are almost certain to want to stay playing in the Premier League now that Bournemouth have been relegated. While the Cherries are likely to have to trim their wage bill considerably now.
At first glance it might be a strange thing to argue that two players from a team that has just dropped into the Championship, would represent good value.
It’s true that the Bournemouth haven’t had a good season, to put it mildly! They do though have several young players who I think could do well in better sides.
Two of them are the type of midfielders that the Toffees are looking for, and would probably be affordable given the south coast club’s new financial realities, post-relegation.
In truth too, Everton’s financial position is hardly the strongest and having finished in the bottom half of the table, the Toffees need to recognise that they are not in all likelihood, competing at the top table of players in terms of the transfer market.
Billing, 24, is a strong and capable defensive midfielder who would provide that work rate, tackling and ball-winning that Everton have missed since Idrissa Gueye left and Jean-Philippe Gbamin was injured so soon into his Blues career.
He is also very good in the air and so he would offer additional defensive reinforcements in terms of set-pieces too, somewhere the Blues have been weak for a while.
The Denmark player isn’t the best offensively, but he would seem to be a very similar type of player to Gbamin, who of course, may or may not recover from his series of injury problems.
If Gbamin does return to fitness, Billing’s arrival would also mean Everton could consider playing him at centre-back where he has often turned out for Ivory Coast. This, as I’ve said before, would help take the pressure off the club and mean the Toffees wouldn’t necessarily need to have signed another central defender in this transfer window.
And one of Billing’s team mates would provide the attacking element, if he also signed for the Blues; David Brooks.
Brooks is a few years younger than Billing, a 22-year-old Welsh midfielder who has played only a few times for Bournemouth this past season. He is still a little bit of an unknown but is rated as a good attacking prospect who can play in the centre or wide right.
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Both these individuals, given their age, could be a long-term investment too and hopefully Everton would see their transfer value rise over the next few years, presuming of course their performances merited it.
Sticking to the south coast club, and the Toffees are also supposedly tracking yet another Cherries player, the Norway forward Joshua King.
King is a versatile and consistent forward who plays in a number of positions across the forward line and contributed six goals and four assists last season.
According to reports in the media, Everton are considering a bid for King as the club scour the transfer market for affordable attacking options.
King’s numbers were not as outstanding in 2019-20 as they were in recent past seasons, but he is a fine attacker, who for a quoted fee of around £15 million, might represent a good quality signing and who would provide the experience to help the Blues young forwards develop.