Yesterday we reported on a tentative transfer rumour that Everton had tabled an offer for the Real Betis full-back Emerson. Could the Brazilian be the right-sided player the Blues need?
Although Everton have been linked with several right-backs and right-wingers, the focus of most of the club’s transfer efforts so far has rightly been on midfield.
With deals for James Rodriguez, Allan and possibly Abdolaye Doucoure, inching slowly towards we hope, a successful conclusion, the club might be looking again at more right-back options.
While the Toffees have both Seamus Coleman and Jonjo Kenny available, neither has convinced that they can be the answer Everton need.
Coleman’s age and declining powers combined with Kenny’s inexperience and questions over his ability at Premier League level, mean the Blues are being constantly linked to other full-backs.
Several players have been mentioned in these various stories including Santiago Arias, Diogo Dalot and Alesandro Florenzi.
All these individuals have their strengths and weaknesses and so Emerson’s name is a new one to join this group that Everton are supposedly tracking.
The Brazilian player has been with Real Betis this past season. He is a young defender at just 21, which would make him a more attractive prospect financially than say Florenzi.
He also has good qualities and skills. Emerson is versatile and defensively strong, particularly in the air and puts in plenty of tackles. He does though pick up a lot of yellow cards as well, so discipline might be an issue.
The 21-year-old is also very good going forward, netting three times and contributing a further six assists last season. Those are good numbers for a player who mainly operates at right-back.
He can also play in a more advanced right-sided role and seems very comfortable doing so. This is something that he has in common with most of the right-backs, like those mentioned above, that the Toffees have been linked with in this summer transfer window.
While bringing in Rodriguez is obviously going to to significantly improve the creative flair and goal threat in the Blues team, he is not really an orthodox winger and is more suited to playing in a midfield three, or perhaps as a number 10.
So Emerson’s qualities will be of interest to Carlo Ancelotti, if he is indeed still looking for more options out wide on the right hand side of his team.
It would make sense to bring in a right-back who is very strong overlapping and able to provide that natural width and outlet, just as Lucas Digne does on the left.
A player like Emerson would also allow Rodriguez, if he was playing on the right of midfield, to come inside on his favoured left foot, knowing there was cover behind and outside him.
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Ancelotti could then play different tactical formations such as say a 5-3-2, in which his full-backs become the wide attacking outlet.
On reflection, of all the players mentioned, I think Emerson looks the best all-round candidate for this role. There are though two main problems.
First it’s highly improbable Everton would be prepared to pay a fee outright for him, given how much the deals for Rodriguez, Allan and Docoure will cost, unless the club can offload quite a lot of the dead wood in the squad first.
Therefore unless Barcelona are ready to consider a loan, I don’t think a deal will happen. If recent press stories are to be believed it’s unlikely they will.
Secondly any possible transfer is complicated by a bizarre situation in which his rights are technically joint ‘owned’ by two Spanish clubs, Barcelona and Real Betis.
This would make a transfer much more difficult as presumably Everton, if they were interested, would have to do a deal with both clubs to get him.