The Daily Star have been mentioning Everton with a move for RB Salzburg striker Patson Daka as he becomes the latest forward in Europe linked with a big transfer move this summer.
We’ve previously mentioned this rumour and today the Star are again claiming Everton are among a large number of English clubs chasing the Zambian forward. The others include the usual suspects such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool, all allegedly tracking him.
Daka has been catapulted onto the radar of Europe’s biggest clubs with his fine form this season as he’s netted 23 times already for Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga.
The 22-year-old is another of the increasingly large number of similar forwards playing in European football these days. He doesn’t have a set position it seems and can operate in wide areas or at centre-forward making him that typically modern, versatile attacking player.
One other similar forward who has also been connected with the Toffees recently is the Besiktas player and Canadian international Cyle Larin.
Comparing the two there isn’t much to separate them. Both are similar in age and height and both can play wide or through the middle.
Daka has scored more goals at a better rate in the Austrian top flight than Larin has manged in the Turkish Super Lig. But it’s debatable which is the higher quality of those leagues.
Larin is also certainly more affordable and has already been included in speculative transfer stories about a possibe swap deal for Toffees striker Cenk Tosun, himself currently back at Besiktas on loan.
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So if the Blues are looking for a versatile, all-round forward who can play across the frontline, Larin is probably the more realistic choice of these two. He’s also a younger and I think better version of Josh King, who has not exactly impressed since his loan move in January.
And Larin is even more of an option if the Toffees don’t want to be in competition with Premier League rivals for Daka who might offer Champions League football, which Everton are very unlikely to secure this season.
A fee of around £10 million would probably get Larin and of course there is always that possibility, albeit a remote one, of a swap for Tosun.
Many supporters will understandably want higher profile signings and neither of these forwards is tried and tested in a top European league.
But it seems a stretch to me for Everton to get a player like Leon Bailey for example, who is almost certain to want Champions League football if he decides to move on this summer.
While it’s not ideal, the Blues need to be realistic and it seems that if other rumours have any truth to them, Carlo Ancelotti wants to further strengthen his defence and midfield.
Bringing in one of these talented young forwards for a very modest fee or even free via a swap deal in Larin’s case, would leave the club able to make two or three other major signings to bolster those areas of the team.