Everton linked with £5.4 million rated defender: Is he a good fit for Everton?

The transfer window may be shut but the transfer rumours never really stop for football clubs. According to Daily Mail, Everton has been linked to Pape Abou Cisse, currently plying his trade with Olympiacos.

Cisse has previously played for clubs like AS Pikine, Ajaccio and Saint-Étienne during his career. The Toffees are interested in acquiring the services of the 26-year-old whose performances in the Super League Greece have seen him being linked with a move to the Premier League.

Everton are currently well stacked in the central defence with Michael Keane, Yerry Mina, Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate. If the aforementioned quartet was not enough, Jarrad Branthwaite also joins the party as a young and developing centre back. But, there is always a chance to upgrade.

Even though Mina has been able to put his injury troubles away, there will always be a doubt about him picking up a knock or a pull, especially when the Premier League games come thick and fast. Holgate’s form has dipped and he is struggling from the highs he set in the 2019-20 campaign. Branthwaite is still only 19 years old and cannot be rushed into first team action as it will take him some time to develop and mature.

Is Pape Abou Cisse a good fit for Everton?

A signing like Cisse will help the Merseyside club to add a capable backup option to compete for places with the current defenders at the club. In a tight fixture schedule, an injury to a crucial player can derail any club’s season if they don’t have enough squad depth to compete on all fronts.

The Royal Blues were reportedly one of a few clubs to send scouts to Istanbul for Olympiacos’ Europa League clash with Fenerbahce at the end of September. Adding Cisse will help Everton achieve a good squad depth that can go a long way for Rafa Benitez‘s men. But Everton faces stiff competition from Arsenal who are also interested in adding the Senegal born defender to their ranks.

Cisse was an integral part of the Olympiacos side that defeated Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium back in the 2019-20 season to qualify for the round of 16. The Greek champions’ defence has been rock solid this season, conceding just two goals in five league games, which is the joint lowest goals conceded so far. Olympiacos are currently unbeaten in the Greek top flight and the Europa League and the 6’ 6’’ defender has played a crucial part in that.

His tackles + interceptions per 90 stand at 3.86 and has a pass completion rate of 80.9% at the moment. He also makes 1.14 blocks per game along with winning 4.07 aerial duels per 90. Cisse joins an elite company of top 1% defenders in Europe when it comes to clearances per 90 as the Senegalese registers 8.57 clearances per 90. (via FBref)

Having been impressed with Cisse’s performances, there have been suggestions that Everton are keen on his signature. Godfrey proved to be an excellent coup by Everton last season.  Cisse is valued at £5.4 million (via Transfrmarkt) and if Everton can wrap up the signing of the 26 year old, it will prove to be a similar sort of bargain move that helps the club add competition for places and also provide decent squad depth at the moment.

Will Everton target Pape Abou Cisse in the January transfer window?