Last season, Everton played without a natural backup left back. It appears that the Toffees do not want to gamble on lack of squad depth and seem to be evaluating options for backup role at left back. Juventus defender Luca Pellegrini is a name that is circulating in the news feeds.
Last summer, the Toffees sent Niels Nkounkou on loan to Standard Liege leaving Everton with just one natural left back, Lucas Digne. The relationship between Digne and then manager Rafa Benitez deteriorated and the Spanish boss froze Digne out of the lineup. The absence of another left back meant that Everton were forced to deploy Seamus Coleman and Jonjoe Kenny in that role, where neither of them impressed.
In January, Everton sold Digne and signed Vitaliy Mykolenko who has settled well in the role and is building confidence with each passing game. However, the lack of a backup left back does pose a risk. Ben Godfrey can provide cover but his services will be vital in the central defence instead of the full back area.
Everton have been linked to a number of left backs. AZ Alkmaar defender Owen Wijndal is a player that is being considered and a deal could be struck with the Dutch side for a fee of around €10 million. Now, even Pellegrini is a name that has been linked.
Everton offered Juventus left back Luca Pellegrini
According to Italian media outlet Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness), Juventus have told Pellegrini’s agent to find a new opportunity for his client. The 23 year old Italian was managed by super-agent Mino Raiola but since his passing, Vincenzo Raiola is managing his clients.
Pellegrini played 21 games for the Bianconeri and was clearly not the first choice for Max Allegri. His entourage has acted swiftly and offered the 23 year old to three English clubs – Everton, Fulham and West Ham United. In Italy, Juventus’ cross city rivals, Torino, are also tempted to sign Pellegrini.
The Italian market value is estimated to be £8.1 million by Transfermarkt. Everton will be looking for such opportunities in the market that solve the squad depth issues and have a resale value in the future.
A left back’s arrival would also hint that Nkounkou would depart on another loan where he can get more minutes under his belt and gather the required experience. The Toffees have also been strongly linked to Oleksandr Zinchenko. While it is clear that he will be viewed as a central midfielder at Goodison Park, his ability to carry out the responsibilities of a left back will be an added bonus.
As things stand, Everton have not made any official approach for Pellegrini or any other left back but adding squad depth should be on the agenda of Frank Lampard.
Should Luca Pellegrini be considered for a backup role?