Everton: Ruben Vinagre deal outlines Lampard’s plans for player signed by Marcel Brands

Everton (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Last season, Everton played without a reliable backup to the left back position. Everton have now signed a Ruben Vinagre to provide cover to Vitaliy Mykolenko in order to solve the squad depth issues that have been lingering for long.

The Toffees have often been criticized for not having adequate squad depth in certain positions which has often cost them and imbalanced the team. Left back was a position that had been lacking a reliable cover since last season. During the first half of the campaign, Digne was the only left back at the club and when he was frozen out of the side, the Toffees had no choice but to play Jonjoe Kenny, Ben Godfrey or even Seamus Coleman in that position.

Everton sold Digne to Aston Villa in the January transfer window and signed Mykolenko. Even at this point, the Toffees did not have a natural backup to the Ukrainian, and the likes of Kenny and Godfrey were used as makeshift left backs when Mykolenko was unavailable.

Everton’s only other left back, Niels Nkounkou, was sent out on loan last summer to Standard Liege where he gained some valuable minutes. This summer, Lampard got a chance to assess him closely during the preseason. As things appear, the Frenchman doesn’t seem quite ready yet to take be entrusted with the responsibility of acting as a cover to Mykolenko.

Everton sign Ruben Vinagre

Nkounkou has shown flashes of brilliance through his raw pace and attacking skillsets as a modern day full back but the player still needs to acquire more playing experience. During the same time, Everton were linked to Vinagre, who has played 70 games for Wolves and has some Premier League experience.

Everton were quick to negotiate and get a deal over the line for the Sporting full back. Fabrizio Romano has reported that Vinagre is an Everton player. Paperwork has been signed between the two clubs for a loan deal with an option to buy. The Toffees will be covering Vinagre’s entire salary for the season which stands at around €800,000.

Vinagre is not a world beater, nor is he a player whose shirts will sell at a record rate but he is the necessary fix required for solving the squad depth issue. With Nkounkou not quite Premier League ready, Lampard and Everton had to sign a new left back to avoid putting all the pressure on Mykolenko.

The Ukrainian will remain the first choice but now Vinagre will there to provide support when Mykolenko is unavailable, solves one obstacle. As for Nkounkou, a loan move away from Goodison is the most favourable outcome but given that his contract expires in 2023, Everton may even decide to cash in and generate some profit.

Until now, the Toffees were trying to fit a square peg in a round hole but with Vinagre, they are not papering the cracks but providing a strong solution.

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