Everton has a lot of work to do over the summer to improve the squad. From getting another striker to new midfielders and centrebacks, Sean Dyche will be busy preventing a third consecutive season of relegation fright.
Another position he will need to address is the backup goalkeeper. Asmir Begovic announced last week that he will not be renewing his contract with the Toffees and will become a free agent at the end of the month.
The 35-year-old Bosnian international came to Everton two years ago on a free transfer from AFC Bournemouth.
Begovic in 12 games, most recently in November in a 4-1 loss to Bournemouth in the EFL Cup. Now with him departing, a backup keeper is needed in the squad to provide insurance for Jordan Pickford.
Here are three potential candidates Everton can look to sign on a free this summer to replace Asmir Begovic.
Maxime Dupe – Toulouse
French international Maxime Dupe spent this past season as the first-choice goalkeeper for Ligue 1 side Toulouse.
He started in 38 games, recording nine clean sheets. He recorded two consecutive seasons with 16 clean sheets while bringing Toulouse back to Ligue 1 after relegation in 2019.
Toulouse finished this season in 13th place with 48 points. Dupe only requires a weekly wage of five to ten thousand pounds, much less than Begovic’s 45,000.
Valued at two million euros on Transfermarkt, the 30-year-old would be a nice insurance policy in case star man Jordan Pickford is ever unavailable.
Three Transfer Targets to Replace Begovic
Marco Sportiello – Atalanta
Sportiello started the last nine games of the Serie A campaign for Europa League side Atalanta.
The 31-year-old Italian has been with the club for over a decade, with three loan spells in between. His last full season was in 2018/19 on loan with Frosinone.
He recorded eight clean sheets in 35 starts. One season prior in 2017/18 on loan with Fiorentina, Sportiello started 37 matches, recording 14 clean sheets.
Sportiallo has also played in seven champions league matches in his time with Atalanta, showing proper European experience. With a value of 1.5 million euros, Sportiallo is a proper option to bring into Merseyside.
Benoit Costil – Lille
Another French international, Costil started 19 games for relegation-bound Auxerre before being signed on a free in January by Lille.
He was last a full-time starter for Bordeaux in 2020, starting in 38 matches and recording 14 clean sheets.
Now at 35 years old, Costil has joined a new team via free transfer for most of his career. He played 255 matches for Rennes, coming to the club on a free in 2011.
He played 182 matches for Bordeaux, again on a free transfer in 2017. Costil did not make any appearances for the Europa Conference League side. Demanding a wage half of Begovic, Costil is another potential target to slot in the number two role in the goalkeeper room.
Another option for Everton could be in-house with young Portuguese goalkeeper Joao Virginia. Everton signed Begovic and chose not to give Virginia the backup role.
He finished a year-long loan for the Dutch side Cambuur. He started in 17 league games, recording 4 clean sheets. However, the 23-year-old could not prevent the team from relegation from the Eredivisie, finishing in 17th place on an abysmal 19 points.
A backup goalkeeper may be at the bottom of Sean Dyche’s transfer priorities, but something must be done to ensure security at the goalkeeper position to fill the void Begovic leaves.