According to Spanish media outlet Alicante Plaza, Everton are one of the clubs interested in signing Elche midfielder Gonzalo Villar, and one of his statistics from the 2019/20 season suggest that he would be adored by Toffees fans.
What’s the word, then?
Well, Alicante Plaza have reported that Roma have made an offer for the 21-year-old worth €3m (£2.6m), but that as Valencia own 80% of the player’s economic rights, they would only be entitled to €600,000 (£513,000) of this.
The report says that Everton have been joined by Juventus and Atalanta in declaring an interest in the Spain U21 international, and has a clause set at €20m (£17.1m).
One stat stands out
Of course, there would have to be some question marks over whether Villar would be in contention to start for the first-team right away should he seal a move to Merseyside, given he has never played above the second tier of Spanish football.
However, one of his stats from the current campaign in La Liga2 is more than eye-catching – nine yellow cards in 18 league matches.
That is some going even for the most tenacious of players in the middle of the park, and while that record would have to be a worry when it comes to suspensions, he appears to be someone who would be loved by Everton supporters.
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Ever since Idrissa Gueye left for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, the Toffees simply haven’t had that player with a bit of bite who is willing to step up and put his foot in on the opposition to win the ball back – he averaged 4.3 tackles and 2.2 interceptions won per game last term, as per WhoScored.
The likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Tom Davies and Fabian Delph have filled in in their absence but have got nowhere near those numbers this season, while Gylfi Sigurdsson has been asked to play a deeper role but is still ultimately a more attack-minded midfielder.
Villar is clearly a central midfielder who is willing to put his body on the line for his team, and that is exactly what Everton need right now – especially after the debacle of losing 1-0 to a largely inexperienced Liverpool side nine days ago.
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