Everton are interested in signing Rodrigo De Paul from Atletico Madrid in the summer.
What’s the latest on Everton’s interest in De Paul?
As reported by interlive.it, De Paul may be set to leave the Spanish club in the summer transfer window.
The former Udinese midfielder has had a €30m (£26m) valuation put on him by Diego Simeone’s club, which may be difficult for the Toffees to afford in the midst of a financial fair play (FFP) investigation.
The report also suggests that the Merseyside club also face competition from AC Milan, Tottenham Hotspur, Brentford and Aston Villa.
De Paul could be Everton’s own Modric
If Toffees chief Kevin Thelwell can pull off the transfer for the 28-year-old World Cup winner, then he would become their own Luka Modric.
As per FBref, the two share similarities within their game style, as the site names De Paul as similar to some of the world’s best, including the Real Madrid superstar.
Everton’s misfortuned season, which sees them relegation-threatened and only above the relegation zone on goal difference, has been caused by many factors. However, their ability to score goals, which has been diminished due to their lack of a complete striker and lack of chances created, has been a major reason.
The Toffees have currently created just 36 big chances this season, which is something that De Paul, once called a “top player” by ex-goalkeeper Paul Robinson following his transfer links to Leeds United, would be able to help increase.
The former Valencia midfielder is ranked within the top 3% for shot-creating actions among his positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues, via FBref. Not only this but the €40m-rated (£35m) star also ranks within the top 3% for expected assists per 90.
These statistics show that De Paul, who has made 20 LaLiga appearances this season, has consistently been involved in creating chances for his teammates – something which Everton desperately need.
Despite it being made clear to the Argentina international that he is not part of Simeone’s plans moving forward, the 28-year-old is still their third-highest-ranked midfielder this season with an average match rating of 6.69, as per WhoScored.
His addition to the Everton side, if they can remain in the Premier League for the coming season, may be reminiscent of Modric’s Spurs era. While a potential transfer may seem unlikely due to the Toffees’ FFP troubles and the increased competition from other clubs, signing De Paul would be a great step forward for the club – especially if they lose Amadou Onana.