Everton have made Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly their top target in the forthcoming summer transfer window.
Kalidou Koulibaly, 29, arrived at Napoli from the Belgian club Genk in the summer of 2014. After several impressive campaigns in Serie A for Napoli, he became one of Europe’s most coveted central defenders. However, the Senegalese international hasn’t had the best of seasons at the Diego Armanda Stadium, with muscle injuries and Coronavirus limiting him to just 26 Serie A appearances.
Despite the centre-back, who is contracted to the Naples-based outfit until the summer of 2023, set to turn 30 next month, Koulibaly is believed to be at the top of Everton’s wishlist. Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has prioritised signing a right-winger and a central defender this summer in a possible £100 million spree.
Everton’s lack of stability at the back
Everton have performed well going forward, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, James Rodriguez and Gylfi Sigurdsson combining well in the final third throughout the season. But there remain questions marks over their overall defending under Carlo Ancelotti.
Michael Keane, the Toffees’ leader at the back, has performed well in patches after a promising start to the season. He hasn’t been helped by his fellow central defenders like Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate. Mina has endured another injury-hit campaign at Goodison Park, while Holgate continues to blow hot and cold. Ben Godfrey has shown promise in his debut campaign with Everton, demonstrating his versatility by playing in various positions across the backline.
There’s no doubting that Everton are well-stocked in the centre-back department, but if they are to push higher up the table and challenge for a top-four spot next season, they’ll need to sign a reliable centre-back, someone who is a leader and can make an immediate impact at the club.
Kalidou Koulibaly could be a fantastic buy for the Toffees
So far, Everton have conceded 42 goals in 34 games, which isn’t good reading for a club that wants to challenge for trophies. To that end, Ancelotti should look to bring in some radical reinforcements in the summer in a bid to bolster his backline, and the Merseyside outfit’s links with Kalidou Koulibaly certainly strikes the right chords.
Standing at 6ft 3ins tall, Koulibaly is one of the dominant centre-backs across Europe. Strong in the air and robust in the tackle, the Senegalese is a ball-playing defender who enjoys carrying the ball forward before making an incisive pass to his teammates. He is good at intercepting opposition’s attacks and is excellent in the air, whilst possessing a good turn of pace across the ground.
At 29, Koulibaly is in his prime years and would instantly improve Everton’s backline. He could be the sort of leader that the Toffees have sorely lacked since Phil Jagielka left the club. The Senegalese international will also help Ancelotti’s side put up a strong challenge against the top teams in the Premier League next season.
In addition, Ancelotti knows Koulibaly in and out having managed the player at Napoli for a season. Koulibaly is up there with the best in Europe and would be a welcome addition to Everton’s backline. Thus, the Toffees have every reason to look at the Napoli star as a player who could transform their defence next term.