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Everton Monitoring Surprise Name To Bolster Defence In January

Everton are reportedly plotting a January transfer swoop for Stoke City defender Harry Souttar.

The Toffees, in Rafael Benitez’s first season in charge, have hit a brick wall in the last couple of games with back-to-back home defeats against West Ham and Watford. This currently sees them on 14 points after nine games, with Rafael Benitez’s side dropping down to eighth on the Premier League table.

According to TransferMarketWeb, Everton are planning for defensive reinforcements in the next transfer window and have set their sights on Stoke City’s Harry Souttar. The report adds the Merseyside outfit are ready to splash as much as €24 million to convince Stoke into selling one of their prized assets.

Harry Souttar, 23, has established himself as a mainstay in the Potters’ backline since breaking into the first team last season, playing 51 of 60 Championship games till now. The Aberdeen-born centre-back has started the new Championship campaign strongly and has made 13 appearances to date for Stoke, who sit ninth on the table.

Harry Souttar to Everton—What will he bring to Rafael Benitez’s side?

Everton have conceded 14 goals in nine games, of which five came at home in the embarrassing 5-2 defeat to newly-promoted Watford over the weekend.

None of Yerry Mina, Michael Keane or Ben Godfrey have been consistent so far this season, leaving Rafael Benitez in a spot of bother at the moment. With the last weekend’s pairing of Keane and Godfrey leaking five goals against Watford and Mina equally underwhelming amidst links with AC Milan, it is a no-brainer that Everton must focus on bringing in reinforcements at the back when the transfer window reopens in January.

To that end, the Toffees are right to target Stoke City’s Harry Souttar. Regarded as one of the best defenders in the Championship, Souttar has progressed by leaps and bounds at Stoke after enjoying loan spells with Ross County and Fleetwood Town. The Australian international, of course, is still very much a work in progress at the age of 23 but his stocks are currently soaring higher than ever following his consistent performances in the second tier of English football.

Standing at 6ft 6in tall, Souttar is a physically imposing and aerially dominant centre-back with good ball-playing and game reading ability. Due to his towering frame, he is very difficult to beat in the air and is an asset to have in both boxes. The Aberdeen-born stopper compensates for his lack of pace with game awareness and ball-winning skills.

A leader at the back, the 23-year-old is a player with loads of potential and Everton must look at him as someone who could evolve into one of the club’s defensive cornerstones for the best part of the decade. All in all, Souttar certainly ticks all the boxes to come through the door at Goodison Park as a fine young defender with room for development.

Rohan Sengupta

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