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Why this Everton target ticks all the boxes to be a perfect January signing for Newcastle United

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Yacine Brahimi would be a fantastic addition for Newcastle in January 

According to The Sun, FC Porto’s Algerian international Yacine Brahimi has attracted interest from some of the big names of the Premier League including Everton, Newcastle and West Ham United.

The 28-year-old has less than a year remaining on his current contract which is set to expire next summer and he will be free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement when the transfer window opens in January.

Brahimi joined Portuguese giants Porto back in 2014 after stints with Ligue 1 side Rennes and La Liga outfit Granada. He has been quite a revelation since his move to Portugal, racking up consistent performances over the course of four seasons. As a matter of fact, he was one of the stars of the Portuguese top-flight last season, scoring 9 goals and providing 7 assists.

And he has continued his merry way this term as well, having already hit the ground running with a couple of goals in the league.

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The 28-year-old, who starred for Algeria at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, is a technically-gifted playmaker and is versatile enough to slot into any position in the attacking third. A fleet-footed creative midfielder who predominantly operates down the left, Brahimi is also capable of playing in a central role behind the striker.

Meanwhile, Newcastle finally seem to have breathed some life into their tottering Premier League campaign with back-to-back victories over Watford and Bournemouth in recent weeks.

As much as Rafael Benitez has been criticized for his ultra-defensive and one-dimensional philosophy this season, victories against the top half teams should do a world of good to the confidence of the players and the manager. Having won their last two games, the Magpies have climbed up from the relegation zone to 14th in the standings but they still have a long way to go to fight for their survival.

West Brom loanee Salomon Rondon was the star of the show last week as he netted twice in the 2-1 win over Bournemouth. The build-up to both the goals came from the flanks with the likes of Matt Ritchie and Robert Kenedy playing a vital role. With a total of 14 cracks at goal, Newcastle arguably produced their best offensive football in the last game.

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However, the lack of an out-and-out No.10 has been a major cause of concern for Benitez this season. Ayoze Perez and summer recruit Yoshinori Muto have been entrusted with the job of filling the hole behind the striker but neither of them has been able to deliver the goods.

To put things into perspective, Yacine Brahimi would be a fantastic addition to  Newcastle’s squad during the mid-season trading period. The 28-year-old is renowned for his brand of football and takes on the defenders with his pace and dribbling skills.

In fact, he averaged a whopping 5.1 dribbles per game last term in the Portuguese top-flight. To add to that, he also averaged 1.9 shots and 1.5 key passes per game, figures that should convince Benitez to make a move for him.

Read More:- Newcastle United could pull off a shrewd move by signing this on-loan star on a permanent basis

Quite clearly, Brahimi ticks all the boxes for a creative midfielder and a winger. The Sun states that Everton and West Ham are the favourites to land him but Newcastle should leave no stone unturned in their efforts to lure the Algerian to Tyneside in January. A player of his calibre is likely to provide a new dimension to their attack.

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Everton signing this 30-year-old international goalkeeper would the final piece in their defensive jigsaw – Agreed?

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Everton Opinion: Toffees should sign Jonal Lossl for free to increase competition for Pickford

According to reports from Liverpool Echo, Everton are interested in signing Danish international shot-stopper Jonas Lossl in the summer, with the 30-year-old’s contract at Huddersfield Town set to expire in a month’s time.

Lossl would be available for free in the summer transfer window and Toffees’ manager Marco Silva is keen to get him on the club’s books to provide cover and competition for No.1 Joran Pickford. (h/t Liverpool Echo)

The 30-year-old, who made his move to Huddersfield Town from Bundesliga outfit Mainz in the summer of 2017 upon the Terriers’ promotion to the Premier League, has caught the eye with his shot-stopping abilities and Everton are keen on securing his services to add depth to their goalkeeping options.

Former Dutch international Maarten Stekelenburg, 36, acted as back-up for Pickford this season but Liverpool Echo understands that Silva wants a reshuffle of his options between the sticks, with Lossl being eyed as a bargain on a free transfer.

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Lossl managed just 5 clean sheets from 31 appearances in the Premier League this term, as Huddersfield Town finished rock-bottom of the standings and suffered relegation to the Championship after a couple of seasons in the top-flight.

The Dane has been a bit up and down with his performances this season but he did an incredible job between the sticks for the Terriers under the stewardship of David Wagner the last term.

The 30-year-old has made a total of 69 appearances for the Terriers in the Premier League over the course of two seasons, managing 15 clean-sheets in the process, returns which are quite good considering that Huddersfield have been under the cosh for large chunks of their time in the top-flight.

Lossl has just a single senior international cap for Denmark under his belt but he boasts of quite an impressive profile for a goalkeeper, having enjoyed successful stints in Ligue 1 with Guingamp, Mainz in the Bundesliga, as well as FC Midtjylland in his homeland earlier in his career.

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The 6ft. 5 inches shot-stopper is noted for his good ball distribution, accurate long-kicks from the back and ability to come off his line to punch the ball away to safety. He presents himself as a commanding presence inside the box more often than not and communicates well with his defenders to ensure that he has all the angles covered. To go with his above-average shot-stopping abilities from all ranges, Lossl also has a good record when it comes to saving penalties.

To put things into perspective, the acquisition of Jonas Lossl as a free agent in the summer could prove to be a smart piece of business for the Toffees. The Dane does not need to be a world-beater as he would arrive at Goodison Park only as a back-up for Pickford. However, Lossl is good enough to ensure healthy competition for places between the sticks, and given that Pickford wasn’t at his best this season, it would be a good idea for Marco Silva to keep the England No.1 on his toes by bringing in another decent goalkeeper.

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According to Sofascore stats, Pickford has committed 4 major errors that have led to goals and 4 other blunders that have led to shots. He has proven his worth with some brilliant performances but has also come under scrutiny for some high-profile and uncharacteristic errors, which should prompt the manager to add more depth to his goalkeeping options.

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Jonas Lossl is certainly a good choice for the Toffees and they should not have any second thoughts regarding this deal.

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Everton would find the ideal answer to their No. 9 woes by taking the risk of signing this 11-goal speedster – Agreed?

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Everton Opinion: Why Aleksandar Mitrovic will be a smart fit for Everton?

According to a report from the Sky Sports, Everton are keen to sign Fulham star Aleksandar Mitrovic in the summer transfer window.

The Serbian, 24, who got relegated with Fulham, wants to play in the Premier League next season. He had been instrumental in the Cottagers’ promotion season under Slavisa Jokanovic, after joining on loan from Newcastle United for the second half of the 2017-18 season.

Mitrovic’s brilliant loan spell at Craven Cottage persuaded Fulham to make his loan deal permanent before the start of the 2018/19 campaign. And despite bagging 11 goals and three assists, he couldn’t help the Cottagers in the top-flight.

The centre-forward’s stance of playing in the top-flight is very encouraging for Everton, who are in dire need of a centre-forward next season.

Everton’s premium attackers weren’t exactly productive this season, with Cenk Tosun having struggled the most. Tosun just hasn’t managed to adapt to the Premier League since arriving from Besiktas in January 2018. He failed to add any productivity to the final third, scoring just three goals for the Toffees this season.

As a result, the Turkey international was often overlooked by Marco Silva. Richarlison was initially used as a no. 9 before Silva trusted young Dominic Calvert-Lewin up front. While Calvert-Lewin did very well in the second half of the campaign, it would be foolish on Silva’s part to expect the youngster to deliver the goods consistently in the 2019/20 campaign.

Thus, the addition of a new striker makes a lot of sense for the Toffees and Silva should definitely go for Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Mitrovic is a physically blessed forward that makes him so difficult to dispossess. He is excellent in his hold-up play and uses his brawn to outmuscle defenders in the air. The Serbian international can link-up with the attackers and while he doesn’t have the agility and pace to give the opposition a run for their money, he makes it up with his positional awareness in the box.

Strong and powerful, the former Newcastle United man is a potent finisher from inside the box with either foot, as well as head, despite being naturally right footed.

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In addition to his goalscoring, Mitrovic is known for his willingness and ability to drop into deeper or wider positions, and either link-up play with midfielders, or use his strength and technical ability to hold up the ball with his back to goal to provide assists for teammates.

Verdict

Without any second thoughts, Mitrovic would be a top addition for Everton. The big Serbian will give the Toffees’ attack a focal point which they lacked throughout the 2018/19 campaign, whilst adding much-needed physicality to the side.

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Go for it Silva – This reputed 26-year-old ace is the answer to Everton’s lack of creativity in the midfield

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Everton Opinion: Oguzhan Ozyakup could be a useful squad player for the Toffees

According to reports from Daily Post, Everton are set to battle it out with a host of top European clubs for the signature of Besiktas captain Oguzhan Ozyakup this summer.

The Daily Post claims that the 26-year-old central midfielder was linked heavily with a move to Goodison Park last summer but he opted to stay with Besiktas in the Turkish Super Lig.

If the Toffees are really serious about getting their hands on the Turk in the summer window, they would need to fend off interest from some big clubs like Marseille, Valencia and Lazio, the Daily Post understands.

A youth product of Arsenal, Ozyakup made only a couple of senior competitive appearances for the Gunners before joining Besiktas in 2012. He has plied his trade with the Turkish giants ever since and has carved out a reputation for himself in his homeland as an effective leader and a one-club player.

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Ozyakup, who is currently into his seventh season at Besiktas, has racked up a staggering 247 appearances for the Turkish giants in all competitions, accumulating 30 goals and 56 assists in the process. A full international for Turkey since 2013, the 26-year-old has earned 41 caps for his nation at the senior international level.

Everton’s interest in Oguzhan Ozyakup should please the fans at Goodison Park given that the Toffees need to invest in their central midfield options this summer. Idrissa Gana Gueye was a standout performer in the midfield this past season but the Senegalese ace has been linked with a move elsewhere and his departure would leave the Toffees with a massive void to fill.

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Morgan Schneiderlin and youngster Tom Davies have only played a bit-part role under manager Marco Silva this term and it is still unclear whether either of them is capable of consistently delivering the goods week-in-week-out for a club that is supposed to challenge for Europe next season. Striking a permanent deal for Barcelona loanee would solve plenty of problems for Everton but the Portuguese international’s future at Goodison Park still remains very much up in the air.

To put things into perspective, Everton can certainly do with another quality central midfielder in their ranks. Oguzhan Ozyakup is a good enough player with loads of experience at the highest level and the Toffees have every reason to look at him as a viable option in the summer. He doesn’t necessarily need to be a world-beater but the Toffees should relish having a creative central midfielder like him in their ranks if they fail to strike a deal for Gomes.

Noted for his energetic presence and slick passing in the middle of the park, Ozyakup has the versatility to switch between defensive, box-to-box and attacking roles in the midfield. The 26-year-old has a good technique on the ball, which not only allows him to be comfortable in possession but also bring others into play with his quick passing and impressive distribution.

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Blessed with a bagful of trickery and excellent vision, the Turk knows how to create his own space and pick out the right pass to set his team on the front foot, while also having the required presence of mind and anticipation to get into the right positions during the build-up to the attacks.

While he is more than capable of playing between the lines and ripping the opposition apart with his incisive and intelligent passing, the Turk also excels with his ability to respond to the transitions in play and often succeeds in cutting out attacks.

Furthermore, he is a recognised leader in the midfield and his charismatic presence allows the others to play around him, although he might not necessarily play a similar role at Everton.

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Ozyakup won’t be the perfect replacement for Gana Gueye should the Senegalese depart in the summer but can be a very useful squad player at Goodison Park. It is a no-brainer that the Toffees need more depth and quality in their squad to close the gap on the top-six and signing Ozyakup would be a step in the right direction.

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