Everton Opinion: Why the Toffees should go for Benjamin Hubner?
Back in May 2018, German outlet Kicker claimed that Hoffenheim defender Benjamin Hubner had turned down a move to Everton due to “Champions League football”. (h/t Sport Witness)
The German, 29, joined Hoffenheim from FC Ingolstadt in 2016 and has established himself as a reliable player at Rhein-Neckar-Arena. However, he had an injury-troubled 2018/19 season with Hoffenheim that saw him manage just 10 appearances in the Bundesliga.
Unfortunately, Benjamin Hubner couldn’t fulfil his dream of playing in the Champions League and as Hoffenheim finished ninth in the table this term, Everton must reignite their interest and try their luck to sign the 29-year-old.
Everton have already signed Jonas Lossl on a free transfer from Hoffenheim to provide competition to their no.1, Jordan Pickford. After signing Lossl, Marco Silva must now shore up his backline which looked vulnerable for large parts of this past season, despite the solid partnership of Kurt Zouma and Michael Keane.
However, Zouma has returned back to his parent club Chelsea following the expiry of his loan spell and chances of him signing permanently for the Toffees are slim due to the Blues’ potential two-window transfer ban. Phil Jagielka has been released by the club, while Yerry Mina had an injury-hit debut campaign at Goodison Park.
If Marco Silva’s side are to break into the top six next season, defensive reinforcements are vital over the summer. Signing Benjamin Hubner could solve Everton’s problems at the back, despite him being troubled by injuries throughout 2018/19. However, when fit, he is a strong and competent defender, whose biggest strength is his versatility.
The German can play at left-back and defensive midfield when required, although he played all the 10 games last season in central defence. Leighton Baines has been offered a new one-year deal and it remains to be seen whether he accepts or not. If he doesn’t, bringing in a player like Hubner who can play at both centre-half and left-back could be handy for Silva.
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Hubner has the physical qualities to cope with the demands of English football. The 29-year-old is comfortable with the ball at his feet and can launch attacks from the back, something which Silva wants from his defenders. Due to his height, aerial ability and strength, he is also a threat from set-pieces.
The Wiesbaden-born defender is operating at his prime and while he won’t coincide with Marcel Brands’ philosophy of signing young, talented players, Silva must get Hubner to solve his defensive conundrum.