Why Everton should avoid a move for Steven N’Zonzi in January
According to claims from Gazzetta Dello Sport via Sport Witness, as cited by Liverpool Echo, Everton have been credited with an interest in French midfielder Steven N’Zonzi, who is currently on loan at Galatasaray from Serie A outfit Roma.
The 31-year-old World Cup winner has started 10 league fixtures for Galatasaray so far this season since completing a loan move this past summer, but his spell in Turkey hasn’t been a particularly impressive one, with N’Zonzi apparently set for a move elsewhere midway through the campaign.
Premier League rivals West Ham have also been linked with interest in the veteran, who previously spent six seasons with Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City in the English top-flight. The report, however, doesn’t specify whether the English clubs are looking at a loan deal or a permanent transfer for the Frenchman. (Gazzetta Dello Sport h/t Liverpool Echo)
N’Zonzi, who clocked up a mammoth 195 Premier League appearances earlier in his career, spent three seasons at Sevilla in the La Liga and won the UEFA Europa League before joining Roma in the summer of 2018. The 31-year-old played a key role at the Italian capital last term but things have somewhat gone downhill with him since his loan switch to Turkey.
Meanwhile, Everton’s plans of rebuilding their squad under Carlos Ancelotti during the January transfer window have been dealt a massive blow, with the Toffees set to announce record financial losses in the coming days. (Telegraph h/t Daily Mail)
The Toffees looked set for a busy winter window following the appointment of Ancelotti during the festive period, but with the club now set to operate under a shoestring budget in January, plans of a major squad overhaul might as well be postponed until the summer.
Everton got off to a flying start to life under Ancelotti with back-to-back league victories over Newcastle United and Burnley but defeats against Man City and Liverpool have brought them crashing down to the earth.
Nevertheless, the Toffees have climbed up to 11th in the standings as a result of their improvement since the dismissal of Marco Silva and with the gap between the top-six narrowed to just five points, the club’s pursuit of a European spot in the ongoing campaign doesn’t look all that impossible.
Central midfield is one department where the Toffees spent heavily this past summer, with the likes of Fabian Delph, Jean-Philippe Gbamin both coming through the door, while the services of Andre Gomes was also secured on a permanent deal following his successful loan spell from Barcelona in the previous campaign.
Considering the fact that Gomes had already been a key member of the squad last season, Everton brought in two new players in the summer to replace the influential Idrissa Gana Gueye, who completed a switch to Paris Saint-Germain.
To that end, though, the Toffees haven’t really reaped the rewards of their heavy investment in the market. Gbamin has missed large quarters of the campaign due to a thigh injury while Gomes has also had his fair share of injury problems.
Academy graduate Tom Davies has stepped in with some impressive shifts in the middle of the park while Delph has also done a decent job. However, with Morgan Schneiderlin continuing to underwhelm and Gylfi Sigurdsson failing to replicate his heroics from the previous campaign, the Toffees have often found themselves short of quality cover.
To put things into perspective, Everton can certainly do with a minor reshuffle of their midfield options to suit Ancelotti’s philosophy but Steven N’Zonzi is not really the kind of player that they should be looking at in January or next summer, despite all his years of experience in English football.
Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin and Delph are all roundabout that 30-year mark and Everton need to strive towards lowering the average age of their midfield cavalry, meaning that bringing in the 31-year-old would in complete contrast to their transfer philosophy under Marcel Brands, who has focussed on enriching the squad with young and developing players.
N’Zonzi might not be a spent force just yet, but at 31, the Frenchman is surely nearing the autumn of his professional career and with Everton expected to operate under a long-term strategy under Ancelotti, it is a no-brainer that younger players would fit the bill better at Goodison Park.
Plus, the fans are yet to see what kind of an impact Gbamin is capable of making, given that the Ivorian has spent a lot of time on the treatment table. His start to life in England has been far from ideal but that doesn’t mean Everton should go berserk in the market for an immediate replacement.
With the club in a bit of a financial crisis, Everton need to weigh up their moves carefully in the market and N’Zonzi won’t really be a long-term fix even if he does have the quality in his repertoire to make a positive impact.
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All in all, Everton dropping their interest Steven N’Zonzi would make perfect sense for a number of reasons.