Why Everton should sign Rico Henry as back-up for Lucas Digne
Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti has already used his reputation to bolster his midfield with top-quality players like Abdoulaye Doucoure, James Rodriguez, and Allan this summer but signing a new left-back remains a priority for the Italian gaffer. (h/t Mirror)
Born in Birmingham, Rico Henry started his professional career with Wallsall in League One before completing a move to Championship club Brentford in the summer of 2016. After playing a bit-part role in his first three seasons at Griffin Park, Henry established himself as an undisputed starter for Thomas Frank’s side last term.
The 23-year-old featured 49 times in the previous campaign, registering 3 assists as the Bees made it all the way through to the playoff final before losing out to Fulham. The highly-rated left-back has also represented England at U-19 and U-20 levels.
Henry would be a quality understudy to Digne
Everton have one of the best all-round left-backs in the Premier League in Lucas Digne but they can surely do with some cover and competition for the Frenchman in the ranks.
Leighton Baines, who was the designated understudy to Digne last season, has rejoined Everton as a youth coach after announcing his retirement from the professional game earlier this summer. The Toffees roped in French U-19 international Niels Nkounkou on a free transfer from Marseille back in July to fill in the void.
Nkounkou impressed in the club’s recent 3-0 rout of Salford City in the EFL Cup, making his professional debut for the Toffees. But he remains completely unproven and inexperienced at the senior level.
Hence, it would be a smart idea for Ancelotti to invest in another left-back and Rico Henry presents a young and promising option with plenty of talent. The 23-year-old has already established himself as one of the best in his position in the Championship and with his prime years still ahead of him, Henry looks destined to shine in the PL.
Suffice to say, Henry looks a lot more ready to make the step up to the English top-flight as compared to someone like Nkounkou, who still needs a lot more polishing. The Brentford star perfectly ticks the box as an attacking full-back capable of doing a job at both ends of the pitch, thus making him a good fit for Ancelotti’s system.
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It is a no-brainer that Everton need a more readymade understudy to compete with Lucas Digne for a place in the first-team and Rico Henry fits the bill at Goodison Park for a number of reasons.
We have already witnessed some sparkling displays from the 23-year-old in the Championship and playing under a charismatic manager like Ancelotti is surely going to help him take his game to the next level.