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Forget it Ancelotti – Everton have better things to focus than this 20-year-old French starlet

Strasbourg's French defender Mohamed Simakan celebrates after his teammate scored a goal during the UEFA Europa League preliminary round football match between Strasbourg and Lokomotiv Plovdiv, at the Meinau Stadium in Strasbourg last year.
Strasbourg's French defender Mohamed Simakan celebrates after his teammate scored a goal during the UEFA Europa League preliminary round football match between Strasbourg and Lokomotiv Plovdiv, at the Meinau Stadium in Strasbourg last year. (Getty Images)

Why Everton need not push too hard to Mohamed Simakan

According to claims from Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb (h/t Liverpool Echo), Everton are ready to hijack AC Milan’s chase for highly-rated young Strasbourg centre-back Mohamed Simakan.

It has been claimed that Premier League rivals Wolves are also pressing for a deal for the 20-year-old ahead of the January window, although the player is understood to prefer a switch to the Serie A with Stefano Pioli’s side. 

Profile

Mohamed Simakan had stints in the youth academies of several clubs in France, including Marseille, before joining Strasbourg at the youth level in 2017. Having impressed for the club’s reserve side, the defender was promoted to the first-team ranks ahead of the 2019-20 campaign. 

The youngster made 20 appearances in Ligue 1 for Strasbourg in the previous campaign, emerging as one of the most promising breakout starlets in the French top-flight. Simakan has gone from strength to strength in the ongoing campaign, starting 17 league fixtures so far.

Strasbourg’s French defender Mohamed Simakan controls the ball during L1 football match between Lorient (FC Lorient ) and Strasbourg (RCSA) at Le Moustoir Stadium in Lorient, western France on August 23, 2020. (Photo by SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The France U-20 international has featured primarily as a centre-back whilst also making sporadic appearances at right-back and also in a holding midfield role. 

The Toffees already have enough depth at centre-back

Everton roped in Ben Godfrey from Norwich City to bolster their backline in the summer, having shipped 56 goals last season. The England U-21 international has made a brights start to life at Goodison Park, despite being utilised in an unfamiliar left-back role in recent weeks due to the injury to Lucas Digne.

Ancelotti has rotated the likes of Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate to good effect at the heart of the defence. Teenager Jarrad Branthwaite has been largely restricted to appearances for the U-23s this season after producing a string of impressive displays towards the end of the previous campaign. 

With five specialist central defenders competing for places in the ranks, Everton are hardly crying out for reinforcements in that department. Mohamed Simakan might be the quality young player with a lot of potential, but he’s not someone the Toffees need at the moment. 

Toulouse’s Greek forward Efthymios Koulouris (R) vies with Strasbourg’s French defender Mohamed Simakan during the French L1 football match between Strasbourg (RCSA) and Toulouse FC (TFC) on December 7, 2019, at the Meinau stadium in Strasbourg, eastern France. (Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Keane and Mina are performing at the peak of their powers while Holgate, Branthwaite and Godfrey all tick the box as up and coming players with room for development moving forward.

Considering that Simakan also falls in the same bracket, a potential move for the French youth international in January could have negative impact on the progress of some of the existing youngsters at Goodison Park. 

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Verdict

Despite Mohamed Simakan clearly showcasing his potential in France, Everton would be better off looking to bolster other areas of their squad. The Toffees might as well look for reinforcements in both full-back departments, with Seamus Coleman nearing his twilight and Digne lacking quality specialist cover on the left.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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