Why Everton should sign Nikola Maksimovic
According to Liverpool Echo, Nikola Maksimovic has been linked with a move to Everton. The Napoli defender who has previously worked with Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli, could be set for a reunion with the Italian coach. It remains to be seen if he is let go by Napoli given they are trying to extend his contract.
Nikola Maksimovic recorded over 100 appearances for Sloboda Uzice and Red Star Belgrade in his native Serbia before earning a move to Serie A outfit Torino in the summer of 2013. He established himself as a regular starter at Torino, featuring 76 times in all competitions over the course of three seasons before joining domestic rivals Napoli in 2016.
The 28-year-old hasn’t always been a regular starter at Napoli due to stiff competition for places at the back but has still managed 83 appearances in all competitions, scoring twice (h/t Transfermarkt).
Maksimovic also had a brief loan spell at Spartak Moscow during the 2017-18 campaign. A full international for Serbia since 2012, Maksimovic has accumulated 25 caps for his nation so far.
Maksimovic can be a quality addition to the Everton defence
Everton have started the season on a much better note than previous seasons. They look like a more cohesive unit. Obviously, the new signings of Allan, James Rodriguez and Abdoulaye Doucoure have helped. While most of the team looks well settled and not in need of any additions, the defence could actually use a new face of two.
The likes of Yerry Mina and Michael Keane have never been a very reliable presence. Probably Mason Holgate is the better defender in their ranks. Adding someone with the ability and experience of Maksimovic could be of help here. The Serbian international has made more than 100 career appearances in the Serie A for Torino and Napoli, while also proving his worth in the Champions League.
That, coupled with his towering 6ft 4in frame means Maksimovic has the physicality to complement his experience at the highest level, which should make it easier for him to cope with the rough-and-tough nature of the English game.
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Everton need to look for a long-term solution to end their centre-back woes and Nikola Maksimovic ticks plenty of boxes to come through the door as a marquee addition to the club’s defensive unit.
The Serbian still has several years remaining in his prime at 28. The Toffees would be well within their rights to eye a cut-price deal for the defender in January, considering his unresolved contract situation at Napoli.