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Forget it Ancelotti – This 21-year-old La Liga rising star is not who Everton need right now

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Modibo Sagnan of Real Sociedad during the Pre-Season Friendly between Nottingham Forest and Real Sociedad at City Ground on July 26, 2019 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Why Everton should keep their eyes off Modibo Sagnan

According to MSN, Everton are weighing up a move for Real Sociedad defender Modibo Sagnan to bolster their backline in the January transfer window.

As per the report, the Toffees are on the lookout for a new centre-back to replace youngster Jarrad Branthwaite, who joined Blackburn Rovers on loan earlier in the month. It has been claimed that Carlo Ancelotti’s side have scouted Modibo over the past few years and are willing to make a concrete offer for his services. 


Born in Saint-Denis, France, to a Burkinabe father and a Malian mother, Modibo Sagnan rose through the youth ranks of RC Lens. He initially made an impression for the club’s reserve side before making his senior competitive debut in Ligue 2 during the 2017-18 campaign.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – JULY 26: Modibo Sagnan of Real Sociedad during the Pre-Season Friendly between Nottingham Forest and Real Sociedad at City Ground on July 26, 2019 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

After making 11 appearances in the French second-tier in the following season, the centre-back was snapped up by Real Sociedad in January 2019. He was loaned back to his former club for the remainder of the 2018-19 season and spent the second half of the following campaign on loan at CD Mirandes in the Spanish second-tier. 

The 21-year-old has established himself as a first-team player at Sociedad this term, making 13 appearances in all competitions so far. Sagnan’s rise to prominence in the La Liga has apparently alerted Everton, who are ready to lure the centre-back to Merseyside.

Everton are well-stocked at the back

Everton aren’t really crying out for a new centre-back at the moment after conceding 21 goals in 17 games in the Premier League so far this season. That defensive record puts the Toffees level with elite clubs like Liverpool and Chelsea, meaning Carlo Ancelotti’s side have done a pretty good job at the back.

The Toffees roped in Ben Godfrey from Norwich City to strengthen their backline in the summer and the England U-21 international has played his part. Godfrey hasn’t had a lot of playtime at centre-back but Ancelotti has successfully shoehorned him as a left-back to cover for the injury to Lucas Digne. 

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN – OCTOBER 29: Andrea Petagna of SSC Napoli battles for possession with Modibo Sagnan of Real Sociedad during the UEFA Europa League Group F stage match between Real Sociedad and SSC Napoli at Estadio Anoeta on October 29, 2020, in San Sebastian, Spain. (Getty Images)

Yerry Mina and Michael Keane have continued to flourish as the first-choice central defenders in the set-up. With Mason Holgate also proving his worth as a versatile operator across the backline, Everton currently have enough depth and quality at the heart of the defence. 

Having said that, it’s hard to understand why the Toffees would possibly need to bring in a replacement for Branthwaite. That’s because the teenager was very much a peripheral figure during the first half of the season, featuring just once in the EFL Cup. He has been loaned out from a development perspective, meaning a replacement need not be on the agenda.

Modibo Sagnan ticks several boxes as a promising young defender with plenty of potential but he’s not someone Everton need at the moment. With Godfrey, Holgate and Branthwaite very much players in the same mould, a potential deal for the Frenchman would only stall the progress of the existing defenders at Goodison Park. 

Real Sociedad’s French defender Modibo Sagnan (R) challenges AZ Alkmaar’s Dutch forward Ferdy Druijf during the UEFA Europa League group F football match between Real Sociedad and AZ Alkmaar at the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian, on November 5, 2020. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

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Everton might as well look to add more depth and quality to their full-back ranks if they are genuinely looking to improve their defence. The Toffees already have adequate cover and competition for places in central defence, thus making a deal for Modibo Sagnan completely unnecessary.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

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

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