John Egan defending

Why John Egan to Everton has the makings of a blockbuster move

Everton are plotting a transfer raid for Sheffield United defender John Egan, according to the Mirror.

United’s success so far has been helped by their superb defensive record, with only Leicester and Liverpool conceding fewer goals than 16. And based on those impressive stats, it’s somewhat inevitable that the key players will attract admiring glances from elsewhere.

John Egan, the lynchpin of United’s 3-5-2 formation, has been linked with a move to Everton. The defender cost £4m when he arrived from Brentford last summer and helped the Blades achieve promotion to the Premier League in his first season at Bramall Lane.

The 27-year-old centre back has been one of the Blades’ stand-out players in their superb start. New manager Carlo Ancelotti would be wise to make him his first new signing.

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Ancelotti has been appointed as the new Everton manager (Image credit: Getty)

The Toffees must prioritize strengthening the defence in January. They have conceded 29 goals in the Premier League so far this season – marking the most in the division outside the bottom four. Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate have battled for playing time this season without really impressing. It’s clear that Everton are missing Kurt Zouma, having failed to sign him permanently from Chelsea.

Sunderland signed Egan from Greenwood in 2009 but didn’t even hand him a first-team appearance. After four loan moves away, they simply released him in 2014, freeing him up to join Gillingham. Egan has been excelling ever since, becoming a Championship star with Brentford and Sheffield United. Now, he is one of the Premier League’s most effective defenders with the Blades.

Ancelotti certainly needs to bolster his defensive options. Everton are looking incredibly light at the heart of the back four after failing to sign a centre-back in the summer. The Blades, meanwhile, boast the second-best record in the division. And Egan has played a key role in their success.

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Egan fights for a ball (Image credit: Getty)

Egan has started 17 league games since United returned to England’s top table. He appeared 44 times last year as his first season at Bramall Lane culminated in an automatic promotion. In the league this season, Egan has averaged 1.3 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per 90 minutes. He also boasts of a passing percentage of 82.1%. [Courtesy: Whoscored]

Verdict

Everton have struggled in the defence after the departure of Zouma and Egan would be an excellent choice to solve their conundrum. Sheffield United have thrived under Chris Wilder and Egan has been one of his most important players. It might be difficult to prise him away from Bramall Lane but if they manage to do so, it would be a top-class signing.