Everton boss Sean Dyche was unable to make a single addition to his first-team squad in the January transfer window and will now have to avoid the drop without any reinforcements.
The Toffees are currently 18th in the Premier League table and have a real battle on their hands to avoid dropping down to the Championship next season.
However, the club already have one eye on what they could do in the summer if they are able to retain their top-flight status as Nottingham Forest left-back Renan Lodi is reportedly a target.
Steve Cooper’s side have an option to sign him permanently from Atletico Madrid for €30m (£26m) at the end of his current loan spell but are said to be set to pass up on the chance to exercise it, with the Spanish side willing to negotiate with the Toffees over a deal if that comes to pass.
Could Renan Lodi replace Vitaliy Mykolenko?
Dyche must now swoop to sign the Brazilian defender as it may allow him to brutally ditch current left-back Vitality Mykolenko from the side heading into the 2023/24 campaign.
Journalist Richard Buxton recently criticised the full-back, dubbing him the “defensive weak link” in the side, whilst stating that he is “getting turned over so regularly.”
The Ukraine international has been dribbled past 19 times in 24 Premier League appearances with that an indication opponents are finding it too easy to get past him out wide, as they are dribbling by him 0.8 times per game.
Mykolenko has not made up for his defensive shortfalls with attacking quality as the defender ranks in the bottom 26% or lower of players in his position in Europe’s top five leagues over the last 365 days for successful take-ons and assists per 90.
Lodi, whose “lung bursting” runs were hailed by journalist Josh Bunting, ranks in the 32nd and 69th percentiles in assists and take-ons per 90 respectively, suggesting that the Brazilian, who scored six goals and provided ten assists in 118 games for Atletico, would offer more at the top end of the pitch.
The 24-year-old has also won 54% of his duels in the Premier League this season, whereas Mykolenko has lost 53% of his. That is proof of the Forest man being an upgrade on the Everton defender in terms of the defensive strength he offers on the pitch.
Therefore, Dyche could brutally ditch the left-back by signing Lodi from Atletico in the summer as the Forest loanee could offer more at both ends of the pitch.
Indeed, the “attacking threat” – as Josh Bunting once lauded him – is far more efficient in winning possession back and providing more quality in on the ball to make things happen going forward.
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