Everton target Clement Lenglet is open to the idea of leaving Barcelona on loan…
What’s the Word?
That is according to Spanish publication SPORT, who report that while the 26-year-old would prefer to stay and fight for his place at the Catalan club, his stance has changed from refusing to discuss a summer exit to now warming to a loan.
The France international’s game time has plummeted under Xavi, with 14 of his 21 La Liga appearances this season coming from the bench.
SPORT also report that Barca would ideally like to sell him for good, but realise that his high salary makes that unfeasible. Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United, and Arsenal are all rumoured to be monitoring the situation alongside the Toffees.
Not worth the money
Everton certainly need defensive reinforcements. They have conceded 66 goals in the Premier League, the fifth highest.
After Frank Lampard’s side lost 5-0 to Spurs, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher blasted the defence as “Championship level”.
“Whenever you see teams who are worst in the league away from home, the first thing that comes to mind is they’re weak and soft. That should never be Everton.
“I said that back four is Championship level but for Everton not to be physical, aggressive, making it tough… that’s what Everton have always been even when they’ve not been at the best.”
When you compare Lenglet to Michael Keane and Yerry Mina, the two most experienced centre backs at Goodison Park, you can see why the club are looking to bring the £12.6m-rated defender to Merseyside.
According to FBRef, the former Sevilla stopper has the most tackles and interceptions, pressures, and progressive passes out of the three, while also making fewer errors on average and having a better pass accuracy.
At his best, the Nancy Academy graduate has been described as a “top player” by his national team manager, Didier Deschamps.
“He’s a top player. He’s got a good technique, and despite his size, he’s not bothered by individual duels. He’s a player who’s improving every day.”
However, it has been a while since the 6 foot 1 centre back has been at his best. This season he has a shocking WhoScored rating of 6.30 in La Liga, which is the lowest of anyone who has played over 500 minutes for Barca.
At last summer’s Euros, The Athletic’s Liam Twomey described his defending against Switzerland as “comically weak”.
Even on a loan, Everton would still have to pay his £97k-per-week salary. With wages that high, you have to be pretty sure that the player is going to be a success, and ultimately that is not the case with Lenglet.