Everton are interested in signing Rennes defender Adrien Truffert.
The Lowdown: Breaking into the First Team
After his debut, his former boss Julien Stephan praised the France U21 international’s “quality”.
“We said we weren’t going to sign a new left-back and that we were counting on him. He got his chance against Monaco, a first for him, and he showed his quality of crossing and shooting with a lot of personality.
“He is versatile and can cover the entire left flank but I like him starting further back. When you are capable of covering that much ground and you start further back, then you are capable of repeating those runs.”
The Latest: Truffert considering his future
French news outlet L’Equipe have reported that the Liege-born full-back is considering his options after what he felt to be a turbulent season.
The £10.8m-rated ace felt threatened by the arrival of Birger Meling, who he saw as competition, and wants Rennes to have a clear club structure.
Premier League clubs Everton, Leicester and West Ham are monitoring the situation, as are Ajax and Hoffenheim.
The Verdict: Everton’s New Digne
The Rennes Academy graduate has been important to his team only conceding 40 goals, the joint-fourth best in Ligue 1.
He leads the way out of all the players in the side with more than ten starts in blocks per 90 minutes, as well as being in the top five for tackles and interceptions (via FBRef).
This will be beneficial to an Everton side with the fifth leakiest defence in the Premier League last season, but he will arguably be more important at the other end of the pitch.
In Lucas Digne’s last full season with the Toffees, the 28-year-old was in the top 5% of fullbacks in the league for assists.
While Vitaliy Mykolenko has been a solid replacement, he is in the bottom 5% for fullbacks for shot-creating this season, so Frank Lampard’s side has lost some attacking impetus.
“He has huge potential and a very good left foot. He is very intelligent, has the right mentality and the versatility to play in different positions. He has all the qualities needed to keep progressing and to break through in the near future,” once said manager Julien Stéphan of the 20-year-old gem.
Truffert then, being in the top 10% for Ligue 1 fullbacks for goals and goal-creating actions, could fill the void left by Digne, and could be a great signing for Everton.