Journalist Tony Scott has said on the All Together Now podcast that Everton have to replace Jonjoe Kenny.
The 25-year-old has spent his whole career at the Toffees, although he has gone on loan to Wigan Athletic, Oxford United, Schalke, and Celtic.
The £3.6m-rated full-back has made 15 league appearances this season, the most he has made for the Merseyside club since the 2017-18 campaign, and only the season time he had made more than ten appearances in the Premier League.
Despite this, Scott argues that the 5 foot 9 right-back will still be missed by Frank Lampard, because of the lack of depth in that position, and has stressed the need to get a replacement.
“Everton now, with no Jonjoe Kenny, go into a Premier League season with a way, way past-it Seamus Coleman and Nathan Patterson, who’s hardly kicked a ball for us, totally unproven in the Premier League. And now what?
“So we’ve got to go and replace him. It’s all well and good saying, ‘he won’t be missed’ and all this, well, I’m sorry, but he will – and this is what’s going to kill us.”
Our Thoughts on Scott’s Kenny Claims
Toffees captain Seamus Coleman is certainly on the decline. According to WhoScored league ratings, his last three seasons are some of his worse-performing seasons, with the Ireland international only performing worse in 2011-12, a decade ago.
However, Kenny does not look like the 33-year-old’s successor. The Liverpool-born defender has an even lower WhoScored rating this year.
In fact, out of all the players at Goodison Park who have started at least five games, only two players are worse.
20-year-old Nathan Patterson could step up in the long term, but at the moment he is yet to play for Everton in the Premier League so it would be expecting too much for him to be the immediate replacement.
The lack of adequate replacement for Coleman has meant that other players have had to play out of position, with both Alex Iwobi and Ben Godfrey filling in at right-back.
Furthermore, the issues in defence go beyond the right flank. Lampard’s side have conceded 66 goals, the fifth-highest amount in the league.
After Tottenham thrashed the Blues 5-0, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher dismissed the Merseyside club’s defence “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.”
Getting defensive reinforcements, therefore, especially at right-back, must be a priority for Everton.